Tuesday, September 24, 2013
When Uli Bromme ’02 enrolled at Rider to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Communication, she could have scarcely known how trying out for the University’s track and field team would shape her life. In fact, she wound up going the distance.
Bromme began running in high school, drawn to the sport primarily because her mother liked to run. She made the Rider team as a “walk-on” – a non-scholarship student-athlete, who are typically unrecruited or lightly recruited out of high school. By the time she graduated, however, Bromme had established several Rider track-and-field records as a distance runner.
“I had a pretty solid four years on the track-and-field squad,” said Bromme, now a professional triathlete and Ironman champion. “I was lucky to avoid injury and I always improved my times from year to year.”
After college, Bromme diversified her athleticism and began participating in Ironman competitions – widely regarded as the toughest endurance event in the world.
Most people would consider finishing an Ironman competition a life achievement. After all, the challenge consists of three events: a 2.4-mile swim followed by a quadriceps-burning 112-mile bike race that immediately turns into a 26.2 mile marathon. But simply competing in an Ironman challenge wasn’t enough to satiate Bromme’s ambition. She wanted to win, so she set out to achieve her goal.
“Racing in an Ironman competition requires tough physical training and I invest more than 30 hours a week to train my body during my peak,” Bromme said. “What people don’t realize is that endurance competitors have to be more mentally tough than the physical aspect. The mind will quit faster than the body and it’s important to continually push yourself.”
After participating in the Boulder, Colo., 70.3 (half of a true Ironman competition) and finishing respectably, Bromme participated in the Ironman Canada in Whistler, British Columbia.
Nine hours, 31 minutes and 15 seconds after the Ironman Canada began, Uli Bromme was announced as an Ironman Champion. The race is chronicled on Uli’s blog located at www.ulirunsalot.blogspot.com.
One of Bromme’s goals was to become an Ironman Champion. So what comes next?
“I’ve never won a 70.3,” she said. “My new goal is to win one.”
Given Bromme’s level of physical and mental toughness, the finish line is already in sight.