In memory….August 18, 2012
I was due to give the memorial speech for Heather Frazer Boyum at the USAT Age Group Nationals awards ceremony tonight. Logistics with family things have me home in Rochester…. so I am not sure who will be reading this, or what version if any they will be using….. but was asked to also publish that speech here. This was by far, the hardest thing I have ever written, and at the same the biggest honor, to have been asked. I want to thank Kat Donatello, Kurt Perham and Tim Yount for allowing us to share this with our fellow athletes…….
On July 17th, 2012 Heather Frazer Boyum wrote this on Facebook:
My first 70.3 Tri (1.2 mile swim, 56 mi bike, 13.1 mil run) behind me. It was more fun than I thought! We had a crazy thunderstorm during the bike but I survived and rode on. The first part if the run was okay but the last three miles hurt like crazy! I made a goal for under 6 hours and did 5:55 ! I’ll never forget this day! My family (especially Eric) was so supportive, as well as my friends. Thank you!!!
On July 28th Heather Frazer Boyum filled Facebook with pictures of her son Frazer completing the Rochester Kid’s triathlon, beaming and applauding and celebrating.
On July 29th at 7:45 in the morning, Heather Frazer Boyum was out riding with a friend…. preparing to come here to Vermont and compete in Age Group Nationals. You all might have been doing the same. Nothing special, just your normal Sunday morning ride.
That day you came home. Heather did not.
At 7:45 in the morning she was hit. By two…. yes TWO drunk drivers.
In an instant a life that included being a mother to her 7 year old son, her 4 year old daughter, wife to her husband Eric, sister of Graham Frazer (who is here competing)… a life that included being a high school science teacher, a sister, a friend…… and a daughter.
In that instant….. her life was taken. The brightest light in our lives…. was turned off.
You may have noticed that her spot in transition was empty this morning. Her number was held, her race packet given to her brother. Today you competed without a very incredible woman. A woman who lived life to its fullest and was ripped from all of us…. too early….. too soon….. in the most unfair way there could be.
She was so excited to have qualified for Age Group Nationals. She was equally excited to come here and compete with her brother Graham today. You’d better believe that he was not racing alone today. While he was out there believing that he was carrying her with him….. I guarantee that she led his way. And I bet she crossed that finish line JUST before he did.
That’s what sisters do to their brothers.
Please remember that your ability to be here in this race is a privilege. It is an honor. Every breath we take is a privilege if you think about it.
That’s the way Heather lived and that’s the way that those of us who were lucky enough to know her….. will carry her legacy on. Like she said after she finished her first 70.3……. she encountered a crazy thunderstorm …. but she rode on. That is what all of us will continue to do. But now we ride with the wings of an angel. And that angel is Heather.