Strength. Dedication. Stamina. At Mohawk Flooring, we are well-versed in the keys to a great performance during tough challenges like an IRONMAN® race. In fact, this year at the IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship in Chattanooga, Tenn., Mohawk Makes the Finish Line and is proud to be an IRONMAN® partner as well as the official flooring provider.

Less than an hour away from the Mohawk Industries headquarters, Chattanooga represents our own regional community. And since the race is in our backyard, we wanted to reach out to two of our favorite local athletes who will be competing in the upcoming event for some true insider knowledge.

Both Daniela Romero and Ed Rusk not only reside in the Chattanooga area, but they have also competed on this same race course in previous IRONMAN® 70.3® races and have excellent tips for making your best time in the “River City!”

Born and raised in Bolivia, Daniela Romero moved to Chattanooga at 18 and has lived there since, married with two daughters and working as a dental hygienist. When Daniela isn’t brightening smiles or taking care of her family, she’s training for IRONMAN® races around the world including a weekly regimen of running 25-30 miles, biking 150 miles, and swimming 4 miles. Her preparation is second to none and she emphasizes pace as well as capitalizing on the Chattanooga community charm for peak performance:

1) Start Off Right: “Don’t kill it during your upstream swim in the Tennessee River. Chattanooga is a very hilly ride where you need to be prepared to be very consistent on the bike. From there, you must also be sure to stay steady in your run.”  Swimming IRONMAN® Chattanooga Course

2) Steady On: “Don’t give everything on the first climb at Lookout Mountain, because there’s a bunch of rollers ahead.”

3) Nutrition: “Make your consumption of calories very consistent. Don’t wait until you need your snack or drink. If you do, you are going to pay for it on Chattanooga’s hills.”

4) Attitude: “Smile, have a good attitude, and just have fun. We have an amazing course and the people in Chattanooga are amazing supporters of the athletes – they really make you feel welcome. For me personally, there’s nothing like racing in my own town. The crowd is just amazing.”

Originally from Virginia, Ed Rusk now proudly reigns from Chattanooga and was one of the founding members of the Chattanooga Triathlon Club. For the past 10 years, Ed has been competing in triathlons and marathons with the constant support of wife Britta. Ed is focused and ready for the IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship, with some valuable, specific advice for each leg:

1) The Water (Swim): “If you’re a weaker or average swimmer, you’re going to want to stay closer to the riverbanks as you start; there’s more current the closer you get to the middle of the river. When coming downriver on the return, you’ll then want to stay towards the middle to get the most benefit.”  Running IRONMAN® Chattanooga Course

2) The Climb (Bike): “Pace yourself for the first 21 miles uphill on the bike. For 4.5 miles the terrain is flat and there’s very little warm-up before the climb, then it’s straight up Lookout Mountain for the next 2.5 miles. You’ll then come to a plateau, but continue up some rollers. The actual top of the mountain doesn’t come until mile no. 22.  Once you get to mile no. 22, the rest is downhill and flat. The descent from the mountain is gentle, with sweeping curves.”

3) The Elements: “We generally have a prevailing headwind for the second half of the bike course and that can be challenging – it’s much more exposed. Many people will be running in the middle of the day and I expect the run to be very hot, so hydrate appropriately.”

4) The Pavement (Run): “Don’t go too hard on the flat areas of the run or you’ll walk all the hills. It’s a two-loop run course. After the first hill, out of transition, the loop starts. The first half of each loop is mostly flat. The second half of each loop is mostly hilly — pace yourself accordingly. Once you reach mile no. 12, it’s basically downhill to the finish line.”

As you can tell, there are no shortcuts in handling this tough course. And just like the dedication and resiliency of competitors like Daniela and Ed, Mohawk Flooring is prepared to handle the toughest tests in your home with strength and durability. Join us Sept. 9-10, 2017, as we support our incredible community and its top performers along the scenic Tennessee River, when Mohawk Makes the Finish Line at the IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship.

For true red carpet treatment, Mohawk Group’s Spectrum V30 commercial broadloom (in Blaze Red) will greet racers in all transition areas. Upon completing the race, competitors will stride in style across a finish line covered in Durkan Synthesis Ripple PDI carpeting featuring IRONMAN® 70.3® and Mohawk Industries logos.

Our employees have also volunteered to spend a portion of their weekend to staff one of the aid stations along the race course, distributing refreshments and snacks while cheering on our local athletic community as well as our national and global communities.

We are honored to partner with a world-class name in sporting, health and fitness, and support these amazing athletes. Ready to get in on the action?

Click here for additional information about all things IRONMAN® 70.3® from the official event page.