Meet our very own IronMan Star! Jim Wagner! He took part in Traverse City’s 1st IronMan 70.3 on Aug 25. He finished 23rd out of 132 in his age group and 511 out of 2200 over all!
- What made you decide to participate in the ironman? I’ve done some shorter triathlons and some 100 mile bike rides, but I was curious how it’d feel to race for five or six hours. When I learned Ironman was coming to Traverse City, I knew it would be awesome, and wanted to compete!
- How long have you been training and what would a particular day or week of training look like? I’ve been working out fairly steadily for many years. But after signing up for the TC IM, I stepped it up and added some consistency. I didn’t follow a formal training plan, just tried to do three swim, three bike, and three run workouts each week. Two workouts per day was common, early morning swim and a run after work, about an hour each. Another favorite of triathletes is to bike and then immediately run a few miles afterward.
- What other competitions have you done in the past? Local cycle races like Iceman or Cherry Roubaix and running races, anything from 5K to marathons. I’ve done two marathons and they did not go very well, ha ha, lots of walking. I’m not a fast runner so I don’t place well in my age group at running races. I’ve had more success with triathlons because I’m a stronger swimmer and cyclist.
- What did you rank in your age group, in each segment and or overall? My overall time was 5:43:44, good for 23rd out of 132 in age group and 511 out of 2,200 overall. The day went well for me, the swim and bike were ideal. The first half of the run course felt good, but I ran out of gas about 9 miles into the run, took some walking breaks, and managed to run the last mile. I have some ideas to improve that for next time, ha! Volunteers and crowd support were fantastic. Very fun to do this in your hometown where you see friends all day. The Ironman brand is more about goal-setting and human achievement for the average athlete than about how blazing fast the top dogs can finish, which is cool.
- How did you manage to train with busy work and family schedules? 5am workouts help a lot and sometimes evening workouts would be skipped to be present for family, which was okay by me. It was easier this year because my daughter is away at college year-round and my son was a high school senior, busy/independent guy.
- Would you do it again Why or Why not? Yes, no regrets. I enjoyed both the training and the race. I may do TC IM again on 8/30/2020 because it landed on my birthday so I feel like it’s a sign that I should. I encourage anyone interested to go for it, starting with shorter triathlons. Anyone can do it!
- What was you favorite thing about this IronMan journey? Friendships, definitely. It strengthened a lot of existing friendships and I made a few new friends also. Through the summer I did some longer workouts with a group of friends. We got to know each other better and spouses too. Also we hosted a pro triathlete for the Ironman weekend at our home. Steve Kilshaw placed third overall and he is a great person. It was fun to talk triathlon and other stuff with him.