Lauren Warren recently came in 4th place in the Ford Ironman USA Lake Placid triathlon, thus qualifying her to join athletes around the world in the famous World IRONMAN Championships. The following is Lauren’s account:
Well, it’s official, I am an Ironman! The race was FANTASTIC!! What an incredible experience! Over 3,000 volunteers for 2,400 athletes and the day was flawless! The even more incredible news is that on my first try ever at Ironman distance I finished in 4th place and qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii!! We are still in shock over this one since athletes from all over the country, and outside the country compete at Ironman Lake Placid to qualify for the World Championship in Hawaii. Many athletes try for years and never qualify, so we are still in shock.
Two days before the race I had an attack, but quickly got it under control with very careful food intake etc., but it did greatly scare me that it would put me out of the race if I didn’t. God is good! Morning temperatures were chilly at 48 degrees but quickly warmed up and reached the upper 70’s by race end, all in all, picture perfect weather. I had one of the fastest swims in the competition, only pulling over once to fix my goggles after they were kicked askew by another competitor on the second lap of the swim. I could truly feel God all around me protecting me so I never got unraveled by it. The bike was beautiful and I was able to carry out my nutrition as planned during all of my training rides. The run was perfect. For 26 miles they had an aid station every single mile loaded with orange slices, grapes, watermelon, pretzels, chicken broth, gels, Gatorade, water, and coca cola. Oranges have become my mainstay in races during the run, they REALLY work for me. At every single aid station I grabbed 3+ orange slices and a cup of ice mixed with water and Gatorade – perfect. I ran very, very strong.
The finish was a dream come true. I felt a wee bit tired, but I felt strong. They escorted me into the medical tent after the race and weighed me, I had lost 5 pounds – pretty typical, nothing that a few days of re-hydrating and eating wouldn’t help. There was a local Christian church that was volunteering at one of the aid stations! They had a tent set up and were playing incredibly great music, and were taking people’s numbers and names if they wanted to be prayed for!! I gave them mine as I passed through and I am certain all the prayers that were lifted up were what kept me going so strong. I could feel it. I was thinking about everyone who has Porphyria and all the prayers that were going on during this race and the strength I received from it was incredible! Words just cannot describe it! I am in AWE of God. His ways are perfect, even when we don’t understand them sometimes..
Last month when I raced the half ironman and had a bad attack going into it, I resorted to completely changing my nutrition on the run to just orange slices (tons of them at every aid station) and water. I felt great on them! It was only in looking back that Michele reminded me how incredible God was and that had I not had that attack days before this tough race that caused me to change my run nutrition, that I would not have known how instrumental and perfect it would be for me in my Ironman race. I just look back on it and am, as I have said, in complete and utter AWE of God and His perfect ways. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry and I am humbled. When all was said and done, God saw me through to an incredibly fast finishing time, a 4th place finish, and a World Championship qualifying spot – absolutely amazing. When I was done I quickly went back to the hotel, got showered and ate something, and went out on the course to find out how Michele was doing. She had had some difficulties during the bike with her nutrition. I was worried that she wouldn’t make the official cut-off time, but she did! Michele finished in 16:24:21 and my finishing time was 11:35:10. It was a most magnificent day J. I am so grateful to everyone who prayed and kept me in their thoughts throughout the day, it truly meant so much, and I could truly feel it out there on the course. Thank you all for being such a wonderful part of this journey.
Watch the video
Here's the proof of what porphyria folks can do!!
In the finish chute I'm next to the guy with the kids, on the right of the screen, fixing my hair, of course, because as Michele coached me, "The race lasts a day, but that finish line photo lasts a lifetime!" ; )