Area Woman Takes Her Shot at Height of Physical Endurance: The Ironman

Article excerpt

Byline: Jon Davis

A swim, a bike ride and some jogging. Nice weekend activities, aren't they?

But what if those pursuits are a swim of 2.4 miles across the open ocean, followed by a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile marathon?

If that sounds like a triathlon, you're mostly correct. This isn't just any triathlon, however, it's the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii on Saturday, Oct. 3.

For Arlington Heights resident Laura Dickinson-Lee, 41, the Ironman is the latest destination on a path that began with her first triathlon, the Mrs. T's in Chicago, just three years ago.

A veteran marathoner, Dickinson-Lee says she stumbled onto triathlons during rehabilitation from a hip injury suffered during a run of the Boston Marathon.

In Hawaii, she'll compete in her age group with 30 women from across the planet.

"I'm looking forward to swimming in the ocean," she says. "I've never done that before."

Dickinson-Lee qualified for the Hawaiian race by finishing fourth in her age group at the Aug. 30 Ironman Canada race in Pentiction, British Colombia.

While her family is "thrilled" with her athletic feats, Dickinson-Lee says daughter Hilary, 12, has no plans to follow in her footsteps.

"Certainly one in the family is enough," she said.

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Coming off the DL?: Mayor Arlene Mulder is scheduled to attend the National Youth Violence Summit tomorrow in Salt Lake City, Utah.

But her continuing recovery from surgery may spike those plans, aides said. As of this column's deadline, Mulder's attendance was still undecided, although summit organizers were touting her name on public relations faxes. …