Leavenworth resident Ann Parthemore competed in the Half Ironman World Championships earlier this year in September. The Las Vegas race was on Sept. 9 and consisted of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run.
Parthemore finished the competition in 5 hours, 22 minutes and one second, putting her in 24th place out of the 111 finishers in the women's 30-34 age group.
1. To begin with, how did you originally get involved in trialthons?
I ran high school track and cross country and continued doing marathons and road races as an adult. Since I also enjoyed swimming and cycling, I was interested in trying a triathlon for a while, but I always was busy with other things.
Living in Europe, I had a teaching job that wasn't really full time, so I needed some kind of hobby and decided I would do the local sprint triathlon. Given my running background, I generally enjoy the run the most since it is my chance to catch everyone who had a great swim. But I also enjoy the speed of the bike leg.
2. When did participating in the Half Ironman World Championships realistically enter your mind and why?
Qualifying for this race has been my goal since my first Half Ironman last year. I succeeded this year by finishing fifth in my age group at the Half Ironman in Lawrence, on June 10.
In addition to doing many different races over the summer, I really prioritized heat acclimatization. I took advantage of our hot summer and did all of my workouts in mid-afternoon.
As the weather here cooled off, I went to the sauna to stay ready.
3. What was the hardest part of the Half Ironman? When was your weakest moment during the race?
The bike course in Las Vegas was definitely challenging — the course leaves Lake Las Vegas and goes about 20 miles into the Lake Meade National Reservoir before turning around and heading down into Henderson.
There were a few tough climbs as we were leaving the park that really took a toll on me; that is the part of the race where the initial excitement has worn off, but you know there is still a ways to go before the finish.
At that point it was around 10:30 a.m. and we were starting to feel the heat.
4. After completing it, what instant emotions did you feel? Looking back months later, what emotions do you feel now towards the experience?
Preceding the race, I was in awe of all the other outstanding athletes around me. Once I crossed the finish line, I was just glad that I survived and stayed mentally strong the entire way.
I knew that my time would be slower than some of my other races given the course and the heat, but I was happy with my final time and very happy with 24th place out of over 100 people.
Page 2 of 2 - Now I'm really proud of what I have accomplished and still find it a little surreal to see it in print.
5. Going forward, do you have plans of doing the race or similar undertakings in the future?
I am always looking to improve on things, so I'll definitely be doing more Half Ironman races in the future. We are moving back to Europe next year, so I'm looking forward to racing in different countries again.
Within a few years, I'd like to attempt a full Ironman.
– Brent Lager