Kim Shaheen recognized a great opportunity, so she jumped at a chance to qualify for a world championship.
Now, the Midview graduate and mother of three gets the chance to rub elbows with the world’s best at Sunday’s ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championship in Richmond, Va.
The 37-year-old qualified for the world championships by taking second in her age group (35-39) at Powerman Ohio, a national event and qualifier held on Sept. 30 at Mansfield’s Malabar State Park.
Shaheen, whose maiden name is Loescher, finished the Mansfield race in three hours, four minutes. The race consisted of an 8-kilometer run, 50K bike and 7.5K run.
“I knew that this was a chance I couldn’t afford to pass up,” said Shaheen. “If there ever was a time, this was a perfect one with the race being only a few hours away from home.”
Although Shaheen is a first-year multisport athlete, she’s a veteran when it comes to endurance events. She has competed in marathons since 1993, including a victory at the 2000 Towpath Marathon (3:22:57).
Shaheen did some racing between pregnancies, but took five years off from marathon competition. She came back to the marathon in May with a personal-best 3:14:44 at the Cleveland Marathon. She was the fourth Ohioan and seventh overall.
The former Middie basketball and softball player raced six multisport events this year. Shaheen won the Nordonia Hills Duathlon (1:07) and Fat Rabbit Racing Triathlon (2:17). She was second at the Columbus International Triathlon (2:17) and Alan’s Elite Triathlon (2:27). Shaheen also took fourth at the Sylvania International Triathlon (2:17).
“I always wanted to compete in multisport events, but this year was the first summer I wasn’t busy having kids,” said Shaheen, who has three children 5 and younger. “I first started cross-training in 2002.”
Shaheen knows that the ITU event is a much longer distance than she’s been training for.
“My goal is to try and finish the race in around six hours,” said Shaheen, a Brecksville resident.
More than 500 athletes from 25 countries are expected in the elite and age-group fields.
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.