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The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

A Test of Strength: Mr. Piepenbrink completes an Ironman

Piepenbrink completed his first Ironman in Madison, Wisconsin this past September.

Normal West’s business teacher, Brady Piepenbrink, has been teaching here for 11 years, and this past year, he trained extensively for the Ironman Triathlon, a race that consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.

“When I was in high school, I heard about the Ironman. It just sounded insane to me, and I thought, ‘I wonder if I could ever do one of those?’” said Piepenbrink.

Piepenbrink spent 30 weeks training. Each week consisted of an hour swim on Monday, an hour run on Tuesday, a B.R.I.C.K. workout, (which is a bike workout immediately followed by a run), on Wednesday, an hour bike ride and an hour swim on Thursday, and an hour run on Friday. On the weekends, a five-hour bike ride on Saturday, and a three-hour bike ride on Sunday. 

Throughout his grueling training, Piepenbrink was strongly encouraged by his wife. 

“The biggest supporter would be my wife. She was always like, ‘you’ve got this,’ plus she’s doing all the extra stuff at home.” 

Along with his wife, he received support from Mrs. Franks as a mentor, who is an Ironman veteran herself; she has completed ten total triathlons. 

“Mrs. Frank’s being the best kind of mentor, by knowing exactly what to expect during the race and during the training,” Piepenbrink added. 

The triathlon was held in Madison, Wisconsin this past September. Mr. P brought the support of many with him to make completing the race easier.  

“On the race day, my sister flew in from Colorado, my best friend and brother, and my wife’s family came and drove up, so I had a pretty good cheering section that day,” said Piepenbrink.  

Although he successfully completed the Ironman, Piepenbrink still faced challenges. 

“The hardest part of the race day was I got the hiccups at mile 16 of the marathons,” he added. 

Aside from the hiccups, Piepenbrink recounts the hardest physical aspect of the race: “The Madison Ironman is known for having one of the hardest bike courses because it’s very hilly. I think I had 63,000(?) feet of elevation gain, which was hard because you know how flat Illinois is. All of my training was in the flatlands.” 

Through all of the hardships, Piepenbrink used his hard work and determination to complete something he thought to be insane. Although he doesn’t know when, Mr. Piepenbrink expressed his desire to complete another Ironman in the future. 

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