Anyone Can Do an Ironman

Lots of you have been following Susan Lacke since she started writing posts for No Meat Athlete earlier this year.  Ten days ago, she completed her first Ironman triathlon, less than a year and a half after losing 70 pounds on a vegetarian diet allowed her to run her first 5K.  Here’s her recap of Ironman Wisconsin.

“Anyone can do an Ironman. Anyone.”

I was giving a friend a massage after he completed his 12th Ironman when he uttered those words. I had just told him how proud I was of him, and he minimized it like it was nothing more than a 100-meter jog.

“Pssht. Susan, it’s nothing. Anyone can do an Ironman. Anyone. Really, it’s not that big of a deal.”

I had just run my first 5K a few months prior, and admired my friends who did longer distances. My friend Steph had just convinced me to sign up for my first half-marathon, and I was enjoying the training for it. I was swimming and biking at my gym, and loved the cross-training benefits I was getting from those activities. Thanks to vegetarianism, I had lost a significant amount of weight, and thanks to my newfound life as an active person, I was continuing to lose more.

Call it a runner’s high. Call it temporary insanity. Call it whatever you want.

Anyone can do an Ironman? Anyone?

Count me in.


I recalled those exact words in the day leading up to Ironman Wisconsin. As I looked around at the pre-race festivities, I saw a lot of incredibly fit people.

They had impeccable bodies. They rode expensive bicycles and ran in top-of-the-line shoes. They walked and talked like they knew what they were doing. They devoured spaghetti with meatballs and whole rotisserie chickens in preparation for race day. They likely had never had any major health issues. Their worst vice in their past was probably the occasional candy bar.

And then there was me.

More than one person commented on my No Meat Athlete shirt at packet pickup, asking if it was serious or a joke. I got a few incredulous looks when I said I’d only been doing triathlons for about a year and a half. I was scared to mention much more about my past habits for fear I’d get laughed out of the race. I was a 27 year-old former chubbster girl in a sea of middle-aged overachieving men with rock-hard bodies.

Anyone can do an Ironman? Anyone? Heh. With me in the game, that statement was certainly about to be tested.

Race day

I remembered those words once again as I floated in the water before the start of Ironman Wisconsin. The sun was rising over the lake and things were remarkably calm. As I looked around me, I realized something:

Everyone in the water looked exactly the same.

In our black wetsuits, goggles, and swim caps, we were identical. The thousands of spectathletes lining the shore would be completely and totally unable to pick me out of the crowd of 2,556 athletes in the water. That anonymity was strangely comforting.  Before, at packet pickup, I stood out like a sore thumb — I didn’t belong there. Race morning, with only my head bobbing up and down in the water, I certainly looked like an Ironman hopeful. I just hoped over the course of the day, I could prove I was deserving of being a part of that race. Silently, I reminded myself of my goal: Finish, have fun, and be a *&^%ing Ironman.

Mission accomplished

14 hours, 23 minutes, and 42 seconds.

On paper, it seems like such a long time.

In reality, those 14 hours, 23 minutes, and 42 seconds of September 12, 2010 went by way too fast. It was — dare I say? — fun.

Don’t get me wrong: it was challenging. There were parts that tested my abilities. I used muscles I didn’t even really know I had. But for something that was supposed to be a sufferfest, I never really suffered.

Maybe it’s because I trained well in the months, weeks, and days leading up to race day.

Maybe it’s because I raced conservatively and executed my race plan the way I was told.

Maybe it’s because I had the support and love of my incredible friends and amazing family members that day.

Maybe it’s because it’s really hard to suffer too much when you run out of the swim and everyone moos at you, or you have a crazy spectathlete in a pink speedo or an Indian headdress running alongside you up the hardest climbs of the bike, screaming “SUCK IT UP! DO YOU WANNA BE AN IRONMAN OR NOT?”

But I smiled and laughed a lot over the course of those 14-plus hours.

