Ironman Lake Tahoe athlete profile: Joshua Wheeler |

Ironman Lake Tahoe athlete profile: Joshua Wheeler

Joshua Wheeler said he owes a lot of his work ethic to his two coaches, Mark Redpath and Jeff Pearson.
Courtesy Zdenka Manthorpe / Lefrak Photography |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The 2015 Ironman Lake Tahoe triathlon is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 20, when more than 2,500 athletes will attempt to conquer the demanding feat.

It begins with a 2.4-mile swim at Kings Beach in Lake Tahoe, followed by a 112-mile bike trip with a two-loop circuit traveling from Kings Beach, Truckee and over Brockway Summit, before finishing at Squaw Valley.

Athletes then must complete a 26.2-mile marathon run through Squaw Valley and up to Tahoe, before eventually looping back to Squaw for the finish.

As we count down the weeks leading up to this year’s biggest adventure race, the Sierra Sun is publishing a series of Q-and-A interviews with local athletes who are registered to compete.

This week, we feature Joshua Wheeler of Truckee.

Name: Joshua Wheeler

Residence: Truckee

Age: 41

Q: What is the most challenging athletic event you’ve competed in to date?

A: “Donner Lake Half Ironman distance triathlon race.”

Q: How do you anticipate the 2015 Ironman Lake Tahoe comparing to that?

A: “I believe the Tahoe Ironman is going to be an amazing physically challenging event. I am looking forward to the energy and the support from my fellow racers, the local communities and the volunteers. Because the Tahoe Ironman is twice the distance of the Donner Lake Half, I anticipate the hardest part will be sticking to both my race plan and nutrient plan.”

Q: What inspired you to sign up for the 2015 Ironman Lake Tahoe?

A: “When I was about to turn 40 I was seeking a physical challenge. By chance I was able to watch a portion of the 2013 Tahoe Ironman. I knew I’ve found what I was seeking. Because I’ve never ridden a road bike or know how to swim efficiently, I knew this would be a huge undertaking.”

Q: What are your emotions entering Ironman Lake Tahoe. Are you nervous, excited, both?

A: “I am both nervous and excited!”

Q: What is your favorite portion of a triathlon — swim, bike or run — and why?

A: “Although biking is my favorite and strongest portion of a triathlon, I am most excited about the swim portion. I am looking forward to the explosive release of energy of all of the racers entering into the water. I am filled with both excitement and fear of the open-water portion.”

Q: How is your training going? Do you feel like you’ll be prepared for the challenge on race day?

A: “I feel that my training is going really well. I am grateful to my two coaches, Mark Redpath and Jeff Pearson, who have been helping me achieve my dream.”

Q: Do you have any specific goals in mind as far as a certain time. Or is reaching the finish line the only goal?

A: “Although I do not have a specific goal regarding a finishing time, I do have the goal of staying within my race plan and to grow from this experience. I’ve already registered for the 2016 St. George 70.3 Ironman.”

Q: Who among your friends and family will be on hand to root you on?

A: “Although I will have various friends and family supporting me throughout the race, I am most grateful to Wendy, my lovely wife who will be rooting me along. Without her support, patience and guidance, I would have never been able to make it to the start line.”

Q: How do you plan to celebrate your finish?

A: “Pizza and beer!”

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