The Patriot Racer Log #1

I caught up with Mike Mendoza, The Patriot Racer, last week as he recapped his performance at Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene.

The Patriot Racer Log #1

So first of all, how hot was it? I remember a couple years back the Coeur d’Alene full Ironman topping off at around 106º.

It was  92º, so a little on the hot side. But definitely not that bad, thank God.

How was it overall?

It was a good race overall.The bike was good, swim was good. I kept a 7:49 pace on the run, so not extremely fast. I’m still nursing my calf (from a strain a few weeks earlier).

What helps you when you have to run slower? How do you deal with it? Keeping that big picture in mind.

It’s tough, because running too slow you can injure yourself -but running too fast you can burn out. Im doing about 70%. The calf pain could come out of nowhere, like it did in Raleigh, so I know not to push it too hard even if I feel good in the moment. And I know that I’ve been able to keep pace with the other runners and catch them after a few miles when they’ve burned out. Continue reading

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The Patriot Racer

Wait a second, this isn’t sweat,” he thought. Mike Mendoza felt the hot blood running down his body and slowly began to realize he was wounded.

Mike had taken a grenade blast to the chest. Shrapnel had ripped through his body and punctured his intestines in multiple areas. With temperatures perpetually over 110º, he could be forgiven for mistaking a near-fatal wound for perspiration.

 

After what seemed like forever, the medevac extracted Mike and his sniper team to safety.

 

Mike was rushed to the Fallujah CAS then to Baghdad ER, where he underwent emergency surgery. During his surgeries and his movement from hospital to hospital, the Semper Fi Fund had quietly stepped in and helped his family. They paid expenses, including the costly phone bills incurred when Mendoza’s wife was constantly talking to doctors in Germany to check the prognosis and status of her wounded husband.

 

The Patriot Racer Mike Mendoza in Iraq

 

 

Earning his stripes

For his actions during a prior deployment to Iraq with  1st Recon Battalion, Mendoza was awarded the Navy Cross, second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor. His citation reads:

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