Entries Tagged as 'Athlete Stories'

Family, Friends and Memories

Athlete Stories , Wildflower 1 Comment »

Dean Harper

Wildflower will forever be my favorite race. Thirty three years ago was my first. I am hoping my last won’t be for another twenty or more years from now. I have ridden up Nasty Grade a dozen times or so, each time seemingly harder than the last. The Olympic course is mile for mile the toughest Olympic course around. There are no flats on the Olympic course, except in the swim. Memories of the race results fade over time. However, the weekend memories endure. They will last a lifetime.

I have competed at Wildflower with my daughter Shelley, and with my son Greg several times. Shelley was the 2nd collegiate woman three years ago and Greg was the 2nd collegiate male last year. Both wanted to snatch an overall victory for their Dad. I was incredibly proud of both and would have been whether they finished 1st or 151st. I am very thankful they have chosen a lifestyle that includes aerobic fitness and multi-sport. I am delighted to share the Wildflower tradition with my family.


Staying the Course

Athlete Stories , Professional Triathlete's , Wildflower No Comments »

Madi Serpico

I have been participating in triathlons for 12 years but have been competing at an international level for the past 2 years now. Anyone that knows me knows that my two main passions amongst many are my family and competing in any race that challenges me. I am developing into a world-class athlete with extreme commitment and passion in a sport that is my real love.

My first experience in triathlon was crossing the finish line at Ironman Canada with my Mom and my 2 brothers when I was 12 years old. I remember running down the finisher shoot with the big lights and hearing the words repeated over and over to the finishers YOU ARE AN IRONMAN. That moment changed me and I knew I was made for this sport.


My Second Chance at Life

Athlete Stories , Wildflower No Comments »

Hector Picard

At the age of 24, I became a bi-lateral amputee. A work-related accident in which I received a double dose of 13,000 volts changed my life forever. I awoke from a month-long coma to learn that both my arms had been amputated in addition to burns on over 40% of my body.

While blessed to be alive, it was frustrating to hear doctors assure me that I would one day be able to do basic actions like button my shirt and brush my teeth – things that one learns as a child. I grieved for the part of Hector that had dreams and goals that involved an active lifestyle.


An Athlete’s Journey: Back from Cancer

Athlete Stories , Professional Triathlete's , Wildflower No Comments »

Derek & Family

Derek, now 31, has been cancer-free for nearly four years. The survivor earned his highest placing as a pro at Wildflower 2015 and hopes to continue his success in the 2016 competition.

In 2012, just after Derek Garcia had earned his pro card and completed his first race as an elite training squad, he received a call no one, and especially an athlete, wants to hear – he had testicular cancer.

The devastating cancer diagnosis brought Derek’s infant career to a screeching halt.

“It was incredibly scary,” Derek recounts. “We had two boys at the time, had just put a huge amount of time, money, and commitment into my new career as a professional triathlete. Everything was put into question. My major concern was how I would be able to take care of my family if things got bad.”


Lymphoma to Heart Surgery to Wildflower Squared

Athlete Stories , Wildflower No Comments »

Derek Fitzgerald

Eleven years ago, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Chemotherapy saved my life but it damaged my heart, leaving me with heart failure. My heart progressively declined for the following seven years, and each day I wondered just how much punishment one body could endure before it gave out. Finally, four years ago, a generous soul chose to save my life by donating their heart when they no longer needed it.