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Valley husband and wife become an iron couple

Dara Pelkey-Field and Mike Field cross the finish line together at the Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid.
Dara Pelkey-Field and Mike Field cross the finish line together at the Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid. - Contributed
VALLEY, N.S. —

Dara Pelkey-Field and Mike Field have forged some strong bonds, recently becoming an "Iron couple."

They swam, biked, ran and crossed the finish line of the Lake Placid Ironman triathlon together.

“It’s still a little surreal,” said Dara. “It was a huge commitment and there was a lot of compromise to get there.”

The couple did the half Ironman at Mont-Tremblant, Que., last year and felt that with the right training, they could do the full long-distance triathlon. They began training nine months before the event, often with the Truro Triathlon Club. They also went to a nutritionist and adjusted their diet for both training and race day.

Because so much time would be spent preparing for the triathlon, Dara let someone else take her horse for the summer.

They got to Lake Placid a little early to adjust to the higher elevation. 

“Mike Reilly is considered the ‘voice of Ironman’ and we really wanted to take part where he would be announcing,” said Mike. “We could hear him when we were on the course and that gave us extra energy. The last couple of kilometres we probably went faster.”

The triathlon began with a 3.86 kilometre lake swim. 

Dara Pelkey-Field and Mike Field have become an Iron couple. They took part in the triathlon in Lake Placid.
Dara Pelkey-Field and Mike Field have become an Iron couple. They took part in the triathlon in Lake Placid.

“The water was beautiful,” said Dara, who only learned to swim about two-and-a-half years ago. “Biking is next, and to bike 180K and then have a 42.6K run as your reward is a kick in the teeth. As long as we could keep our minds focused we could help each other though. We raced side by side the entire time.

“We were lucky because we had no flat, no mechanical issues, and no health issues.”

They saw a few people staggering during the run. There were 2,935 starters at the triathlon but only 2,060 finished.

Mike had a goal to complete the event in less than 15 hours and was able to record a time of 14:52:31.

“Two days before the event Mike Reilly signed a book for us and wrote that we would be an Iron couple,” said Dara. “When we went over the finish line he announced us as an Iron couple. That was incredible.”

Two of their friends, Keltie Jones and Joy Galloway-Jones, went with them and served as volunteers for the triathlon.

“It was so nice to have familiar faces give us emotional and physical support,” said Dara. “If not for them, it wouldn’t have been the same experience.”

Mike added, although they were very tired and hungry the next day, they felt great.

“We worked really hard for it, so we wanted to enjoy it, and we did,” he said.

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