Four East Texans took on one of the hardest tests to the human body’s endurance on Sunday.
Cori and Ryan Moore, Jeremy Brown and Clay Emge were in Louisville, Kentucky, to race the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon. The grueling race began with a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bicycle run that ended with a 26.2-mile marathon.
The race was the first for the Moores and Brown, who trained together and marked the sixth Iromnan competition for Emge.
Ryan Moore, 36, of Flint, finished the triathlon with a total time of 11 hours, 11 minutes and two seconds. His swim time was just more than one hour, with 5 1/2 hours on the bike path and almost 4 1/2-hour run.
Moore’s time placed him 30th in his division, 156th for his gender and 182nd overall.
The Louisville race was Moore’s first Ironman challenge, and with more planned, he said his main goal this round was to properly gauge his food and water consumption through the race.
“It’s a fine line of having enough hydration and taking in enough calories on the course,” he said. “I feel like I nailed my nutrition.”
Moore joked he took about 30 ice bucket challenges on the race course.
“I don’t think anyone has topped that one year …” he joked. “(They had an) aid station every mile on the run. They had ice water, bananas, pretzels, chicken broth — all that sort of stuff to take so you don’t have issues. I put ice in my hat and ice in the back pocket of my shorts to keep my body temp low, so the entire race I don’t feel like I got hot at all.”
Moore said he was sore on Monday but in good spirits.
“My legs feel like they got run over by a truck, but I feel great,” he said.
Moore’s wife Cori Moore, 32, finished the race with a total time of 13 hours, 35 minutes and four seconds. Mrs. Moore was in the water for just under 1 1/2 hours, on the bike course for more than 6 1/2 hours and finished the marathon in just more than 5 hours.
She ranked 35th in her division, 161st in her gender and 877th overall.
Mrs. Moore said the most difficult part was the hilly bicycle track. The marathon race that followed was the first one for her to complete. Before the Ironman, she had only completed a 14-mile race.
“My legs weren’t used to pounding the pavement, and after 26 miles, that’s a lot to ask of your joints, your feet and brain,” she said. “It’s pretty much a mental game at that point.”
The Moores said the race was made easier by a loving group of friends who came with them to Kentucky to cheer them on. They even dressed in Wonder Woman costumes and cheered along the sides of the racetrack to keep the group’s spirits high.
“They about tacked me down the first time they saw me,” Mrs. Moore said. “I can’t imagine having done this without having them there. There’s no way.”
The couple’s trainer Jeremy Brown finished the race in 13 hours, 29 minutes and 16 seconds. He swam for just more than 1 hour and 15 minutes, biked for more than 6 hours and finished the marathon in just more than 5 hours and 45 minutes.
Brown placed 117th in his division, 690th in his gender and 838th overall.
Clay Emge, 30, of Tyler, said he has been battling a hip-related injury and did not expect to be able to complete the marathon. He finished two of the three triathlon events, and said the exertion would not hinder his recovery.
“It had gotten a little bit better, but I got into the run and knew I couldn’t do it,” he said.
Emge finished the swim in 48 minutes and the bike course in just less than 5 hours.
The race was Emge’s sixth Ironman triathlon.
He said watching friends finish their first triathlon was fun.
“Cheering for the Moores and Jeremy Brown made it fun, and that made the trip worthwhile even if I wasn’t able to finish the race,” he said.