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Local Swimming Coach Qualifies For 2020 Ironman In Kona, Hawaii

Justin Grossarth, a 19 year old Cookeville native, business operations major at Tennessee Tech, assistant swim coach at Cookeville High School, and new Ironman competitor, recently qualified for the 2020 Ironman Word Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

An Ironman is an open water swim, bike, and run competition, much like a Triathlon.

Sprint Triathlons are 750 meter swims, a little less than half a mile, 14 mile bike ride, and a 5K run, or three point one miles.

Olympic triathlons are 1,500 meter swims, slightly less than a mile, 40K bike ride, right at 24 miles, and a 10K run at six point one miles.

An Ironman is a two point four mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, finished off with a 26.2 mile marathon.

According to Grossarth, most people who qualify for the World Championships have competed in multiple Ironman competitions, and train for the race for over a year.

Grossarth competed in his first Ironman recently in Chattanooga, with only four months of training.

He said his goal was to complete the Ironman in 10.5 hours. Due to a watch malfunction, that prohibited Grossarth to monitor his speed on the bike, and lack of salt intake that caused cramping, he finished the race in 11 hours and eight minutes. Good enough to win the 19-24 year old age bracket and qualify for the World Championship.

“I definitely say I want to work on my run more. That’s going to be my main focus,” Grossarth said. “You’re just focused on right then and there. One foot in front of the other. You’re kind of in this pain cave so you can’t focus on the future or the past you’re just focused on right then and there and trying to get through it.”

Over the next 12 months Grossarth will compete in at least two marathons, a half Ironman, and a full Ironman in addition to his training for the World Championships.

“I want to do anothere full between now and Kona,” Grossarth said. “Just so I can get my nutrition down on the bike and to figure out pacing wise what I need to do.”

If you are interested in sponsoring or funding Grossarth’s trip to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii you can find a link to his GoFundMe account on his FaceBook and Instagram pages @justingrossarth

Grossarth wanted to thank his current sponsors Home Core and Bravo Cafe for their support thus far in his career.

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