Most of you reading this race report are used to a different kind of event for Bill and me. This race was very different because we didn’t have to train for it! Here’s how it all started…

Four years ago when Bill found out he had lymphoma, he was blessed to get the most amazing doctor ever! I love Dr. Hagemeister with my whole heart and not just because he saved my husband’s life. He truly is one of the most fascinating people I know. He’s filled with energy and compassion. He’s also in great shape.

Shortly after Bill’s cancer was in remission and he finished R-CHOP, he competed in the Stonebridge Ranch Triathlon in McKinney, Texas. That was a great day. Since then, we return to Stonebridge every year. We’ve been doing triathlon for three years and love it. We thought Dr. Hagemeister might enjoy the sport too so for the past three years, we’ve attempted to get him to give it a “tri”.

One afternoon while I was out running, I realized we were going to fail in our attempts because he wasn’t at all interested in the swim. So I came home and told Bill we should do it relay style and see if he’d prefer to bike or run. Dr. Hagemeister has another beautiful patient named Virginia Serna who is also an athlete. He and Virginia and her husband Tom are very good friends and he thought they might like to participate in this event too. They did. So we formed two teams and went back to Stonebridge this year.

Bill, Virginia and their wonderful doctor were team “Tri-ing to Beat Lymphoma”. Bill was the swimmer, Dr. Hagemeister was the biker and Virginia was the runner. Because her husband Tom wanted to be part of the race too, I agreed to participate. I put all my efforts into training for Utah and hadn’t done a swim since Ironbabe so Bill took me out three days before Stonebridge to practice in Lake Conroe. Disgusting! Nancy Long joined Tom and me and we named our team “Tom & the Iron Girls”. I swam, Nancy was the biker and Tom was our runner.

My coaching partner and precious friend Carol Steele was also registered for Stonebridge where she finished her first tri last year. This year was her first Olympic distance and because her husband Don was at the TNT 21-miler, she rode with us and we were her fan support. So Carol, Nancy, Bill, Dr. Hagemeister, Cherry Evans from LLS and I all rode together up to McKinney. It was quite a lot of fun.

Virginia and Tom flew in from their home in Phoenix and met us at the hotel. We picked up our packets and didn’t stay long at the expo which was very small this year. Next we went to the race site and took a look at the lake. Then we drove the bike course, did some carbo loading at Macaroni Grill and went to bed.

At 5:30 a.m. Sunday, we met in the lobby to leave. Dr. H was not to be found so Bill told me to go and see if he needed help. As the elevator door opened on the sixth floor, I found the doctor standing there with his bag and coffee. “You need any help,” I asked.

“No, I’m good,” he smiled.

“Where’s your bike,” I asked. Yes, he had forgotten the bike of all things. We got the bike and left. We got body marked and set up transition. It was cold. The water was choppy and it was kind of windy. I prayed for Nancy and Dr. Hagemeister to do well on the bike and I prayed for Carol to be calm in the water because it looked rough.

Virginia and Tom arrived and got body marked and Bill and I took off for the lake. This was the first time we’ve ever done a relay and we got to swim together. I was one of only three women in this wave with the men 40 and over age group. That, coupled with the choppy water, was scary enough to make me forget about brain-eating amebas for a while!

The swim was difficult. Bill’s swim was 15 minutes. Mine was 17:50. So neither of us did exactly our best. The bike was not as easy either because of the wind and hills. Dr. Hagemeister’s time was 45:19 and Nancy’s was 43:32. Tom finished for “Tom & the Iron Girls” in 26:09 and shortly after, his lovely, pregnant wife came across the finish line in 33:33.

Carol finished the Olympic distance in 3:53:55 and she looked strong.

Congratulations Coach Carol- you rock! Congratulations to my teammates from “Tom & the Iron Girls”- you’re both studs! But most of all, congratulations to “Tri-ing to Beat Lymphoma”. May the three of you continue to beat lymphoma! You are my heroes.

Click each photo to enlarge...

"Tri-ing to Beat Lymphoma": Rick Hagemeister, Virginia Serna, Bill Crews

"Tom & the Iron Girls": Nancy Long, Tom Shepardson, Dana-Susan Crews

Carol Steele in front of the lake she would conquer!

Dr. H was fascinated by Nancy's pedicure.

Dr. H and Bill with our beloved friend Cherry Evans!


Virginia & Tom are adorable!

Dr. Hagemeister is so proud of his friend & patient.
No wonder we all love him so much.

Way to go Carol!

The boys were a little tired at the end of the day!

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS by Lance Phegley from