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Susan Haag: Finishing My 100th IRON-Distance Race Was Exhilarating

My name is Susan Haag and I just competed my 100 iron-distance race. I love all things triathlon… except getting up early. I was never one to be labeled as “an athlete” but when I was in law school and saw a flyer about a local triathlon, I thought, how crazy and exciting to string three interesting sports together? With intrigue, I signed up. I honed my swimming skills in our apartment pool and I borrowed my roommate’s boyfriend’s bike. I flatted and rode the tire into an octagonal shape and got him a new wheel. What a start!

I may have doggie paddled, but there were very few women who showed up at that race in 1990 . I won a prize, and I was hooked. Fast forward 26 years and I have now completed 375 triathlons, 100 of those being iron-distance races. I am the first woman in the world to reach that number of iron distance triathlons and I just did 101 in Cozumel! I never intentionally set a goal for 100 iron-distance races. It was simply where I was headed. Once I did one, I just couldn’t let go of a newfound friend. I find this sport exhilarating and empowering and I love the community I get to meet and “play” with!

I truly love this sport and feel lucky that I can race long, but slow, and rest a few days and then I get ready to go again. I go race-to-race, even once doing an IRONMAN, then a marathon, then another Iron, then the NYC Marathon with a PR in exactly a four-week span.

In the past few years, I noticed that my legs were beginning to cramp — or ache pretty substantially — while out long-distance cycling and occasionally on a long run. I was not having any success solving these problems and was not about to start surfing the couch. I was searching for a solution and fortuitously came upon a HOTSHOT ad on Facebook. I immediately ordered some and used my first one at IRONMAN Titanium in Michigan. My Florida legs were unaccustomed to their brutal and relentless hills.

With HOTSHOT, my legs almost instantaneously healed and I had no more problems for the remaining 56 miles and into the 26.2 mile run. I was elated. I used HOTSHOT again at several more irons (even packing three bottles for three loops of killer hills) and was stoked to see them show up as a sponsor at several of my IRONMAN races. I have had great success with these little gem vials and don’t intend to ever part ways! I share my little secret with as many as I can and have heard others agree that it is a sure shot way to cream the cramp! I highly recommend it to athletes struggling with cramps. Try it! You won’t be disappointed!

Finishing my 100th iron was incredibly exhilarating. I had so much support on the “local” Florida course and tons of friends and fans ran alongside me announcing my feat to astonished onlookers. I ran on behalf of the Children’s Tumor Foundation and 8-year-old Clara. I ran down the finisher chute with dance moves Clara and her sisters requested and grabbed signs other little girls made for me! It made 100 super special!

People keep asking me, “What’s next?”…101 or course…or now it has to be 102! I can only imagine what I could do if I had oodles of money to pay for races! As I have limited resources, I have about five or six irons scheduled for next year and may try my hand at a double iron…or maybe a triple.

 

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MORE ON THE HOTSHOT BLOG 

Train Smarter: 5 things every triathlete should incorporate into their IRONMAN training plan. 

Journey to Kona:  4 Athletes share what keeps them motivated and on track.   

What I Learned from IRONMAN World Champion Crowie Alexander: One KONA qualifier shares his story

 

 

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