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PebbleCreek Athletes Finish Ironman

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PebbleCreek has two stars in residence that deserve hearty congratulations. Julie Walmsley and Jack Harris competed in and completed an Ironman triathlon in Los Cabos, Mexico, on March 30.

An Ironman triathlon consists of three events: a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. Athletes complete all events in one grueling 16 hour day of competition with no rest periods under timed pressure. The Los Cabos race drew 871 competitors from many countries.

After 10 months of disciplined training under the guidance of a coach, both Walmsley and Harris posted great times. Walmsley finished first in her age group (65 to 69) with a total elapsed time of 15 hours, 43 minutes in this, her first Ironman. Harris came down with intestinal flu the week of the race, unable to get out of bed for days. His wife, Jane, nursed him back to a marginal level of health by race day. Although still suffering the effects of the flu, Harris finished seventh in his division (70-74) with a time of 16 hours, 30 minutes in this, his third Ironman–a testament to his courage and stamina.

“All the training is hard on your family but it is worth doing,” Harris said. “You need to know what you are up against; it is very difficult. Training requires a coach and a training plan and you must be diligent.”

Walmsley said that when she crossed the finish line she thought, “I’ve done it. I’ve made it.” She said she’s happy that she undertook the challenge as a goal for her 65th birthday.

Both athletes participate in an active PebbleCreek bicycling group, called Arizona Flats. Each Saturday, Arizona Flats cyclists head out for rides ranging from 30 to 35 miles. Beginning in January, the group began ramping up their rides to 50 to 75 miles in preparation for their sixth annual Century Ride on March 8. The Century is a Saturday ride of 100 miles, requiring about seven hours of riding time, plus three 15 minute rest stops to replenish nutrients and hydrate.

Cycling with Arizona Flats was exactly what Walmsley and Harris needed to augment their rigorous training schedule (including swimming and running themselves silly). Another group that helped the intrepid competitors was PebbleCreek’s Tri-Chicks, a women’s group that competes in mini-triathlons in the Phoenix area.

Stand up and shout for Julie and Jack! Job well done!

Author: Ted Ingalls