KATHLEEN MCCARTNEY, 1982 IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPION WILL COMPETE IN THE 2017 IRONMAN WTC WITH MIKE LEVINE, STAGE IV PANCREATIC CANCER PATIENT
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 21, 2017- The Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Kona, Hawaii is considered the world’s most grueling single-day sporting event, consisting of a 2.4 mile ocean swim, followed by a 112 miles on the bike and concluding with a marathon, a 26.2 mile run. Ironman has a special way of bringing people together and a remarkable way to change lives. Kathleen McCartney, 1982 Ironman World Champion was introduced to Mike Levine, stage IV pancreatic cancer patient and ’82 and ’83 Ironman World Championship finisher. Kathleen had heard the news from a mutual friend that Mike was giving up on his 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He had barely gotten off the couch for months, suffering from pain, and a loss of purpose and hope from this deadly, horrific cancer. Kathleen simply encouraged Mike, her fellow Ironman triathlete, to get off the couch and on the road for a bike ride together. Their first ride together January 19, 2017, led to Mike participating in a mini triathlon 3 weeks later (held every February 6 in honor of the epic 1982 race with Julie Moss). “Ironman in Minutes” is an event Kathleen created which involves doing the Ironman distance in minutes- a 2.4 minute swim, followed by a 112 minute bike ride and a 26.2 minute swim. Mike finished the event, and Kathleen awarded him the first annual, perpetual “Anything is Possible” Award. That day, Mike began the journey of living again.
Kathleen was already training for the October 14, 2017 Ironman and she encouraged Mike to train with her. Their weekly bike rides together led to Mike wanting more and more. Kathleen became Mike’s mentor, coach and devoted friend, attending all chemo treatments and doctor visits with Mike and his wife, Jan. They started swimming together, then running together. All the while, Mike felt that Kathleen had “breathed the life back into him”, and for the first time since his diagnosis, he had hope again. Mike now had a purpose bigger than himself, bigger than his cancer. Mike wanted to finish the Ironman in Kona once again, to change the perception of pancreatic cancer patients, to give them hope to live their dreams and believe that “Anything is Possible”!
In a surprise announcement June 29 at Competitor Magazine’s 30th Anniversary party, Kathleen was honored to give Mike the news that...Mike is going to Kona! Kathleen and Mike will make their Ironman dreams come true by running down Ali’i Drive together and crossing that finish line with their hands clasped and held high in victory! Mike Levine has been selected as an Ironman Foundation Athlete and Kathleen and Mike’s story will be featured on NBC TV, as well as many other media outlets.
Kathleen, a 10-time Ironman World Championship finisher will be celebrating her 35th Anniversary in Kona this year, since her February 6, 1982 victory. Kathleen has been featured on ABC’s Wide World of Sports including an interview with Jim McKay, The Johnny Carson Show, NBC, magazine covers including Outside Magazine, and was recently co-awarded Triathlon Business International’s Female Triathlete of the Year, as wel
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