A revelation

At about mile 15 on the run, I saw a lot of people begin to hit the proverbial “wall.” They began to cramp up, walk, and sit down at the aid stations. I was waiting for it to happen to me. At about Mile 20, I had been running alongside an athlete for about 5 minutes when I realized he was saying something to me. I looked at him and asked him to repeat himself.

“This feels like death. God.”

He dropped back and began walking while I kept going. As I looked at the trail ahead of me, I thought about what he said, and took stock of how I was feeling.

Death? Really?

I’d never felt more alive than I did during that race.

The final stretch

I never hit that wall. I maintained the same pace at the finish that I did at the start. As I turned the final corner toward the finish, all alone, I saw a mass of humanity under the bright lights of the finish chute. For 400 meters, there were hundreds of people, all cheering, roaring my name, and beckoning me to the finish.

I started out the race as an anonymous part of 2,556 Ironman hopefuls. When I crossed that finish line, I was an independent racer. I was someone who achieved her goal.

I was an Ironman.

Anyone can do it. Anyone.

Every day, you probably wake up and use your muscles, your bones, and your skin without really thinking about it. If you take a moment to really consider it, you can be inspired every day.  The human body is capable of accomplishing great things.

Your human body is capable of accomplishing great things.

Don’t take it for granted. Don’t simply be content with doing “just enough.” Don’t underestimate yourself. Whether it’s finally running that first 5K without stopping, contorting yourself into a complicated pose for yoga, hiking to the top of a mountain, or doing an Ironman, your body is capable of it. You only need to identify what it is you want, work toward it, get the support of friends and family, and — most importantly — believe it.

It no longer matters if anyone can do it.

What truly matters is that you can do it.

Thank you a million times over to everyone who sent me e-mails, text messages, Facebook messages, and cupcakes (ohhh, the cupcakes!) in the days leading up to the race. A HUGE thank you to everyone who was cheering for me on race day, whether in person or in spirit. I’m overwhelmed and humbled by all the support I got from you, and hope I made you proud.

Now that I’ve drank the Ironman Kool-Aid, I’m addicted. I plan on registering to do Ironman Arizona in fall of 2011. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to resting, recovering, doing some shorter races for fun, and, if you’ll let me, writing – I love providing you with information, experiences, and random thoughts to enhance your awesomeness as a No Meat Athlete.



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  1. Congratulations!!!! Susan, this was the perfect post for me to read today – I signed up for a chance to run the Boston marathon on Monday and today was our first group run. I struggled a bit with the 4 miles (“and if I struggle with 4, how will I do 26?!” I asked myself…) so I was feeling a little uncertain.
    But as another former chubster 21 year old girl, you absolutely inspire me. If you can do an Ironman, I can run the Boston Marathon. Thank you!!!

    • You badass! You can do this! Because you can do 4, you can do 26. Rock on, and keep me posted on how you’re doing!

      • Susan your a rockstar. I love your positive attitude and energy. I signed up for my first triathlon. It’s a full ironman. I’ve been training a lot. I believe in myself. Your story just made me stronger. Again, thank you and congratulations.

  2. What an inspiring story!! It makes me want to go outside and run! From another weight loser who is running her first 1/2 marathon next month, Congratulations Susan!! 🙂

  3. You’re an inspiration!!

  4. You ROCK!!! I love the picture of you finishing. Awesome! I’m so inspired right now.

  5. This is so awesome! I actually got a little teary-eyed when I read it. With you not hitting a wall, you may have hot your niche. This may be *your* thing!

  6. Jenna Eschenbauch says:

    Susan, as a former competitive runner who is trying to find the motivation to get back into racing, thank you for your story! you are truly inspiring !! you make me want to get out there 🙂

  7. WOW! Congrats!! I was very hesitant about registering for an IM, but at the nudging from friends, I registered for IM Wisconsin 2011–your story is just what I needed to read… Very reassuring. Thanks!

    • I’ll be there again next year, Mario — not as a racer, but as a spectathlete! You can bet your booty I’ll be cheering for you. Keep me posted on how training is going for you, and let me know if I can help you in any way!

