Camp Pendleton, California – On a beautiful Sunday morning I woke to head out for my first real cycling event. I was competing against foreign nationals and my Brothers in Arms. The race started at 0900 and the starting temperature was 45 degrees with a head wind to start. Within the first 1500 meters a Colombian with a single leg amputation crashed due to his prosthetic come out of the pedal. After the group settled, I surged to the head of the pack, drafting off the french team in front. Our team plan was to have our fastest rider draft in the middle while I pushed as hard as I could down the descent hoping egos would over take common sense — and they did. I began hitting 30+ mph with the French hot on my tail. Every time I pulled, they would pull around me. I’d rest for a few strokes and then push past them again. Then in the mist of rolling through the group, a marine in front of me began to wobble on his bike and passed out. I immediately stopped and aided him by covering him with my shadow and stopping his body from rolling around. Then a Dutchman stopped to assist along with a good friend of mine who I instructed to head to the last check point to get help. Thirty minutes later, the peloton went by the final time and the ambulance finally arrived. My friend and I asked the race officials if we could continue on and they allowed us to. While it would have been great to finish the race with the pack and further help my team, there’s something more to say coming in dead last together with our hand’s raised. We finished holding true to the Marine Corps tradition of “NO MAN LEFT BEHIND”
Mike went on to compete in shot put, discus, 100m, and 200m Dash. He came in 4th in both the shot put and discuss. He missed 3rd in the shot put by centimeters. In the Dash, he pulled his hamstring.
My $.02 cents: If you have met Mike or have the opportunity to, it’s hard to envision a more fierce competitor. He doesn’t give up and if you say he can’t, he will. However, he doesn’t let his competitive spirit mask what really matters, which are relationships and caring for other people. I know Mike was more than likely frustrated by not being able to fully compete, but actions like stopping to help other athletes in a time of need regardless of the situation, shows the type of man he is. That’s why he’s a Jack Kane athlete. — Zane
Marin Corp Trials 2013 Event Montage — You can even hear Mike’s singing skills at the end.
When he arrived home, he presented us with this photo and certificate:
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