Father son reunion steals show at Ironman 70.3…

Father-son reunion steals show at Ironman 70.3 Boise

Barnes said he didn’t see his father, Gary W. Barnes, much growing up. His parents divorced and his father traveled the world as an officer in the Marines. Barnes estimates Saturday marked the second time he’s seen his father since the seventh grade.

The first came on Mother’s Day in Arizona after Barnes learned his father opted to quit chemotherapy. The elder Barnes stopped treatment in March and then notified his children of his condition.

Sean Barnes had already signed up for the Boise Ironman race last fall but decided to dedicate to the race to his father. He contemplated writing “dad” on his jersey or his body, then received his bib number three days before the race — 414.

The numbers correspond to the letters in the alphabet to spell out “dad.” “D” is the fourth letter, “a” the first and “d” the fourth.

Gary Barnes kept his trip to Boise a secret all the way up until Saturday. He arrived in Boise on Friday then planned to surprise his son Saturday night before upgrading to a finish-line surprise.

“I reckoned I’d come up and surprise him,” Gary Barnes, 72, said. “I might not have many more opportunities to see him. This might be the last.”