Bay alum returns home for Ironman

Published: May. 6, 2022 at 11:08 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The 40th Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast is set for Saturday, and there are several locals competing this time around. One of those locals is Greg Almond. Greg no longer lives in our area, he now hails from Verona, Wisconsin, outside Madison.

He’s a local in the sense he was raised in Panama City. And is a 1989 Bay graduate. Greg was a baseball star at Bay, a catcher on the team that made it to the state final in ‘89. He went on to star at N.C. State, and then played six years in minor league ball with the Cardinals organization. I asked him about transitioning to triathlons, and he said it had to do with filling a void of structure and competition in his life! “After baseball I was kind of lost for a few years.” Greg told me. “Then I got into running, did a few marathons. Had a few neighbors that did ultra marathons. So I started doing anything above you know a marathon distance. I’ve done four 50-milers. I’ve crewed for guys that have done " 200 mile races. Knees and hips started acting up, obviously catching for 15-20 years. I’ve always wanted to do an Ironman, so I started out with Olympic distance. Then a half Ironman. 13 Ironmans later this is where I’m at.”

Greg says this sport truly challenges him on a daily basis, and when it comes to the races, well that does satisfy the competitive vibe in him. “I love the challenge. I love to see what my body can do, my mind. Even though...I’m 51, body’s breaking down. I still find a way to get something done. What’s really is nice about the Ironman is that there’s three different disciplines. So there’s always something different that you can do. It’s always nice to know what you can do on any given day. You’ve got to show up, but you’ve got to be prepared. You’ve got to put the work in. It’s just not gonna come easy. You’ve get out there, put the miles in. And see what happens on race day.”

Greg using this weekend’s race as a precursor to the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, he’s qualified for that based on finishing a dozen full Ironman length races.

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