Loegering completed the grueling triathlon in 12 hours 21 minutes and 26 seconds.

    Isaac Loegering, a 2013 Crookston High School graduate, put his body and mind to the test on Sunday, September 9 when he competed in Ironman Wisconsin. Loegering completed the grueling triathlon in 12 hours 21 minutes and 26 seconds.

    Triathlons posed no problem for Loegering, 23, as he had been competing in the bike, swim and run sport since the summer of 2017. But the idea of swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running a marathon (26.22 miles) all in the same day with no breaks seemed daunting.

    “I didn't think I could possibly do such a long race especially since I grew up a sprinter in swimming until one of the Ironathletes that I befriended broke it down for me,” Loegering said. “You get 17 hours to finish. I was most concerned about the run, but if I was fast enough on the swim and bike, I could walk the marathon at the end. Knowing that I would have the support of my friends, family and fellow triathletes in the Madison community, I signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2018.”

    The event starts at 7 a.m. with the swimming portion. Loegering completed the swim in 1:05:57 and moved on to the bike. The longest leg of the race by far took Loegering 5:38:34 which brought him to the final stage: the marathon.

    Going into the race, Loegering felt anxious regarding the marathon and, as anticipated, ran into a number of complications.

    “The run was by far the hardest part of the race,” Loegering said. “One of the unique challenges that endurance athletes face is figuring out how to properly fuel the body for extended periods of time while also maintaining a high level of performance. As you can probably imagine, eating nothing but sugary energy gels, energy chews and sports drinks all day does a number on the stomach. By mile 22, I got to the point where it wasn't worth consuming any more race fuel. I felt light-headed, had horrible gut rot and was exhausted. At that point, I knew that I had to walk the remainder of the race or risk losing consciousness, so that's exactly what I did. I had worked way too hard to get that close to finishing and not complete the race because my body shut down. I was going to cross that finish line, even if it meant crawling across it.”

    Five hours 23 minutes and 25 seconds after taking his first running stride, Loegering crossed the finish line at 7:21 p.m.

    Half a year of training for one objective paid off as Loegering earned the title of Ironman.

    “I'm a very goal-oriented person and this was a big one,” Loegering said. “Crossing the finish line was so satisfying. I was running with a smile on my face at the very end.  I've faced a lot of challenges this summer. Balancing graduate school, Ironman training and my personal life were not easy, but finishing the Ironman made it all worth it. It was the six months of training leading up to the race that made the experience what it was, but crossing that finish line made it that much more rewarding.”

    Ironman Wisconsin saw 2,407 participants with 1,919 completing the race. Loegering placed 15th out of 53 in the division of males 18-24 years of age. Overall, Loegering took 442nd.