Lamar High School's Student-Run News Publication


Lamar High School's Student-Run News Publication


Lamar High School's Student-Run News Publication


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Introducing the Iron Woman

Head Swim Coach Laura Neville competes at the Ironman World Championship
Photo By: Ironman World Championship Photographers
Laura Neville competes in the tiresome Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Head Swim Coach Laura Neville, Lamar’s newest addition, is without a doubt bringing some achievements after she competed in the Kona Ironman World Championship on Oct. 14 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. 

The competition is a 140.6 mile (226.3 km) race, which consisted of a 2.4 mile (3.9 km) ocean swim, a 112 mile (180.2 km) bike ride with an approximate 5,800 ft. of elevation and lastly a 26.2 mile (42.2 km) run. 

“I would say I was pretty emotional and pretty excited about going,” Neville said. “I was excited and disarmed because I had been dealing with gastric ulcers so it was challenging. However, they are very addicting as there’s a lot of people that compete in these competitions, around 45,000 and only 2,000 make it to the World Championship.”

This triathlon is certainly not for the weak because it takes a year or two of training to be able to bear it. However, similar to any competition, training varies for each individual.

“If you’re going from couch to training, you need about a year to two years and if you’re already in shape, it’s about four to six months,” Neville said. “On Saturdays, it was a lot of five to six hour bike rides and Sundays were two to three hour runs. During the week it’s swimming, biking and running.”

Although physical strength is what an Ironman requires, mental strength also plays a role in not only training but the actual competition. 

“That’s something I’ve been working on quite a bit lately and trying to master,” Neville said. “Growing up in high school and college swimming, I would always get nervous before races and it started again when I started doing triathlons but I’ve managed it over the last two years now and I would just tell myself that I’m going to remaster my nerves and I’ve been able to do that.”

Introduced to triathlons in college by a teammate, Neville instantly fell in love with triathlons and hoped to one day compete in an Ironman.

“I picked it up and did a few after college, however I stopped because life got in the way and I had a child,” Neville said. “My sister told me one day that she had registered me for a relay race and I was going to swim. I had not swam in 13 years and she gave me two months notice so I started training and got hooked on it again. In college, I told myself I wanted to do an Ironman one day. However, at the time I thought to compete in it you had to train five years, which was the belief in the 90s.”

Neville is overjoyed to have completed an Ironman as it is not an easy accomplishment. It requires both effort and money to be able to even bear the physical and mental strain that this competition puts these athletes through.

“It had been a lifelong dream of mine to compete,” Neville said. “After I crossed the finish line, the emotions became overwhelming and I started to cry. It was just an immense amount of joy and happiness.”

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About the Contributor
Aleisha Paulick, Writer
Senior Aleisha Paulick is in her third and last year as a Staff Writer for Lamar Life. Aleisha has always had an interest in Journalism so she joined to gain experience, however prior to that she always had a passion for writing, it was a way for her to express herself. Joining Lamar Life allowed her to write about topics that she was curious about, not only that about it allowed her to explore these topics and find out the why of the world. Outside of writing, Aleisha is a huge water baby and loves to be outdoors. Her favorite movie is How to train Your Dragon and is obsessed with the artist DPR Ian.

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