Tri For the Cure!

Posted by Becky Atten on

Cori and I were in a triathlon over the weekend to raise money for brain cancer research.  This is a cause that hits very close to our family.  My husband Chris  was diagnosed with brain cancer last fall.  We have all been fighting this fight for almost a year now.  There have been highs and lows in the last year.  We are trying to focus on the highs and put the lows in the rear view mirror! 

One huge blessing and high point of our year came in the form of a mentor for my kids.  Olivia Dietzel is Cori and Andys distance track coach.  She is also a professional triathlete and an engineer at John Deere.  She also had a father with brain cancer.  Olivia started the Mind Over Matter foundation to benefit brain cancer research.  All proceeds go to the University of Iowa Hospitals and clinics.


Olivia organized the first annual Mind Over Matter triathlon over the weekend and Cori and I were in it.  We swam, bike, ran our way to podium finishes and raised money for brain cancer research while doing it.  


I have not done triathlon for years!  When Olivia asked me, for the first time, to do it, I couldn’t say no fast enough.  I told her I am not in that kind of shape, I am 44 years old, my husband has brain cancer, my list of reasons went on forever!  Then she asked a few more times, every time I said no and I just want to watch Cori do it.


Then Olivia sent me a direct message on social media and told me about how she was able to do a triathlon with her dad before he passed and how that meant so much to her and she still has the memories of that day.  I thought about it for a few days and even though I am not the parent with brain Cancer, Cori does have a parent with cancer and this is an opportunity for us to mend and bond as a family being affected by cancer.


So after some swim practices with Cori and her high school triathlon team, and some pointers from Olivia on swimming.  I had already been biking almost everyday this summer and just a few runs around my farm trail.  I was ready to compete.  And by ready, I mean, I probably won’t die.  Also, I have done this before many times, it’s just been a while.  I have my 70.3 Ironman medal on my bathroom mirror and the date is 2015.  So that’s about how long it’s been.


Cori got into the water just a little before me.  I saw her on the bike route when we passed each other after her turn around.  I saw her on the run again after she passed the turn around and gave her a big high five. She stayed ahead of me probably by 5 minutes or so.  I saw her much more by participating than I ever would’ve just by spectating.  We saw Chris and Andy at every transition and then the finish.  


Then during awards Cori and I were on the podium in our age groups.  Both getting 3rd.  Cori competed in the  girls 19 and under group. I was in women 40-49. Granted my age group was not huge but there was a handful of us.  I was just thrilled I didn’t have to walk and I saw Cori lots of times.  I saw Chris and Andy lots of times and even though Andy says he will never do it, I think between Olivia and I, we will probably get him talked into it some day. 


Cori and Olivia hug after Coris finish

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  • Inspirational. You have a beautiful heart! Your courage and determination is impressive- keep pushing and rising above the “hard”! And always have faith and BELIEVE! 💗

    Elizabeth on
  • I love that. I’m so happy you did it after all.

    Gretchen Reuter on

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