Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

Feeling fit and looking for a challenge, or need some inspiration to show up at the gym?

We followed elite athlete Debra Weier from Princeton, New Jersey as she pushed herself to her physical limits in beautiful Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, during the 2019 Vega Ironman World Championship. What’s it like to swim 2 miles, bike 100 miles and run 26 miles in one day . . . . especially as a 65 years old woman?

Debra didn’t start participating in triathlons until age 60. Before you think that’s old, consider there were three athletes over age 80!

Kona, Hawaii, Iron Man, Triathlon, fitness, debra weier,

What possessed Debra to become a lean mean running machine? A friend told her it would be fun. (fun?)

Approximately 95,000 athletes attempted to win a slot in Kona, competing in more than 40 global Ironman events. Only close to 2,500 qualified.

Competitors represented 75 countries, predominately the United States. 

swimming, triathlon, ironman, Kona, Hawaii, swimmers, fitness

Thinking of joining the fun? Beware that triathlons are expensive.

There’s the swim, bike, run and nutrition coaching fees, entrance fees, airfare, hotels, and meal expenses, wet suits, special running shoes, $500 helmets with $500 custom eyeshades, shipping and tuning up your $10,000 racing bicycle, the list goes on.

Don’t forget the training where you must schedule in swimming an average of 7 miles, biking 230 miles, and running 48 miles per week. Exhausted yet?

Kona, Hawaii, triathlete, Ironman, bicycle, debra weier, pose

Congratulations to Debra, who managed to wake up before dawn and complete the race well after sunset in tropical weather. Best of all, she crossed the finish line with a smile, placing 10th in her age group.

Kona, Hawaii, sunset, pacific ocean, waves, palm trees, restaurant lights,

After the race, there’s nothing left but to enjoy your vacation in paradise. Those athletes deserve it.

We are all humbled, and will probably feel guilty complaining about our tough yoga classes.

Information at www.ironman.com

more photographs of the event at © Lynn Friedman

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