Categorized | Multi-sport, Sports

Ironmanlife: Lottery winners tell it like it is

(Kevin Mackinnon gathers some quotes from lottery winners)

When asked “Why have you sought Ironman entry?” on the Ironman Lottery questionnaire, Annandale, N.J.’s Gerald Moore pretty much summed it up best: “You need to ask?”

Here are more quotes from athletes who made it to Kona last year through the lottery:

Coeur d’Alene’s Paul Burke, had this to say in answer to that question: “After donating a kidney I went through a rough recovery period losing my conditioning and some personal motivation. I wanted to prove to myself I could still be competitive in life.”

Edie Cameto finished fifth in her age group in 1991. “It has been my dream since my girls finished college and I was able to train and race again. I wake up at 3:45 AM to train before work.”

Deboar Candilora, a former member of the USA National Volleyball team, was motivated by watching the race on television. “Ever since I viewed the Julie Moss episode I wanted to complete this race.”

For Tim Downing, entering the lottery was a matter of finally being able to do the race. “After six deployments I am finally on a shore duty that allows me the time to train and I have always wanted to compete in this event. I have flown combat missions in the F-14 Tomcat, F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18 Super Hornet.”

Jeff Kootman was very direct: “I have been interested in triathlons since 1987 and would like to complete at least one more Ironman event. This would be like racing in the Indy 500 for me. If I received a slot, I would still compete in tri’s forever. Please choose me!!!!!!!” (As a heads up, Jeff, it really is a lottery – they don’t do any choosing.)

“The greatest feats in athletics occur when you lose a sense for what you think you can do, and just do more,” said Damon Bowe, an attorney and scientist who “starts biotech companies to combat breast cancer and other diseases.”

Linda-Ann Newsome from Ashburn, Va., is a former model and member of the AAU National Basketball team and now a busy mom. “I am not unlike every other IM racer … the pursuit of Kona because it’s the epitome of all that triathlon encompasses. I’m a mom who enjoys inspiring other moms like me to get out there.”

Robert Nossa, a physician from New Jersey, is realistic about his love of the sport. “Just a slightly obsessive and self motivated individual. Great family support with Jen, my wife, who beats me in every race we run, and our kids Alec and Katie, who tolerate our constant training.”

“I’ve been through a couple tough events in the past year, but watching the Ironman races are a reminder that the impossible is possible, if you only try,” wrote Brian Oringderff from Canton, Ga. “I look to the Ironman as proof that we can accomplish anything we set our mind, and will to.”

“I’m a middle-aged, mid-to-back-of-the-pack racer,” says Michael Pajaro from Glendale, Calif. “I will never qualify for Kona. But it is the opportunity of a lifetime to be able to race alongside (or more correctly, far behind) the world champions.”

Cindy Reeves, League City, Texas: “Because it would be a dream to be able to race in Kona. I am slow, but steady and since slow and steady doesn’t get me to qualify … the lottery is my only chance.”

“Every day I train for this sport,” says Jim Schulenberg. “Every day for 17 years, I have dreamed of this race. I keep training and I keep training. One day I will qualify on my own, or win a slot. Someday the training will pay off, and the dream will come true. I travel over 100k miles a year, and train for one to three Ironman’s a year all around the world. I am a true international, self funded and supported amateur Ironman athlete. Nothing stops me – not shoulder reconstruction or cancer. Nothing.”

Courtney Spratt from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. made the lottery a celebration. “I am entering the lottery as a birthday present to myself. I will be turning 40 in October and I would love the chance to cross this milestone in my life with the chance to compete in Kona 2011.” (Hopefully the 12:50:41 finish was enough of a present!)

Dene Strum from Kailua-Kona: “I want to be part of that experience and achieve what they have – the ultimate endeavor of body and spirit, linked to an unforgettable human alliance.”

“My tri career began as a result of watching Ironman on TV in the early 80’s and have continued to compete for 24 years despite being a mediocre runner,” said Robert Wallace from Deleon Springs, Fla. “I may not qualify on my own, but remain optimistic of competing in Hawaii at least once in my life.”

Brian Yannutz: “I believe that if I can prove to myself that I can complete an Ironman, then I can do anything. I have already completed it once, but this time I would like to see what my body could do if it wasn’t hit by a car three weeks before the race.”

The Ironman World Championship Lottery for the Oct. 8, 2011 race closes Feb. 28. For more information or to register, visit…

(Reach Kevin Mackinnon at

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