Tyler Lyons: EPS’s first Ironman finisher


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Tyler Lyons became EPS’s first student to run an Ironman while still in high school on April 1.

Adeline Gruen, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Every year, the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) holds Ironman Triathlons (no not the Marvel character) all across North America. “Ironmans” are intense triathlons consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. 

This year, Edmond Memorial High School (EMHS) senior Tyler Lyons took part in the Half Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run) put on by the WTC in Galveston, Texas, on April 1. Despite the intense training and hard work he knew would have to put into preparing for the race, Lyons has had the dream of running an Ironman for a long time.

“I wanted to participate in the Ironman for a lot of reasons, but the first one was it’s something that I’ve really wanted to participate in for about the last five years of my life. I saw an opening to go, and I took it,” Lyons said.

Lyons has always had a love for running, as seen by his time on Memorial’s Track and Field and Cross Country teams.

“He’s always liked long distance events. He does the two-mile in track, runs cross country, and loves doing long-distance races. I feel like he wanted to try triathlons to branch out, expand,” EMHS senior, and friend of Lyons, Andrew Mcnair said.

In order to prepare for the race, Lyons used the Macmillan triathlon training plan, which has several plans geared to help beginners prepare for their first triathlon. Since Lyons has been running for years, he adapted Macmillan’s plans so that he could focus more on his weaknesses: the biking and swimming portions. While he ran with his school team to train, he had other students cheering him on so he could meet his goal.

“We spoke for about 30 minutes before school every day as we’re both driving to school. I’d give him some advice about what sort of training he’s doing and how he can maybe improve. I’m not the best at athletic training, but I’d give my advice and just cheer him on to be a supportive voice,” Mcnair said.

After months of training, the day of the race finally came. People from all over the world came to participate, and Lyons had a great time meeting everyone. However, once the race began, he started to feel that adrenaline rush dwindle.

“Mile 40 on the bike was definitely the hardest because it was the part that I was the most tired, the most demoralized and the most wanting to be done,” Lyons said. “I overcame the slump by just pushing through all the pain. Both my legs had cramped up at that point, and I just kind of had to keep pedaling.”

After 6 hours, 46 minutes and 4 seconds, Lyons became the first Edmond Public Schools student to finish an Ironman event while still in high school. 

“I’m a little surprised that we haven’t had a student do it before. It’s kind of weird being the first student doing it because it was a really hard event to train for. At the same time, it feels really good to finally [be able to] say that,” Lyons said.

Once Lyons crossed the finish line, he became overwhelmed with emotion, as races such as the Ironman can take hefty emotional tolls on people. Luckily, Lyons not only had support leading up to the race but after as well.

“I know he had lots of people he trained with but, something like that can be very taxing,” EMHS senior, and friend of Lyons, Victoria Grayson said. “Before the Ironman I knew he was nervous about it, and then having nothing to do after can be kind of bittersweet.” 

Lyons believes that if someone wants to run an Ironman, they should really give it their all.

“The advice I would give to people who want to do it [the Ironman] is to train like your life depends on it because it’s a lot of hours. You have to really think about if you truly want to do it,” Lyons said. “If you want to do it because you really want to, you’ll find the training almost fun and easy. If you’re doing it just for the title or the medal, it becomes really hard to train for something like that.”

Lyons hasn’t decided quite yet what his next big race will be but is looking at running in November. Eventually, he wants to run the full Ironman instead of just a half and start doing Olympic triathlon distances. Now that Lyons has accomplished his dream of running in an Ironman race, he’s not going to stop.

Contact Adeline Gruen at [email protected]