  8. Fantastic job, Susan! Congratulations on an incredible achievement and welcome to the Ironman club! You are right, anyone can do an Ironman. All it takes is a little resolve, a sprinkle of tenacity, a drop of dedication, some discipline (unwavering!), one or two bouts of burnout, many hours on the pool, bike, and trails, a good support system, an absurd amount of faith, and frankly, a little bit of insanity. In case you haven’t noticed, you’ve got all that. Good luck in IMAZ next year. I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t go under 13 hours there. 😉

    • I think the moral of the story here: Susan is a little bit insane.

      Thanks for your support! A sub-13 hour IMAZ is ambitious for me, but I’ve got over a year to train…who knows? Maybe I’ll finally actually quit whining and start pushing myself more. 😉

  9. Wow, what an accomplishment! Thanks for the motivation.

  10. Best finish line picture ever! Congrats!

  11. Great job Susan! Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Good Job!!! You’re a muthaf*cking Ironman!!! 🙂

  13. Congratulations!!! And great finish line pic. 🙂
    Very inspirational… especially since I will be running my first marathon in November!

  14. Susan: you make it look so easy! Wow, congrats on the amazing finish. Truly remarkable you are!

  15. Congratulations!! It was great reading out your experiences over the last few months. I complete my first Ironman 70.3 this summer and am debating about going longer 🙂
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Congrats on your first 70.3! I bet you must have felt so great to finish…and the fact that you’re thinking about going longer means you had a good experience — YAY! 🙂

  16. So I’m a Madison resident and ended up spending 9+ hours watching the race. All through it I thought “could it be possible that someday I could do this – I want to, but I don’t swim/haven’t biked further than 20 miles/am not that athletic”. But this little part of me wants to… and this post helped that desire grow just a bit :).

  17. Congratulations Susan! That was super inspiring to read and I even teared up a little reading this on my phone earlier at work. (Luckily no one saw me…) I love your finish line photo! Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

  18. Absolutely loved reading this. Congratulations on a fantastic journey!!

  19. I loved reading this post! Congrats Susan…you did awesome! How exciting for you!

  20. So inspiring…GREAT JOB!!! I want do one someday…we’ll see!

  21. Wow, did someone really “moo?!”
    You look absolutely healthy and athletic; I would think that athletes would have a little more decorum.

    Congratulations on completing an Ironman.
    I need to complete a 5k before I think about anything longer than that!

    • I got the impression that people were just being weird and silly- not that someone was targeting Susan in a nasty way. Maybe I just don’t want to believe anyone would be so mean.

      Susan, I am so impressed! I don’t know that I’d ever want to do an Ironman myself- I’m not a big fan of biking or swimming- but it looks so awesome! I just did a 30k (my longest race yet), and I hope to work up to ultras someday 🙂

    • Mooing is a tradition. Wisconsin IS the dairy state, after all! 🙂 Every Ironman has an acronym, like IMCDA (Ironman Coeur d’Alene), IMSG (Ironman St. George), etc. Wisconsin is “technically” IMWI, but many people referto it as IMOO.

      So moo on, my friends! Moo on…

  22. I got tired just reading this, and yet you had the energy for a leap of pride at the finish line! Bravo, you are such an inspiration and this made me tear up a little (and I’m a coldhearted you-know-what). Congratulations!

  23. how inspiring! I’m a long way from achieving something like that but I know I’ll get there. =)

    Just stumbled upon your blog =)

  24. wow, what an inspiring post!!! i’m seriously looking up ironmans right now. it’s something that i’ve always wanted to secretly say, i did. it’s such an amazing accomplish!!! way to go!!!

  25. I love this!!! I want to do an iron man so bad!! What was your training schedule like? And were you a really good swimmer before? thats the toughest part for me, so I was just wondering. And one last thing: that is bada$$ 🙂

    • It’s hard to describe my training schedule briefly. Maybe in a future post I will, but honestly, the best advice I can give you is to talk with other triathletes (your local tri clubs are great places to start) and ask what they’ve done…most triathletes are very happy to help newbies enter the field. I don’t know what I would have done without my IronYoda giving me advice and insight!

