COEUR D'ALENE - Three Spokane friends trained for a year to complete their first Ironman together and they all realized their dream Sunday during the 2009 Ironman in Coeur d'Alene.
Chad Collins, an oral surgeon in Spokane convinced his two friends, Clancy Welsh, Vice President of Garco Construction and former standout linebacker for Gonzaga Prep, and Charlie Toillion, a Spokane pediatric dentist, to join him in this year's race after Collins became inspired watching competitors in last year's Ironman.
The three trained together sometimes five to eight hours on Saturday and Sunday over the last year and the training paid off in a huge way, with all three finishing with very fast times for first time competitors.
Toillion, after entering his first triathlon last year, finished 120 th overall out of more than 2,000 finishers in this year's Ironman in 10 hours, 14 minutes and 49 seconds.
Collins finished in 210th overall in 10:37:33 and Welsh was 407th overall in 11:15:40.