A few years ago, in order to inspire and motivate people as winter was dragging on, the Korte Recreation Center made February the “Couch Potato Triathlon” month. Janelle Hensler, the KRC’s sports, leisure and facilities manager, has since expanded it to become the “Indoor Ironman” in which a person would have from Feb. 1 through March 15 to complete an Ironman Triathlon worth of distances — 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run — inside the KRC.
Ginger Kabureck, a certified personal trainer at the KRC for two years, has taken the “Indoor Indoor” concept to a whole new level in back-to-back years. Last year, Kabureck ramped it up by splitting the distances in half and needing just two days to complete the daunting task.
“It was hard, but I did it, so this year I had to go bigger and better,” she said.
On Thursday, Feb. 12, she became the first person ever to pull off the amazing and grueling feat of completing the full Ironman Triathlon in one day inside the KRC. She swam 2.4 miles in the indoor pool, rode 112 miles on a stationary bike and ran a marathon on a tread mill
The entire endeavor took Kabureck slightly more than a half day to finish at 12 hours, 43 minutes.
She nibbled throughout as she had various healthy snacks such as bananas, apples, clementines, carrots, crackers, etc.
And while most people would be out of commission for a few days, Kabureck was back at work at 5 a.m. the following day, although she admitted it would take a few days for her body to fully recover and feel normal.
Kabureck said she did not really have any extra training regiment to prepare for the one-day Ironman since, “I’m a marathon runner, so I’m always trained up, and I’m also a personal trainer, so I’m constanly working out.”
And since she is a runner at heart, Kabureck said that was the easiest discipline for her.
She said the biking was painful, but the hardest part for her was swimming, because there is nobody to talk to, and she listen to her music. So it got boring really fast, she said. She mixed up her strokes throughout the 2.4 miles before finishing up with her favorite, the butterfly.
But, as with a lot of people, Kabureck was not always in the tip-top shape she is now. From 2007 to 2009, she lost 140 pounds.
Then in 2011, Kabureck decided to get into personal training, so she got certified the next year. She then started serving as a personal trainer at the KRC in 2013.
Kabureck has her mantra tattooed on her upper right arm: “And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us,” which is from Hebrews 12:1.
“I guess she had a bad experience and decided that it was time to lose some weight, and then she has pretty much been an inspiration for a lot of people with what she’s done,” said Highland Director of Parks and Recreation Mark Rosen. “She does personal training here, and she leads classes, and she always has a really good attitude, and it really becomes contagious.
“She is a living testament to what healthy living can do for you. This is the first time in 14 years that we have ever had somebody complete it in one day.”