Archive for October, 2009

29
Oct
09

Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap

boylemcm3aThis past Sunday, Oct. 25, I took part in the Marine Corps marathon along with over 20,000+ runners.  It was an incredible race, the weather was ideal and the course was setup perfectly with so many great spectators and helpful volunteers lining the streets.  As fun as it was, I was definitely feeling a little sore from the Baltimore marathon two weeks before, but I kept moving forward as best as I could while occasionally getting flashbacks (from Kona in 07) of just wanting to walk after every water station near the end of the race. I crossed the finish line a little bit later than I expected, but again, my first priority is always just to finish and cross the finish line with a smile :)

Every marathon and triathlon has a special meaning to me, and I ran the Marine Corp in memory of my grandfather who was a marine who fought in WW2 and I also ran to honor all the young soldiers and war vets that I met throughout my many sessions of physical therapy that took place in and out of the hospital. I’ll never forget the people I met during my recovery – they are my inspiration to never give up and are with me during every step of every mile.

Next up – New York City marathon this weekend!

NBC 4 News: Marathon Race Recap With Brian Boyle

Brian Boyle Interview on Comcast’s “Washington Post Live”

29
Oct
09

Iron Heart Book Review by USA Triathlon

usa-triathlonNo mainstream sport celebrates the triumphs of regular people who overcome adversity and beat odds to compete like triathlon does. 

Iron Heart by Ashley Halsey of USA Triathlon

Triathlon has become life in microcosm, a metaphor that gives truth to the wisdom passed from each generation to the next: work hard and you will be rewarded, have faith in yourself and you will excel; do not falter when an ill wind blows your way.

And so, they arrive at the starting line ready for the test, each athlete with a story made unique by his own motivation and perseverance, some with tales of achievement more startling than others.

There is no better story than Brian Boyle’s.

There is more to it than was revealed by the spotlight NBC trained on him during the 2007 Ironman in Kona, more than the ESPN feature and more than he told Ellen DeGeneres last year.

In “Iron Heart,” the story unfolds through Boyle’s own eyes. Told with the help of award-winning writer Bill Katovsky, himself a two-time Kona finisher, it is riveting.

These are the things that Boyle did not know when his world came into blurred focus one day and he found himself in an intensive care unit bed. He did not remember driving toward home after a summer swim practice. He had no recollection of the massive dump truck that broadsided his Camaro, crushing it from the driver side like a tin can. No memory of being cut from the car or flown to the trauma center. And, pinned to the bed without the ability to move, speak or acknowledge that he was conscious, he had no way to find out.

“I’m alone in a white room and looking straight up at the ceiling. Bright lights shine all around me. My heart is beating fast. I try to raise my arms, then legs, but I can’t move them. My head won’t budge either. I can’t blink or wiggle my fingers.”

And then he realizes a priest is beside him, giving last rites.

Had he not been an 18-year-old state champion swimmer and body builder when the truck struck, Boyle would have died in the wreckage. In the aftermath, his ability to beat the odds could put every bookie out of business. Would brain function recover? Yes. Would he walk again? Yes. Would he swim again? Yes. Run? Yes. Bike? Yes.

Realize his dream of doing an Ironman? Yes.

The word “miracle” is overused these days, but when the full scope Boyle’s dance with death is played out, the genuine miracle of his trip to Kona is underscored.

There’s more to Iron Heart than just the miraculous. There’s also a fair amount of triathlon insanity. What Boyle did three years after the accident was testament to triathlon’s ability to put an exclamation point on resurrection. By any reasonable standard, it was just plain nuts.

The workouts that began as physical therapy had graduated to the weight room and led to a return to the pool. So, Boyle reckoned, why not an Ironman? Not a single triathlon on his resume or a race bike to his name, he sent Ironman an inquiry asking if he could race Kona. An NBC producer sent back this message: finish a 70.3 race and we’ll give you a slot for the big dance. Boyle signs up for Steelhead and then realizes that:

“I’m grossly ill prepared and undertrained to do a triathlon, let alone a half-Ironman in two weeks.

Yes, two weeks to train.

“Yet what feverishly spurs me on is that vision of myself on life support in the ICU. If I had made it through that hell barely clinging to life, just how tough could a triathlon be in comparison?”

Two weeks later he manages the swim, wobbles off on his new bike and discovers life as a “back-of-the-packer” on the run. But he crosses the line in 7 hours and 13 minutes.

On to Kona, and this time he has a whopping two months to get ready!

