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A Healthy Bond
Moss will have extra motivation to get to the finish line at this year’s IRONMAN World Championship. Her son, Mats, is also set to race. While Mats previously shied away from the sport, he recently followed his parents’ legendary footsteps and earned a Kona slot at IRONMAN Korea in September, finishing third overall and winning his age group in 9:53:50. If all goes well in 2018, the mother-son duo will both have their moment finishing along Ali’i Drive, although likely not together. “Oh, he’s much faster than me,” Moss says. “I just hope I get a glimpse of him while I’m out there shuffling along.”


 


 


 


 


—— Continued from page 39
 


Following the 1982 IRONMAN, she inked deals with sponsors, began racing as a pro, went head-to-head with the greats of the sport like 24-time IRONMAN champ Paula Newby-Fraser, and met her future husband, IRONMAN legend Mark Allen.
The media also took an intense interest in Moss. From Kona, ABC flew her to New York City for an interview. She appeared on television shows like “Survival of the Fittest” and “The Superstars” and even consulted on the set of “Challenge of a Lifetime,” a 1985 made-for-TV movie starring Penny Marshall as a chain-smoking, single mom who sets out to finish a triathlon.


“I was Penny Marshall’s stunt double for the scene when she crawls to the finish line,” says Moss. “Looking back on it now, it’s all mind-blowing. Back then, nothing really surprised me. I was simply riding the wave.”


 


A CHANGE OF PACE
As thrilling as the 80s were for Moss, the next two decades took a different turn. After stepping away from triathlon, she set a goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the marathon. But she fell just 2 minutes short of that mark after running a lifetime best of 2 hours, 47 minutes, 19 seconds in the 1991 Boston Marathon. In 1994, she welcomed a son, Mats, and absorbed herself in motherhood. But in 2002, her marriage to Allen ended, and her mother passed away from a stroke. In her grief, Moss turned to a former constant in her life. Triathlon.


“I once famously said, ‘I’ll never race as an age-grouper,’ but I felt like I had more to give,” she says of her re-entry into IRONMAN as an amateur athlete. In 2003, Moss landed on the podium in Kona — and has hardly looked back. Her age-group resume is nearly as lengthy as her professional accolades, highlighted by several podium finishes, including an age-group win at the 2017 Memorial Hermann IRONMAN North American Championship Texas in 10:46:51, faster than her Kona time of 11:10:09 in 1982.


 


STILL SEEKING MAGIC
Today, at 59, Moss lives in Santa Cruz, California, and spends up to five hours a day training, plus another hour practicing yoga. She’s grateful for a healthy body and that she’s been able to retain the willpower to keep pushing. Still, like any top athlete, she’s hungry for more. Her current focus is to qualify for — and then complete — the IRONMAN World Championship in 2018, a feat that eluded her last October when back pain and cramps caused her to drop out after the bike.


“2017 was a rough race for me, physically and mentally. So I want to go back and truly honor the race that changed my life. It would be nice to have that magical day where everything lines up just the way you want it to, but that’s never a given, especially in Kona,” she says. “Then again, I do believe in magic.”


40 | USA TRIATHLON | WINTER 2018

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