Boost Oxygen Ambassador Spotlight: Spartan racer Paul Lachance
In 2021, Boost Oxygen proudly supported the mission of Paul Lachance to complete eight Spartan Trifectas in the year where he turned 80 years old. By the end of the spartan season, the starting groups for each race were filled with #SpartanPaul8at80 shirts that he coordinated the sales for, with proceeds being donated to his choice of the American Warrior Initiative. Here is a look back – and forward – to an amazing individual who inspires people from coast-to-coast; and we are very proud that he supports his Spartan performance and recovery with our 95% Pure Supplemental Oxygen.
I know I said I would have a 2021 recap of a phenomenal year but I’ve changed my mind. Most of you who are reading this already know the who, what, where, and when and have seen the multitudes of photos that other participants have put out there…so why bore you?
There are, however, four highlights to the year that I would like to mention…and these are in order of importance from lowest to highest:
Earlier this year I was able to nail the spear throw. Now under normal circumstances that isn’t a big deal…but I was BLINDFOLDED! And yes, we have the tape to prove it (ask Tom Maming…he filmed it)
Earning my 8X in Dallas. I was working toward that goal all year and had assumed that would be my crowning moment, but two other events are even more important;
Presenting the fundraising check to American Warrior Initiative in Colorado Springs from the sale of the 8@80 t-shirts was so inspiring…especially when they said that we had raised enough to fund 6 months of the year-long training of a service dog that would be awarded to a deserving injured veteran…worth every penny to see one of our heroes get much deserved help.
The highlight of the year…and nothing could surpass these two events (combined into one continuous motion)…when my north-east ladies enticed Davida and my grandson Jordan onto the course in Dallas, where the ladies and Jordan helped her up and over the A-Frame and then Sean and I held her hands while we jumped the fire line. The gigantic smile on her face as she was being helped up and over was worth every previous moment of struggling on the various trails…thank you Peggy, Melissa, Laura, and Maria for giving us a moment to remember for life…you did great!
Instead of a recap, I want to spend a few minutes thanking some very special people who contributed to the 8@80 effort. With few exceptions I am not going to use names as I know that I would fail to mention a special person (or more) and I don’t want to take a chance on hurting anyone’s feeling. So here goes…in no special order….
The father-son team from West Virginia (who should be Mr. Spartan Ambassador)…thanks for constantly being there for me, waiting on the trail for me to catch my breath, always smiling, never complaining on how long I take, filming my blindfolded spear throw, and constant encouragement.
Mr. Sea/She Shells…what a great sense of humor you provide while doing some of the craziest obstacles…a pleasure to be with you.
My fellow Navy vet and retired NYPD officer…you round out the four “Big Boys” with an accent so distinct and reminiscent. You always amaze me with the variety of supplies you carry…no matter what is needed – you have it.
Spartan 4-0…thanks for taking the time to talk and joke with the old man. The tight knit group that we have formed is like a crazy family…some very serious, some quiet, some loud and cantankerous, a great story-teller, others with a smile so wide, all helping and accepting of all others….cheek kisses are an added benefit.
Spartan Race staff…from the course directors, announcers, and home office personnel…you are truly a professional team. Being able to coordinate and put on so many events under varied governmental restrictions and demands is “mission impossible”…yet you continue doing it.
Spartan Runners…how many of you have taken the time to say Hi to me while out on the course? Hundreds, if not thousands! To each of you goes my gratitude and thanks for taking a few seconds to recognize the old man having fun.
American Warrior Initiative and Boost Oxygen…thank you for your ongoing support and friendship. The mission of AWI and the dedication of its leader to support our veterans is a gift of love that is hard to match. The benefits of clean 95% pure oxygen while out on the course has helped me beyond measure…it’s now part of my daily routine and I keep some on my desk, throughout the house, in my car…always close so I can “Suck it Up” – fellow Spartans really love that phrase. Brian, I was not expecting to see you in Texas for that ‘8 at 80’ race but it really meant a lot, more than you realize, and everyone throughout the year loved the shirt design. It helped to fuel sales and make the donation amount to AWI larger at the end of the year.
Non-Spartans, friends, and family…thank you for your constant encouragement and good wishes. Some of you are in awe of what I do…well, don’t be…I’m just an old man having fun with the kids by placing one foot in front of the other. If I can do it, why not you?
To all the wounded veterans and athletes out on the course…thank you for inspiring me (and others) to continue on this path through life. When I see and talk with runners without limbs, blind, experiencing PTSD, in wheelchairs and then watch them conquer obstacles that people without these challenges shun I simply am amazed and draw energy from their deeds.
My medical team: oncologist, cardiologist, dermatologist, surgeon, primary care physician…you’ve kept my heart pumping, skin cancer and HBP under control, pumped me with radiation and chemo drugs when required, and had me undergo several unpleasant preventative procedures…thank you for caring.
Most of all I want to thank my family for being there…always encouraging me and never attempting to stop me (someone needs to control me). None of this is possible without the direct support from the number one person in my life…Davida…thank you hon for being there – no words can express what it means to me to have your love and support- are you ready for another year of craziness?
Thank you all for a great year and I’ll see you on the 2022 season trail,
From Paul’s family who attended the ‘8 at 80’ event in Texas:
Davida (wife): “Paul is the greatest gift that God has given me…a wonderful husband, father, and provider. We are all proud of his other life (Spartan) and hope he continues until he makes the decision to stop. His Spartan exploits are legendary and inspirational to the family and friends back home.”
Michelle (Daughter): “To the man that has inspired so many including myself, my dad, Paul Lachance. I would not be the person I am today without you. You have taught me that I don’t always have to be strong, I can become broken and weak but if I get back up and keep moving forward, life will work out as it should. Your passion to make a difference is contagious. You put your heart and soul into everything your do and surpass the goals you have set for yourself. I watch you do what you love and make a difference in the lives of so many – what an amazing experience! I am so proud of you; you have taught me to be brave and what endless love looks like. Thank you! I can’t shout I Love You loud enough. You are the world to me.”
Sean (son): “I’ve been with Paul, my Dad, since the beginning and watched him struggle over the hills and he’s definitely getting better as he gets older. I hope to be able to be doing what he’s doing when I get to his current age.”
Jordan (grandson): “Watching my grandpa on the course simply affirmed that he’s a beast of a man while also being the best of all grandpa’s. I always enjoy spending time talking with him on-on-one…he’s my hero.”