RELEASED: Nov. 21, 2000
DANVILLE, KY - Centre College junior Kyle Poland culminated a year of rigorous training by completing an Ironman Triathlon in Clearwater, Fla., in early November. Poland finished 14th out of 184 competitors in his age group at the end of the grueling competition.
The triathlon began with a 2.5-mile swim in the Gulf of Mexico, followed by a 112-mile bike race and a 26-mile run. The competition allows no breaks, and Poland finished the course in 10 hours, 55 min.
A competitive swimmer since age 5, Poland runs on the Centre cross country team and is an avid biker. He says he began contemplating a triathlon more than a year ago and signed up for the Florida event 10 months ago. Declining the offer of a training regimen by the race sponsors (the price tag was $300), Poland developed his own training regimen. "Swimming comes naturally to me," says Poland, "so I didn't work on that event, but over the summer I really worked on the running and biking."
Poland estimates that he biked 80 to 100 miles a week and ran 40 to 50 miles over the summer. After classes began at Centre, he drastically reduced his training to accommodate academic demands.
His mother, Bettie Poland, who traveled to Florida along with husband Tom to watch the triathlon, says other athletes were amazed that Kyle could be so successful without corporate sponsorship and more free time. "Many of the athletes train full-time, supported by corporate endorsements," Mrs. Poland says, "and they really admired Kyle's commitment."
Poland says his biking skills and stamina were greatly improved by weekly rides with a group of Danville cyclists that includes Ernst Crown-Weber, owner of Danville Bike and Fitness, and Milton Scarborough, a Centre professor. "I head out with that group every Wednesday evening," says Poland, "and then do another long ride on Sunday."
Completing the triathlon fulfilled a dream, says Poland, but he's not sure he will pursue another at the Ironman level. "I've done other, shorter triathlons," he says, "but the preparation for this one took huge amounts of time."
Poland is planning a career in law after graduating from Centre. He is a graduate of Danville High School.
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Public information coordinator: Patsi Barnes Trollinger