  26. Hey Susan – Congrats and welcome to the Ironman family! I completed my first this past May – Ironman St. George. Like you, I felt truly alive during the race – I think I’m smiling in every one of my race photos. I’m doing Ironman Arizona this November and plan on signing up for the 2011 race as well. Maybe I’ll see you there!

    • I was volunteering at IMSG – what an amazing race! I’ll be volunteering at IMAZ, too! Let me know your bib number, and I will be sure to cheer you on!

  27. Susan, this is one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever read. I am printing it out and saving it for future re-reads.

    I’ve been following your guest posts with a lot of interest (vicarious interest – I don’t know how to swim so a tri of any distance is still a way’s away) and wanted to congratulate you on completing the Ironman!

    I’m still not convinced that anyone could od it – you did something amazing that only a tiny fraction of people would even consider let alone attempt. And the fact that you did it happily, joyfully and without taking yourself too seriously is an even greater triumph! Thank you so much for writing this!!

    • THANK YOU for your kind words! That gave me a serious case of the warm-fuzzies!

      You can do anything you set your mind to, Monika. I’d be happy to be an extra cheerleader rooting you on!

  28. WOW! i totally teared up reading that. what you wrote is really resonating with me right now.

    i signed up to do IMCA 2011 . . . despite the fact that i’ve only done one sprint tri when i was like 12. people think i’m nutso, but my standard response is “it doesn’t occur to me that i can’t do it.” to elaborate on that, i honestly believe ANYONE can accomplish something like this as long as they wrap their head around the “i can do anything concept”, kick the prospect of failure to the curb, and train dutifully.

    that being said, i do have fear and apprehension. a lot of it stems from what you mentioned here- being a mere mortal among a sea of superhuman hardbodies. it’s really comforting and inspiring to read a fellow “regular” person’s IM account.

    huge congrats and all the best on next your IM! ps love that finish line photo!!

  29. Great job, Susan!

  30. Congrats on a solid finish – I was there, volunteering and cheering at bike aid station #2 in Mt. Horeb, the day after finishing my second half-iron. No IM-Wisconsin for me until my wife increases my allowance. 🙂

    • The volunteers at IMWI were amazing! Thank you so, so, so much. I hope many NMA readers consider volunteering at a race (any race – even their local 5K!) in the near future. It’s great to give back.

  31. Congrats! 14+ hours of constant motion…incredible!

  32. Wow, what an encouraging post! Seriously! I have the tendency to say, I could never do that quite a bit. Lately I’ve been slacking on my running, but this makes me want to pick it back up again. Who knows, maybe I will even do an Ironman one day 🙂

  33. Hay!! Nice job out there. You should have seen the look on your face when you first saw us in the pink speedos!!


  34. CONGRATS susan!!! so inspiring 🙂 maybe one day i’ll get there~ glad you had such a fun day!

  35. holy shit! what an inspiration! I just did my first half marathon – loved it – and so far, I’ve been all “triathlon? meh” but now I’m going “hmmmm….” congratulations! and that finish photo is delightful!

  36. Hi Susan!
    I’ve been anxiously awaiting this post to see a recap of your Ironman. Congratulations!!! I stumbled upon the No Meat Athlete blog just before your Ironman. I’ve run marathons and have done a sprint and an olympic tri and was supposed to do a 1/2 ironman earlier this month. I’m so bummed I didn’t do it 🙁 and its hard for me to talk but know I will complete a 70.3 and an Ironman one day. I really enjoy your writing.

  37. ***Goosebumps all over me***Congratulations on your grand accomplishment and thank you for feeding my soul with inspiration!!!!

  38. Congratulations Susan! I hope to someday do one of those.

    With the way you jumped and posed at the finish, it only tells me that you could probably have finished faster. I’ve never seen anyone so happy after a grueling activity… not even the men and women who finished first place.

