Highlight Angela Meyer
Highlight: Angela Meyer
GOTRIbal Member and aspiring sports journalist, Meredith Atwood (blogsite here)
Some people are crazy enough to take on Ironman Kona once. Others like Angela Meyer are repeat offenders.
On October 8, 2011, 1800 athletes from all over the world will travel to Kona, Hawaii for the Ford Ironman World Championships. These athletes will purposely take on a 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles of cycling, followed by a full marathon (26.2 miles) in one of the most beautiful, yet wicked courses in the world. A swim, bike, run smorgasbord of 140.6 miles. Traveled by a single person. In seventeen hours or less.
Angela Meyer, an elite amateur athlete from Atlanta, Georgia will be in the mix. At only thirty years old, Angela has completed eight Ironman distance races, including Ironman Coeur d'Alene in 2009, which qualified her for her first trip to Kona. And she does it all without music. “I don’t train with music for safety reasons. Lame, I know,” she says.
Well, Angela may not have her own music, but if she had a theme song, it would be something like: I’m Badass, What’s Your Excuse? “I have little patience for those who say I can’t, or those who don’t try,” she says. “If a person is not living up to her full potential, it’s such a sin.”
How the Crazy Started
Angela started training for triathlon after finishing seven marathons, the first of which qualified her for the prestigious and coveted Boston Marathon. Angela completed a sprint distance triathlon as her first multisport race, zooming towards a finish in the 400 yard swim, 15 mile bike and 3.1 mile distance race. That was fun, she thought. So she set her sights on a new goal: Ironman.
Her second triathlon ever was an Ironman. At Ironman Florida, she experienced her first open water swim with a welcoming sting from a jellyfish, but still crossed the finish line in about twelve and a half hours, and immediately cracked open a cold beer.
Kona: The Motivation
At her first Kona appearance, Angela felt a little like an outsider. “The experience was so big and beautiful, something I had always dreamed about. I didn’t feel worthy,” she said. “Now, I keep coming back because of the dream – the dream of running an amazing race – the dream of a podium finish.” What else keeps Angela going, despite the grueling hours, the mesmerizing distances and the porta-potties? “The people in this sport keep me coming back. At Kona 2009, I was in a waiting line behind Belinda Granger [professional triathlete, also repeat Kona offender]. Belinda talked to me, which blew me away. The next day, I saw Belinda in transition, and she said ‘Good luck, Angela!’ I was blown away that someone so important in the sport would remember me by name. Triathlon is full of amazing people.”
This year, Angela has been coached by professional triathlete, Matt Lieto, through the Purple Patch Fitness Train with a Pro Program. Another coach, “Matt Dixon also plays a paramount role in my training and overall health,” she says. “Yes, it takes a team of people to keep me in check.” Angela is ready to take the Kona bull by the horns. “I feel like I am in the best shape of my life. After Kona, my big race will be the ITU Long Course World Championships. I am ready for both, and honored to have another shot at Kona,” she says.
Angela watches the 1993 movie “Rudy” before every race to get pumped up. Of course, I can’t help but chant: Angela. Angela. Angela. Go get ‘em girl.