Ex-Navy officer fulfills Ironman dream


November 23, 1998|By Melinda Rice | Melinda Rice,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ANNAPOLIS RESIDENT Ron Bowman recently fulfilled a longtime dream by completing the Ironman triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The 48-year-old retired naval officer was one of about 150 people chosen by lot to join the Hawaiian Ironman, which celebrated its 20th anniversary with this year's race.

The rest of the competitors won qualifying races to earn a chance to compete.

Bowman said competing in the race was a chance to prove something to himself, a chance to do something that most people think only an elite few can do.

The Ironman is a 2.4-mile ocean swim followed by a 112-mile bicycle race and a 26.2-mile run.

Competitors -- about 1,500 annually -- have 17 hours to finish the course. However, there are cutoff times for each segment of the race, and competitors are eliminated if they do not complete each segment within the allotted time.

Going into the race, Bowman said he would consider it an accomplishment to finish the course. He did, coming in 1,364th. More than 100 people, including 22 professional triathletes, failed to complete the race.

By the time Bowman crossed the finish line last month, he had been at it for 16 hours, 31 minutes and 39 seconds -- one hour, 42 minutes and 20 seconds swimming; eight hours, two minutes and 21 seconds biking; six hours, 46 minutes and 58 seconds running.

The records for the course are held by Luc Van Lierde, who finished in eight hours, four minutes and eight seconds in 1996, and Paula Newby-Fraser, who set the women's record in 1992 with a time of eight hours, 55 minutes and 28 seconds.

Bowman, who competes in five or six marathons a year, has applied for an Ironman lottery slot about a dozen times since he set his sights on the race about 15 years ago. He found out in May that he had finally gotten one.

He began a weekly training regimen that included about five miles of swimming, 200 miles on his bicycle and 30 to 40 miles of running, plus another two to three hours of weight-lifting.

At the peak of his preparations, he reported in his running club's newsletter that he was training up to 23 hours a week -- the equivalent a part-time job.

Bowman was born and raised in Farmington, N.M. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1973 and spent 21 years traveling the world as a naval officer.

He now works for the Department of the Interior, as does his wife, Lynn.

City Dock Christmas tree

The Annapolis Jaycees are sponsoring the annual lighting of the City Dock Christmas tree at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Activities will include caroling and decorating the tree. Refreshments will be served.

There is no charge to attend the ceremony.

Information: 410-974-9278.

Holiday fruit deadline

Today is the last day to order holiday grapefruit and oranges from the Lothian Ruritan Club.

You can get two-fifths of a bushel of pink grapefruit for $8.50 or of oranges for $1 more. A double order -- four-fifths of a bushel -- will cost $15 for grapefruit and $16 for oranges.

Orders can be picked up from 8: 30 a.m. to 9: 30 p.m. in Davidsonville Ruritan Community Center parking lot or in Lothian Elementary School parking lot from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., both on Dec. 5.

Information: 410-867-2487 or 410-867-3242.

London Town craft show

The holiday season opens in London Town with the London Town Property Owners Association holiday craft show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 5 at the London Town Community Center in Edgewater.

Local artists will display paintings, and more than 30 booths will offer arts and crafts.

Refreshments will be sold, and Santa Claus is scheduled to visit.

Door prizes donated by local merchants and artists will be awarded every 30 minutes.

The community tree-lighting ceremony will take place after the craft show at 6 p.m. on the grounds of the community center.

Information: 410-721-3407.

Education in the garden

Do you like gardening, teaching or history?

If so, the London Town Foundation needs you. The nonprofit group is seeking volunteers for its children's education program.

The organization also needs people willing to give tours of the William Brown House, and to help maintain its gardens.

Information: 410-222-1919.

Looking for a replacement

Do you ever read this column and think, "Hey, I could write this!"?

Well, here's your chance.

The Sun needs someone to take over this column about people and events in the city of Annapolis and South County when I relinquish it next month.

The columnist must live in Annapolis or in South County, be involved or interested in community events and must be willing to commit to writing a weekly column, due by noon on Fridays.

Information: bureau chief Rosemary Armao, 410-315-8920.

Pub Date: 11/23/98

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