Mother. Athlete. Academic. That pretty much sums up Associate Professor Laura Borgelt, PharmD. This year, in between caring for her three young boys and teaching, Dr. Borgelt took on another challenge – the Iron Man.
Held Dec. 1 in Cozumel and consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a full marathon, Borgelt completed the task in 12 hours 11 minutes. Not one to take the challenge lightly, she took a year to train, squeezing it in among her other responsibilities. The single mother had a unique training regimen –every other weekend of a couple long, intense training days followed by12 days of minimal training – typically 30-60 minutes a day with occasional days off. The long training days worked best for her schedule. “I consider myself an every other weekend warrior.”
She does all of this despite severe osteoarthritis in her knees. As Borgelt says, “The condition is the result of a genetics/tomboy combo.” As a child, her knees would dislocate laterally at the drop of a pin – just getting out of bed or playing tag. Swimming helped alleviate the pain and also some of her excess energy. “The pool has been an instrumental part of my life,” says Borgelt. Because the condition was debilitating for her, she underwent complete knee reconstruction surgery in 8th and 11th grades, which halted the dislocations. Her years in the pool paid off physically and mentally when she earned a scholarship to the University of Iowa. “It’s shaped who I am and challenged me in a very positive way.”
Being an Iron Man isn’t the only athletic accomplishment for Borgelt. Last year she was ranked #1 in her age group for aquabike (a swim/bike event). A few years ago, she competed in the Maui Challenge, a 10 mile swim finishing third overall in 5 hours and 3 minutes. Borgelt swam through six foot swells and still managed to chalk up a second place finish in the female category. Other notable swims include the English Channel and Tampa Bay. For her next act, she’s hoping to swim around Key West in 2015.
View a YouTube of Dr. Borgelt’s Maui Challenge at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0LHOHj-z04