Mallory Smith, originally of Langdon, competed in her first triathlon on Aug. 2-3; the Wilderman that took place just a few miles away at the Pembina Gorge.
Posted on 8/16/14
By Dee Entzi
Smith, who was born and raised in Langdon. She graduated high school in 2006 and has since relocated with her husband, Jared Smith, to Yankton, South Dakota while their parents continue to take up residence here Langdon. For the last several years, Smith has been very active in the world of marathons; she started running half marathons over three years ago and worked her way up to full marathons soon after. Since discovering her passion for the hobby, competing in a triathlon became a goal.
“I had always told my friends and husband that I would compete an Ironman type event someday (thinking it would be later in my life) and stumbled across an advertisement for the Wilderman. Being as it was near my hometown, I had the time to train, I enjoy off-roading, and was injury free; I figured it was meant to be,” said Smith.
While Smith has been in marathon shape for several years, getting herself in triathlon condition was a whole different challenge that started a year prior to the Wilderman. During the last two months before the event, Smith was training up to 25 hours a week. Training involved indoor and outdoor swimming, on and off-road biking, running, and weight lifting. Not only did she have to become skilled in all three activities, she also had to learn how to manage her nutrition to cater to her rigorous training. Though this took an impressive amount of dedication from Smith, her husband had no small part to play in supporting her and her hobby.
“He was a trooper and never missed a beat when it came to helping me stay focused and motivated,” stated Smith.
Following a year of hard work, the Wilderman and Smith finally came face-to-face. After 18 hours of competing, she completed the swim and bike portions of the event without any problems, but unfortunately was injured during the run portion causing her to have to discontinue the event. Out of 26 that started the event, 16 finished. Though she didn’t make it to the end, she’s grateful for the experience and all it taught her.
“It teaches you to be extremely dedicated. You have to live, eat, breathe “Ironman” training,” stated Smith. She continued, “You meet some amazing, strong people, at the events and everyone has their own story as to how they got started and why. You also get to see nature in a way that a lot of people do not.”
Smith will be starting school this fall to earn a degree in psychology through the University of South Dakota. She will continue to run marathons as time allows but will be making school her first priority.
Because of the commitment required to prepare for triathlons, her Ironman training will be put on hold for the time being. However, she has no intention of letting her injury stop her from achieving her goal.
She explained, “The Wilderman and I have some unfinished business.”