Traverse City Native Goes the Distance with Back-to-Back Triathlons

TRAVERSE CITY – Have you ever thought about running in an Ironman triathlon and considered the intense training that goes with it?

It’s a lot more than you think.

The triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 run.

After running one in Louisville, Traverse City native Andy Belanger jokingly said, “I woke up and said I could do another one, I could do another one right now.”

That statement went from a joke to a reality because on June 8 and 9, Belanger took on the challenge of running back-to-back ‘Iron Distance’ triathlons.

Belanger took some time to plan and mapped out a course for himself.

“I made [it] up myself and just went and did, obviously with some training,” Belanger said. “It was mainly solo, had some friends out there with me to help me along, and my wife out there, it was just something to do.”

The first day took Belanger 14 hours and 21 minutes to complete, while the second day took 14 hours and 39 minutes.

He hopes that him accomplishing this can show others that they can do whatever they set their minds to.

“If I could convince one person to get off the couch and walk around the block, or get off the couch and run a mile, awesome,” said Belanger. “Really wasn’t my intention at first, but then after I think about it’s like, yeah I went pretty far, I mean I get it. If you just put your mind to it and put the training in and put the dedication in, you can do anything you want. And that’s something I hope my kids take out of it or somebody seeing this, sees it and says ‘hey I can get up and do something.'”