Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Regular Amazing Runner of the Month: Donald Corry

One of the cooler aspects of running is that there are thousands of regular “Joes and Jills” out there doing inspiring and awesome things. These people probably are not out there winning races, getting six figure sponsorships from major clothing companies or showing up on TV to pitch whatever.

These athletes are mere mortal common runners out there setting big goals, raising money for good causes, meeting other runners and having a lot of fun.  February’s athlete has an amazing story!

Regular Amazing Runner of the Month: Donald Corry

Nine years ago, Donald Corry lit a fire in me for endurance sports. This kindling of a passion ultimately pushed me into completing nine Ironman Triathlons, too many marathons to count and at least a dozen ultras.

It started with Donald congratulating me upon a successful running of the Boston Marathon by arrogantly sniffing “Congrats on Boston. But you know, a marathon is interesting, but until you put 2.4 miles of swimming in front of it and 112 miles on a bike, it don’t really mean all that much.”

His “congratu-sult” led me to entering and completing the Duke IronDevil with Donald six months later.

Fast Forward

A few months ago, Donald announced that he would be attempting his fourth Ironman. Ironman Texas in Houston on May 19th, 2012.

I was like whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?  Dude are you nuts?

Donald decided to strap on his Giro Helmet for another run at Ironman to help raise money for a cause he is passionate about. Pattison’s Academy, based in Charleston, SC is a charter school focusing on the comprehensive educational needs of children with disabilities. By blending rehabilitative therapy, tailored instructional components, leading edge technology and other innovations, the Pattison Academy helps kids succeed in our tough, unforgiving world. Donald has been with the Pattison effort from the start. He hopes to raise $10,000 through his efforts, enough to fund the transportation operations for the school and summer camp.

His goal and mission is a noble and worthy story that stands alone by itself. I could easily end the blog post here.

As if raising $10,000 for Pattison’s was not inspiring enough….

In between being a devoted husband and father to three, dealing with a demanding job at a Charleston based software company and helping Pattison’s Academy, the rest of this ex-Army Intelligence Officer’s story will likely drop your jaw.

Along with his M-Dot, Donald has a Superman logo on his chest.

Donald is an Ironman. Donald also has Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s is an unforgiving illness that put Donald in the hospital 25 times between 1995 and 2005.

After years of medications started weakening his bone structure, Donald had to have both hips replaced.

Donald is doing this Ironman on replacement hips.


A Chat with Donald…

I caught up with my old friend Donald over the last few weeks and asked him a few questions about his upcoming journey.

Donald – what did your wife say when you dropped the bomb that you wanted to do another Ironman?

Frankly? She said I was an idiot! Then I explained why I wanted to do it…to help raise money for the Academy. At that point she knew she couldn’t stop me and really didn’t want to try. Her efforts and thoughts turned to those of support.

She worries about me for sure. But she has been around me and understands how I am wired. We discussed one night what would happen if my hips really starting hurting during the run. Without missing a beat, she looked at me and said “Well you would just Commando Crawl to the line”.

I bet. Tell me what is driving you to do another Ironman? You have been told by doctors to retire a few times!

“This is about the kids at Pattison. Go to their website, go to YouTube and search on Pattison’s Academy. I wish there was a way I could help these kids feel the way I feel during a race. Ed, you are the first to talk about my past health issues. I simply don’t want for me to be the story. I want the fundraising and the trips these kids get to take as a result to be the story. These kids are so much more inspirational and more courageous than I am or ever will be. I am trying to include them in my adventure. Ironman is such a great community! Remember how YOU felt during Ironman race week? I want to somehow bring that feeling to some of these kids.”

Your triathlon race career started with some competition from some guy named Lance?

(Laughing), Yeah, I got started in tri’s in 1986 with the YMCA Triathlon in Wilmington, NC. I was too small for football, basketball, or baseball….(I played golf). I wanted to race and be competitive and this was it. There were not a bunch of under 18 year olds racing at that time in the old USTS Bud Light Series. Triathlon was not popular as a sport then as it is now. Because of that, I easily qualified for the Nationals 2 years in a row in 1989 and 1990. I raced in 1989 in Hilton Head, SC. Notables at that race: Mark Allen, Mike Pigg, Scott Tinley, and Lance Armstrong to name a few.

Soooo, you were the one that scared Lance off into another career….what has been the hardest part of getting back into the game?

(Again laughing…) I don’t know that I had much impact on Mr. Armstrong. Getting back in the game is about managing every minute of my day. Simply finding the time to train is hardest. I wish they had a trophy category for 41 years olds with three kids, a 65 hour work week and an active life with a charity.  I would win that one for sure!

Any special significance to Texas?

None really, I have a few friends down there to help me out. I am a Carolina guy…I figured Houston weather would be pretty similar to the Low Country’s weather.

What kind of gear you running with these days?

Bike - 2011 Cervelo R3
Wheels – Zipp 101
Components – Ultegra
Race Day Hydration – CytoSport
Recovery – Muscle Milk

Gotta ask….post race favorite beer?


Good luck Donald. Your story is inspiring on so many levels.

To follow Donald’s journey head over to this

To learn more about the Pattison Academy and how you can help go here:

To donate using Donald’s page go here:

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