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NFE Athlete Spotlight: Michael Rasco, IRONMAN Kona

By November 16, 2015February 28th, 2024NF Endurance, Ways to Give

Michael Rasco recently competed in the IRONMAN World Championship event in Kona, Hawaii on behalf of the Children’s Tumor Foundation. He finished in an amazing time of 13:04 and has raised over $46,000 over the past year for this event! He and his wife Missy have been involved with the NF Endurance team and Cupids Undie Run in Louisville for many years and they raise money for Missy’s son Hunter, who has NF1.

What was your favorite part of race week?
My favorite part of race week is all the excitement and energy that is on the island. Everyone seems to know that there is this epic race with an amazing finish that will demand you to push farther dig deeper than you ever thought possible!

What kept you going throughout the race?
When race day got tough, and in Ironman racing it always does, l simply reflected upon why I was racing Kona. I was racing for my stepson Hunter and all the people who have NF. I see first-hand with Hunter how having NF changes your life and how many hurdles NF can create in life. Racing Ironman is a relatively easy task compared to this and the least I can do to help find a cure for NF.

How does it feel knowing you raised so much money for CTF?
Achieving this fundraising goal gave Missy and I such a sense of accomplishment. I think my stepson Hunter really appreciates what Missy and I are trying to do for him, seeing us working hard on this goal we think really gives him a sense of we are all in this together.

What was preparation like for the past year getting ready for Kona?
Preparing for a race like Kona is quite challenging. It’s a day-in day-out kinda thing. Having consistency and balance in your training is key as well as proper diet/nutrition and rest all while working and trying to be apart of your family. It’s not easy, but in the end, it’s worth it.

Do you have any advice for next year’s IRONMAN athletes?
My advice for next years athletes, as far as fundraising goes, is to jump on it as early as you possible. And remember it takes a village, so get your friends and families involved, they are your biggest asset as well as your support system and it will give them a certain sense of pride and ownership in your goals and your race.

Did anything funny happen to you during the race?
One funny memory I took with me from race day happened at about mile 16 on the run. I hit a rough patch and the wear and tear of the race was really catching up to me. The next thing I know, someone puts their hand on my shoulder as they run beside me and says drink this and then handed me a tube of some sort of salt mixture. I look up and it was Chris Lieto. Chris is this amazing, retired professional triathlete whom I have always been a big fan of and he was running a tent named “We Got Salt.” I looked directly at him and paused for a second to make sure in my failing mental state at that moment that I wasn’t seeing things and then I proceeded to say in a very surprised voice “CHRIS LIETO!”

He laughed. Not only did he give me the salt and explain how to use it, he also ran beside me so I wouldn’t have to break stride, as well as made me laugh at myself later on in the race which always helps!

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