American history buffs remember the War of 1812 as a military conflict between the United States and the British Empire. Those familiar with multiple myeloma recognize the disease as a war between a healthy body and cancerous cells.
How fitting, then, that Ironman assigned Bib #1812 to Team Poppy Tony. We were ready to fight this war from both sides of the Pacific.
Friday, Oct 12th: Poppy Tony gets chemotherapy infusion in San Diego.
Saturday, Oct 13th: Daughter Kendra competes in the Ironman World Championships in Kona.
The following are a collection of dispatches from our war correspondent, Kgo, during her week in the battlefield. A full war report (i.e., race report) will be released once facts have been independently verified.
Dispatch from the Field #1: Soldier Diversity. Even on the international level, triathlon is a very white sport.
Dispatch from the Field #2: The unlikeliest of battlefields. Paradise is where daily highs don’t require AC, the lows don’t need a heater and where giant turtles swim with you in clear waters.
Dispatch from the Field #3: The warfighter’s mess hall. To prime our strength in battle, we fortify our pancakes with Muscle Milk.
Dispatch from the field #4: War-time Rations. During race week in Kona, expect a run on plain Greek yogurt. In the third and most remote grocery store, the crisis persists.
Dispatch from the field #5: Soldier hydration. It’s so hot in the battlefield that we hydrate from top to bottom.
Dispatch from the Field #6: Soldier safety. When Chris Lieto tells you that it’s safe to swim in the ocean after a storm, you go for a swim.
Dispatch from the field #7: On exposure to the elements. The winds near Hawi are so fierce they even knock around the highway lines.
Dispatch from the field #8: Yep, Still windy.
Dispatch from the Field #9: On Battledress. Despite popular belief, compression gear is not a requirement for racking your bike in Kona.
Dispatch from the Field #10: Same War, Different Theater. Note that a transition bag for a World Championship race is just like that for any other Ironman.
Dispatch from the Field #11: The warfighter’s perspective. As my father taught me, laughter is the best medicine. Even in a World Championship race, it makes everything feel better.
Dispatch from the Field #12: Raging war in different theaters. On Friday, Poppy Tony battled multiple myeloma with chemotheraphy. And on Saturday, Kgo battled MM with a swim, bike, and run, placing 9th in the world and putting the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) on the World Stage!
Dispatch from the Field #13: On Allies. With Poppy Tony unable to travel to Hawaii, Kgo needed a true and trusty sherpa in his place. Flying all the way from Frankfurt, Germany to assume this special role, Jeffrey was an absolute gem, calculating projected times, calling out K-go’s place, shuttling her bike home, and comforting her in a state of post-race nausea. No one would have ever guessed he was a first time Sherpa. Team Poppy truly couldn’t have rocked it without him.
Team Poppy Tony thanks YOU, our virtual cheer squad, for all of the messages, for tracking the race, for sending fast vibes to K-go and healing vibes to Poppy Tony.
The fight continues…and unlike History’s War of 1812, this one will not end in a stalemate.