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SRPMIC Members Compete in Arizona IRONMAN

SRPMIC member and Arizona IRONMAN participants get set for the swimming portion of the relay race.
Photo submitted by Michelle Long.

At least two Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members completed the grueling IRONMAN Arizona triathlon on November 19.

Community Sponsored Athlete Rueben Malin and Rachel Seepie completed the race, Seepie for the third time. Three relay teams from the Community, consisting of three members each, also competed.

More than 2,500 athletes from 41 countries participated in the popular race, which includes a 2.4-mile swim of Tempe Town Lake, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. The biking route traveled through a stretch of the Community, along McKellips Road and Beeline Highway. An IRONMAN-sponsored Community-member viewing area was set up along the Beeline Highway and attracted a solid crowd of race supporters.

SRPMIC Sponsored Athlete Rueben Malin. Photo submitted by Michelle Long. Three Arizona IRONMAN biking relay route participants from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Photo submitted by Michelle Long.
Malin completed the race in a little less than 16 hours. “The race went well,” he said. “It was definitely one of the hardest physical challenges I’ve ever faced. I was proud to be representing my Community and hopefully inspiring many people along the way.”

Seepie, despite battling a nagging leg injury, finished in 16 hours, 37 minutes. Seepie previously conquered IRONMAN Arizona in 2009 and 2011.

The race usually ends 17 hours after the last athlete enters the water for the swimming leg. Many athletes didn’t finish the race, either by stopping early or not completing a leg of the race in the allotted time.

Just how demanding and competitive is the race? The winner, Lionel Sanders of Canada, defended his title from last year and finished in less than eight hours. The second-place finisher was only 13 minutes behind him. Kaisa Sali was the first woman to finish, with a time of 8 hours, 51 minutes.

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