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DOWNEY – Willie Gutierrez, 55-year old Downey school board member since 2001, Downey YMCA board member, past Kiwanis Los Amigos president, and whose day job is chief financial officer of Premier Business Centers, reputedly the largest privately-held executive suite company in the U.S., is one of the more than 2500 official participants from around the world who will gather in Tempe, Arizona this November to compete for the title of Ironman Arizona.
This is Willie’s first time to compete in what is regarded in the sports/physical fitness world as “one of the most grueling and toughest races in the world.” It consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run, all to be negotiated -according to prescribed rules and regulations-within 17 hours.
Willie, who was diagnosed with a heart disease (25 percent blockage of the arteries) four years ago but was able to lower his cholesterol and got healthy through local triathlon events, has spent countless hours of weekly endurance training in preparation for the race. Right now, his training schedule consists of 10 to 15 hours a week.
The race, which is broken down into 13 age groups starting with the 18-24 age bracket up to the 80-plus age category, occurs on Willie’s and wife Carol’s 31st wedding anniversary. Carol was Willie’s Bell Gardens High School sweetheart.
Willie was selected based on his responses to some “seven or eight” probing essay-type questions posed by the national search committee. Bracketed in the 55-59 age grouping, he is entering the competitions enjoying a reputation as “among the best in his age group.” He is competing as part of the 24-member X2 Performance Team, comprised of the leading supplement firm and official partner of Ironman.
Willie says that, in addition to the competition’s health benefits, he is competing for the fun of it and because it’s on his bucket list.
Published: Sept. 19, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 23