Jul 162009

Missy Lestrange is scheduled to compete at the Ironman World Championships 2009 that will be held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on Saturday, October 10, 2009, beginning at 6:45 in the morning. The race is a total of 140.6 miles in length and combines swimming (2.4 miles), biking (112 miles) and running (26.2 miles).

Missy had been a first place finisher in her age group during the 2008 World Championships with a time of 12:16.00 (WOW, what a long race). She has a renowned history of success at the Ironman which had brought her a level of recognition in the sport that many of us can only hope for. Here are a few examples from media sources of the past.

Here’s a segment of an article written in the 2003 report of the World Championships by Raymond Britt: 

“At mile 10, I caught up with Missy LeStrange, a 51 year-old legend who has won many age group titles in Hawaii. She had missed the 2002 race due to injury, and she wanted to reclaim her status as age group champion this year. As I reached her just before the Palani Drive incline out of town, she was receiving word from her spotter that she was in the lead of her age group by 25 minutes. She was doing incredibly well, and we headed out toward the Energy Lab, passing athletes along the way.” 

Here’s another segment written in Ironmanlive back in 2000:

“The age group awards were established in 1999 to recognize the accomplishments of age group athletes in Hawaii. Missy LeStrange and Bill Bell were the first recipients. “…Forty-seven-year-old Missy LeStrange has won her age group at the Ironman Triathlon World Championship each year since 1991. She has a total of 12 age group titles, including the 2000 Hawaii event. With 15 Ironman Triathlon World Championship finishes under belt, she also holds two age group records – one for the 40-44 age group and one for the 45-49 age group. In 1999, she set a new record for the 45-49 age group with her 10:51:11 finish, breaking the record she set in 1997….”

And yet another source that exemplifies the level of accomplishment that Missy has achieved is presented in a California International Marathon published in 1995:

“…Somewhere in here a woman with powerful shoulders passes by – it’s Missy LeStrange, the world’s most awesome age-group triathlete, a 40-something woman who can do a 10:30 Ironman, routinely winning her age group by an hour or more. By the time I gather my courage to say something, she’s out of reach. She only needs a 3:50 to qualify for Boston; [expletive removed], she’s done that in Hawaii!…”

In yesterday’s (July 15, 2009) edition of the Mid-Atlantic Monthly, Melissa Merson shared her experiences from the 2006 Ironman:

“…Being the princess that I am, I fumbled with the clasp on the tire pump for my bike. Missy LeStrange, the famous age-grouper who has won my age group in Kona more times that I can remember, notices my plight and comes over to help me. “Let me do it,” she says, and I sigh. She tries to talk me into pumping more air in my tires than I’d planned but I gently resist and thank her profusely. She then asked to borrow my pump, which I acquiesced to gladly. That was it. My bike was ready to go. I took two puffs off my asthma inhaler and threw it in the trash….”

If you’re watching on TV for this year, her bib number will be 396.We are all very proud of you Missy, and very honored that you chose to train with us. 

 Posted by at 22:12