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HOUSTON -Debbie Weir, VP of Operations for StarTrust Federal Credit Union works hard at the office, but outside the office she really goes the distance. Debbie recently competed in and finished her first IronMan Competition, a grueling combination of a 2.4-mile swim in open water, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. “The best part about competing is personal satisfaction, the camaraderie of fellow athletes, and the realization that your body is capable of so much more than most of us push it to,” Weir said. Debbie completed her first IronMan in less than 14 hours, well under the 17-hour timeframe allowed, but failed to meet her self-imposed goal of 12-1/2 hours. “I was personally disappointed in my time, but talking to a lady who was ecstatic about barely finishing the race helped me put it in perspective,” she said. Weir participated in athletics growing up – basketball, volleyball and even track at the state level. She and her husband played team sports in their early years of marriage, but opportunities dwindled as friends grew older and began raising families. After a full year with no outlet for physical exercise, Debbie wanted to find a way to stay active. “I was getting out of breath walking from the parking garage to my office,” she said. So, she started bicycling and joined a cycle club. Then, a friend encouraged her to watch a triathlon. It dawned on her that people of all ages, shapes and sizes were competing. “If they can do it, so can I,” she thought. She started running short sprint distances and got hooked. Eventually, she ran a marathon. But when a friend suggested the IronMan Competition, she thought, “No way. That’s out of my league.” But she began training – hitting the pavement and pool for up to two hours daily during the week and up to eight hours on the weekend. Bicycling is her strongest event; she generally places in the top 5% for her age group in competitions. In the run, she usually finishes in the top 15%, and in swimming has moved up from the bottom third to “the middle of the pack.” In two years, Debbie has progressed from no exercise to IronMan competitor. “I am proud to be part of this group. Even though we’re competing against each other, people are friendly. It’s very rewarding.” -

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