Congratulations Steve, an inspiration to so many people. Photo Credit: James Mitchell Photography
This weekend saw Stephen Bayliss racing his last Ironman at IM Lanzarote, his home race. Stephen picked up an injury last month that had restricted his training to hard swimming, easy bike riding and no running. We decided to start the race and see if he could finish a distinguished career on a high. But with Ironman you can’t fudge performance; Stephen after a great swim, found there wasn’t anything in the legs. Then the supporters of Stephen got to see why he is admired not just by me, but all his peers. After a 20+ year career and with his legs completely gone, he decided to carry on as only the truely courageous know.
Stephen was disappointed in his performance indicating to coach he went out on a low. This coach put him straight. He went out on the biggest high you can in triathlon. His body, his training, the race course were all trying to break him but Stephen Bayliss gritted his teeth and showed the triathlon world what being an Ironman is all about.
From step one he hobbled, limped, walked in pain. With everyone encouraging him to stop, what makes Stephen Bayliss the man’s man that he is, is he wouldn’t allow himself the luxury.
The best accolade I can give to his career is a phrase used by Mohammad Ali when he was once asked what in his mind made a champion. The reply: ‘When a man is knocked down and he can’t get up – but somehow does!’
On Sunday Stephen finished his career by displaying the very qualities that has me saying
Stephen Bayliss, Champion person, Champion Athlete and A True Ironman
Thank you to: James Mitchell Photography