This chapter aptly discusses David’s long-distance triathlon in Kona, Hawaii — a three-day event that involved swimming for 6.2 miles, riding for 261 miles, and running a double marathon covering the entire perimeter of the Big Island of Hawaii. David was competing in this event to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Luckily, David was accommodated at a multi-millionaire’s palace on the sand, and he invited his mother to tag along and enjoy the luxuries that were at his disposal. However, he did not let these luxuries prevent him from focusing on his goal of performing well in the triathlon. This was David’s first triathlon event, and as such, he had many things to learn from this particular event.
It is important to note that David was not well-prepared for this race, as he did not own a bicycle and only borrowed one three weeks prior to the competition. The bicycle was too big for him, and he did not learn bicycle mechanics before moving to Kona. In addition, David injured his arms in the swimming part of the triathlon, which made the rest of the race all the more difficult. During the riding section, David got in an accident that left him with a burst tire and sustained injuries. Since he did not have a spare bicycle readily available, he had to wait for twenty minutes as the bicycle was being repaired, resulting in valuable time being lost and ultimately placed third in the cycling race, twenty-two minutes behind the leader. In the double marathon, David won the race, but he came second in the entire competition as he lost the overall race by ten minutes.
David also shares that he was diagnosed with a heart condition at this stage. His heart rate abnormally spiked and he frequently collapsed, leading to the series of tests by doctors. The doctors informed him that he had a hole in the heart which was allowing deoxygenated blood to mix with the oxygenated blood, thereby limiting the level of oxygen in his bloodstream. Oxygen was important for various bodily functions; hence, this explained the reason why David felt tired on most occasions, as he was oxygen-deprived. The doctors recommended an operation to seal the hole, which turned out to be successful.