SIOUX CENTER, IA After the Texas Ironman competition was postponed because of COVID-19, Charlotte Kooima of Sioux Center came up with an idea to complete the competition virtually. She turned to Facebook to make it happen.
"One of our Texas Ironman groups, I threw it out there and said, hey does anyone want to virtually," said Kooima. "And all of a sudden I got a few hand waves you know and pretty soon we formed another community."
The Ironman competition consists of a two point four mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, and finishes with a 26.2 mile run. That's a total of 140 point six miles. You're required to finish the competition in under 17 hours. Kooima finished in 16 hours and 39 minutes.
"My feet were on fire. I wanted to get off my feet," said Kooima. "That was my number one thing but just more of a relief that I did it."
Kooima used a friends pool to complete the swim. For the bike portion, she used a program from her garage that has the actual Ironman course on it which provides resistance to simulate elevation changes. Then she finished with a run through the Dordt Prairie. She says completing the race from home was more challenging mentally than physically.
"Not having the atmosphere of a race with all of the spectators, the cheering, the comradery between people that you would run with and just talking and learning more to kind of take your mind off," said Kooima.
Kooima also says the end of the race was a much different experience than any other race she's ever ran.
The finish line is huge to get all of that energy and emotion," said Kooima. "My finish line was pretty much like, where's the line and when do I stop my watch?"
Kooima started training for this years Ironman competition back in January...