Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Two years ago, Harrison resident Tony Maxwell could barely swim 20 yards without stopping. Now he’s a two-time Ironman.
The Ironman triathlon is a competition that includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride and 26.2-mile marathon distance run.
Maxwell said his ability to complete the competition twice came in part from the support he received by being a member of the Chattanooga Triathlon Club and training with another member, Liz Regnitz.
“If it wasn’t for her I never would’ve done it,” he said. “She kept me motivated a lot. There would be days when I would wake up to run at 4 or 5 in the morning after I hadn’t gotten home until midnight [to go exercise]. Knowing someone is counting on you helps a lot.”
Having that accountability and peers who could help improve each other’s skills were major factors in Maxwell’s success, he said. In addition to training with Regnitz, he said he also watched other club members’ techniques and practiced with them during weekly workouts. The biggest hurdle for Maxwell was improving his swimming, he said.
“I have a fear of open water and it was hard to overcome that,” he said. “But now, whenever I finish a swim I feel like I’ve really accomplished something.”
After the holidays, triathlon training will gear up and Maxwell encourages people interested in completing races to join the club. It recently started a mentorship program that partners members together to help them achieve their goals.
Although Maxwell has his eye on one last Ironman competition, he said he will be happy to give up the more than 20 hours a week of training to do some smaller races around town and the region.
“It’s addictive,” he said of competing. “Once you do one you’re already wanting to do another.”
The Chattanooga Triathlon Club meets the fourth Monday of every month in a variety of locations. Membership dues cost $25 per person or $40 per family. In addition to admission to the meetings, members of the club get access to the triathlon forum and the club’s weekly workouts.
For more information about the Chattanooga Triathlon Club visit www.chattanoogatriathlonclub.org.