Inside the mind of Ironman and The Woodlands resident Bret Strong

By: J.C. Cartagena, Woodlands Online Sports
| Published 04/12/2018

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THE WOODLANDS, Texas—With the Memorial Hermann Ironman North American National Championship coming to The Woodlands April 28, Woodlands Online sat down with four-time Ironman Bret Strong for an exclusive look of what goes into preparing for the race and its impact on our community.

Strong, a resident of The Woodlands for more than 30 years and founder of The Strong Firm P.C., trains year-round for the triathlon, which consists of a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Woodlands, 112-mile bike of the Hardy Toll Road, and a 26.2-mile run, ending at The Woodlands Waterway.

Preparing for such an enduring event like the Ironman can be overwhelming at first. Gradually working your way up with shorter distances is a good way to get into Ironman shape. “I never thought I would compete in an Ironman,” said Strong. Starting with a 500-meter swim, 12-mile bike ride, and a 5k run, Strong was able to work his way up to a half-Ironman (completed within aprrox. six hours) and then eventually completing his first full Ironman.

The Woodlands has been home to the race since 2010, bringing in people from all over the globe to our community for the opportunity to advance to the World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. With The Woodlands being such a widespread community the landscape is perfect for a worldwide event such as the Ironman.

While Strong is preparing for the Memorial Hermann Ironman North American National Championship in his hometown, he has also finished races in Germany and Arizona but the feeling of completing the race in front of family and friends has no comparison. Strong’s impact on the race goes far beyond competing though, as he played a factor in the relocation of the Ironman to The Woodlands.

Being an Ironman seems to run in the family as Strong’s children will participate in the Children’s Memorial Hermann IronKids Fun Run the weekend before on April 21 in The Woodlands.

The Memorial Hermann Ironman North American National Championship is more than a tourist attraction and economic boost, the races bring people from all walks of life to our community. Participants consistently praise the course for its beautiful scenery and fan involvement and was given the 2017 Ironman Athlete’s Choice Awards for Best Host City.

“With all the talent and world-class athletes living and training in our community, the Memorial Hermann Ironman paints a bigger picture of how The Woodlands is committed to excellence,” Strong said.

Come and support locals and visitors April 28 for the Ironman North American Championships and see some of the world’s best up close as they compete for a slot in Kona’s World Championship.

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