COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — The last full Ironman race is in Coeur d’Alene Sunday and a world championship qualifying competitor will be the race's oldest participant at 73.
Dexter Yeats, 73, finds herself training constantly as she prepares for Sunday's Ironman race.
“I pretty much train year round. Because I can’t really afford to start over fresh,” Yeats said.
She has been competing in triathlons for decades.
“Did my first triathlon back in 1983. At that time, I was the third woman overall even though I was dead last. There were no women participating in the sport to speak of,” Yeats said. “And it just sort of intrigued me and I kept doing more.”
Yeats completed her first Ironman in 1993 and qualified for the world championship back in October. She has finished eight more since then and is hoping Sunday’s race will get her to 10.
“I don’t really know if I have a secret,” Yeats said. “I just keep doing what I enjoy doing.”
She is still nervous for the race, despite being a seasoned Ironman competitor.
“It’s exhilaration. The fatigue doesn’t set in until the next day, but at the finish line you’re just nothing but exhilaration,” Yeats said. “Its just a phenomenal feeling to come down and have the announcer call out, ‘you are an ironman’.”
Yeats said since this is the last full Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, it resonates with a little extra significance.
“It’s so sad to see it leave, it’s such a beautiful course,” Yeats said. “Wonderful community, awesome support from the community. The course is challenging, its not and easy course, which makes it interesting and makes it good.”
The upcoming race will be a welcome challenge.
“I mean, if you’re going to do something like an Ironman, why do an easy one,” Yeats said.