This is a tough race update for me to write. Jodi and I met at St. George 70.3 a few years ago. She was bubbly and smiley and we chatted at the racks pre-race. Flash forward and a few more races together led to a friendship which I value immensely. On top of that Jodi asked me to coach her this year for 70.3 Worlds and for Ironman Arizona.
Jodi is not a stranger to adversity. She has a large family and a busy medical career. She goes a million miles a minute, and has a gift to find a smile most days no matter how hard the day was.
The weeks leading up to Worlds things happened out of her control. Post race she is reflecting on what can be changed to get healthy again, but this downward spiral has lasted a long time, and race week her body was begging her to give in. It was heart breaking seeing her in pain and knowing she would do her best no matter what.
Race day was not her day. Her body wouldn’t respond, and small things were hard. This wasn’t something we could anticipate or plan for. It was something she had to manage just to finish. Jodi contemplated not running as she came off the bike, and what got her out on that brutal hard run course was the commitment to her husband and son who were there cheering for her. She wasn’t going to let them down, no matter what…. and she didn’t.
This was not the race Jodi was capable of. I do know however, that she did her absolute best on a day she had every reason to quit. For this, I am immensely deeply truly humbled by her character and commitment.
We have no guarantees that we’ll be our best on race day. and sometimes you need to go with what you have. Jodi did this, and in my eyes, she won this race by finishing. You are stronger than you know Jodi O’Shea.