Athletes Speak to Toughness of Competing in Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga

Chattanooga-(WDEF) Swim for one mile.
Ride a bike for 56 miles.
Run for 13 miles.
All in one day.
Yeah, that’s what I want to do.
So what does possess someone to do the Ironman, or the half-Ironman like we have this weekend in Chattanooga.
One of the cool aspects of being an Ironman athlete, it’s a great conversation piece.
Said Joe Westhuizen of Australia:”Well I think most people just think you are crazy anyway so. You know you don’t want to tell people you are crazy.(laughs)”
Said Olivia Rosshurst of London:”It is a conversation starter, and I think it’s great because a lot of people have done a bit of running or a bit of swimming or a bit cycling, so they can relate to bits of it. Then they think, I can’t imagine doing that distance and putting them all together.”
Competitors take up the Ironman for a variety of reasons.
Said Jason Hovilah of Australia:”I wanted to change my life. I was having trouble sleeping and breathing. I had sleep apnea. I had a whole list of side affects that was wrong with my body. I’ve lost 50 kilos. I still love food. So if I can exercise, I can still eat a lot of food.”
Said Line Jansen of Denmark:”And I read this article about an elderly lady who had done an Ironman. Then I though okay, if she can do it, I can do it.”
The mind says yes to the Ironman, but sometimes the body says no.
Said Jansen:”I did a full Ironman in April in South Africa. After 45 kilometers on the bike, I was so nausea, and there was a long ways to go. So it was just pushing through and getting it done.”
Said Hovilah:”I get dizzy on the run, and it’s hard to know do I need water? Do I need electrolytes? Do I need salts? What does my body need?”
Reporter:”This thing seems more mental than physical. Is that true?”
Said Westhuizen:”You know I think once you really push yourself, it does become mental. It becomes just learning to suffer a little bit and learning to dig deep.”
Yes there’s suffering, but imagine the feeling of accomplishment at the finish.
Said Hovilah:”You just scream with excitement. Your fists go in the air. You’re pumping them. You want to cry.”
Said Westhuizen:”Yeah I just think realizing you can actually do more than you thought you could.”
Said Rosshurst:”You’ve watched other people do it and thought that’s amazing. I can’t believe they’ve done it. Then suddenly you’ve done it, and you think I can’t really believe it. And then that feeling stays with you and drives you on to your next one I think.”

Categories: Sports, Sports – Local Sports News

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