LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Ramsey’s inspiration comes from friends he has seen prepare for and go on to finish full Ironmans, competitions where participants swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles. The running portion alone is a complete marathon. He also relishes in the close proximity.
“I have several friends who have never competed. Having a local triathlon will help,” said Ramsey. “It’s good to have a local event. I get tired of driving hundreds of miles to compete.”
Ed Stanko, 40, also appreciates that the Laurel Lake Tri is so close to home. Originally from Lexington, he and his family have been Laurel Countians for the past 10 years. As an avid marathon runner, he’s been exposed to what racing and fitness sports bring to towns like London and Corbin.
“I’ve seen how towns are boosted by races. I love that facet of it,” said Stanko. “The whole town actually becomes involved in the actual event.”
Like Ramsey, Stanko regularly competes in marathons with his wife, Shelley. He’s even gone the route of competing in four sprint triathlons where distances are not as daunting. He does, however, look forward to the challenge.
“When I found out a larger triathlon was happening in my own backyard, I figured it was time to give it a try,” Stanko said. “I never wanted to or had time to commit to the training that goes into it.”
Stanko is on a six-month plan to get into racing shape. He plans on swimming 2000 yards per week and riding at least 20-30 miles. To combat the cold weather, he’s bought an indoor trainer for his bike, turning his favorite road vehicle into a near-perfect spin cycle.
Stanko also bemoans the large amounts of training required to adequately complete a triathlon. According to the triathlete, six months is more than enough time to fall into tiredness or laziness.