Ed. Note: Last fall, we first brought you the story of Will Turner, a local triathlete who was on a mission to complete 100 triathlons over a two year period. The following is an update on his progress and what he’s done since finishing his goal.
RICHMOND, Va. -- Will Turner is still running, but now, it’s only when he wants to run.
After completing 105 Ironman triathlons between 2018 and 2019, he has settled back into more recreational exercise with a healthy appreciation for what he accomplished.
“The journey is something I'm always going to be grateful and thankful for and really treasure,” Turner said. “The events that I did were just part of the overall journey. If I can continue to find things that are going to challenge me and scare me a bit and push myself, then I'm on the right path.”
Turner toured most of North America on his journey with photographer and friend Chris DeStefano. DeStefano chronicled the entire event with breathtaking photos.
With so much material, the two got the idea to make a book out of their journey.
“Everybody that would tell us would act like it was the most original idea,” Turner recalled. “And it was at first, and then we heard it 100 more times. Eventually, we`re like okay, we`ll do a coffee table book."
The result is "Journey to 100," an epic adventure of grace, grit, and gratitude.
Three key components that helped Turner achieve what he might have considered impossible.
"I look at the grace as being open-hearted and present to everything that was there before us," he said. "The grit is putting our head down and pushing through what we need to push through for the day. The gratitude is being grateful for the opportunity and being grateful for what we have in our lives."
Perhaps just as tough as running a marathon or biking over 100 miles, was trying to select photos to put in the book.
Each picture holds a specific and special memory.
"I'm immediately taken to the moment and the conditions of the day and what I went through during that day,” Turner said.
Trying to select a favorite is nearly impossible, even for the guy featured in each of them.
“We`re in Banff National Park. The mountains are amazing and snow-capped, then you have these turquoise lakes dotted throughout the landscape," he said. "It's hard to beat.."
The response has been heartwarming and enthusiastic.
"Everyone loves it. People have gotten the book then ordered two or three more as gifts," he said. "It's been quite overwhelming in a very positive way.”
While the images are stunning and a reminder of achievement, the book and Turner's journey are serving another, perhaps greater purpose. Turner has become an inspiration.
“I had a woman from Upstate New York tell me that following [the] journey gave [her] the courage to leave a 25-year abusive relationship," he said. "It's stepping out of our comfort zones and doing something we're a little reticent or afraid to do, but realizing in the long run, it's going to make us better for it."
“Something that's worthwhile is going to be really hard. You're going to fail and you're going to fall down. It's what you do in those down moments that really determine where you go.”
To date, Turner has sold nearly 1,000 copies of his book which only came out in May. Click here to order one.
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