It’s always good to catch up with those that crossed your path many moons ago. Surely, this is the intended purpose of social media. I kept seeing posts from a “kid” who use to share a pew with me on Sunday mornings. I personalized a message to him and after a little communication, and a few chuckles, if that’s even possible through pixels on a screen.
What initially grabbed my interest in the story was learning his wife competes globally in Ironman competitions. So, I jumped at the chance to interview the husband of an internationally competitive Ironman woman. Sorry ladies, the actual trademarked name for it is Ironman. However, I am willing to refer to her as Iron woman. She competes against Iron everybody, making her a superstar among her peers. This Iron wife is a conditioning junkie, a devoted wife and mother, a fitness guru, a walking poster girl for nutrition expertise and before you can think of some silly stereotype of this Iron person being a slow minded uber-athlete, let me add that there are letters after her name.
As I kept getting stuck trying to find a start to this story, I realized I was looking at the information wrong. The question I most needed answered was, “How does one begin to date a world class tri-athlete?”
The answer to that was clear. It’s simple really. You just run away from her.
Here is the story of Randy Sadler and his wife, Amanda, ahem, Dr. Amanda Stevens.
ME: HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR WIFE? AT KRISPY KREME I’M GUESSING.
RANDY: What is Krispy Kreme? (laughs) Amanda Stevens and I met during a 10k run in Norman, OK. She was attending OU Medical School at the time. I was up front running in 3rd place and she caught me about mile 3.5 we ran together the rest of the way to the finish, about a mile to go she looked at me and said “are you ready to throw down” I was like “really?” so I ducked my head and took off. I managed to finish ahead of her by 40 seconds.
ME: SO, YOU RAN AWAY FROM HER? YOU CALL THAT GAME RANDY?
RANDY: You bet. We talked at the finish line, she was training for the 2008 Olympic trials and at the time I was running about same speed as her so she asked if we could be running partners, I agreed and that was it we’ve been together ever since.
ME: SHE MUST BE SHARP IF SHE FOUND TIME TO TRAIN AND COMPETE IN A 10K AND STILL ATTEND CADAVER ANATOMY.
RANDY: Well, she could’ve rolled out of bed and competed in a 10K. She was a member of the USA Triathlon Team based of the Olympic Triathlon Center in CO Springs.
ME: OKAY, I’M CLEARLY NOT GIVING HER ENOUGH CREDIT.
RANDY: Maybe not and let the record show after I tell you about her just remember I beat her by 40 seconds the day we met. After meeting in that 10k race in Norman, OK we were inseparable. Her races consisted of a 1500 meter swim, 24n mile bike and 6.2 mile run.The summer after the Olympic Trials I had signed up for Ironman Louisville (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run), which Amanda spectated.
(Here are those numbers again in case you read right over them and didn’t let it sink in – A brisk pace against the clock for a twenty-six point 2 mile afternoon jog right after biking for One-hundred and twelve miles as fast as your pain tolerance will endure but that’s only after swimming for two point four miles, not in a lane roped swimming pool either. Instead 2800 athletes who want to beat you to the finish enter the Lake at the exact same time with buoys in front of them marking the course. 2800 pairs of feet that are kicking as a matter of survival just in front of your face.)
ME: WOW RANDY. I AM IMPRESSED AND I THINK MOST OF MY READERS WILL BE CONSIDERING MOST OF US WOULD STRUGGLE TO GET THROUGH ANY OF THE DECIMALS ATTACHED TO THOSE DISTANCES.
RANDY: Fast forward to just a year ago. Amanda and I had moved to Boulder, CO to train with one of the All Star Triathlon teams. Ironman announced that in 2015 they would be putting on the event again and we both decided that it would be ideal for me to sign up. We began my training, which included weeks of several 100+ mile bike rides, 20+mile runs and 2+mile swims.
Race day is always filled with nerves especially when you star out into a lake and see 2.4 miles of buoy’s marking off a swim course. Throughout the training you know the distance as you have swam it in the 25meter pool several times over. But seeing the distance spread out in a lake with no spots to stop for a rest is very daunting.
Once the gun goes off all feeling of nervousness goes away and attack mode kicks in. Imagine 2800 athletes hitting the lake to begin their swim at the same time. My mom compares it to watch salmon swimming upstream. The swim has a way of sorting most of the athletes out before heading out onto the 112-mile bike. I did see other athletes for a good portion of the bike leg but there were some long stretches of the ride that I spent a lot of time alone, which required deep focus to continue moving forward.
The run began very strong and all was going to plan. I was moving through people and feeling good. There are times when you throw everything you have at a race and then the race throws everything back at you! The 26.2-mile run was tough; never at any moment did the thought of quitting ever enter my mind. At 14hours and 5 mins I crossed the finish line of Ironman Boulder. My wife and family were all waiting for me in the finish chute. Amanda, my wife competes professionally on the Ironman circuit. I know she had a sigh of relief when she realized her household Ironman record of 9:01 is safe for now.
ME: AMANDA’S HOUSEHOLD RECORD TIME IS RIGHT AT 9 HOURS AND YOURS IS RIGHT AT 14 HOURS? THAT 40 SECOND LEAD YOU HAD ON HER DOESN’T REALLY STANDOUT VERY WELL NOW, JUST SAYING.
RANDY: Well, when you say it like that, humility sets in and it reminds how amazing she is. After the race Amanda and were talking and realized between us we have competed in 20 Ironman events all over the globe. We are very fortunate to have our health and are able to continue competing and living this lifestyle.-
So, like I said, as began to compile some notes for this article, it was clear to me that the real story here is their story. This relationship between Athlete and Athlete, husband and wife, friend and friend began to draw my interest
Most of us claim a “cute” or witty retelling of our own story of how we met our spouses. However, you just never seem to come across the ones claiming they are together because when one showed interest, the other ran away as fast as they could.
Dr. Amanda Stevens was able to keep Randy from wearing too much pride as he crossed the finish line of his first Ironman, the one where Amanda was a spectator.
He had just went for a 2.4 mile leisurely swim, a 112 mile Sunday ride on his lil’ Huffy bicycle and then ran another 26.2 miles. It took Randy 14 hours to complete that event. That is roughly the amount of time it takes you to work at your job for two days. Most of us while exhausted, sure, would be so proud to fall into the arms of our new girlfriend and hear her proclaim her pride in us by saying “Honey, to be in so much pain you were moving so slow.”
It was not quite the finish line congrats Randy was looking for but that’s what he got. Then she told Randy that the race was crazy and she’d never race anything that long. You know what they say about never don’t you?
I guess never was too long for Amanda because The Sadler’s next stop will be the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii where Amanda is competing in the professional division, currently she is ranked 16th in the world.
Randy and Amanda are both Ironhumans.
Reach Brad Gilbert @482-1221 ext.2076