AVONDALE, Ariz. -- When 3,000 people put themselves to the ultimate physical test Sunday morning at the Ironman Arizona competition, among them will be just a regular couple from Avondale who eight months ago couldn’t even swim across a pool.
Lisa and Michael Miller, both probation officer supervisors, decided back in February they wanted to do the Ironman. Serious couch potatoes, neither one had ever been athletic. They hired triathlon expert Frank Sole of Sole Swim Solutions in Scottsdale to coach them.
Ironman participants, including the Millers, will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a marathon -- 26.2 miles. The Millers' goal is to cross the finish line before midnight. That gives them 17 hours to cover the total distance of more than 140 miles.
They trained 20 hours a week while working full time.
Mike had lost 120 pounds, and they were starting to feel like they could actually do it when they received horrible news. Late last month. Michael’s youngest son, Doug, suddenly died.
Just a few weeks earlier, Doug had sent his dad a text, encouraging him to compete in the Ironman.
When the race starts Sunday, they will be on the course with Doug’s name on their caps and his spirit in their hearts.