COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Sometimes it's hard to find the time to get moving.
For Ironman triathletes, moving is a necessity.
Staring down a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run, competitors can't be ill prepared.
Walla Walla resident Marcella Rietz, who completed her third consecutive Ironman Coeur d'Alene on June 26, says she carves out training time around her family's schedule.
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"It requires a lot of hours, a lot of flexibility from your family, a lot of early mornings," said Rietz, 37, married with two schoolage children. "I'm getting up at about 4:20 and doing about two, 21/2 hours a day."
When Brian O'Grady isn't busy working as a Kadlec neurosurgeon or writing books -- he released the medical thriller Hybrid in March -- the 50-year-old Pasco resident laces up his running shoes.
"Towards the end (of training), there were several days I trained more than I slept," said O'Grady, who competed in Coeur d'Alene for the first time. Out of the 2,351 athletes registered for the race, 2,188 finished.
For Rietz, a former college athlete, her average training week consists of swimming six-plus miles, biking more than 200 miles and running more than 40 miles. But life -- and plain old bad luck -- can interfere with the best-laid training plans.
At the start of this past training period, Rietz had walking pneumonia. Then she ended up with Achilles' tendinitis.
Three weeks before race day, she came down with shingles.
After cutting her time to 11 hours, 23 minutes, 52 seconds last June, Rietz finished this year's Ironman Coeur d'Alene in 11:55:02.
"I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed, but sometimes things happen, and you don't always get to choose them," she said.
Competitors can make up time in the transitions from one part of the race to the next. Bikes must be checked in the day before the race, and participants put together bags with everything they will need during the event, such as clothes, shoes and sunscreen. Organizers line up the bags in the transition areas; all bags are identical and have each competitor's race number on them.
Being able to spot your bike among the seemingly endless rows of racks or quickly putting on your running clothes can be crucial if you fall behind on the course.
"You have people who can cut off up to seven minutes (on transitions)," Rietz said. "Think of how much training you'd have to do to cut off seven minutes."
O'Grady, who has competed in Ironmans in New Zealand and Arizona, finished the Coeur d'Alene race in 16:09:48. He compared the swim in Lake Coeur d'Alene to a rugby match.
"I had somebody grab my foot and pull back, which is a violation," O'Grady said. "He or she received my heel in the face."
The bike race is fairly technical, he said, with lots of hills.
"The run isn't too bad," he added. "There's a tremendous amount of community support. You run through the neighborhoods, which is fairly unusual. And you run around the lake, which is very pretty."
The scenery and camaraderie aside, O'Grady says he probably won't return to Idaho.
"One of the reasons I signed up (for Ironmans) was to travel," he said. "Coeur d'Alene wasn't really traveling. It was just getting in the car and driving."
O'Grady has committed to the Ironman New Zealand in March. It will be his fourth Ironman in the country.
Rietz had considered skipping Coeur d'Alene next year in favor of doing half-Ironmans, but "it's kind of an addiction."
"People talk about a runner's high. It's a triathlon high," Rietz said. "It's something you will always have. The reward is being able to finish. You feel very strong, very powerful, very independent. You can conquer anything."
Name, age at end of competition year, city, time
Sarah Shadle, 30, Richland, 12:56:55 -- finished 41st in female age group 30-34 (107 finishers), 178th among women (560 finishers)
Douglas Hendrickson, 51, Richland, 15:03:10 -- finished 116th in male age group 50-54 (146 finishers)
John Maxwell, 27, Pasco, 14:31:34 -- finished 144th in male age group 25-29 (172 finishers)
Karlene Dysland, 41, Pasco, 15:35:38 -- finished 95th in female age group 40-44 (109 finishers)
Brian O'Grady, 51, Pasco 16:09:48 -- finished 136th in male age group 50-54
Carson Homme, 23, Kennewick, 14:36:44 -- finished 43rd in male age group 18-24 (53 finishers)
Ryan Beauchamp, 36, Kennewick, 14:12:22 -- finished 217th in male age group 35-39 (271 finishers)
Jared Despain, 39, Kennewick, 11:19:58 -- finished 64th in male age group 35-39 (271 finishers)
Marcella Rietz, 38, Walla Walla, 11:55:02 -- finished 22nd in female age group 35-39 (113 finishers), 70th among women (560 finishers)
Eric Hisaw, 39, Walla Walla, 12:47:34 -- finished 146th in male age group 35-39 (271 finishers)
Javin Berg, 43, Dixie, 11:54:56 -- finished 127th in male age group 40-44 (376 finishers)
Joel Garza, 25, Othello, 10:16:36 -- finished 18th in male age group 25-29 (172 finishers)
Kristiann Vlieger, 25, Sunnyside, 12:59:44 -- finished 27th in female age group 25-29 (74 finishers)