Roanoke County firefighter trains for upcoming Ironman race

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:06 PM EDT
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - A Roanoke County firefighter is training for the upcoming Carilion Clinic Ironman 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

The race involves swimming, cycling, and running.

These days when Barry Brown’s not out on a call, he’s training for the big race.

“I started running probably fifteen years ago and from that have progressed into cycling and started doing triathlons. Started with sprints and eventually ended up doing a half Ironman in Wilmington, North Carolina back ten years ago, so when I saw this was coming to Roanoke, I decided I wanted to do it. I am originally from Buchanan, so the fact that an Ironman event is riding through Main Street Buchanan, I just think that’s really cool and I never could have imagined that an Ironman race would be going through Main Street Buchanan,” said Brown.

“An Ironman 70.3 is a long distance triathlon that’s a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike and finish off with a half marathon run, 13.1 miles. This course is a very challenging course with a climb up Route 43. 5, 6-mile climb rolling along the parkway, so this is one of their harder courses of the Ironman circuit,” said Brown.

He says it’s been tough balancing training with his day job.

“When I’m working here unfortunately the only thing I can do is run on a treadmill, so I have to leave all my cycling and swim training for my days off,” said Brown.

Brown wants to remind people to watch out for cyclists and runners on the roads.

“Over the next couple of weeks, there probably will be a large number of cyclists out on the roads... so just be aware that they’re out there. Pay attention, if you do approach cyclists or runners, best thing to do is just slow down, give them some space, approach them at a safe speed and not pass them until it is safe to do so and when you do pass them, give them some room. I have people blow by me where I’m really close to their mirror as they pass me,” said Brown.

And says he’s looking forward to crossing that finish line.

“Being a firefighter, you really need to be in top shape, the best you can, because we will go out and we might be out on a wildfire for days or weeks for that matter, so we need to really be in the best shape that we can and honestly by signing up for races like this, kind of forces you to go out when you really don’t want to when you’re tired to go out and put in the miles and get it done,” said Brown.

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