Group support helps lift local Ironman athletes

35 athletes from area competed at Ironman Canada

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

They did everything they could to prepare for the test of Subaru Ironman Canada, to be physically and emotionally ready to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and finally to run 26.2 miles.

The one element participants in the Aug. 28 triathlon could not be ready for was temperatures that soared into the upper 90s. But with months of training to count on — along with the support of teammates and family — athletes from Clark County didn’t wilt.

Among the 35 athletes with ties to Clark County who finished the race, 30 of them trained at Lacamas Swim and Sport in Camas. Having familiar faces around helped them through the race.

“Whether it was just walking around town, or during the event, there was always a friendly face nearby to encourage or to commiserate with,” Lisa Wourms of Camas said.

The top finisher from Clark County was Joshua Monda of Vancouver with a time of 10 hours, 31 minutes and 46 seconds that was 10th fastest among 126 amateur men ages 25-29. First to finish among the Lacamas Swim and Sport group was Ian Rogers with a time of 45 seconds more than 11 hours.

Terri Anderson of Washougal finished her first Ironman in 14 hours, 31 minutes and 38 seconds. Despite taking an hour longer than planned on the bike, the 56-year-old easily met her goal of finishing in less than 15 hours and enjoying herself “as much as possible.”

Propelling oneself 140.6 miles through water, over mountains and through summer heat is not an easily enjoyable adventure. But the sense of accomplishment, and the knowledge that friends and family were there for support, helped push both Ironman rookies and veterans to the finish.

“I was surprised at how fast 12 hours can fly by,” said Wourms, who finished her first Ironman triathlon in 12:17:12. “And how do-able the training was while working full time and having four kids.”

Wourms was one of several moms among the Lacamas Swim and Sport group who said the support of their children and husbands helped them cope with the challenges on race day.

“As I ran through the finish ... my daughters held up my finish banner and my son gave me a high five and a huge proud smile,” said Stacey Lake of Vancouver. “That was the best feeling, to share this event with them.”

Lake had hoped to finish in under 12 hours. A flat tire on the bike ride cost her about 13 minutes and put her in a “sour mood” knowing that she wouldn’t be able to make up for that lost time given the temperatures. Still, she bettered her previous Ironman time of 12:08 thanks to a 4:17 marathon.

“It was very hard to run in 96-degree temps,” Lake said. “I pushed through the desire to jump in the lake.”

Lacamas Swim and Sport owner Denise Croucher — whose passion for triathlons and the Ironman challenge was primarily responsible for getting more than 30 gym members to commit to Ironman Canada — finished an Ironman for the third time. She completed the 140.6 miles in just under 14 hours.

Croucher has a wall at her club with pictures of each Lacamas Swim and Sport member who has completed an Ironman triathlon. Wourms said she thought about that wall as she made her way from aid station to aid station along the marathon course.

“I really wanted to have a time I was proud of up on the wall,” Wourms said. “The heat dashed that a bit for all of us, but I’m very happy with my performance.”

(Results for Clark County athletes who completed the Subaru Ironman Canada are listed in the Community Sports Scoreboard.)