On June 10th, the months of hard training that consisted of early morning swims before work, long weekend days on the bike, and long runs on tired legs came to fruition for many Paragon athletes in the form of Ironman Boulder 140.6. This race was the “A” race for both seasoned in Ironman and those who chose this race to be their first. The race took place in Boulder, Colorado. With an altitude of over 5,000ft of elevation and record highs in temperature across the state, the athletes were faced with even more challenges throughout the long day. Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, the athlete’s hard work over the many months kept them focused on the finish line so that they could hear those sacred words, “You are an Ironman!”. Paragon Summer Running Coach, Valerie Lozano described the event as, “The hardest race of my life”.
Team Paragon brought 7 first time Ironman competitors to the race. Emi Nix was one such athlete who chose this race to be her first Ironman, waking up at 4:00 am on a regular basis to get multiple workouts in before work. She went from not knowing how to swim in the beginning of her training to cruising through 2.4 miles in the Boulder Reservoir with no issues on the big day.
The true Cinderella story of the race came in the form of Justin Mckenzie. Justin stopped on the bike leg to help a fellow athlete who had fallen into a ditch. With the clock ticking down to the 17 hour cut-off, Justin was forced to push hard during the latter portion of the marathon. While those around him were walking, Justin ran hard and closed out the last 5k with his fastest of the race. Despite his valiant effort, he missed the 17 hour cut-off by an agonizing 32 seconds. His good sportsmanship embraces the spirit of what Ironman competition is all about. He truly is an Ironman in the eyes of his teammates and his competitors.
Last weekend, on June 16th, Anna Kurz competed in the USA Cycling Masters road race. She placed 8th in the 50-54 age group against a field of close knit competition. She was prepared to race the Crit on Sunday, eager to better her performance from the day before, but a severe storm and a fallen tree blocked her car in and she wasn't able to drive! Thankfully, her car and her bike are perfectly safe.
Sunday, June 10: Ironman Boulder
Mark Saroni: 3rd in 25-29 Age Group- 9:45:05
Ildar Mannapov: 54th in 25-29 Age Group- 15:32:35
Justin Nix: 45th in 30-34 Age Group-12:37:35
Will Nix: 12th in 18-24 Age Group – 12:37:15
*Michael Chiang: 59th in 25-29 Age Group- 15:44:51
*Max Budovskiy: 68th in 25-29 Age Group -16:52:58
*Ryan Sewalt: 17th in 18-24 Age Group- 14:35:11
*Colin Campbell: 18th in 18-24 Age Group- 14:41: 45
Valerie Lozano: 5th in 18-24 Age Group-12:47:19
*Jennifer Upton: 51 in 40-44 Age Group-15:54:31
*Emi Nix: 26th in 30-34 Age Group- 13:44:55
*Justin Mckenzie - People’s Champion
*FIRST TIME FINISHERS
Saturday, June 16: USA Cycling Masters National Championship
Anna Kurz: 8th place in 50-54 Age Group
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San Antonio Triathlon Team - San Antonio Triathlon Coach