An Ironwoman Story
A few years ago, Agnes Prehn was overweight, out of shape, and would never have imagined training for an Ironman triathlon—swim 2.4 miles, ride a bike for 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles. But now, at the age of 51, that’s exactly what she’s doing.
“I feel better than in my 20s, I have a ton more energy, and I can think more clearly,” she says. “It’s a different world once you get in shape.”
Prehn’s fitness quest began on her 49th birthday, when she decided to get fit by the time she hit the mid-century mark. “I wanted to see how far I could push my body to do things other people can’t do at 50.”
Turns out, her initial goal was a breeze. Six months after starting to work with a trainer, Prehn completed a half-marathon—13 miles. By age 50, she was 55 pounds lighter and had completed an Olympic triathlon—a 1.5K swim, 40K bike ride, and 10K run. In another six months, she finished a half-Ironman, and now can’t wait to take on the Ironman.
By example, she’s inspired others, including 20-something lifeguards at the pool where she trains. “That was amazing to me,” she says. “I didn’t think people would care, but they do.”
Enthusiastic as she is, Prehn is also realistic. “Fitness isn’t easy and it doesn’t come fast,” she says. “But if you stick with it, it’ll improve your life tremendously.”