LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- It's taken a little convincing to get Megan Gill to participate in her first Indoor Ironman challenge at the YMCA.
"I'm a little bit nervous," said Megan. "I'm not a very good swimmer, so we'll see how that section goes."
She, like hundreds of other participants in the sixth annual event, must swim 2.4 miles, run a full 26.2 mile marathon and cycle 112 miles. But what makes the challenge, normally reserved for the elite endurance athletes among us, so accessible is the month participants have to complete it.
Wellness Director Lee Walraven said, "Since it is an on your honor system, for every event they complete their name gets put into a drawing, so if they complete all three events, their name gets put in three times."
That's not to mention all who register by February 5th get a commemorative T-shirt saying they've competed in an ironman challenge. It may seem like a small token--but that can go a long way when getting involved at a gym.
"If you don't know how to use some of the equipment, it can be intimidating, so to have that shirt that--'Hey you have the shirt, I have the shirt'--we're part of a club or you're 'in' the club now that you have one of the shirts, it is a big motivating factor," said Walraven.
As for getting motivated to complete the challenge, Megan said a planned, piece by piece attack will help her make waves.
"I'm going to go [swimming] twice a week, and do like maybe eight laps. Short distances: maybe I can get it done."
That might in turn help her convince others to get motivated.
Megan said, "I'll be able to tell people, 'Oh what's new with you Megan?' 'Well, you know I did an Indoor Ironman--no big deal or anything.'"
Again, for full registration (including the T-shirt) you must sign up at the YMCA by February 5th. It costs $12 and includes the shirt and entry into the prize drawings. Those who sign up after February 5th can still compete. The partial registration fee is $3. For more information, stop by The Y or call 782-9622.
Walraven added that the Y sees no financial benefit from the event, saying it's completely for the benefit of those who participate. He said it often takes months of planning with plenty of assistance from the YMCA's interns.