COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho -- KREM 2's Executive News Director Noah Cooper competed in Sunday’s IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene to raise money for ALS.
Noah would admit to anyone that swimming is not his strong point. He took a final preparation swim in Lake Coeur d’Alene on Friday. He emerged unscathed, if you don't count the couple of gallons of water he inhaled.
"Lake's about a foot lower than when I got in,” joked Cooper.
After his swim, Cooper sat on a panel alongside some of the best athletes in the world. They were getting their mind in the game.
"There are some really great pro athletes up there and then there's me,” said Cooper.
Cooper might not be a professional, but he is an Ironman Foundation athlete. He was invited to talk about racing for a cause. In particular, he spoke about the Team Ironman Challenge.
Cooper is going well out of his comfort zone for Team Gleason. He wants to raise money in the right against ALS.
"I mean, swimming for me is a way to keep from drowning. It's not a sport, so it looks like I'm fighting a marlin when I'm out there. It's pretty ugly," said Cooper. "So the only thing that keeps me going when I'm out there and the waves are hitting me in the face and that kind of thing is keeping ALS patients and Steve Gleason in my mind and that's the reason to do it.”
As orientation day wound down on Friday, Cooper picked up his race number, timing chip and a little positive energy.
"I'm nervous and I'm scared, but I'm confident that the training will get me through it so I'm looking forward to it. But the scared [and] terrified is starting to rise up a little bit,” said Cooper.
Cooper’s race number is 137. The number has a special meaning to Cooper and Steve Gleason fans. Gleason is Cooper’s inspiration to raise money for a cure for ALS. Gleason is a former Gonzaga Prep graduate, Washington State University student and New Orleans Saints football player. Gleason’s football number was 37.
CONNECT: Donate to the Team Gleason Ironman challenge