Math teacher competes in Ironman competition

Math teacher Kent Palmer successfully competed in the Ford Ironman Florida Triathlon on Saturday.  in Panama City Beach.

The triathlon consisted of a 2.4 mile swim and an 112 mile bike followed by a 26.2 mile run. 

Palmer finished the swim in 59:19 and was in 191st place at the swim’s conclusion.
He then finished the bike segment in 6:05:46.

Palmer completed the marathon run, the segment he was most nervous about, in 5:09:04. Palmer’s total time was 12:40:29.   

Competitors were allotted 17 hours to complete the course, from 7 a.m. to midnight on Sunday. Palmer wanted to finish in 11-12 hours.

“I have some anxiety about the run, but if I can finish the bike ride, even if I walk parts, I’m still pretty confident I can finish,” Palmer said before the race.

A select number of competitors in these regional triathlons can qualify for the world championships in Hawaii.

However, Palmer was just focusing on finishing. 

“Maybe one day [I’ll qualify], but this year I just plan to finish,” Palmer said.    
Palmer traveled to Florida with fellow members of the Los Angeles Triathlon Club.
One member, who has competed in the Ironman in the past, put together a training regimen for the members where they increased distance incrementally over the 10 to 12 weeks before the triathlon.

Palmer planned to complete the large bulk of his training over the summer, but instead had to deal with moving and caring for his 17-month-old son.     

Palmer’s training consisted of a long bike ride every Saturday morning and a long run on Sunday or during the week. 

Palmer was a lot more nervous for the triathlon before completing an 110-mile bike ride about a month ago and not experiencing any cramping. 

“However, it’s one thing to finish the bike ride and go lounge in the pool, and another to finish it and go run a marathon,” Palmer said. 

Palmer, who has a long background in swimming, has competed for the last seven years in triathlons. 

He expected his swimming experience would give him a leg up on most other triathletes, who are generally anxious about the swim. 

Palmer’s triathlon path started while he was a student at the University of California Berkeley when he noticed an ad for a shorter, “sprint distance” triathlon.  Intrigued, Palmer competed and has been hooked ever since.