The Washington Times-Herald

Local Sports

August 24, 2013

Iron Man dream comes true

Six years might not seem like a very long time, but for Beth Gabhart it seems like an eternity. Only six years ago, Gabhart could barely do any physical activity without becoming extremely fatigued, but then something amazing happened that changed her life forever.

Gabhart, 39, will be running in her first ever full Iron Man triathlon race Sunday in Louisville, Ky. The 140. 6 mile race will stand as a symbol for how far she has come since that day six years ago that she chose to get on a bicycle.

"About six years ago, me and a couple friends from work decided to do a triathlon," Gabhart said. "At that time I couldn't run and I couldn't swim, so I did the bike portion and I bought a $65 bike at Walmart with the mountain tires and everything and I took a couple of rides, and at that time it was 18 miles. I did that triathlon as a team with them, and actually there was a woman next to me when we were racking our bikes and they put your age on your calf and the woment next to me was 74 and she was doing all of it. I looked at her and said, 'If she can do it all, then I can do it all.' The following year I made a goal that I would do a triathlon on my own."

Beth wanted to start running and swimming, but she had one problem — she as diagnosed with "Exercise Induced Asthma" since high school. This diagnosis prevented her from competing in any sports that would force to run too much, she decided to play softball and volleyball in high school. She was told this was just something she was going to have to live with for the rest of her life. After beginning some of her training for a future triathlon, Beth began to get better news.

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