Gundersen's Shannon Riley preps for Iron Man triathlon - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Gundersen's Shannon Riley preps for Iron Man triathlon


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- Shannon Riley wears many hats. 

She's an exercise physiologist at Gundersen Health System, a wife and, lastly, a triathlete. 

Riley has already completed two triathlons in Wisconsin. But she now has her eye on a bigger prize. 

She'll be competing this weekend in Idaho and, if her time is good enough, she'll qualify to compete in the highly-regarded Hawaii Iron Man triathlon. 

"I want a family trip to Hawaii," Riley joked. 

Riley said she regularly bikes to work. Her training routine also involves biking and swimming before her work day begins each morning, going for regular runs on her lunch break each day and biking home. 

When she arrives home for the day, she doesn't rest. 

"I either get back on my bike, swim or run again," Riley said. 

Riley said she can run eight miles during her lunch break on a good day. 

"I've just established that habit," Riley said of her daily, lunch time runs. "In life when you establish habits and you're used to doing things, you look forward to those habits." 

"When I come back from my run at lunch I'm re-energized and ready to go for the rest of the day," she said. 

Riley said she'll need to finish in the top tier in a field of more than 100 women competing in her age group to make it to the Iron Man in Hawaii. 

But she said even if she comes up short, triathlons will still be enjoyable for her. 

"People Have asked me, 'What if you don't qualify?'" Riley said. "I'm just thankful for the opportunities I've had in life." 

"I feel very blessed for the ability God has given me to compete and to train and achieve this balance in my life," she said. 

"So if I could tell everyone just one thing, it would be to find what inspires you and do your best," Riley said. 


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