Milton couple happy to complete grueling Ironman race
The best thing entrants in Sunday’s Ironman Wisconsin can say is, “I finished.’’
Michele Wilkinson and her husband, Brandon, of Milton traveled the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle course and 26.2 marathon run around Madison in 16 hours, 5 minutes, 53 seconds.
Wilkinson was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2008. She continued to enter endurance events, including the Chicago Marathon through a year of chemotherapy.
“It was a lone day, but it was exciting,” said Wilkinson, who has been in remission for several months.
Wilkinson, wearing a pink cape, and her husband ran the entire event nearly side-by-side.
“We did the whole course together,” Wilkinson said. “He waited in the transition area for me after the swim and we stayed in sight of each other on the bikes, and we walk-ran the marathon together.’’
The Wilkinsons spurred on each other, but it was a struggle to finish.
“The last six miles were agony,” Wilkinson said. “We just kept each other going.’’
The Wilkinsons are happy they finished, but neither is likely to enter the event again.
“My feet are a mess (with blisters), and the rest of my body is OK,’’ Michele said.
Meanwhile, Mike and Jenny Wimmer of Janesville tried to improve on their initial Ironman in 2009. Jenny was successful, finishing in 16:22, while Mike did not finish.
In 2009, Mike finished the event 15 minutes after the official close of the course, while Jenny finished 30 minutes after the close.
“Mike didn’t have a great day,” Jenny said.
Jenny said she shaved an hour off her bike time, and her swim and transitions were shorter.
“I just tried to keep moving faster,” she said.
Neither will return next year.
“Maybe in two years,” Jenny said. “Training takes a lot of hours.’’
Australian native Joe Gambles, 28, was the overall winner in 8:38:32, which broke the course record by nearly five minutes.
Adam Fitzhenry of Elkhorn finished 75th in 10:17.29. Zachary Carr was Janesville’s top finisher in 11:01.56 for 221st place.
Other Janesville and area finishers:
221. Zachary Carr, 11:01.56. 606. Adam Atkins, 12:01.27. 1,262. Matt Dabson, 13:22.19. 1,443. Alison Viemeister, 13:42.08. 1,471. Jim Landau, 13:46.07. 1,555. Emily Atkins, 13:54.49. 2,294. Tracy Olson, 16:14.15. 2,325. Jenny Wimmer, 16:22. 2,332. Philip Gredler, 16:23.10. DNF—Mike Wimmer.
142. Tom Hamilton, 10:37.58. 238. Andrew Nevills, 11:06.03. 1,032. Robin Barker, 12:53.10. 1,158. William Johnson, 13:08.21. 1,980. Thomas Wideman, 15:00.23 1,457. Jered Milton, 13:43.43. 1,997. Paul Bambury, 15:02.25. 2,098. Jeffery Verhoff, 15:26.13. 2,260. Michele Wilkinson, Brandon Wilkinson, 16:05.53. 2,300. Milton Datta, 16:15.21.
516. Jonathan Carr, 11:49.30. 1,892. Dennis Killian, 14:46.15.
75. Adam Fitzhenry, 10:17.29. 566. Paul Schafer, 11:55.00. DNF—Paul Krzsinski.
999. Gregory Kuhlman, 12:49.41.