My name is Gini Fellows. In August of 2016, I will turn 70 years old, and I am doing Ironman Florida. This will be my first, and last, full Ironman triathlon. My goal is to finish within the 17 hours allowed for this distance. I am going to blog my journey to Ironman Florida, which is being held November 5, 2016.
I spent years teaching swimming, and driving our son, Patrick, to swim practice and swim meets. I was active, but never competed in any sport. Prior to nine years ago I swam, had a bike, which gathered a lot of dust, and did not run.
I had knee surgery and was rehabbing my knee when Patrick, a triathlete who puts on races and trains athletes for endurance events, suggested I do a women-only super sprint triathlon, a series of triathlons, that he and a friend were starting. I thought why not, as long as I didn’t have to run.
My swim was ok, I started too fast, my old comfort fat-tire bike took me the 12 miles, and I walked the run portion. I came in first in my age group and fat-tire division.
Within 6 months I bought two new bikes and began doing 5k races. Apparently I was hooked.
For the next few years I did 2 or 3 sprint triathlons a year. In 2013, I decided I wanted to try an Ironman 70.3, which is a half Ironman. Pat said he would train me, so I signed up for Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Even though I was a good swimmer, open water swimming unnerved me. I completed the race despite my chain breaking during the race, and was 3rd in my age group. I also qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, in 2014. I did Ironman 70.3 Texas in Galveston in the spring of 2014, and came in first in my age group.
I am not that fast! There just are not a lot of ladies who are competing. That spring I did a couple more sprints, and headed for Mont Tremblant in the fall of 2014. I finished the race, which is all that I cared about.
Last year I decided to do only sprint distance triathlons. I really missed the races and started asking my coach if he thought I could do a full Ironman. He said it will be hard but you can do it. Last fall I volunteered at Ironman Florida and signed up. I have been building a base and am starting to do more distance, and more difficult workouts. I also have added weight workouts 2 to 3 times per week.
I look forward to blogging my journey to Ironman Florida.