EVERGREEN, Colo. — One foot in front of the other.
It's a saying that not only applies to training, but life. A life that has taken Mark Macy down unexpected roads.
It was Julie Moss in 1983, dehydrated and exhausted, who stumbled and crawled her way to the finish line to become one of the first ironwoman in history that inspired a legion of future tri-athletes, including Mark.
“I thought man, what is that? Ironman? I've got to see if I can find that and that's how I started doing this stuff,” Mark said.
Stuff like one-hundred-mile races, triathlons, and eco-challenge races all over the world. Not just a few races, but hundreds.
And alongside him for many of the events, Mark's son and training partner Travis.
“We've done a ton of snowshoe races together. This year we did the heavy half marathon in Leadville together. That was a good challenge for us this year," Travis said.
But perhaps nothing will top the eco-challenge race they did together in Fiji. This would be Mark's eighth and final challenge.
“We actually decided, let's do this together," said Travis. "So we had our team of four… and we had this unknown teammate called Alzheimer's and we had no idea what was going to happen out there."
Just before the race, Mark was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
It made putting one foot in front of the other a bit more challenging.
"It hit me really hard. Dad was only 64. He's my dad. He's my friend. He's my adventure companion," Travis said. "He's the person I've always looked to for advice and guidance and the initial feeling is that I'm not ready for this news here."
Team Macy has taken and ran with being open about their journey – the ups and downs, what to expect along the trail and lessons to be learned.
"Try to prepare logistically and psychologically, but you also stay present and that's something I'm learning a lot of things from my dad in this process," said Travis. "He continues to teach me it’s never too late to help other people and Dad's doing that all over the place with the Alzheimer's Association and just with his openness about this stuff."
Travis and Mark have written a book, “A Mile at a Time,” that's now available to preorder.
Team Macy will be at the Walk to End Alzheimer's at Denver's City Park on Saturday, Sept. 17. Registration is still open for the walk that begins at 9 a.m. Funds from the walk will help care for those with the disease, along helping to advance research for prevention, treatment and ultimately, a cure.
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