“First Ironman in the books,” read the memoir.
Last weekend, Mike Gomes, a local Mesquite resident, and owner of the All In Cycles bicycle shop, participated in the World Championships of the IRONMAN Triathlon. This year, the annual event was held in St. George, Utah, after being moved from its regular host of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The IRONMAN organization decided to do this when the Covid-19 restrictions were stricter in Hawaii, making it too much of a task to pull it off in the tropical paradise, especially for athletes traveling from foreign countries.
With a grandeur of praise and acceptance from the state of Utah and athletic organizations wholeheartedly, the event was accepted, and found a new home.
Mike Gomes grew up in Mesquite and graduated from Virgin Valley High School in 2006. Since then, he has participated in hundreds of triathlons and cycling contests, winning multiple times and finding success in amateur and professional fields. Gomes received news on his Race bib number on March 31st, #700. At that time, he had been training for the Ironman since 2019.
“He has really trained lots, getting up way before the sun gets up and still working the bicycle shop,” said Molly Gomes, the proud mother. “He really paced himself well and made sure he finished.”
Mike Gomes finished in 13:52:53 and competed in the Men Ages 35-39 category.
During the Race, which occurred on May 7, 2022, Mike Gomes wrote down memoirs of the impressive feat of the action. His memoirs are intermingled with this article and were first published on social media under his hashtag and social media name, #mesquitetriathlete.
May 3rd: Arrival and IRONMAN Check-in.
“The race celebrations occurred from May 3-8, 2022, throughout Washington County, Utah.
Really cool and exciting experience being around so much positivity and dedication. This will be the biggest test mentally and physically of my life. I hope the preparation pays off and the day pans out smoothly. In the excitement, I hope to remain grounded and subtly appreciate the nuances of this sport. The goal has always been to grow emotionally and spiritually as a human. Sooo… Give me your worst; I came prepared as the best version of myself. The rest time will tell.”
While waiting for the 7th to race, Gomes kept up his training, visiting areas throughout St. George and surrounding communities and enjoying time with family and friends.
May 7th: “This is not a drill… (The Morning)”
“We trained and practiced our morning rituals for months, so by the time I was walking down the carpet to start the swim, I was rested, relaxed, and focused; which felt amazing that we actually orchestrated such precision in this department!”
Stage 1: The Swim
“The swim felt so great. The effort was smooth and consistent, with sighting on point. Best swim in a wetsuit to date. Weather to start the morning was picture perfect. I swam straight as possible and just kept focused on the moment. Time seemed to pass by quicker and with more purpose (This was great advice given to me beforehand).”
Stage 2: Cycling
“T1- fish out of water. It’s wild trying to stand while running back down the carpet. I had the wobbliest legs ever! Getting through the changing tent, I finally got to my bike. I’m feeling confident that we had the right training in place at this point and decided I would stay in my big chain ring up front the whole time and get out of the saddle on every climb. I held back to urge to race anyone. There was a sense of pacing throughout the bike portion that Kept me reminding myself there’s a legit marathon after this bike ride. I tried to enjoy the time in the saddle and cruised steadily at just under 7 hours. The landscapes in southern Utah are all equally diverse as they are captivating.”
Stage 3: Marathon
“The run was where the struggle got real. I had a blister from the bike, but it never bothered me too much. When I started, I felt tired but still loose; 7 hours in direct sun on the bike without sunscreen and then trying to run in the same heat finally did me in. After running the first hill descent at a sub-8-minute pace, the next mile suddenly changed into 17 of the longest minutes ever. I wasn’t sure at this point I could even finish. There was so much carnage and suffrage. I decided to keep going, thinking of my friends and family for motivation, striding in a kind of walk/run dizzying haze.”
“Once the sun started to set, my stomach started to calm down, and I was finally on the last lap. I was familiar enough with the course, I knew what would be needed to finish, and it was “go” time. Ironmans are made to dig deep and never let go Until the end. I had 9 miles left, and this was my normal training run time; it was one foot in front of the other and getting lost in the moment. Before I knew it, the miles were ticking off again and at a nice pace to the finish.”
At the Finish Line
In an interview with the newly named “IRONMAN Mike,” he relayed the joy he felt when he crossed the line.
“It was GRUELING, but when I crossed that line, I saw my family and friends, and I knew (without a doubt) how proud I was to share this moment with them,” said Gomes. “I really am grateful for everything they have sacrificed to help me reach my goal.”
In a surprise, Molly ran home to Mesquite and back to bring Mike’s most significant award waiting for him at the finish line, his son.
After the Race
“I got to see my loving family who has sacrificed just as much in this journey, and I couldn’t be more proud to share the moment with people who love and care for each other with the same passion as this ironman!!! I have forged a new appreciation for family and what it means to be dedicated to something and see it through till the end. It was an honor and privilege to race amongst the best of the best, an experience I’ll never forget. Special Thanks to the volunteers for helping out during all the action! #ironmanstgeorge #mesquitetriathlete #familyfirst #headupheartstrong #thankfulandblessed”
A week later, the Mesquite IRONMAN is already back to work, training and providing the best customer service and know-how at All In Cycles bike shop. However, through the Memoirs of an IRONMAN, we can feel and sense what Mike Gomes was feeling at the Finish Line of the world’s most “grueling” race… which is Anything is Possible.
Congratulations, Mike, Mesquite’s IRONMAN!
For more information about All In Cycles, visit them at 1085 W Pioneer Blvd, Ste 170 in Mesquite, Nevada, or visit their website at www.allincycling.com.
For more information about the IRONMAN, visit their website at www.ironman.com.