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Inaugural Ironman

MONMOUTH -- Brian Joynt ran his first marathon in 2010 -- just to prove to himself he could do it.Afterward, Brian told his wife, Jaime, he would never run another one.It wasn't purposeful but a switch turned on in Joynt and he hasn't stopped running, swimming and biking his way around the Pacific Northwest since.On Sunday, Joynt will compete in his first full Ironman competition in Lake Tahoe, Calif.The 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run is considered by many to be the ultimate test of not only a person's endurance, but ability to suffer through intense physical and mental distress."I turn 40 in January, so I wanted to complete an Ironman before 40," Joynt said. "I get two totally different responses: that's awesome, you can do it; or, you are crazy."Joynt worked training sessions into his irregular schedule at Joynt Family Chiropractic, 629 Clay St. E, going on midday 20- or 30-mile rides.Jaime can't help but worry every time Brian gets on the bike or goes out for a run, and regularly follows him, kids on board, in the family's SUV, acting as a traveling aid station. Photo by Aaron Newton Brian Joynt embarks on a "short" 30-mile bike ride after a day at his clinic, Joynt Family Chiropractic in Monmouth. Joynt competes in the Ironman Lake Tahoe on Sunday Brian suffers from cardiac arrhythmia -- an irregular heartbeat -- for which he's had two surgeries.Though it has mostly diminished since Joynt began running after their second child, Taylor, was born six years ago, it is still a concern, especially if he becomes dehydrated -- a big risk when competing in an Ironman."I don't like him to be out there by himself. His heart problem was a lot worse before he started really exercising," Jaime said. "It's not something that weighs heavy, but it's always there."Since that marathon in 2010, Joynt has been addicted to long-distance, multi-phase events, convincing his dad to join him in a sprint triathlon.The recent obsession with these events has seemingly come out of nowhere, and at times has Jaime more than confused."He gets really excited and really gets into it. I don't know where the drive comes from," she said. "I asked him if he honestly enjoys riding his bike for nine hours. He said it's one of those things he's had to learn to like and he wouldn't go out there for fun."In June of last year, Joynt competed in his first half Ironman in Boise, Idaho, but the bike portion was cut short because of snow.Three months later Joynt finished the Best in the West half Ironman in Sweet Home with a time of 7 hours -- not bad for a guy with a heart condition."My first goal is to finish. I have to finish within 17 hours," he said. "If you don't pass certain checkpoints within certain times, they pull you off the course. My overall goal is 15 hours."Joynt's training regimen started on Jan. 1 with an emphasis on biking, his weakest event.Getting past 70 miles was the biggest handicap with cramping and nausea occurring every time for the first several weeks. Also maintaining proper nutrition -- Joynt estimates he will burn between 13,000 and 18,000 calories through the race -- was an issue."It took me a while to get up the miles. I would start dry heaving between miles 70 and 80," Joynt said. "Until I got my nutrition down it happened all the time. It's been a lot easier now."Brian coaxed Jaime into running not long after Taylor was born.It's been an uphill battle at times, but she's competed in a few races with him -- the upcoming Runaway Pumpkin half marathon in Lebanon will be her third 13.1 miler. Photo by Aaron Newton Brian Joynt finishes the last leg of his training Monday in the WOU pool before Sunday's Ironman event. Brian's athletic feats are catching on with the kids, too, as Carson, 8, and Taylor, 6, are regularly running with him -- Carson competed in the kids Splash and Dash, a 100-meter swim and 1-kilometer run, at the Best in the West event last year.As involved as the entire family has become with Joynt's races, the Lake Tahoe event will just be mom and dad, as the kids will stay home with the grandparents.Once the exhaustion of the race has worn off, Brian and Jaime are looking to have a mini vacation."I would love to have the kids, but it's too stressful. We're going to have to get up at 4 o'clock in the morning and the whole thing shuts down at midnight," she said. "We're staying until the following Thursday in Tahoe. I'm assuming he'll be down for the entire day after the race, hopefully he can bounce back after that."The course figures to be one of the toughest Ironman events -- as if it needed to be any harder -- with more than 6,000 feet of elevation gain during the bike portion.The lake itself should be a chilly 63 degrees at race time and the projected high for the day is only 66.Joynt is welcoming the unforgiving conditions, with a healthy dose of modesty."I figured if I'm only going to do one Ironman, why not make it really tough," he said. "I was pretty nervous but I've put in the time and whatever happens, happens. I would be happy with just finishing." Did You Know? * An ironman competition is comprised of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run. More Ironman Than Human Who: Brian Joynt, 39, father of three, chiropractor in Monmouth and long-distance athlete. What: Ironman Lake Tahoe, Calif., a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run testing an athlete's physical and mental conditioning. When: Sunday, 5 a.m. to midnight. Family: Wife Jaime, Carson, 8, Taylor 6, Maddox, 3. For more info: Visit www.ironman.com for complete race information and a live feed during the event.

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