IronMan athlete inspiration

Most people would shudder at the prospect of competing in an IronMan competition, a type of triathlon that consists of a 2.4-mile (3.9 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.2 km) bike ride, and a long-distance race. 26.2 miles (42.2 km). . Now imagine trying to compete in such a race after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer!

Well, that is precisely what Ruvi Arinos will do on Friday, when the 57-year-old native of Ra’anana participates in the IRONMAN 70.3 Tiberias, which is a medium-distance version of the 226.2km (140.6 miles). and combines a 1.2 mile (1.9 km) swim course in the Sea of ​​Galilee, a 56 mile (90 km) bike course and a 13.1 mile (21.1 km) run.

Through the initiative of the Comtec Group, the Sylvan Adams Foundation, and with the support of the city of Tiberias and the Ministries of Tourism, Culture and Sport, preparations are ready for the prestigious triathlon competition.

Approximately 2,250 participants will compete in the event, which will take place through a glorious route around the Sea of ​​Galilee.

But none of the other participants has the story that Arinos has.

“I started on this path 12 or 13 years ago,” Arinos said this week from Tiberias in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. “First I started with a half marathon, then a full marathon, then half the IronMan and then my first full IronMan was in 2013 in Austria. I have done some more complete and many more Ironman media, including Eilat, Haifa Mallorca and more. “

The backdrop to the conversation with Arinos, who will compete alongside his sons Or (32) and Din (27), was the inspiring message he conveys.

“This is the most important part of the interview,” Ruvi exclaimed as he was flanked by Or and Din. “We do not pretend to be the best athletes, the fastest or the strongest, who will participate in this race. But I want to make two main points clear and I think they can be applied to anyone in their own life. “

“I was diagnosed with cancer in June 2016. It started in my thyroid, but by that time, it had spread to other parts of my body. During training for an IronMan, about 10 days before the race, I noticed that I was having trouble speaking. At first, I thought it was just because of the altitude and the training, but after a day or two I went through it and it was clear that it was something much more serious. “

“I took a full-body CT scan and it revealed that I had tumors all over my body. The cancer was already in a later stage. “

“A few days later, after many consultations and medical approvals, I decided to go to Austria to participate in the IronMan, as I was feeling quite good and had already trained very hard. For the running part of the race, they advised me not to run, so I was able to jog at a slower pace and still reach the finish line.

In the next five years, Ruvi has undergone numerous surgeries and many different types of treatments and, after a lengthy process, his ability to speak, although somewhat reduced, returned.

He made a promise to himself not to let his illness weaken him and set out to compete in another IronMan, this time with Or and Din.

“The message I want to convey is that we, as IronMan participants, learn to manage the different difficult parts of the race. And based on that, I was able to learn to manage my cancer. I decided to take control of my disease, rather than let the disease control me. “

FOR the first time, Israel will host an official IRONMAN competition, and the race will take place on November 12 in Tiberias (Credit: Courtesy)

“I may not be able to change the fact that I have stage 4 cancer, but I can choose what I do with it and how I live my life with the disease. Whatever I have the ability to do, I want to do it. “

Trying to explain the difficulty of the grueling race, for any competitor, Ruvi explained a crucial distinction.

“I would split the difficulty in half,” he said. “First, there is a physical difficulty, which is extreme, although I believe that anyone who is in good health and trains properly can meet the physical demands of an IronMan.”

“Then there is the mental strength it takes, which in some ways is much more difficult. Most IronMan competitors will agree that the mental aspect is more difficult. It is very natural that at a certain moment your body says ‘ok, I have had enough, it is time to rest’. That’s where mental strength should kick in and allow you to move forward and reach the finish line. But it really is a great combination of the physical and the mental. “

Or he has finished a full IronMan and some half Ironman, while Din will compete in his first half IronMan on Friday.

“For the three of us, swimming is our favorite and easiest part, while running is the hardest.”

The Tiberias route is one of the “rolling hills” for the most part. There is about 50% that is flat, but the rest have slopes. It is considered a fast track by IronMan standards.

“The views and the backdrop of Tiberias and the Kinneret are among the best Israel has to offer,” Ruvi noted. “This is a wonderful display and representation of our country and a great example of how beautiful it is.

“Sylvan and Comtec know what they are doing.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, dealing with the many restrictions on flights and crossings between countries, along with other challenges, created complex conditions for negotiations to prepare for the race. For more than a decade, various groups in Israel have been trying to secure a franchise with the global IRONMAN brand, making the upcoming competition an exciting achievement for Israeli sports.

“I am happy to welcome the first edition of Ironman to Tiberias, on the iconic Sea of ​​Galilee,” said Adams. “I myself will compete in the bicycle section of this Ironman medium. I welcome all the competitors to what will be a great race ”.

The Arinos trio expounded on the nature of training for such a daunting race.

“To compete in a full IronMan, you really have to make a decision a year in advance to train properly,” Ruvi said. “So you have to build a program that intensifies throughout the year. You start out maybe 4-5 times a week for about 1-2 at a time and then gradually increase your regimen monthly until you’re doing simulations for about 80% of the entire run, about 10-12 hours. “

“You have to base your training on the conditions of the race, including the weather, equipment, elevation, etc.”

“More than competing against anyone else, all IronMan competitors, except the highest level of professional athletes, really compete against themselves and their own personal goals of reaching the finish line, whether in 11 hours or 14 hours. hours”.

Or added: “There is also the family aspect. You really need to enjoy the people you are training with, as the preparation is intense, up to 30 hours a week. And if you can approach time with your teammates as time that you enjoy, you’ll be so much better. “

Ruvi noted how much she appreciates taking on this challenge with her children.

“I am lucky to go on this incredible adventure with my family. I have chosen to continue my life as an athlete and take advantage of and enjoy every second that I have with my children. Five and a half years after I was diagnosed with this disease, I have been able to train for many months together with my children and, please, I will cross the finish line with them. This unity between us and the time we spend together will ultimately be my legacy and how my children remember me. “

Ruvi made sure to make it clear that “I want this to be an optimistic message, a message of strength and possibility rather than a message of despair or weakness.

“I hope that everyone who reads this interview can get the message that while we cannot change the facts that are given to us, we can choose our approach on how to handle those facts and how to live our lives.

“None of us know when we will die. Within that understanding, I have chosen to live my life continuing to enjoy each day with a smile and as much strength as possible. Not with depression and sadness. It is very easy to be sad, very easy not to want to get out of bed in the morning. But precisely because of that, I choose to appreciate the strength I have and choose life! As long as I can, I will never give up on life! “

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *