Ironman: What Finishing 140+ Miles Feels Like

This is Part 2 of our Series, “Ironman.” For Part 1, visit the links at the bottom of the page.

Phil Newbold's quest to become an Ironman began 19 years ago when he turned 40.

He saw a sign for the Michiana Triathlon Championships. He had never run more than 5 miles before, but that didn’t stop him.

Now, Newbold is in the middle of his intense training for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii this October.

It may be a Saturday, but Newbold is up again at 4:45 in the morning and he's back on his stationary bike for a workout by 5AM.

"When the alarm clock goes off at 4:45 in the morning, you have to get out of bed,” The 59-year-old explains. “I always tell people. The first 30 seconds after the alarm clock goes off is the hardest part.”

By 6AM, he's finished----With that workout.

Now, it’s time for a 15-mile run and we're joining him to get a small taste of what it’s like.

As we pulled out of his driveway, I asked Newbold if his routine ever gets boring.

"No not really,” the Ironman began to explain. “Every time is a little different. If it gets boring, you are probably in the wrong sport because you have to do this again and again and again."

And Newbold should know. He's finished 13 Ironman events.

But back in 1994, finishing was a question mark in Australia. A major knee injury caused him to struggle. As he came to the finish, he was given some inspiration.

"Thousands of fans in unison start chanting ‘Philip...Philip…Philip,’” Newbold explains while running down the street with his arms in the air.

“That was great because I didn't think I'd be able to race again with this injury,“ he says with a smile on his face. “That was absolutely my all-time favorite finish."

Newbold's first Ironman was in 1992. Over the course of the next 11 years, he competed in 13 Ironman events.

But he hasn’t been in one since 2003. Hawaii will be the first in 4 years for the 59-year-old.

The race will also be Newbold’s 3rd-time at the World Championship. It’s the Super Bowl of Ironman competitions.

Back in April, Newscenter 16 broke the news to Newbold that he was selected to head back to Hawaii.

After those that qualify for the championship, a random lottery selects the final 200 spots. Newbold was among the chosen few picked from the field of more than 6000.

"There are two types of people there: the very, very fast and the very, very lucky,” the Ironman said.

“I'm one of the lucky ones with the lottery. And that’s really cool because average everyday people can compete for a World Championship.”

And there's nothing quite like coming out of the lava fields and having the finish line in sight.

Mike Riley, the voice of Ironman, says your name with as much vigor and excitement as he says for those finishing 1st and 2nd.

And the crowd continues to go crazy for each finisher.

"There’s just nothing better in all of sports than to be at that finish line,” the CEO says.

“All those miles, all those hours, all that difficulty overcoming injuries--it just makes it all worthwhile."

Please click on the links below to visit Part 1 of this three part series. Part 1 shows a “Day at Work For an Ironman.”


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