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Local athlete has solid finish at Kona

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By Mike Cote

Los Alamos resident Amy Regan may not have quite gone native, but she raced the Ironman World Championships like she’d been there before.Regan took part at the Ironman, the most famous triathlon in the world, at Kona, Hawaii Oct. 13. The Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike race and a marathon.Overall, Regan finished 156th out of 499 entrants. In her age group, 40-44, she was 15th out of 75 competitors.“You always think you could’ve finished better unless you finish first,” Regan said of showing at Kona. “But considering the level of competition, you’ve got to be happy with that.”Regan finished the three-tiered event in 11 hours, 23 minutes and 17 seconds. She finished the swim in 1:18:26, the bike in 6:12:02 and the run in 3:44:01, while her total transition time — from swim-to-bike and bike-to-run — was 8 minutes, 48 seconds.To qualify for the Ironman World Championships, Regan won her age group Ironman Florida last November. In that event, she topped her nearest competitor by more than 20 minutes.Generally, Regan said she was pretty happy with her finish. She said her swim is probably her weakest event, but thought that went relatively well, as did her run.Regan was most disappointed with her bike. The conditions were big contributing factor in her disappointment.“The bike took longer than I expected,” she said. “The wind, the lava fieldeeeverything they talk about is true.”At the event, Regan said she had only one true objective, to finish before sundown. While she missed that goal by about 10 minutes, she was very happy it wasn’t pitch dark as she crossed.“I was really happy to be done when I got done, and there’s other that still have three, four or five hours of hard work ahead of them,” Regan said.Even better yet, she didn’t have to use one of the event-issued glow-sticks that were handed out to the competitors after dusk.“I turned to a guy near me and I said, ‘you know what our goal is now, don’t you?’ He said ‘no,’ and I said ‘we have to finish before we get a glow stick,’” she said.While training for the event, Regan said she went on runs with her sons riding along on their bicycles next to her, which not only allowed her to get in shape, but gave them some bonding time.Regan also spent plenty of time with her husband, mostly on Fridays when they both have days off from Los Alamos National Laboratory, when they would send their kids off to school and start a long bike ride.Regan said she’s going to take it easy this winter, then start up again in the spring. Her first event back will be the Atomic Man Duathlon in April.She’s hoping to qualify for Kona again soon. She will compete in the Ironman Wisconsin in September, which would put her in the Ironman World Championship in 2009.“It was great fun,” Regan said of her experience. “I’ve been watching (Kona) on TV for a long time, and I’ve been following Ironman since the Sports Illustrated article came out in 1978eeI always thought in the back of my mind it would be cool to do.”