CenLa Woman Finishes Ironman - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

CenLa Woman Finishes Ironman

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ALEXANDRIA, LA.- There's one local athlete that has spent quite a bit of time in the forest over the past year.

Kisatchie National Forest that is. That's because she not only works there, but trained there for the Ironman triathlon she completed this summer.

News Channel 5's Rachael Penton reports.

140.6 miles....that's farther than driving from Alexandria to Baton Rouge plus a few extra miles.

But Jennifer Heisey didn't cover that distance with a car.

"It's a 2.4 mile swim, open water and then you get out, you do a 112 mile bike on the road and then you get off and you get to do a full running marathon of 26.2 miles," she says.

It's all part of the famous Ironman triathlon that she completed this summer at the Lake Placid, New York location.

For many triathletes just *completing* the race is a life-long dream...

"You get real excited and start going faster just to finish strong and obviously they get to call your name and say 'you're an iron man' when you finish so that was great," says Jennifer.

...and now that she's accomplished that goal, Jennifer says she's going back for more.

"It's been awesome of course and now it's like okay can I do another Ironman and I want to do it faster and better."

And when she starts training for the next one, she'll head back to Kistachie National Forest...where she's a recreation and trails manager.

She not only works at the forest, but takes advantage of the forest's many trails....which she says was the perfect place in CenLa to do her Ironman training.

"I was able to go out in the forest, because that's the only place that I could find hills so in the wintertime I was mountain biking because there's lots of climbs, great place to do running."

Whether you're a serious athlete or just looking to have some fun, she says Kisatchie National Forest has something for everyone.

"You'll see people that are new to the sport and you'll see people that you know are a beast on the bike when they're mountain biking," she adds.

And if you're thinking about becoming an Ironman...or an "iron-woman" like Jennifer....she says go for it!

"It sounds crazy when the distances happen but if you just get out there and put your mind to it you can pretty much accomplish the goals for sure."

And Jennifer says she put in about 15 hours of training each week for the competition. she says her ultimate goal is to one day qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

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