In the sport of Ironman there are many things that an athlete can control in the course of a 2.5-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run.
But mechanical failure on the bike isn’t one of them.
Ogdensburg native and professional triathlete Leslie LaMacchia, who balances her training and competing with a legal career in Texas, compete d in Ironman Japan on Sunday. But she saw her training and race goals undermined by a flat tire. Like the other athletes who competed, she came away feeling blessed to experience the mind-boggling natural beauty of drinkable Lake Toya.
But she also came away with bittersweet emotions after completing every formidable challenge in the face of monumental adversity. The only American female professional in the field, LaMacchia took seventh among the nine lady pros with a time of 12:16:34.
After a 1:05:37 swim she posted a 6:23:19 bike which was 30 minutes slower than her normal segment after incurring a flat tire.
According to a posting on her facebook page she blew a tire at mile 53 and rode on the rim for 20 miles waiting for a technician to change the tire.
“I trashed my legs in the process and the body completely shut down on the run. Completely. Never walked or shuffled in a race until today. Character building I guess, finisher medal means more now.”
She finished the marathon run in 4:040:33 for an overall time of 12:16:34.
LaMacchia’s high school track-field coach at OFA, Penny Sharrow, summed up the situation with her Facebook posting.“Knew you wouldn’t give up—you never did and never will! Coach Sharrow would always come to LaMacchia to run the final relay with a dual meet on the line. Following high school LaMacchia competed in basketball and ran distance and middle distance in track-field at the NCAA Division I level at Monmouth College in New Jersey.