    By the way, what are you wearing on your calves? I wore a calf support for a race I did last year, but I’ve never seen the ones you’re wearing. Did they help?

    • I wasn’t trying to finish fast…for my first one, I was just trying to FINISH! 🙂 For my next Ironman, I’ll set some more detailed goals now that I know what to expect come race day. I also will have the “home field advantage” — the race course for Ironman Arizona is less than 8 miles from my house. 🙂

      I’m wearing compression sleeves on my calves – I wore them the entire race day…under my wetsuit, on the ride, and during the run. They helped with circulation tremendously. Matt’s done a review of them – search for “compression socks” in the search box in the right-hand corner of your screen.

  39. I just happened on your blog and wanted to tell you that your ironman entry has me in tears, so moved and inspired, I can’t even put into words how I am feeling. I want to thank you for sharing your beautiful story, and say WOW
    and congratulations!!!

  40. congratulations susan! that is truly an accomplishment – i live in madison and was so inspired watching seeing you all cross the finish line!!!

  41. thanks for the excellent recap! really make me want to go try one sooner than later 🙂

  42. This made me so happy and so excited to read. I am training right now and working on my endurance, hoping to get into a marathon soon. I loved this article/story so much.

  43. CONGRATS!!! IMWI 2010 was my first IM. I had only completed 2 Triathlons before IMWI. I was in one Tri this summer where I had 3 flats! Another one with a broken chain!! I was seriously nervous about the IM and my past luck. Also, for those concerned about the swim. I was totally freaked. I am 45 years old, and learned how to swim about 1.5 years before the IM (one single lap exhausted me). Trust me- You can learn to swim. The keys are: you are not as tired as you think you are, relax and keep going. I think Susan will agree, no matter what time it is when you cross that finish line there are few greater things in life than hearing Mike Reilly the announcer say “______ YOU are an IRONMAN!”.

  44. This was a great post!!! I remember reading it when it was first posted, but I can’t remember if I commented or not. I will see you at IMAZ, and hopefully we can meet!! It will be my first, and I just wanted to thank you for calming some nerves that I already have!

  45. Thanks for the amazing race recap! My husband & I are training for our first triathlon(s) this summer, probably Olympic distance ones, and hope to do the Calgary 70.3 Ironman next summer.

    Your posts here have been very informative, and super inspiring (from another “not really an athlete”!).

  46. Jeez! I just signed up for my first triathlon, and came across NMA and your postings. And seriously, I just started to cry when I read this at work. Thanks so much for this… and many heartfelt congrats (many months later, the story is just as inspiring).

  47. Susan…Congrats…what you’ve done is Terrific…but I don’t think I can ever do an Ironman(Ironwoman). I’ve done 3 marathons in my fifties…now approaching 60 years old…and after having 3 years of knee pain…recently had an MRI showing a torn meniscus and shredding of the ACL…just taking the dogs for a neighborhood walk is a challenge. I’m depressed, and have been told I should never run another marathon…or jump rope with my grandchildren. I’ve been swimming…which is ok…but it’s just not the same. Arrgh….

  48. I love your spirit but doubt your argument. But you have definitely inspired me!

    Also, I saw that you lost a bunch of weight relatively recently. That may be the reason that you think you look like an outside among Iron(wo)man triathletes–but trust me, to a stranger, you look like you fit right in!

  49. You’re so rad, Susan. I’m a relative noob at this distance running thing (doing my first half-marathon in January) but reading this makes me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. Thanks for the inspiration.

  50. Thank you for let me know youre experience, i´m already registred for my first ironman in Cozumel on november 27 2011, and my thinkin now it´s diferent, i know i can finish, thank you for inspiring me and give me the final courage!!!!

  51. So, I saw this post back when you first made it and never got a chance to read it. I’ve been given the opportunity to race the Ironman US Championships next August and have really been struggling with a decision. I’ve weighed all the pros and cons. Out of frustration, I just googled “can I do an Ironman”. What pops up? This very entry on NMA “Anyone Can Do an Ironman”.

