Stephanie Middleton, a stay-at-home mother of four - ranging in age from 13 to 23 - has always been active. She grew up playing soccer and tennis and always loved to run.
After completing her first century ride - a 100-mile bike ride! - for Best Buddies in 2008, a friend talked Stephanie, who lives in Boston, into believing she could learn to swim if she’d just try. The goal was to compete together in an all-women’s sprint triathlon benefiting women cancer survivors.
Racing for a cause and taking on bigger and bigger challenges each time started to become a theme for Stephanie. The following year she competed in her first 70.3 race quickly followed by a 9.5 mile swim and a commitment to run the Boston Marathon and do her first full Ironman triathlon in Arizona.
Stephanie suffered a broken collarbone during the bike portion of Ironman Arizona, but when she woke up in the hospital the next morning, she registered for the following year's race through the Ironman Foundation. She also became an Ambassador for the first Ironman Foundation/Newton Running Team. With a message of "service through sport and commitment to community," it was a perfect fit.
In October 2016, the Ironman Foundation invited Stephanie to help out at the Ironman Championships in Kona in November 2016. That was a no-brainer. Being there cheering on everyone and especially the Foundation Athletes who had raised more than $700,000 was incredibly inspirational to Stephanie. So much so, that when presented with the opportunity to come back and race in 2017 as a Foundation Athlete, it didn’t take long for Stephanie to say yes.
It was the beginning of a journey that started with the belief that Stephanie could at least try. A message she believes is true for everyone!
A note about Ironman triathlons.
The Ironman 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles covered in the event, which comprises a 1.2-mile swim, a 57-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.
A full Ironman triathlon event comprises a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.
Ironman also has other events, including events for children and for women only. For additional information, see Ironman.
Since it's inception, the Ironman Foundation has provided more than $46 million in grants, donations, and program support to global, national, and local organizations.