Friends, family cheer on 'crazy' Ironman competitors - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Friends, family cheer on 'crazy' Ironman competitors

Family of competitors Tamela Jones and Kristen Voth Family of competitors Tamela Jones and Kristen Voth
Tricia Rapp Tricia Rapp
Competitor Chris Sauser is running to raise money for a cure for cystic fibrosis after a friend's son was diagnosed with the disease. Competitor Chris Sauser is running to raise money for a cure for cystic fibrosis after a friend's son was diagnosed with the disease.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - As in all previous Ironman Triathlons, hundreds will fall short. The heat and humidity merely raise those odds.

It's a tough end for those whose training began months ago, but what keeps many going is the challenge to best themselves and to honor their family members and friends who kept the faith.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Extreme heat could shorten running portion of Ironman Louisville]

Five years ago, Tricia Rapp's friend Laura Chevalier might not have given her fellow Pennsylvanian much of a shot among the 2,500 slogging 2.4 miles in the Ohio River muck. "She didn't want to ride on the roads. She wouldn't ride if it was too windy and she thought 40 miles was too far to ride," Chevalier said. But on Ironman day, she has Rapp's back.

Tennessee's Tamela Jones and her Kansas cousin Kristen Voth, have each other's. "They love having this challenge with one another and against one another," Tamela's mother, Peg Enns, said.

"Just last night in a restaurant, she talked to me with a confidence that I don't remember her having ever. She's always the shy one, the quiet one." uncle Lew Enns said.

California investment banker Chris Sauser's wife Lisa said she thought he was crazy. Sauser is running to raise money for cystic fibrosis research after a friend had a child diagnosed with the disease. His daughter, Cailyn, doesn't think she'll be following in her father's footsteps. "I can barely run a mile without passing out," she said.

Becky Voth, sister of Kristen, says the victory is just completing something so many describe as insane.

"Knowing you can do something like that, you can do anything then."

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