Made of iron 

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"Of course putting it together is going to be the challenge," he said.

Higgins says the support from the community and other Ironman competitors has been amazing, with groups of eight or nine people swimming across Alta Lake, going for road rides, and running on the Valley Trail. When you don’t feel like training, those people get you up and out the door, he said. They’ve also helped with advice on everything from nutrition to race strategies.

"It’s a good group, and that makes it quite a lot of fun," he said. "It’s hard to imagine, but I am having fun."

For Brandi, Ironman is a personal test.

"Mostly I just want to see if I can survive it," she said. "It’s a challenge to see how far I can get. It’s taken a whole year to get this far, and you don’t go through something like this for a year not to finish."

She says she feels ready, although she admits that she has no idea what to expect on race day.

"I’m nervous, definitely, and a little bit excited. Right now I’m too tired to be much of anything," she said.

Like other athletes, she has started to taper off her training routine to heal and rest up for the big day.

She’s glad she had David and the rest of the Ironman community to train with, because she says it has taken over her life – if she wasn’t training in her spare time, she was doing physiotherapy and going for massages.

"This is the biggest thing I’ve ever done."

Paul Nicholas

This is Ironman number five in five years for Paul Nicholas, including four races in Penticton and one in California. While he hasn’t had a break in his training, he says the sport is addictive.

"What’s addictive about it? The training is great, you feel really strong and healthy, and there is such a great group of people here to train with. Without them it wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable," he said.

His goal, as in past years, is to beat his time of the previous year, something he has so far been able to do. Still, he recognizes that a lot depends on the day itself – if it’s windy for example, the water will be choppy for the swim, and the bike ride will be more challenging; if it’s raining, you burn more energy trying to stay warm.

"It’s such a big race, that it’s hard to set goals," he said.

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