Lubbock man competing in 2022 IRONMAN championship

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Chad Cartwright is competing against more than 5,000 athletes for the title of World IRONMAN Champion.

The race will happen in Kona, Hawaii on Saturday, Oct. 8. The race combines 140.6 miles of running, cycling, and swimming.

It all started in 2013 when Cartwright picked up a new hobby hoping to get back in shape. That hobby is triathlons, and he says he never expected it to go this far.

“After my first time after I finished, I barely finished. I looked at my wife and said this is the stupidest I have ever done and then I signed up for another,” Chad said.

One race turned into 13, and by 2020 Chad reached a goal athletes around the global dream of. But, COVID put that dream on hold.

“It took a long time to get here and that may be good, because it gave me more time to train,” Cartwright said.

Chad says he started training on the swimming portion of the race because that has been his slowest leg in past competitions. Even after the extra practice, he says he is still most nervous about the 2.4-mile swim in the Pacific Ocean.

“For me, and I think a lot of people, is just your first thought is - okay I’ve got to get in the water, I’ve got to get out on time and get on the bike and I’ll be alright,” Cartwright said.

He won’t be alone at the race, Chad has more than 17 family members and friends in Hawaii to cheer him to the finish line.

“When you want to quit, people cheering you on and giving you support it is amazing how much that helps - because it is an individual sport, but you can’t do it by yourself, that’s for sure,” Cartwright said.

Although there are only two days before the race, Chad and his family aren’t too stressed about last-minute training.

“I’m probably not training like most people,” Cartwright said. “We go sightseeing - like today we are going to see the volcano.”

Chad is hoping to bring a trophy back to Lubbock. You can watch the IRONMAN Championship on Oct. 8 on NBC’S Peacock streaming service.