Ironman participant talks about why she wants to race at 49 year - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ironman participant talks about why she wants to race at 49 years old

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Athletes are in town prepping for the full Ironman which is this weekend. Its the fourth Ironman race to take place in Scenic City this year.

Officials with the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau tell us they are still deciding on whether or not to renew the contract with Ironman.

Although we will have to wait to see if the competition will stick around. This is the 11th race in the Ironman U.S. series and this race will offer 40 qualifying slots for next year's world championships.

A year ago 49-year old, Karen Wittke's schedule did not include training for any competition.

"I got up in the morning went to work came home cook dinner and hit the couch until bed time," said Wittke. She owns of a restaurant in Toronto.

While in Chattanooga, she's taken a break from training to try some of the southern cuisine, she has some new ideas to take back to her restaurant.

"I'm sure a lot of people in Canada would love some southern food but I think you guess keep your secrets pretty close to your chest," said Wittke. 

She also hopes to return with an Ironman medal. Sunday’s race will be her first and she chose to compete in Chattanooga for a reason.

"Looking out at the beautiful Lookout Mountain and the beautiful farm of course it's going to make the time pass a lot faster," said Wittke.

Training in Canada and competing in Tennessee have their difficulties. She expects a challenge.

"Toronto can get some heat like this as well but boy is it hot down here. So I think it's the humidity that is putting it over the top. It' making me a bit anxious for the race," said Wittke. 

A challenge she’s up for, sporting what she calls her power hair.

"I ran into a young girl who has purple hair one day and I said I wish I had done that when I was younger and she had there's no reason why you do it now," said Wittke. 

She has embraced the ironman slogan that anything is possible.

Somebody is always going to be faster than me and I’m always going to be faster than somebody else.

Wittke will cross the finish line with her biggest fan watching.

"I’ll have my husband who has been partaking in all your wonderful golf courses," said Wittke. 

Wittke will join other athletes in the race Sunday morning that starts at 7:20. You can follow the athletes using the Ironman athlete tracker

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