    Thanks for reaffirming what my heart was telling me all along, haha.

    And congrats!

  52. I read your post a while ago and then re-read it today. I could not agree more with the ANYONE can do it sentiment. I just did my first iron distance last weekend and can relate to you in a lot of ways. I don’t have a big running/biking background, this was just something I set my mind to doing. I have so many friends that I KNOW could finish this race if they would get past the fear that this race is for the super elite only. I am nothing special, I followed a training plan and finished. You are so right, ANYONE CAN DO IT! Congratulations on a great race and being such an inspiration 🙂

  53. Susan, I googled, “Can anyone do a triathlon?”, and your story popped up. Thank you for your inspiration. I am signed up for Ironman Madison in 2012 and freaking out a bit. Can I do this without a coach, expensive bike and very little triathlon experience? Can I do it at all? I have run marathons, sprint triathlons and I swim a mile each week. I have read your story several times to keep me inspired and positive. Thank you again.

    • Absolutely – You have more experience than I did before I did my first Ironman!

      A coach is always nice, but not neccessary. It’s up to you to determine what works for you. If you’re self-motivated and have had success self-coaching in preparing for your marathons, you may be fine using a training plan on your own (there are many online and in books. I’ve used Gail Bernhardt’s and Endurance Nation’s plans in the past.).

      Also, check with your local running and triathlon stores to see if they know of any triathlon clubs which may offer group training events. They can be a great way to get training advice and support.

      Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions. Ironman Wisconsin is one of my favorite races!

  54. Pam-I was in the same situation as you in 2010 and completed Ironman Wisconsin and was one of the best days of my life. It was hard work and a lot of schedule shuffling but no better feeling that crossing that finish line hearing “________ YOU ARE IRONMAN!!!”

    I learned a ton and will be doing Ironman Wisconsin in 2012. If you have any questions or want to talk strategy feel free to contact me.


    • Bruce, just a question on the bike. How does my bike trainer practice compare to practice on the road? If I am 18 mph on the trainer, is that similar to what it would be on the road? Hope your training is going well, and thanks. Pam

  55. Congratulations on such an amazing achievement. I’m a reformed couch potato as well – Turned veg a year ago, vegan a month ago, and recently ran my first marathon. I’ve been considering doing an ironman for a while…your story is truly inspiring; it’s convinced me to stop considering and start training.

    Thank you so much… best of luck in your future pursuits.


  56. Very inspiring!!! I’m struggling to lose weight but pushing forward. I have about 60 lbs to lose and am interested in your back story. Thank you

  57. Jeff Parry says:

    You have hit my sentiments exactly. I signed up for my first IM before I had ever done any triathlon of any kind or 5k,marathon, swim of any kind. (CDA 2006) When people ask me about it I say. You can do it, if you want to, or “Like it’s hard?” The same response given in Legally Blond when she is accepted to Harvard, I am now training for number 7. I know I have inspired others. They look at me and say, if he can do it I can. Across the line, rubber side down…smile on my face.

  58. Hi Susan,

    Firstly, how do I know you’re real? I mean, this whole thing is just too awesome to be true!
    You ran your first 5k run, and then you trained for the Ironman? And completed it? Wow, I really hope it’s true!

    I would very much like to know more about how you prepared and how much of training is required for a “normal human being” to be able to finish the Ironman?

    On the face of it, the Ironman triathlon looks extremely difficult. And I’m not an athlete by profession but by hobby. I’m just an adventurous 22 year old guy. When I first heard about this triathlon, I thought it would be an awesome experience if I could do this atleast once in my lifetime. I ignored the dream thinking it was not feasible for someone like me who lives a busy life (and I’m lazy too :P). But now, thanks to your article, I may have to take my goal seriously 🙁

    “Anyone can do an Ironman?” Seriously? I’m willing to train properly for a few hours a week, but I really really really doubt my chances!

