Cherie Gruenfeld, Boingo’s official butt-kicker, set the bar high at the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, not just for herself, but others that will follow. At 71 years young, she made history as she set a new course record for her age group, the third time Cherie has laid down a course record in Kona. It was also her 13th win for her age group at IRONMAN. It’s no wonder that USA Triathlon (USAT) awarded Cherie the title of Grandmaster of the Year for 2015.If you’re not familiar with Ironman, it is a 140-mile triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and full marathon. As if the distance weren’t enough, the heat, humidity, winds and currents of Kona can combine to make an otherwise tough race diabolical – and this year was no exception.
Race day was brutally hot, with temperatures in the 90’s and strong headwinds for the entire last half of the 112-mile bike ride. Cherie trailed the leader by nearly five minutes at one point during the run, finally catching and passing her with just two miles to go. It was undoubtedly her toughest race and gutsiest win. Victory was particularly sweet because Cherie has decided that after 25 IRONMAN races (including 18 wins), this was her final full IRONMAN race. She will focus on the 70.3 IRONMAN (aka “Half Ironman”) going forward.
In addition to being a world-class athlete, Cherie devotes her time to inspiring and motivating young people here in Southern California. Cherie is the founder of Exceeding Expectations, a non-profit organization encouraging at-risk kids to move their lives in a positive direction using triathlons as a vehicle. Her highest priority is to provide the support the kids need to keep high school graduation and college in view.
We are so inspired by Cherie, and proud to sponsor her and the work she does with Exceeding Expectations. Please join us in congratulating Cherie on her accomplishment. You can leave a comment here, or share your shout out on Facebook.