IMTX 2012 + 2013: Minh Tran

It has been over a decade since I met Minh in college. He is now a husband, father of two, and two time Ironman! Minh makes endurance sports look fun and stylish. Thank you ole buddy for sharing your inspiring story!



Why did I do IMTX?
The first year I did IMTX, I did it for myself. I wanted to overcome my fear of the water and finally learn how to swim after 34 years. I figured the only way to hold myself accountable and commit myself to achieve this goal was to sign up for a triathlon. My simple goal of completing a sprint triathlon turned into a journey to IMTX within weeks of announcing my registration for my first Sprint Triathlon. I have to blame and thank 8 friends for this accelerated plan, because without them none of this would have been possible.

The second year I did IMTX, I did it due to my repeat exposure to alcohol, Wholefoods cake, and positive energy. Motivated by our journey last year, a new batch of future ironman was born. These new recruits displayed such energy and drive that it got me fired up. But what really motivated me was the fact that my 4 siblings all committed to doing a half marathon together. Being able to motivate friends is a great feeling, but when you motivate your family…that feeling is priceless. I had taken a long break after last year’s IMTX and was trying to find a reason to continue with endurance sports but in the end it found me. I truly had no goals going into IMTX 2013, other than hanging out with these new recruits and being able to witness the grand finale of the campaign for IMTX 2013. Team I Am IM did not disappoint, there were dramatic finishes all around including a PR, team members finishing together, a marriage proposal, and even last minute cut off finishes by several team members.


What did I learn?
What I learned the first year, is that Ironman truly is an “anything is possible” journey. The body is the most incredible thing you will ever own in your life and combined with the mindset that you can do anything, if you put your mind to it…then anything is possible.

What I learned the second year, is that after a years of denial I finally learned that this is what I do and this is who I am. I have no other personal hobbies/interests and I am not good at anything, other than endurance sports and weight lifting. I have embraced the fact that I am an Ironman lifer. Although I do not enjoy any of the three disciplines, I do enjoy what comes with them. I enjoy the camaraderie, the support, the challenge, the emotions, the energy that is Ironman. Thus, I have committed myself to chasing the ultimate dream to compete in Ironman Kona. I am a 2 time Ironman, and I am Kona bound.

IMTX 2013: Julia Tran

The triathlon world gave me a new friend, Julia. She is an amazing gal, who is never afraid to do things her own way. I watched her quietly train and conquer IMTX 2013 in one of the toughest conditions. Julia, thank you for sharing your story and inspiring others along the way!


Tell me a little bit about who you are.

 I am very much an ordinary girl. I am a pharmacist, a violinist, a pianist, a lover of good food & company. Before I met marathon & triathlon, I was a party girl. Before that lifestyle change, I often suffered from lupus (inability to tolerate the sun, debilitating fatigue, compromised immune system, & unsightly lesions that flared up on my face & various parts of my body).  I spent years hiding from the sun until one day, I noticed that the sun was no longer a trigger for my flare ups. That was when I started running & embracing the sun… loving the outdoors. At this point, I recognized that my mind is my only limitation. To free my mind was to free my soul & I found that freedom in endurance sports.

Why did you do IMTX2013?

I was stuck in a rut for a long time & was desperate for some sort of personal growth & fulfillment (or what Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs describes as Self Actualization). I had thus decided that this is the year of creating possibilities & I would do so by becoming an Ironman. I knew there would be sweat & tears, lessons to learn, many sacrifices to make, & lots to invest in this journey but the guys of Team I AM were a constant reminder that it would all be worth it in the end. There is a gamut of personal characteristics that come to mind when you learn that someone is an Ironman. Strength, Perseverence, Discipline, Endurance, Focus, Thrill-Seeking, Iron Will. Those became my affirmations & I wanted an mdot to confirm that I am capable of them.

What did you learn?

I was a bit of a loner throughout the training period but I kept my eye on the prize & pressed on. In that solitude I found my mental fortitude – the strength that was necessary to endure the 140.6 miles alone. I learned who & what matter the most in my life because they were the ones who understood my need to complete this seemingly daunting task & they stood by on the sidelines waiting for the opportunity to show their enthusiasm. I learned to simplify my life as training twice daily with work in between doesn’t leave much time to be wasted. I learned that the body is capable of much more than we give it credit for. The body doesn’t stop as long as you learn to listen & give it what it needs. The greatest limitation lies within the mind & by your actions. But when you develop the ability to channel that mental fortitude & passion into your actions, it becomes strength. By reaching my Ironman goals, I have created possibilities. No task, no matter how daunting it may seem, is impossible. And no illness, no matter how devastating, is going to stop me from living freely. I have an mdot as a forever reminder that I am in control of the possibilities.


Read more about Julia: