I started this journey on April 17, 2013 when I met Laura Sophiea at Starbucks for coffee and a chat! I expressed to Laura my desire to do a 1/2 ironman and that Augusta 2013 would be my race!

For those of you who don’t Laura she is a wonderfully terrific triathlete coach. She coaches athletes from all over the U.S. to compete in triathlons specifically in the 1/2 ironman and full ironman distance. Laura is currently the world champion at the full ironman distance in her age group!! At the conclusion of our Starbucks meeting I figured “Laura knows best” and hired her to prepare me for Augusta 2013!

Boy was I nervous/excited!!

What have I done now. I had competed in triathlons, but only at the sprint distance! I trained with Laura from April 17 – Sept 29! What an amazing journey it was!! We developed a wonderful connection and friendship!! I had doubts along the way, but Laura was always there for me!! She said you have to believe, stay positive, visualize your desired outcome and most of all have fun and SMILE!!

I was ready and I was prepared.

The training was done and race day was here!! I didn’t know what to expect, but I SMILED….during the swim I SMILED, while I was on the bike I SMILED and through out the 13 mile run…I SMILED BIG!!! It was an amazing memorable journey!!!!!

There are so many that helped me along the way….

thanks to all the terrific people at Dynamo Multisport, Cat, Holly, Mary, Linda, Lindsey etc and Dynamo Masters Swimming especially the swim coach Maria Thrash!! She’s got some crazy drills and some killer workouts, but she keeps us laughing, makes us faster and is a terrific swim coach…one of the best around!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to my swim partner Libby Whelan who constantly challenges me at swim practice. Sometimes it is a war in our lane!! The lane of L’s….Libby, Lora, Laura & Lindsey! Those are some fast women!

Thanks to my Biking Interval peeps….Lynn, Libby, Sheila, Laura, Barbie, Alex, Anna. These women will flat out kick your ass. They made me dig deep week after week after week. I was so far behind….but I hung in there!! I’m still behind, but not as far!!!!!!!

Thanks to my lovely biking friends Laura, Tricia, Tracy, Mary, Jen, Gina, Veronica, Cathy for all the encouragement on some of my long rides!! They said you got this….you have been training so hard! I know I complained about how tired I was on some of those rides and couldn’t wait for it to be over so we could have a beer!!!!!!! You guys rock!

A special thanks to my running partner, Elaine Tyson “Lanier” who endured 5:45am track workouts and plyometrics every week with me!! These were some of my hardest workouts and to have someone get up and meet you at 5:45am is a godsend!! Love you Lanier..xo.

So much thanks to my entire family and all my friends for support and encouragement, it helps more than you can know!! Many thanks to my dear friend Barbara Chandler “barbie” who always cheers the loudest and has my back!!

Lastly to my significant other, Bill Hanks, who lets me be me and helps me live my dreams and accomplish my goals, whatever they may be…love you sweetheart!

Finally to my coach and friend Laura who I love dearly….we did it!!!


– Editors Note: Lora podiumed in Augusta!  Congrats Lora!! –