Mercer Islander Beth Remy qualified for the Ironman World Championship recently at Ironman Canada in Penticton, B.C. Remy, who has been training with the Club Emerald Triathlon Team for seven years, placed 2nd in her age group (women 55-59), with a finish time of 12:23:44.
The Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run.
Remy has been competing in triathlons since 2004, and completed her first Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 2007. Last year, she competed in two Ironman races in a span of eight weeks, says her coach, Ginny Pietila, and had planned for this year’s Penticton race to be her last full marathon as she shifts to ½ Ironman and shorter distance races.
That changed, however, when Remy qualified for the Ironman World Championship, which is held in Kona, Hawaii, each October.
Islanders may well have seen Remy training with Club Emerald as she logged approximately 150,000 yards swimming, biked over 3,000 miles and ran (or cross-trained due to injury) almost 900 miles. Even though battling a few injuries, Pietila says Remy has persevered to earn her spot at Kona.
“The journey to the start of an Ironman is never an easy one and rarely unfolds without a few bumps in the road,” Pietila says. “This season Beth managed to juggle a busy work schedule with the MI School District, a busy family life with one daughter in college and one daughter that just graduated MIHS in 2011.”
This on the heels of a family crisis in 2010, when Remy’s brother Kip was diagnosed with ALS in the middle of her training season. Pietila says Remy was able to rededicate herself and her training toward raising funds to help find a cure for this despicable disease.
The club trains on Mercer Island, beginning just after the first of the year and continuing through August.
“Our Team is built on all different ability levels, ages and experience. We start each season with athletes ranging from those that don't know how to swim or don't even own a bike, to those with many seasons of racing under their belts gunning for a Kona slot,” Pietila says.
The members swim at Mary Wayte pool until June, then transition to open water swims in the Lake. They ride both inside at spin classes and outside all over King County.
“We can often be spotted in our Club Emerald Triathlon Team red and black jerseys. We run all over the Island and eastside. If you look closely early on Tuesday mornings you might catch us running up and down the stairs behind the old recycling center, or performing hill repeats on Mercerwood Drive,” Pietila says.
The clubs members race all distances of triathlon from the super sprint tri to the Ironman.
Pietila says she’s happy to be sending Remy off to Kona for a well-earned race.
“My hat is off to Beth for sticking with it when the going got tough and never saying never. She trusted me, listened to her body, ultimately persevered and is heading to Kona,” she says.
Remy says without the help of Pietila’s coaching the journey would have been much more difficult.
“(Pietila) is an extremely dedicated, capable and knowledgeable coach who is such a treasure to have on the island. She even trains with the tri team, so she knows her athletes very,very well. Last summer she also trained my daughter Laura as she prepared for her first triathlon, Escape from the Rock, to raise money for ALS. Laura felt fully prepared, had a great race and the support of the Club Emerald Triathlon Team,” Remy says.
“I am over the moon about qualifying for Kona, and I know I could not have reached this goal without Ginny Pietila's coaching,” Remy says.
For more information about the club visit it's website at www.triclubemerald.com