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July 8th, 2009
Texas State triathletes finish grueling course

STAFF REPORT

Texas State Triathlon Club members recently completed the Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman Triathlon 70.3 on June 20. It is considered the most difficult Ironman 70.3 in the entire circuit.

The team, consisting of Krista Betzing, Brian Jackson and Guinevere McDaid, trained for months before the event, which draws competitors from all over the world. The event consisted of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run. There is no rest between the components. The team trained 10 to 15 hours a week to prepare.

“You definitely have to have character to be in such a committed sport,” Betzing said. “It is a whole other beast.”

The swim portion was in an open-water lake, the difficulty of which was added to by choppy waves due to rainfall. After the swim, contestants exited via a cement boat dock within 20 yards of a transitional area. Then, contestants entered the bike portion, containing eight hills ranging from .25 miles to 1.2 miles.

“I felt like I spent half of the bike course climbing these spiraled hills,” McDaid said, “all on very rough and bumpy asphalt. I got a flat about 10 miles into it, and that was discouraging.”

The final portion was a run on asphalt, with three hills approximately 300-880 yards long.

“I hurt more on that run than any run I have ever done in my life,” Jackson said. “I could actually feel every muscle in my legs rioting against me. It was unpleasant, but I‘ll likely do it again.”

Continued Jackson, ” “Many triathletes are slightly masochistic. So a four to eight hour endurance event that completely drains you physically and mentally sounds almost too good to be true.”

The whole team relied on each other, and race mantras, which are self motivational tools, to make it through the grueling event.

“This race brought the three of us closer together,” McDaid said. “We struggled through the toughest race of our lives that day, and in the end we stood side by side.”

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