    • Hi JsR,
      The only thing that will determine whether you can or cannot do anything is your decision to do it. Five years ago, I started running my first 5K and hated it! It felt exhauting and I struggled to finish in just less than 30 minutes. However, I did my due deligence and read up on how other people can run effortlessly and faster than me. It’s now 5 years later and I have done 6 marathons. Ask me if I would and could have done marathons 5 years ago and I would think you were crazy. The one thing that made the difference was my decision to do it and no one was stopping me.

      8 months ago, I made another decision to do my first ironman and signed up for it. I had many skeptics around me saying it is a crazy idea as but nothing was going to stop me. My event is about one month away and the training has been challenging but rewarding. I hope your mental committment can be as strong as mine. And one more thing, you are only 22 and I am 50. Your younger age will be a big plus for you. Good luck.

  59. Susan, I am in well into my Ironman training and wanted to let you know I am still all in. My confidence waxes and wanes but I keep going forward. I continue to be inspired by your words and read your story when my confidence is at a low. Thanks again, Pam.

  60. Scott Holst says:

    What an amazing & inspirational article. I’m currently training for my first half ironman in Wisconsin. I have lost 20lbs in 2 months. I have a ways to go. Articles like this keep me going!

  61. I love the story you talled and the great advise i am 12 and think it is great that you are doing what you are doing and hope that one day i will do the same and be doing races like Ironman too.

  62. Excellent article, very inspirational.


  63. RAy Delahoussaye says:

    good for you! that’s amazing. i’ve been doing tri’s for 3 years and i am just now doing my first half ironman. I look up to you. That’s a great accomplishment. And your doing it for the right reasons! Fun, accomplishment, a healthy life! Since I started I’ve gotten 5 of my friends to start participating in them. That to me is almost more fun watching them achieve than doing the events myself!

  64. I am someone who is trying to tackle the journey of doing a half ironman in 2013. This brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing your story.

  65. Hi

    I have just started (6 weeks ago) training for the first time in 20 years. I am planning on doing IM Austria in two years time and your story is awesome, and very inspirational.

    My wife and I have been following a sort-of paleo diet for a while but I am keen to massively increase our plant food intake, mostly through green smoothies I think. (I am new to this also).

    Any help you (or anyone else) can give wold be great.



  66. Matt Chapman says:

    Hi Susan

    As a fellow former chubby I have lost 26kgs over the past 2 years and today finished my first marathon. I will now begin training for my first Ironman NZ in a weeks time and you have inspired me and given me hope that I CAN do it having only completed 1 triathlon previously.

    Thank you for sharing your story

  67. Nicole Alexa says:

    You are INCREDIBLY inspiring to me.. I’m 14 and sine i was 8 i wanted to complete an ironman… I Think its fascinating what people do and Now i’ve decided that i’m doing it when i turn 18(Think thats the limit) and im getting there… Im training… I run 3k everyday in every weather with no exceptions.. I run to School and back 4,5 k total i run to my fitnesscenter and i run to my dancing lessons, really i run where its possible….. Im gonna be an IRONMAN!!! Thank you for making me believe that “Anyone can be an ironman!” Im grateful… (Sorry for Weird Capital letters in the middle of sentences, pst…..IPHONES!!!)

  68. Calesse Cardosi says:

    I’m just curious. about how many hours a week did you dedicate to your training and how many months did you train for?

  69. Wanna give it a try also myself now. Have considered that ironman for years. I guess everyone (almost) can do it. Great post.

  70. Congratulations on completing your 1st ironman.
    This year i completed my 1st triathlon at 35 years of age. Apparentley it is the toughest in the country ,did not realise until after i signed up (The slateman,wales) Completed in 4 hours 50 minutes.
    Next year in May,i’m doing the same course but twice in 1 weekend,Then i’m signed up for The london Triathlon in July, followed by weymouth half Ironman,then my big goal is full ironman in 2018!
    Now i’ve completed my 1st Triathlon,it’s give me a lot more confidence in life!

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