For the first time ever, the world famous Ironman Competition came to the Darien YMCA. On Sunday, April 18th local Ironman athlete, Luis Rodriguez-Lemus, set to swim 2.4 miles in the Darien YMCA pool.
Luis originally signed up to compete in the Ironman in Texas on April 18th, but due to COVID concerns it was cancelled. Luis, who has been training here at the Y, has decided to carry on and complete the Ironman distance triathlon on his own. So, on Sunday, April 18th, he swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles and ran 26.2 miles within the 17-hour time limit.
THIS IS HIS MESSAGE TO THE DARIEN YMCA AFTER HE COMPLETED THE IRONMAN!
“Sunday was a wild ride of emotions and physical challenges but we got it done!!!!!!
Here’s the race recap.
I finished within the 17 hour time limit with a time of 13 hours and 48 minutes. The swim went fantastic and I did it 10 minutes quicker than expected. The bike got off to a good start, but eventually the hills of northern westchester county took their toll on me. By mile 75 on the bike my legs were wrecked and the hills just kept on coming and coming. No doubt that was the lowest point of the day and I thought about throwing in the towel multiple times. I dug deep and just took it one pedal stroke at a time and somehow managed to finish the 112 miles on the bike in 8 hours. I ended up logging 5x more elevation gain than what IMTX was supposed to have.
My legs were absolutely wrecked coming off the bike. They felt like they were made out of jelly and weighed 1,000 pounds each. I started the marathon by running a few miles on the track at New Canaan HS and to my surprise, my legs came back to life. After a few loops around Waveny park I headed towards Stamford to finish the marathon. I was in good spirits until it got dark, started raining and I got cold – still had about 10 miles of the marathon left at that point. At mile 16 of the marathon, which was also mile 130 of the 140.6 is when emotion and willpower took over. I was so exhausted and broken yet my body somehow kept moving. All I thought about was everything I overcame to get to that point, mainly obesity and struggles with anxiety. I just kept reminding myself that I didn’t come this far to only come this far. I ran the Ironman in honor of my childhood best friend, my uncle and cousin, all 3 who are no longer with us – and their memories and thinking that they’d be proud of me got me to the finish line. I set out on this journey to prove to myself that I can do hard things – mission accomplished!
And to my surprise, my family and friends were waiting for me and cheering me on as I crossed the finish line. It was the perfect cap to my first Ironman journey! I was overcome with emotion at the end thinking how lucky I am to have such an amazing support system. No rest for the wicked though! The makeup date for Ironman Texas will be October 2nd, and I look forward to continuing my training at the Darien Y!
Thanks again for your continued support – I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. I am so glad we were able to raise $1,200 for the kids :)”
To learn more about Luis and his support of our Camper Campaign visit, Donate Now | 2021 Luis Rodriguez-Lemus Ironman: Supporting the Darien YMCA Send A Kid To Camp Campaign by Darien YMCA