Ironman races are considered one of the world’s most difficult one-day sporting events due to the high level of mental resilience and the fitness level needed to participate. The half Ironman is a long-distance triathlon where athletes swim 1.2 miles (1.9 km), followed by biking 56 miles (90 km), and cross the finish line after running 13.1 miles (21.1 km). The invigorating journey of training and racing in these events pushes your mind, body, and emotions past their limits, and helps you become the best version of yourself.
I represented Duke’s Triathlon Club at a half Ironman race in North Carolina in October of 2021, placing in the 87th percentile in the female division. Before coming to Fuqua, I trained with a triathlon team in my home country of Mexico, and I wanted to continue being active in the sport while living in Durham.
The Duke Triathlon Club is a small but high-performing group that participates in the USA National Collegiate Division. I got to train side by side and become good friends with PhD, undergrad, and graduate students from all across Duke’s campuses.
Our team’s coach, Vickie Yangst, set my training regime based on individual level, as well as the race and my academic schedule. Every week we got the club newsletter with a word that sets the weekly goal. For example, one week it was, “Change—to be ready and adaptive for what comes your way.”
We complete group sessions during weekdays, such as running at Morris Williams Track, swimming at Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion, and strength training at Wilson Recreation Center. Then, during weekends, you can find us cycling around the Research Triangle Park area, enjoying the forest views and stopping for ice cream at a local farm.
If you are ready to become an Ironman, your time at Fuqua is the best place to start! I was able to excel both academically and athletically thanks to three factors: Team Fuqua, Sport Club support, and personal determination. My Fuqua classmates were the ultimate cheer squad, from accompanying me on Duke’s Al Buehler trail runs to being flexible on the teamwork meeting schedule. For Sport Club, the team covers most of the costs associated with races, and organizes events, such as team socials that enrich the student experience. Lastly, goal setting, adaptability, and determination will get you through the classroom and across the finish line.