Chris Jones became interested in doing triathlons during his honeymoon in France.
Chris Jones runs through the finish at the Huntsville 70.3 Ironman on Sunday half an hour sooner than expected at 6 hours, 9 minutes. Jones became interested in doing triathlons 12 years ago on his honeymoon.
Now he does them as a stress release from his full-time job as a stay-at-home dad with his three-year-old and six-year-old.
On Sunday he participated in his fourth 70.3-mile triathlon and blew his expectations out of the water.
Before the race on Sunday, he told his wife if everything goes perfectly, he’ll finish in six and a half hours.
He finished in six hours and nine minutes.
“It was phenomenal,” he said, “I exceeded all my expectations quite solidly.”
He chalked it up to everything going smoothly, being well rested and the training regimen working.
The extra speed means there aren’t many pictures of him though, because he arrived at the checkpoints before everyone cheering for him did. He even outran his wife to the finish, who thought she had half an hour to spare, only to get off the bus just in time to hear his name announced at the finish.
Jones’ interest in attempting a triathlon began when his family began, on his honeymoon in Nice, France. Jones and his new wife were watching an ironman triathlon and they ended up sitting beside several competitors from Alberta.
The conversation about their involvement in the ironman piqued his interest, so the following spring he looked up the possibilities of competing in an ironman competition closer to home.
Twelve years later, he’s still in love. He loves the ironman, but he loves his family more.
Between him, his wife and kids, his schedule is the most flexible, so if anything happens, it’s his training that has to give.
“And I’m OK with that,” he said.
Jones trains with a group of athletes in Bracebridge. If he trains as much as he’s supposed to, it can amount to 14 hours a week. In a good week, he said he trains nine or 10 hours.
“I do it because I like it and I have fun with it,” he said.
Jones usually competes in four or five races a year. He said he always comes in the bottom third of his age group, but with marked improvements in his personal performance.
He’s only missed one of the Huntsville ironman races in that past five years; that was also for family reasons. His youngest son was born the day after the race.
“I think I made the right decision,” he joked.
Jones is sticking to the 70.3 Ironman for now, but he’s not ruling anything out.
“A full ironman is something I still think is so beyond what I’m capable of, but I thought that about the half ironman,” he said.