Skip to content


October 13, 2010

Early this Saturday morning I watched my brother Kevin do the unthinkable. While most people were struggling with a decision like scrambled eggs or french toast he was preparing to bring home the bacon at the 2010 Iron Man World Championships. A little walk in the park consisting of a 2.4 mile (3.86km) swim, 112 mile (180.2km) bike followed by a 26.2 mile (42.1) run. Much of the course was through the balmy black rock lava fields on the Kona side of the Big Island during a day  hot enough for me to turn into a puddle from a shady sidewalk of Kailua Town.

I could say this day was inspiring, or amazing, or inspirational but those words end up sounding like they belong on some generic corporate poster coupled with a photo of a silhouetted rock climber. In other words, only a few notches above the poster of the grey kitten falling out of a tree in my third grade classroom followed by the chipper Hang in There!

But this wasn’t an easy day, and thus not a day for easy words. In fact it really wasn’t a day for words at all. This was a day I watched men and women dig deep into themselves until they arrived at the raw granite and had to see if that was going to be enough. This was a day of taking measure.

We were at the pier watching the water come alive with swimmers at 7am and at 11pm there were people still out there, still pushing through. At that point I had to comment, “thank god my brother is fast.” Our Taddonio super fans cheered hard for 8 hours, 58 minutes and 5 seconds. The time it took Kevin to place 4th in his age group (25-29), 6th of the amateurs (qualifying him for pro status), and 47th overall.

I’ve thought a lot since about what this experience means. For him, for any of us. In the end though I guess I’m really only qualified to speak for myself. For me I saw the power and pure joy that comes from a diverse group of friends and family uniting for the single purpose of providing whole-hearted love and support. Kevin’s “pit crew” came from Michigan, Arizona, Kansas and Hawaii. In addition he has folks following him in online, or keeping in touch via texts and phone calls. The ages ranged from Bronte’s 1 month to my grandfather’s 86. The love, pride and excitement was palpable and made me so proud to belong among these people.

I also walked away feeling like my brother threw down the gauntlet to us. He went out there and nailed it, grabbed his dream with both hands. It didn’t just happen. This was the result of a long hard and what has to be at times lonely road of working out, working out, working out and then maybe doing it again and then that one more time (props to his very supportive girlfriend Kristi). It left me feeling like while I need to start getting my butt moving (hasta la vista baby weight), it was far more than that. It’s time to take some stock in my dreams, and personal ambitions. Watching my own blood, my brother put his genetic potential to full use was one of those awesome wake up moments that made me want to do the same. And for that I thank him. Kevin Taddonio YOU ARE AN IRON MAN! Your big sister is incredibly proud of you.

The following pics are a ragtag group of snaps Nick, my sister Megan and I all took during the day and week leading up. I think they tell their own stories better than I could. And for a soundtrack, I invite you cue a little Ozzy Osbourne…


Sometimes the Taddonio's like to keep it in the family...



Big shoes to fill.



Jarah playing the role of the worried extra in the latest Alien installment



Bronte talking smack about her chances in Kona 2035


…winner winner chicken dinner!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Cherlyn Wilcox permalink
    October 13, 2010 10:22 am

    That was sweet Lea. I did a 3mile race (off the couch 🙂 a couple weeks ago and I thought I was awesome…your brother is awesome!

  2. October 13, 2010 4:08 pm

    cherlyn you are always awesome. are you looking to take the crown in the 4th of July Flathead Tri next summer 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: