Race Coverage

High-Five Magic...


By David Leard

Can We Start Again, Please?

I just got my covid-19 vaccine the other day so now I’m REALLY looking forward to getting back to racing this year. I thought this would be a good time to look back at one of my favorite Triathlon moments....

It was during the run at Maple Grove Olympic in my last race of the 2019 season, (and as things have turned out, my last outdoor Tri so far to date). Straight out of T2, and to start the second lap of the run, you go up a hill (photo below) about half a mile in length that winds through the Weaver Lake Park and into the local neighborhood.

Going up that hill on the second lap, my legs were tightening up on me, my butt was hurting (literally, my glutes were killing me), and by my watch and what higher level math skills I still possessed after 2 hours of racing, I was going to come up a couple minutes over on my goal time for the race. I was not exactly in my happy place at the moment.


At just about the top of the hill, right after exiting the park and turning onto a local street, I see a girl about 4 years old standing on the corner staring down at her feet, her arms by her sides, with a really sad, dejected look on her face. My first thought was “She wants to give someone a High-Five. And boy, could I really use one about now.”

So, I adjust my course, swing over towards her, and stick my hand out well in advance so she can see it coming. Her face lit up with a big smile, her hand went out, we high-fived, and she started jumping up and down and cheering. Dad, standing next to her also got excited and gave me a second. Thanks, dude. "You just made my daughter’s day, high-five." 

You want to talk about a power-up? That was better than when I accidentally discovered the amazing effects of chicken broth at Mile 19 of the marathon during Ironman Wisconsin. Suddenly the sun was out, the birds were singing, my legs didn’t hurt as much, my pace increased, and the 2+ miles back to the finish didn’t seem all that far.

That scene kept replaying in my mind all the way back to the finish line. When I crossed and checked my time, I discovered I had come in 45 seconds FASTER than my goal for the race. Plus, I had held on to second place in my age group. By my reckoning, that one high-five had been worth about two and a half minutes. And gave me an all-time favorite memory.

So, let’s get back out there and do this some more.