"At every aid station, I poured water over my head, ice down my shirt and drank a mix of Coke and water. I did the first half of the marathon in 2 hours and 30 minutes, way behind schedule.
"I continued to run/walk through mile 17 but decided to fight through the pain and pick up the pace with nine miles to go.
I ran/jogged, holding my side the entire time. There were a lot of miserable folks out there with me so I decided to be a positive and affirmative guy to everyone I passed.
"At mile 25 I decided I had to finish in style. I gave everything I had left, running a seven-minute mile to finish the race. I could hear people on the sideline shouting, 'Go, Ironman!' I finished the marathon in 4:50, an hour over my desired goal.
"As I crossed the finish line, I jumped and slapped the finish arch. The announcer called out my name and declared me an Ironman. I must admit that at that moment, it was all worthwhile. It's still an emotional and amazing feeling. I finished the total event in 11:47:59 (a full hour above my race goal, but it didn't seem to matter at all). I had achieved my goal by overcoming every challenge I faced.
"I am grateful to my wife and family for their unstinting support and encouragement. I thank the Ironman organizing team and the phenomenal support of the volunteers who assisted me and others along the way. I would not have survived or finished the race without their invaluable help."
Whether it be an Ironman competition, personal challenges or the obstacles we experience in business, all winners must have the will and determination to move forward. I salute the entrepreneurs of America who never give up.
Do you have an interesting or informative story to tell about enduring to the end? I welcome your ideas and comments, as always, at @AskAlanEHall or www .AlanEHall.com.
Alan E. Hall is a cofounding managing director of Mercato Partners, a regionally focused growth capital investment firm. He founded Grow Utah Ventures, is the founder of MarketStar Corp. and is chairman of the Utah Technology Council.