That story – a 14:42:35 finish – was documented by the NBC camera crews who shadowed him throughout. But the story of Brian Boyle goes on. Last year he posted a 5:09.14 at the 70.3 championship in Clearwater. In July his 2:22:01 was good for an age-group ninth place at the New York City Triathlon.

Brian Boyle won legitimacy in triathlon as a survivor. Now he’s winning it simply as an athlete. And his goal is to post a qualifying time for a return to Kona.

 

27
Oct
09

311

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The care package that 311 sent to me when I was in the hospital along with the tickets to the show I was supposed to go to in the summer of 2004.

311.com:Iron Heart written by huge 311 fan, Brian Boyle now released. 18 year old Brian Boyle was in a major car accident in 2004. He was in a coma for 2 months, had 14 surgeries, 36 blood transfusions and his heart stopped beating 8 times. He was in a fight for survival. A package of acknowledgement​ sent to him in the hospital from his favorite band 311. From there, his Ipod full of 311 songs helped pave the way along his road to recovery. Not only did Brian fully recover – but he went on to compete & conquer the legendary Iron Man Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii!”

The music that 311 has made during their career is phenomenal, and I know that there are many many fans out there who will agree with me when I say that their music makes you feel good inside and out and can make a rough day a great day just by pressing the “Play” button. Their songs touch people on a much greater level than just being great music – they provide “Strength and Positivity” from album to album, song to song, and from fan to fan. Thanks for all the support over the years guys!

24
Oct
09

The Daily Connection show on NBC 4

nbclogowashingtonThis is a segment that NBC aired live yesterday from their studio in Washington D.C.. The segment was one of the features in their new show called “Daily Connection”, which included an interview with Brian about his recovery, the journey to the Ironman, the writing process of Iron Heart and also preparing for the upcoming Marine Corps. marathon this sunday.
Click here to see the NBC interview.
Also,
Click here to read an article in the Washington Examiner about Brian and the Marine Corps Marathon.
Click here to read an article in the Washington Examiner about Iron Heart.
19
Oct
09

NBC’s Today Show Segment is Now Uploaded

nbc-today-show-logo

Last wednesday, October 7, my parents and I flew out to New York City to be guests on the Today Show and it was a very exciting experience for all three of us.  There are always butterflies in the stomach when cameras are involved, but Kathie Lee and Hoda were so genuine and easy to talk to that I found myself just having a regular conversation with them, which was a lot of fun. 

To view the segment, it can be found here.

17
Oct
09

2009 Baltimore Marathon Race Recap

baltimoremarathonLast saturday I competed in the Baltimore marathon as a way to say thank you to the city of Baltimore because I have received so much support from them over the years, especially because I began my rehabilitation at the Kernan physical therapy center and have been working closely with the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross for the past two years.  

It was a true privilege to run a marathon throughout the streets in this city because five years ago, I couldn’t even walk.  It was a very meaningful and emotional day out there where plenty of tears of joy were shed. 

Every race I do is special, whether it’s a full Ironman triathlon, a marathon, or even a 5k.  To me, it’s all about the experience and the thrill of the challenge where every breathe is a miracle and every step is a blessing.

Thank You Baltimore.

Here is an article that was in the Baltimore Sun two days before the race.

06
Oct
09

Brian Boyle to appear on NBC’s “The Today Show” tomorrow around 10am

tv_nbc_today_logoPlease tune in tomorrow to “The Today Show” on NBC around 10AM to hear Brian Boyle talk about his new book, Iron Heart, as well as discuss what it was like throughout his inspirational journey from his deathbed in 2004 all the way to the 2007 Ford Ironman World Champioship in Kona, Hawaii.

06
Oct
09

FOX 5 Morning News (Washington D.C.)

fox5ironheart

WASHINGTON D.C. – ” On July 6th 2004 Brian Boyle was in a severe car accident causing him to lose sixty percent of his blood.

His heart stopped beating eight separate times as doctors tried to save his life.

Now, over five years later, on October 5th 2009, he joined us as a successful triathlete who has just released a book about his journey from the hospital bed to the Ironman finish line.”

Click to View News Segment

02
Oct
09

Iron Heart is Now Officially in Bookstores Nationwide

bookstoreihStarting today, October 1, Iron Heart can now be found in bookstores across the nation.  It was such a great experience seeing it on the shelf for the first time because it was in that moment that I realized that this book was complete and I could not have done it without all the incredible support from everyone who played a helping hand throughout my recovery, during the journey to Kona for the Ironman and throughout the process of writing and publishing this book. 

Again, Thank You for allowing this dream to come true and I really look forward to hearing what everyone thinks as they read it.




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