2017 “Those Eleven Words”

There was a lot of things to be happy about in 2017. A lot of good things happened, and I experienced many wonderful events. So here are just some of the highlights of 2017, and what lies ahead in 2018.

Sponsorships – I only look for sponsorships from companies whose products I use and endorse anyway, so I was thrilled to be sponsored for a second year by Honey Stinger gels, chews, and waffles, and by Brooks running shoes and apparel. Most people who run with me always see Brooks Pure Cadence shoes on my feet, and Honey Stinger gels in my pocket. And no doubt you’ve seen #HSHive or #BrooksPro or #Runhappy on my Facebook page. Now I’d like to thank Nuun Hydration for sponsoring me for the first time. All my gym bags have Nuun canisters in them, and it really helps to keep me going during long workouts. So you’ll be seeing #Nuunbassadors or #Nuun on my Facebook posts as well.

Coaching – the half marathon groups have been awesome, and I was happy to watch so many of them complete their goal and tell me that they felt great when they finished! That’s always a great thing to hear, that they could have kept running. I had one athlete complete not only a triathlon, but her first full marathon. She looked good at the finish to boot. Another athlete is training for her first full marathon, and now thinking about a sprint triathlon. With. Her determination and dedication, the sky is the limit for her, and it is my honor to be alongside these athletes as they realize their goals.

Events – I had a bunch of firsts, a sub 2 hour half marathon among them. But the greatest thing that happened in 2017 was in Maryland when I heard those eleven words “Travis Kneale, from Des Moines Iowa. Travis, you are an Ironman!” It was the hardest day of my life physically, and one of the hardest mentally, but one of the most rewarding that I have ever had. All those hours training, getting up before dawn to swim, running in the dark, long and lonely bike rides of 100+ miles, it all became so worth it to hear those words.

When I ran my first half marathon, I said I’d get a tattoo to commemorate the event. I put it off. I said the same thing after my first full marathon, triathlon, and 70.3. Well, now that I completed a 140.6 Ironman, what better time to fulfill that promise?

So, what lies ahead for 2018? I’ve completed “The Hardest Day in Sport”, so what’s next? To do it again of course, and this time I’ll have company as my dear friend and training buddy from Edmonton, Alberta Canada, Kelly Hill joins me for racing and shenanigans. Our next Ironman is here:

So the training begins again, and hopefully my friends Mel and Karen, who are joining us on our trip to Mont-Tremblant, will translate French for me. August in Canada should be beautiful, and I hope successful.

That’s just a few of the highlights of an awesome year. There were some lows (my sweet pup Maverick crossed the Rainbow Bridge), but it really has been an awesome year. A few short years ago, I watched a friend complete an Olympic distance triathlon and thought “I’ll never do that”, but here I am – an Ironman! You just have to believe in yourself, get out of your comfort zone, work hard, and most of all…try! May 2018 be the best year for you, and fill you with happiness and joy!

Live healthy, be happy!