Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa server ready for Ironman Triathlon
When Sunday's Ironman race gets underway in Mirror Lake, Joni Gerken, a server at the Mirror Lake Inn's The View Restaurant, hopes to deliver a personal best time in her second full-length triathlon.
Mirror Lake Inn server Joni Gerken at her night job when not training during the day
Gerken, whose previous Ironman occurred in 2008 where she finished in 12 hours, 28 minutes, will take the plunge in mild Mirror Lake at 7 AM to begin her quest.
"I never thought I'd do it again," said Gerken earlier this evening. "But I've become more of an athlete and thought I'd try again."
Over the years, the slender athlete has competed in marathons in Boston, New York City, Ottawa and Lake Placid. She told the blog - not jokingly - that training for the 2012 Ironman began the day she signed up last summer.
Gerken continues a history of Mirror Lake Inn employees that have tackled one of the most demanding of the Ironman layouts. It's 2.2 miles of swimming, followed by 112 miles on a bike, and concluding with a 26 mile run. The last two legs of the event will ask the 2,800 competitors to negotiate a number of long, classic climbs.
"Training has gone well," she continued. "Swimming is my weakest part, but I am confident in the water, and I'm good at the run. But biking is more than just me."
It's a reference to the mechanical elements involved in the bike leg and making sure all parts function properly.
"So that's my least favorite. I've worked on this the most."
She has also made it a point to train in the recent heat, just in case race day turns hot.
"Training in this heat has been an issue. You need to take in water, but not so much that it makes you sick. But there is a forecast for a little rain. I'd be okay with that."
Come Sunday night, when Lake Placid's 14th Ironman ends, Gerken hopes to shave about an hour from her 2008 time.
"I'm shooting for 11 hours, 30 minutes or lower."
As for advice to those contemplating an Ironman competition, Gerken told the blog, "Anyone can do it. It's about time, dedication and the determination to do it."
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