One thing that is pretty common with most triathlons (and for that matter most running races) is that there’s a photographer snapping pictures as athletes cross the finish line.
Sometimes the image is one of joy that the day is done. Occasionally, you’ll get a picture that shows grit and determination. Every now and again, you’ll get one where the athlete looks like they are in extreme pain (like my finisher’s photo from the 2011 Rev3 Knoxville):
And then, every now and again the picture captures the realness and essence of life. Sometimes the image shows not just that an athlete finished a race but why he did.
The picture below was taken as Andrew Picek from Ohio was running down the finisher’s chute at this past weekend’s Half Rev at Rev3 Cedar Point. Now, I don’t know Mr. Picek from Adam’s housecat, and I don’t know his story at all, but I absolutely love the look on his face as he carries his infant child across the finish line.
This picture sums up why so many athletes run. Or Tri. They do it not only for themselves, but often for others in their life. So many times we see athletes pick up running or triathlon as a means to lose weight or bring down cholesterol or to help prevent heart disease. They exercise to add longevity to their life. In some cases, they exercise so that they’ll live long enough for their kids to remember them. I have no idea if any of the things I just laid out apply to Mr. Picek. They might. They might not. Every person, though, has a story about what got them to the finish line of their race.
In my mind this young baby has a cool story too….how he/she crossed the finish line of a pretty cool race with their daddy.
Edit (8:28am): I received a tweet from one of my Rev3 teammates not long after posting this that the child in this picture was 11 days old when Andrew crossed the finish line. That raises the coolness factor behind this picture to EPIC values in my mind!