Ironman draws residents

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By Mickey Patterson

CRESTWOOD – The Louisville Ironman contest will have more local flavor than just the bike course winding through Oldham County this year.

So far there are 22 residents from the county or Prospect entered in the Aug. 31 race that features a 2.4 mile swim in the Ohio River at Waterfront Park in downtown Louisville along with a 112-mile bike race that starts at Waterfront Park and winds through the Prospect/Goshen area to La Grange back through Buckner and ends at the park.

It’s all topped off by a 26.2 mile marathon run through Louisville.

“A lot of us belong to the Oldham County YMCA and have kind of started a little workout/support group online and we meet to train together,” Dr. Ashli Collins of Crestwood said.

Collins, a veteran of 10 marathons including the Chicago and New York races, will be undertaking her first Ironman.

“It’s been a lifelong goal of mine to do it at least once,” Collins said. “My current plan is to do it at least this one time and see how it goes.”

Collins began her training in January with plenty of help from her family. Her husband, Dr. Paul Loheide is an avid runner as is her son P.J., and her daughter Sarah swims with her.

She also has a pair of close friends she trains with – Keith Cummins of La Grange and Andrea Faulk of Crestwood.

Faulk is another first-timer who took swimming lessons for the first time this winter so she could compete.

“The three of us are our own little group,” Collins said.

Collins said most of the competitors train six-days a week with a run that can last up to three hours and a bike ride from two to six hours.

The Ironman will draw some of the top tri-athletes in the world who make their living in the races.

For the local racers, the motivation is much different.

“It’s really an honor to go out there and be on the course with these profressionals,” Collins said. “Most of us though are not out there to beat anyone else, we’re just competing against ourselves. Just trying to see what our bodies can do.”

With so many of the top Ironman competitors coming to the area, Collins said it’s important that Oldham County residents realize the chance they have to see these top notch endurance athletes perform and to put the county on a national and worldwide stage.

“It’s really a huge deal for the county to be involved in this with people coming in from all over the world,” Collins said. “We traveled to a half-Ironman in Texas and everyone we talked to there loved the Louisville race and especially the biking part. A lot of them told us it was the most beautiful set of roads they had ever biked on. This is something I hope the county can really get behind and support.”

With six weeks to go, Collins, her training partners and her family are going full speed ahead to prepare.

“My whole family has been committed to this one day,” Collins said. “It’s been an interesting adventure.”

In addition to Collins, Faulk and Cummins, entrants from the Crestwood area are Brad Wolff, Scott Binzer, Kris Frazier, Chris Halioris, Christina Halioris, Shannon Snider and Paul Vance.

From Pewee Valley is Dannis Hughbanks. From La Grange are Allan Wallace, Tom Thornton and Herb Head. From the Prospect/Goshen area are Marshall Edmondson, Mitch Horton, Mike Kresge, Ted Lee, Cara Mains, David Miller, Rick Rawlings, Robert Rounsavall and Donald Weber.

E-mail us about this story at: sports@oldhamera.com.