It's hard to believe it's finally here. The first ever Texas Ironman takes place this weekend in the Woodlands! I am so nervous and excited for all my friends participating. I remember when many started training in January -- others started even earlier than that. I wish I could be there with them but at least I was able to train with them on a few occasions and it was fun to hear how they were progressing and how their bodies were holding up.
Training plans vary, but they roughly require from 5 to 19 hours of running, biking and swimming a week for a total of 18 weeks minimum. It's grueling and very hard on your body, so the people who do this are competitive and passionate about fitness, staying strong and they love endurance sports. Athletes will start with a 2.4 mile swim, followed by 112 miles on the bike and finish off with a 26.2 mile marathon run. They have 17 hours to finish.
I am proud of San Antonio too because we will be well represented at the Woodlands. Check out the pictures of some of our San Antonio athletes I've included. Oh! And of the 22-hundred total athletes, I understand that 14-hundred are from Texas!
Edgar and Carrie Gonzalez are the coolest newlywed triathletes. "My wife made me do it!" says Edgar about competing in this triathlon. Carrie is a longtime half Ironman competitor, but she wanted to do the whole thing. So, what better place than Texas' inaugural race?
Seriously, he says, "I'm participating because it's an investment in my health and gets me out of my comfort zone. I've always been a runner but the idea of spending 112 miles on the bike and 2.4 miles swimming was intimidating. So, I had no choice! I wanted to tackle this 'monster' and proudly wear my IM badge. It's also exciting to be a part of the first Ironman in Texas!" This is Edgar's second full Ironman. Oh, and by the way, he's an incredible running trainer! He trained me to qualify and run the Boston Marathon, which was a longtime goal of mine.
Mary Jo Pugh loves all different kinds of endurance events from the Ragnar Relay Race, which is an overnight running relay event, to long distance bike events, and triathlons. This is her first full Ironman! She's updating friends about the race on her Facebook page and yesterday she said that the "water temperature is 80 in Lake Woodlands." Sounds like it's nice and warm -- no wetsuits needed.
Linda Miller is a multiple Ironman finisher, including the Hawaii World Championship, and a fantastic trainer. She's one of my favorite training companions! Another one of my favorite training buddies is Celene Salyer. She's incredible because this Ironman is her comeback after taking more than ten years off to raise her family.
Two San Antonians racing in their first Ironman competitions tomorrow Jose Reyes and Heather Trevino. And Heather just started training for triathlons last year!
Jessica and Jerret Gordon are also another newlywed couple racing in their first Ironman together. Chris Aarhus is one of the favorite athletes in San Antonio. He has won several races as an amateur. Amy McGrath is considered one of the favorites to actually win the race as an amateur. She has gone to Kona eight times and placed in her age group every time!
Kona is the Super Bowl, Wimbledon, World Series, World Cup, and Tour de France of triathlons. Tens of thousands of people try to qualify or win a lottery slot in Ironman World Championship in Hawaii every year, but only 18-hundred succeed.
The Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas will offer 65 slots to Kona, which is officially called the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship. It takes place October 8. Additionally, there will be a prize purse of $100,000 for distribution among the top professional male and female finishers.