Finishing an Ironman Triathlon in one month may not seem difficult to some. But the Lazyman Ironman is not for the lazy. It’s for anyone but.
Every semester, BYU Student Wellness holds the Lazyman Ironman, which requires participants to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles combined over the come of one month.
“The Lazyman Ironman is meant to get people up and moving,” said Student Wellness Administration Assistant Mary Beth Wald. “It provides a fun way to exercise.”
Participants receive a card after paying the $5 entrance fee that they use to check off every mile they complete throughout the month. According to Wald, only 60 percent of about 500 participants get the T-shirt for completing the checklist.
Finishing requires dedication and time. Last year, participant Stephen Hunsaker exercised nearly two hours a day to meet his goal. To fit this into his busy student schedule, he woke up early to exercise before class.
BYU student Andy Merriman hopes the Lazyman Ironman will help form habits that last longer than just one month.
“The Lazyman Ironman is helping me be, well, less lazy,” Merriman said. “It’s motivating me to get started on a goal I’ve had for a while to finish an Ironman. Hopefully it helps me get ready for the race at the end of the summer.”
Many participants decide to exercise together as a group to keep motivated during the difficult task. Wald says she’s seen entire families sign up together to help push each other.
“When you want to go run or exercise you can ask your friends and they’ll say, ‘maybe,'” BYU student Eliza Houghton said. “But when you and your (roommates) are on the same goal, you are both more likely to go.”
Houghton’s roommate Catherine Andelin fell behind schedule last year because she didn’t make it a social activity. Despite working hard to catch up, she didn’t finish on time. But Andelin still felt better off than before.
“It’s OK if you don’t finish it,” Andelin said. “It’s good that you did better than you would normally do. If you are starting to make a habit of exercise and don’t finish it, you were still successful.”