Mathews native completes Ironman triathlon
Jay Callis proved to himself on Sunday, Aug. 28, that he has ironman-material in his body and mind.
He completed his first full Ironman triathlon, covering the course in Louisville, Ky., in 16 hours and nine minutes.
Callis, 34, a Mathews native and resident, has never run, biked or swum in competition the full distance of the three elements of an Ironman race. He set finishing as his goal and he did so.
An Ironman race covers a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and full marathon, 26.2 miles, as its final test. Before the Louisville event, Callis had completed half-marathons and biked up to 75 miles.
"Everything was new," he said. "Your mind is your biggest asset or your biggest weakness. It is mind over matter" when competing in an Ironman.
Callis said that during the competition, "Mentally I stayed positive. I had good support. I had friends and my wife there."
He decided in January to try for the Ironman distance and started training then, often covering the roads of Mathews, Gloucester and Middlesex in his regimen. That training, Callis said, "is like a second job. It is a big time commitment." It paid off when he finished the course within the allotted time; the winner covered it in slightly over eight hours.