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The Journey before Ironman: Brent Scholar

For the special and accomplished few who cross the finish line at an Ironman race, there are no sweeter words than those from Ironman announcer Mike Riley: “You are an Ironman!”

Brent Scholar hopes to hear those words for the first time on November 19, 2017 at IRONMAN Arizona in Tempe. Brent will be competing in his first full Ironman after a journey filled with many challenges that have molded him into who he is today. After November 19th he hopes to add Ironman to his list of accomplishments.

Brent began his journey after a bout with vertigo in 2011. He weighed 193 pounds and decided to make a change in his life. He started doing P90X workouts at home and began noticing a difference. He quickly wanted a new challenge, something that allowed him to set a goal. He chose running, and metaphorically he hasn’t stopped since.

On his 40th birthday, Brent ran four miles. He began running more and more every day and in 2013, he completed his first half-marathon. He has completed seven full marathons across the country since then. Each time he finished faster than the time before.

Looking for a new challenge, Brent decided to purchase a bike and began training for a triathlon in 2014. The Santa Cruz 70.3 was his first triathlon event. Upon completing the 70.3, he circled IRONMAN Arizona as the first full triathlon he wanted to complete. He registered and began his training. Brent ran, swam, and rode his bike in a strict training regimen that he believed would have him ready for his first full triathlon. Unfortunately, that strict training regimen had to be modified as time went on. Brent managed to stay focused on his training even with a demanding work schedule but it was a June 2017 cancer diagnosis for his mother that took an emotional toll and put his Ironman dreams in jeopardy.

Brent and his brother split time taking care of their mother while she went through chemotherapy in California. That meant that Brent had to travel back and forth between Arizona and California to take care of his mother which, in turn, created a strain on his training. He was beginning to have doubts about whether or not to even continue to train and to compete in the IRONMAN Arizona at all.

On one trip to California, he was picked up at the airport by a friend of his that offered a piece of advice. She said, “To be a true caretaker, one must first take care of themselves.” She then opened the trunk of her car and pulled out her bike and handed it to Brent. “If you’re going to be going back and forth between California and Arizona, you’re going to need a bike to train with in Arizona and one to train with in California.” Brent was shocked with her generosity. His friend just lent him her bike for his California trips and strongly encouraged him to continue the training he had begun.

With his mother finishing chemotherapy, Brent ramped up the training sessions once again in both states. He is now in the home stretch of his training and anxiously awaiting the start of the IRONMAN Arizona here in Tempe on November 19th. Brent will have a strong support system of friends and family with him here in Tempe, Arizona when he and many other athletes compete in Ironman. Many come to this race with not just the necessary training but with a lifelong journey of ups and downs, which have led them to this point.

You can watch Brent fulfill his journey to become an Ironman athlete November 19, 2017 at Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona. If you’re an athlete competing in Ironman Arizona this year, check out the accommodations page to find your hotel home base for the race.

Written Alicia Griffith

Alicia is an ASU Alumna and Tucson native who is unapologetically herself. When she is not sharing her passion for Tempe, she is a devoted dog mom and reality TV enthusiast who has a weakness for charcuterie boards and wine!

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