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home : local news : local news May 24, 2016

8/20/2013 2:03:00 PM
Robinson man heads for Ironman
A local man is headed to Louisville, Ky., to run one of the longest triathlons in the world Aug. 25.

Stan Strohm, 61, Robinson, will compete in an Ironman triathlon, a race that includes 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and a 26.2 mile marathon.

The weather is likely to work against him.

"It'll be nice and warm," he said.

Strohm has been training in the hottest parts of the day to help acclimate himself to the expected conditions.

It's earned him odd looks from drivers and other people in the area, he said.

It's also earned him the admiration of some of his younger friends and fellow athletes.

"The guy is a rock," Todd Hoagland said. "He trains like a machine."

His goal is entirely to finish the race he said, although there is the possibility for qualifying for the "Super Bowl" of ironman competitions, the world championship in Kona, Hawaii.

Now in its 35th year, Kona is open only to those who qualify in other ironman triathlons. It includes a 2.4-mile roughwater swim and pits triathletes against 45-mph crosswinds and temperatures in the 90s.

If he does qualify, he will have to decide immediately if he wants to go on, or his spot will be offered to the next finisher.

He said the Louisville competition will take 12 to 14 hours, most of it on the bike.

The day begins with swimming, then leads directly into 112 miles of biking through the Louisville Metro area and the rolling hills of Kentucky.

The final challenge is 26.2 miles of running past such landmarks as Churchill Downs - home of the Kentucky Derby - and the University of Louisville.

This will be Strohm's first competition at this length. His most recent race was the Richland County Recreation Council White Squirrel Triathlon in Olney Aug. 3. He came in first in a field of 200 competitors with a time of 57:07.70. It was sweet revenge for last year when he pulled a muscle during the event.

That was a sprint triathlon, which is a 200 yard swim, 12 mile bike ride and 5 kilometer run.

He began his running career in the 1990s, he said, at first solely foot races and marathons. He decided to add the triathlons later.

Competing in an ironman triathlon has long been a personal goal he said, one that became more possible after his retirement from Marathon at the beginning of this year.

He said he couldn't explain why he competes in the races. He enjoys the competition and its health benefits.

"The odd part is I'm still getting faster. That's the weird part," he said.

One help was actually a foot injury, he said. It forced him to work on his biking, his weakest race. Now that the injury has healed he is feeling the benefits, he said.

He will be one of the 33 entrants in the 60 to 64 age group. There are 200 entrants in all.

His efforts can be tracked on the day of the race.

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