Scott McDermott returned home to Sylvan Lake with a 25th place finish in the Ultraman World Championships held in Kona, Hawaii Nov. 23-25.
McDermott was one of the 40 contestants to finish the race, but crossing the finish line meant much more than just the end of the race.
It meant closure and healing after a near life-ending crash during his last trip to the Ultraman World Championships in 2015.
“The race was absolutely brilliant and fun and harder than anything I have ever done, but [it was] just completely awesome,” said McDermott, adding crossing the finish line on day three was very emotional, but finishing the bike ride on day two was the big moment.
“Day two was amazing for a lot of reasons,” explained McDermott. “I finished in the dark on day two and there was about 30 people in a big circle waiting for me to finish and there was a lot of bawling and hugging and cheering and it was crazy.”
“It was this big relief of ‘okay, nobody crashed, everybody’s okay, let’s just go for a run tomorrow,’ so day two was huge,” added McDermott. “I think that was very big and very healing for me.”
McDermott says he is lucky he doesn’t remember the crash in 2015 because it enables him to bike as hard as he did before.
“What was different this year is I definitely stopped more and looked around more,” commented McDermott. “I enjoyed where I was and the beauty and even the hardest parts I thought ‘man, I’m so lucky that I still get to do this.’”
This year was not about where he placed, it was about finishing.
“I wanted to enjoy myself and finish and it was a very different energy,” added McDermott. “I knew there was quite a few times where I could’ve stopped less, pushed harder… I would’ve been a lot more physically uncomfortable, but it wasn’t about that this year.”
McDermott says the race is what kept pushing him forward through his road to recovery over the past three years.
“I wouldn’t be as healthy as I am now if I hadn’t had signed up for this race because this race pulled me through a lot of dark times and a lot of difficulties… you just have to have a reason to pull you forward and then it’s one step at a time.”
As far as McDermott’s heart is concerned, he is looking forward to returning to the Ultraman World Championships one day, but he is not sure when that day will be.
“I’m really glad I did it and it was really good in a lot of ways, but it’s a lot,” said McDermott.
Follow Kaylyn Whibbs on Twitter