June 8, 1998
Volume 50, No. 33
"Ironmen" make their mark
Theda Kirby, manager of the Blomeyer Health Fitness Center, helped stage "The Blomeyer Ironman Triathlon," this spring to encourage members to have fun with fitness. The event was inspired by the famous Hawaiian Ironman, in which athletes complete a grueling three-legged endurance test-a 2.5-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle trek, and a 26.2-mile run.
The fitness center simulated the Hawaiian Ironman by having members complete equivalent tasks. The 2.5-mile swim became 10 15-minute increments using the NordicTrack or rowing machines; 20 15-minute increments of stationary cycling were substituted for the 112-mile bicycle ride; and 20 15-minute increments of running, walking or an aerobics class stood in for the 26.2-mile run. All events had to be completed at Blomeyer, where the participants kept track of their progress daily by giving reports on each day's total activities.
The 'Ironman' was "not only for fun but also to challenge members to try new classes and different machines," said Kirby. Participation and enthusiasm exceeded Kirby's expectations. "A lot of the members got really competitive. Some even came in for several hours a day," she said. The triathlon was held for three weeks in mid March, but four participants completed all of the requirements in only five days-Jane Eason, a Cell Biology fellow (top female and top overall); Grace Pavlath, assistant professor of pharmacology; Paula Frew, program administrator for microbiology/immunology; and Sara Porter, senior secretary in Institutional Advancement.
Kirby has several other events planned to increase member interest and use of the facility, among them an event modeled after the Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG), a long-distance bicycle race originating in Atlanta. Her version, the "Blomeyer Ride Across Georgia" began Friday, May 22, and will continue through Saturday, June 27, the same day the real BRAG ends.
Members must complete the Blomeyer BRAG in stages, using the event to familiarize themselves with the Lifecycle and spinning classes. Each 15-minute workout session represents 15 miles. A map of Georgia with the original bike race route now hangs in the health center so that participants can "see" where they are going. "The event is designed for everyone to enjoy, and it gives members another opportunity to set a goal and work toward it," Kirby said.
For more information about the Blomeyer BRAG or the center's other offerings call 404-727-4000.