Joe Cook, Ironman

NOTE: This is the first of a few Ironman Louisville posts.

If you have never been to an Ironman event, it is quite an impressive (and possibly depressing) site. To get it in perspective, imagine the longest you have ever walked in a day and compound it with a swim and a bike ride. Here is how it stacks out.

  • Swim 2.4 miles (3.8 km)
  • Bike 112 miles (180 km)
  • Run 26.2 miles (42 km)

The impressive part is watching these guys (and gals) finish the race. The depressing part is watching them fall down after they finish or wobble around the half way mark of the marathon (run portion).

Most Ironman competitors run between 2 and 3 events a year, with a couple of half Ironmen in between. Then, there is Joe Cook.

Joe Cook

Our trip to Louisville was designed to be a celebration. Certainly for Eric, Tiffany’s brother, but even more so for Miranda, who had spent the last year fighting cancer. We found the bump on her back on August 23, 2007, the day we arrived for the 2007 Louisville Ironman. We complete chemo in April of this year, with one scare in early August with a small nodule in her lung (turned out to be benign).

There are many God moments in life, or strange coincidences for those of you not believing in God moments. Out of hundreds of rooms stretched across 14 floors, we end up next to Joe Cook. I will have to post the release I was drafting at some time, as it better conveys the moment, but that will have to wait.

In Lee Gruenfeld’s Ironman column, he calls Joe Cook an idiot. This is meant in a very friendly way, as the idiocy Joe is engaged in is running 6 Ironmen and 3 half Ironmen in 8 months. In all, this is 1054 total competitive miles of swimming, biking and running.

If Joe were merely running Ironman competitions to run Ironman competitions, I might agree with Lee that Joe is an idiot. But when one is an "idiot" with a purpose, he transcends to become a hero. After Joe began running, his neighbor’s daughter Ellie was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). She became Joe’s purpose.

Joe Cook is now running for St. Jude’s children’s hospital as a St. Jude Hero. He has raised over $7650, but has a goal of raising $25,000. He is asking each person he meets to just donate 1 penny per mile ($10.54 total) to help fight childhood cancer. If you can spare $10.54, or more, click here to help him in his cause.

Peace and Grace,


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