Made of iron 

Page 6 of 7

"It’s one of the things I should have spent more time on," she said.

Still, she says she has already accomplished more than she expected to in training, and is ready to give it her best.

Having John around has definitely helped, she said. "He’s been great, doing things and getting out – he’s been instrumental in encouraging me. He knows that you have bad days and good days, and he always reminds me that things will get better. He’s good at putting things in perspective."

Mae Palm

For Mae Palm, this is her fourth Penticton Ironman in the last four years. Racing in the 60 to 64 age category, she has been both a Canadian and a world champion in the sport.

Two years ago she came within eight minutes of the national record for her age group, and said she might have made it if she hadn’t stopped to talk to so many competitors and volunteers.

She says her swimming and cycling have improved, and feels confident that her running is as strong as ever – she has more than 100 marathons to her credit, as well as more than a dozen ultra marathons.

Her goal is just to finish this year, and possibly to get that record. "I just want to do the swim, finish that, get through the bike safely without falling off, and then get to the finish line. Anything else would be icing on the cake for me."

She says it’s nice to have experience in the race, and really notices the effect that more biking and swimming have had on her body. Unlike the other Whistler runners, she lives in Squamish and is self-coached.

"The problem is that if I had some time off I would go running because that’s what I liked the best, but now I’m telling myself to get on the bike or go swimming because I have the running already," she said.

Although she is always little nervous before a big race, she draws strength from the fact that she has never once had to pull out of a race in the past.

She also has more competition this year, with five other athletes in her age group. Some of them just turned 60, and will also likely be gunning for the record.

Although this makes it more of a challenge, Palm says she’s happy for anyone who enters and finishes the Ironman.

Her goal is once again to qualify for the World Championships in Hawaii – she’s already been there twice, even though she can’t afford to go. She is hoping that a sponsor, or that people in the community, can help her out with donations.

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