Just how far are the three components of the Iron Man? A 2.5-mile swim along the azure blue waters of the Sea of Cortes kicked off the Iron Man for Dr. Mathis, which was immediately followed by a 112-mile bike ride. Finally, the athletes have to run the marathon distance run of 26.2 miles between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, a feat of athletic endurance in and of itself.
To give some perspective on the astonishing length of the Iron Man, here are a few things to think about. The total distance for the competition is about 140 miles. That is the distance between Memphis and Little Rock, Arkansas! The running portion alone would be the equivalent of running from the Mississippi river all the way to our Pediatric Consultants office in Collierville!
Dr. Mathis completed the Iron Man in 14 hours and 58 minutes, all in the blazing heat of the Mexican sun. To combat the intense rays, he wore long sleeves and high SPF sun screen. Locals along the way referred to him as "the ghost" because of his white sunscreen appearance, but it was important to keep his skin well-protected!
Joining Dr. Mathis in the Iron Man Competition and in training was fourth-year medical student, Cayce Nawaf. Cayce created the University of Tennessee College of Medicine's 5K Race last year to raise money for scholarships for the medical school. The second annual installment of the Medicine in May 5K race will take place on May 18 at 8:30am at Health Sciences Park (formerly Forrest Park) and will include music from the midtown band The Vintones.
Dr. Mathis hopes that his achievements in the Iron Man will serve as a reminder for the importance of exercise in our lives, and also, the importance of wearing sunscreen. The next time you see Dr. Mathis at the office, make sure to give the Iron Man a high five!