By Sarah Bello
Clinical dietitian Grace Laman competed in the Ironman 70.3 (half Ironman distance) in Whistler, Canada, a couple of weeks ago and finished third in her age group, qualifying for the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France.
“I have always loved running and especially the social aspect of running,” she says. “I had a number of runner friends who were doing triathlons, and it was something that I used to do prior to having kids, so I thought, ‘Why not take this up again?’ As I got more involved in training, I realized how much I enjoyed it over running alone, because every day I was doing a different sport and a different workout — so it never got dull.”
Grace says she does the half Ironman distance because the full would require hours away from her family to train, and the half is still a good challenge. The race in Canada was the fifth half Ironman she’s finished. Ironman 70.3 competitions include a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run.
Grace gets up at 4:30 in the morning to train, which takes discipline and coffee, she says. Each race venue has its own challenges, too — she’s experienced 60-degree water during the swim and 97-degree air temperature during the run portion. Her favorite part about racing is seeing her family and how excited they are. She says she can tell by the way they cheer whether she is ahead or behind the competition.
“It honestly is the best part of the whole race,” she says.
By including her family in her races and training, Grace has built-in accountability and support, what she says is essential for getting into triathlons.
“Then, find a fun race, sign up for it and start training,” she says. “It is so much easier to get up at 4:30 a.m. to get on my bike trainer when my husband is also up and riding his bike!”
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