At 6:30 am on July 27, Joanne Rodgers will be entering the transition area at Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY to swim the 2.4 mile, two lap race route. After the swim, she will then transition to prepare for the 112 mile, double loop bike ride through the hills of the Adirondacks — including the concluding 11-mile uphill climb up ‘the notch’ from Wilmington, NY and returning to the Lake Placid Olympic speed skating oval. The course ends on July 28 with a 26.2 mile run taking Joanne through the city core of Lake Placid four times. This is the Lake Placid IRONMAN!
Joanne is the owner of the Kiddie-Kobbler franchise on Hazeldean Road in Stittsville. She is also the founder of the charity Shoes on their Feet. Joanne wants to inspire kids to get active. She wants to get them active by putting shoes on their feet and is hoping to collect 1000 pairs of shoes this summer.
Not only does she fundraise for her own charity, but in 2005 with a team called Curves Chicks Who Tri, they raised over $10,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society in honour of her friend’s Mom who was battling pancreatic cancer at the time.
We were in touch with Joanne as she was enroute to Lake Placid earlier on Thursday. She is “… so excited, but I’m as nervous as I have ever been and have been an emotional wreck all week. Not sure why, but I suspect it’s because I have been thinking about IM since about 1998”.
Joanne has always been an adult ‘gym rat’ with her fitness training being a way of life. Joanne started out as a runner and went from a 5K to a 1/2 marathon in 1999. She then started triathlon and started with try a tri’s, the sprints to Olympic and eventually did three 1/2 Iron distance races. “I love them. I love the community and I love the feeling of pushing yourself and challenging your body”.
Her drive and motivation comes from many things she said:
- I race for my son – teaching him about commitment, having a dream and setting the goals to achieve it
- I race for my community- I have so much support from people I don’t even know
- Mostly, I race for my charity Shoes on their Feet
A golf tournament/post race party will be hosted by Joanne at Irish Hills Golf Course (Carp) on August 9 and the money raised with be going towards the purchase of the remaining shoes through her supplier at New Balance. She has also partnered with the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club and the shoes will go to them at the end of August.
We wanted to let her get on with her travel so with that she ended by saying, “I have no expectations for this race other than to finish in the 17 hours. I will race hard and hope to finish. I hired a coach who laid out a realistic plan that I have followed since last October. I put the time in and committed and I can’t believe the weekend is here. I would do it all over again in a heart beat. I’m a back of the packer. I will finish in the midnight hour – at around 16:40-17 hours”.
This year, Joanne completed the Lumberjack Challenge at Ottawa Race Weekend and ran the 2, 5, and 10K races on the Saturday and then ran the full marathon on the Sunday. She also competed in the Bushtukah ‘Bring on the Bay’ 3K Race a few weeks ago. You will also find her racing in the New York Marathon in November. All of these endeavours have been for her charity — Shoes on their Feet.
Joanne, who has been diagnosed with the arthritic disease Andolosing Spondylitis, will be wearing Lake Placid IRONMAN Bib number 1180 and you can see her results at — https://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/lake-placid/results.aspx.
In North America, the Lake Placid IRONMAN event has been the longest running for top-notch athletes and takes place in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. The 2019 ViewSPORT IRONMAN Lake Placid offers 40 qualifying slots for the 2019 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Will we see Joanne competing in Hawaii next? For the time being, let’s cheer on Joanne as she competes in Lake Placid and support her through donations to her charity ‘Shoes on their Feet’.