Friday, July 23, 2010

Ted Finegold ... 21 July, 2010 RIP

I've always liked writing. It's a challenge to find the right words to tell a story in just the right way. I don't always get it right, which goes without saying. This time, I know I can't find the right words. I want to so badly, but how do you write about the sudden end to a life that seemed so strong. A couple days ago I found out Ted was sick and today I got the terrible news that Ted was gone. Being a father myself, I can't get past the thought of what it would be like for my little boy Mercury to grow up without me or my selfish thoughts of getting to watch him grow.

Wenatchee World

Many of you have probably heard of Ted or his wife, two great athletes and far better people. I first met the Finegolds in Wenatchee years ago during the first Apple Capital. Lynda outbiked me if I remember correctly, despite it being a breakthrough race for me. Yes, I was outsplit by a girl! A few years later they started the Wenatchee Marathon, half marathon and 10K event that Amanda and I travel to every year around our anniversary. The event was started to raise funds and awareness for cancer. In an unfortunate twist of fate, Ted was diagnosed the following year, but like so many others, I never knew. He and Lynda recently did Boise 70.3. I saw them shortly before that at the marathon. He was great enough that I always made it a point to tell him how much what he did was appreciated and how I looked forward to seeing him later at Apple Capital or at the subsequent marathon. It's one of just two events (Clear Lake Triathlon being the other) I have done every time it was contested, which says quite a lot given my propensity for the shorter races.

When I got the news that Ted was ill, I had decided that next year I was going to say thank you by doing something I haven't ever done, which is to really race a marathon. I always hold back in favor of faster recovery, less pain and better performances in events within a week or two of Wenatchee. Somehow I've managed to win five of six events while saving myself for a marathon two weeks later. Oddly enough, I was in my best marathon shape the one year I didn't win, but could have. I really don't know what all that means as so many memories swirl around in my mind. Perhaps the point is that something that really breaks my heart doesn't make any sense. All I'm left with is those reflections of a great person and the great memories I have as a result. I don't know how he would have felt about my gesture, or if it mattered any more than any other performance paid for to fund cancer research. Unfortunately, I will never know as the heartbreaking news came right on the heels of the announcement and my subsequent decision.

My plan for this post was to detail my next stage in my injury comeback. Instead, I find the e-mail that makes it all seem irrelevant and life sometimes unfair. I'm an extremely competitive guy, so writing about races can rub some people wrong and/or be easily misunderstood. It seems that the times I create the most friction are the times when I'm sticking up for others rather than my own best interests. To avoid any of that, I'll just say that my race was a hard fought win to end a long drought.

Should things not go awry between now and then, I'll be in Wenatchee next year, to "race" for the first time the marathon I've won five times. I don't know if I've every really raced in honor of, or to honor, someone else, but I will do it next year. I'm not sure what else to do or how to express my feelings. Perhaps next April you can join me in Wenatchee for the 10K, half marathon or the marathon. It's all for a good cause that can't have a more vivid reminder of what we're raising the funds for. Like so many others, I sure will miss that guy and my heart goes out to his family and friends.