Her arms are toned, muscular, dark and sweaty. She has a fierce look on her face and you can tell she is concentrating hard. She is at the bottom of the hill and she is fixing her eyes on the top. Minda Dentler, Ironman and Para-triathlete.
“You came here for this – and you are doing it!” people are cheering on as she slowly, but steady is taking on the challenge of the hill. Her gloves are off, and she is not going very fast. After all, she is wheelchairing up Palani Street, a street I myself find challenging just walking.
The rest of our group stops at Wendy’s, but Cameron and I want to see her make it. She is already halfway there, and we want to see her take off on Queen K (the highway in Kona), so we keep encouraging her from the sidewalk.
She stops for a few seconds to get something to drink. Her mother tries to give her some Coca-Cola, but she says with a worn-out voice “water.”
Dentler’s arms starts to shake. Then her head starts to shake as well, and I can see on her face she is tired. I want to help her, but there is not much I can do that won’t disqualify her from the race, so I call out to God.
“God! Give her supernatural strength so she can finish this race,” and Cameron laughs in agreement. I don’t think she hears me, but the paramedics drive by and we all yell: “She doesn’t need help. She’s going to make it.”
… And she did. She got to the top, and a volunteer helped her get her gloves back on. She took a couple of deep breaths before she took of down the highway. Someone yelled after her: “See you at the bar in three hours.”
I looked at Cameron and I said: “Man… She’s a hero.”
Minda Dentler was the only female Para-athlete that finished the Ironman.