Employees on the Go: Mark Wolf and Paul Fishburn

Taking their personal fitness goals to a whole new level, C&A employees Mark Wolf and Paul Fishburn competed in their first indoor Ironman, triathlon event. Common Ground Recreational Center in Elkhorn, Nebraska held the indoor, week-long event in May.

Here’s what Mark had to say about their experience in training for and competing in this endurance event.

Tell us about the indoor Ironman competition you completed:
We had 10 days to complete 85 laps of swimming, 26.2 miles of running, and 112 miles biking.

How many other individuals competed in the event?
There were five others but this Ironman was based on an honor system. We could do any of the events in any order, as long as all of the events were completed in 10 days. As an example, we decided to “Eat the biggest frog first” and take on the swimming. We completed the 85 laps in 3 hours and 50 minutes on the first Saturday morning it started. It really surprised us that we could complete the 85 laps in one morning since both us are not proficient swimmers!

What made you decide to take the leap to such an intense event?
Both of us love to eat and drink and as a result, we are not in the shape we strive to be in.

How long did you train, and what did you do to prepare?
Paul trained by swimming 50 laps and running a couple miles over a couple weeks before it started. He figured since he had 10 days, it wasn’t that big of deal. However he experienced severe cramping during the last 10 laps of swimming and also had to miss 3 days. As a result, he had to run 8 miles and bike 50 miles on the final day to get through the finish line. That was tough. A week or so before it started, I really increased my intake of bananas & complex carbs.

Was it easier training and accomplishing this with a partner?
Definitely. We were able to talk to each other during the running and biking, making the time go by quicker. Of course we pushed each other being the competitors we are.

What recommendations would you share with someone thinking about accomplishing this same thing?
Get some really good running shoes, swimming goggles & ear plugs and drink tons of water a few days before starting and during.

The biking was more difficult than expected, primarily because of the small seat on the stationary cycle. Spend some time on the bike along with running & swimming before too.

How did you do? How close did you come to meeting your goal / time expectations set for yourself?
We completed the event on time and what makes me even more proud is we did not cheat 1 mile!

Would you do this again? And if so, would you do anything different?
I would do this again although bike more at the beginning so my rear-end can ‘recover’ until the next ride a few days later!

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