During any given day, one can drive along the winding roads of Pagosa Springs and come across people of all ages jogging to unknown destinations with a look of determination on their faces.
But, for one local, that determination and will has taken him to the Ironman World Championships.
Randy Stueve, a pharmacist for Pagosa Springs Medical Center, developed the desire for competing in races almost 10 years ago when he competed in his first triathlon in 2002. Since that time, he has competed in numerous triathlons, and earlier this spring at Ironman St. George, his performance was strong enough to qualify him for the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 8.
The grueling Ironman World Championship race, consisting of a consecutive 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike leg, and a 26.2 mile run, challenges even the most elite athlete both physically and mentally, as they traverse difficult lava-covered terrain, rough ocean waves, and sweltering temperatures.
Out of the tens of thousands of triathletes who attempted to secure a spot, only a little over 1,900 achieved that coveted position, and through Randy’s hard work and determination, he was among those competing in the “Super Bowl” of races.
When all was said and done, at the end of the race Randy had ranked 300 out of 1,918 triathletes, an impressive ranking by any standard, and he came back to Pagosa Springs a local hero. Randy Stueve, a small town pharmacist with a dream, embodies the very essence of the Ironman mantra: “Anything is possible.”