Doug Binkley may be an estimator for Swanton Welding, but there is no underestimating his commitment and dedication after completing an IRONMAN 70.3 in Delaware Ohio in the summer of 2017.
According to the IRONMAN race website the Ohio IRONMAN 70.3 or half a traditional IRONMAN:
“...begins with a 1.2-mile swim in the calm waters of Delaware Lake. Athletes will then embark on a flat and fast 56-mile bike course. Finally, athletes [will run] 13.1-miles.”
Binkley knew the keys for success were planning and never giving up. He also knew that he had to set goals for his training and hit benchmarks in the process. In the spring of 2017, he completed the Glass City Marathon, in Toledo, Ohio. Next up, he knew he needed a long bike ride to train and completed Bike to the Bay in Port Clinton, Ohio, finishing 22nd overall.
To round out his training, he realized he needed to focus on swimming. For weeks leading up to his IRONMAN event, Binkley swam in a variety of waters. He swam laps at the local YMCA, but also trained in open water as his schedule allowed. Once he got his bearings in the water, he started to train for his IRONMAN in succession, incorporating runs with swimming and biking to start to work on his stamina and get a feel for race day.
Before the gun went off on race day in Delaware, Binkley realized he had an important stop to make. Every IRONMAN is given a red IRONMAN Foundation wristband at check in to give to a race day volunteer to show their appreciation. After spotting an officer serving in the colorguard, Binkley briefly thanked the officer for his service that day, and everyday, and gave him the red wristband as a token of appreciation.
When Binkley lined up before the mad dash into the water, he knew he needed to rely on his training. However, the “calm waters” of Delaware Lake, turned into a large obstacle for Binkley as the swimmers around him splashed and cut their own path in the open water. Exhausted, Binkley almost took himself out of the race, but he pushed on. He fought through the mind games his body tried to play, hopped on his bike, and started pedaling.
The bike is actually Binkley’s strong suit. He conservatively began the bike leg of the race slow and steady until he got his bearings. Binkley purchased a new bike specifically for this race and he believes it helped him cut his bike time, maintaining a speed of just over 17 miles an hour, almost two miles faster than his previous speeds of 15 miles per hour.
The officer wasn’t his only inspiration on his race journey. At several points throughout the day, Binkley found himself cheered on by an unknown spectator. During his run portion of the event, he once again saw the woman cheering him on from the sidelines. He paused briefly to thank her for her encouragement, and gave her his personal bracelet that he was wearing that day. Binkley was wearing a bracelet from home, inscribed with the words “In Jesus Name I Play”. After he gave her the bracelet, they embraced like long lost friends, and she cheered him on as he continued with the rest of his race.
With members of the Team Toledo Triathlon Club cheering him on near the chute, Binkley finished IRONMAN 70.3, crossing the finish line in 7 hours and 20 minutes.
The team at Swanton Welding congratulates Doug on his amazing accomplishment. He carries the same level of commitment and dedication everyday for his Swanton Welding clients and partners, as his training. Don’t think that this is the end for Doug Binkley. He already has plans for a full IRONMAN, for his 60th birthday.