A 3.8-kilometre swim and a 180-kilometre bike ride, followed by a marathon is pretty daunting.
And anyone who is impressed by that should be blown away by Derek Featherstone and his family. The Ironman in Lake Placid in New York State has become a tradition for the 39-year-old Ottawa resident, his wife, Kathryn, 38, his brother, Gavin, 35, and his brother’s wife, Michelle, 36.
“It’s a bit of a family affair,” said Featherstone, who was first inspired to do an Ironman after watching his brother compete in 2005.
“It was an inspirational event,” he said in a phone interview en route to the race. “We thought, ‘we need to be a part of this.’”
He finished his first event in 16 hours.
“I remember thinking, ‘I am never, ever doing this again,” he said.
Now attempting his third Ironman, Featherstone is aiming for a time under 14 hours.
“I want to see how far I can push my limits,” he said. “I love when people tell me something can’t be done, and then going out and doing that thing. It’s what drives me to keep doing it.”
The parents of three children, Featherstone and Kathryn train in shifts.
“I do it for my kids,” said Kathryn. “I want to be a good role model for my children.”