AUGUSTA, Ga. – IronMan athletes behind me are either rookies or vets, but either way all participants are competing for something out on the 70.3 mile course.
“I’m here to do this in memory of my father Randy Smith, and I’m just really excited to do this in his honor,” says Randy Smith, 1st year IronMan racer:
Nearly 4 thousand IronMan athletes came out to accomplish the 70.3 mile course, but some are looking to accomplish something beyond the finish line.
The Smith siblings tell us their father, who passed away this summer, has competed in six IronMan races and their family is teaming up for its first ironman to continue his legacy.
“Honoring his legacy, because he was an Ironman like the ultimate ironman to us. Today my brother randy you just interviewed is doing the swim, and then my brother Michael is doing the bike, and then Monica their mom is doing the run,” says Katherine Smith, Randy Smith’s sister.
Other IronMan athletes have put in countless hours towards the big day. Now, they put it to the test.
“it’s almost like it’s a lifestyle. It’s really not just training. You just got to stay constantly, continuously training overall,” says Steve Horan, 12 year IronMan racer.
Every hour put in is for a goal.
“I say that this is my retirement race. We’ll see what happens, but I want to go out in style and i would just like to PR today and just have a personal record,” says Stacy Parlotto, 4th year IronMan racer.
The 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.22 mile run all make up 70.3 miles to complete the triathlon. And many say all of it can be tough physically.
But IronMan athletes tell me the biggest challenge is all mental.
“I kind of learned how to push myself, but you just have to keep focus one step at a time realizing that you can control only what you can control,” says Steve Horan.
Though it’s all in how they think, some say it helps to keep positive thoughts in your mind to push you through.
“Well my motto in the water is just keep swimming. *sings* Just keep swimming! The bike I love to bike ride, so that’s easy. For me the race starts on land, so as soon as I get out of the water I’m like game on,” says Stacy.
Ironman athletes also tell me finishing the race is always a huge accomplishment of their year they get to mark off.