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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Three Ironman Texas Participants Complete Great Floridian Triathlon

That headline sounds pretty boring, doesn't it? Simple and straightforward. No tease.

The Great Floridian Triathlon is one of a number of independent iron distance triathlons. It is held each year in Clermont, Florida and this year was celebrating its 20th running.

One of the world's best age groupers, Joe Bonness, of Naples, Florida, has won it outright three times (2003, 2005 and 2007) and this year finished second in 10:05:20. That's right, two weeks after winning his age group in Kona in 9:53:28.  No, no, Joe isn't coming here.

So to say that three participants of this year's race are heading to The Woodlands to race on Saturday, May 21 may not be saying much, but two of them certainly have some interesting stories to tell.

Mexico's Jorge Cedeno, 51, will make his way to Texas next spring with a 15-hour, 36-minute and 25-second finish.

Troy Conran, 49, of Westminster, Maryland finished in 13:13:16 -- his fifth Great Floridian finish (and first since 2004) and 29th career iron distance event.

What's unique about Troy is that he has completed 13 different iron distance events beginning with his first one in 1999 -- Isuzu Ironman Florida with a time of 11:24:58.

Here are the events that Troy has finished (obtained through our research at and

Ford Ironman Arizona (4)
Ford Ironman California (1 - 2000; punched his ticket to Kona)
Ford Ironman Coeur D'Alene (3)
Ford Ironman Lake Placid (4)
Ford Ironman Louisville (1)
Ford Ironman Wisconsin (1)
Ford Ironman World Championship (1 - 2000; 11:57:26)
Great Floridian (5)
Iron Distance Triathlon at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts (1 - 2009)
Ironman Utah (1 - 2002; swim cancelled, but still recognized as Ironman)
Isuzu Ironman Florida (1 - 1999)
Silverman Triathlon (3)
Subaru Ironman Canada (3)

Then there's Mississauga, Ontario, Canada's John Wragg. The 60-year-old finished in 15:25:16. has him for 53 iron distance finishes, including four this year (China, St. George, Louisville and last weekend's Great Floridian).

But here's some of what we found on the Internet about Wragg.

-- Kona lottery winner in 2008 who suffered a broken pelvis after being hit by a car while cycling in June. What did he do for an encore to that? Finishes (you count them) at Canada, Wisconsin, Kona, Florida, Arizona and Western Australia. That's right, six, post-accident. He did the scorcher in Arizona in April too.

-- The counts gets a little confusing. One report has that April 2008 in Arizona as his 101st finish, but he supposedly started the 2009 season at Ironman New Zealand going for no. 107 (even though he finished six after Arizona).

-- His first Ironman was in New Zealand in 1988. He also made - at least - the first of seven World Championship appearances that year. The others came in 1990, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 2003.

-- Well, correction. Make that 1988 too. Ironman's Kevin Mackinnon reported that he made a bet with a training buddy that he'd do all five offered in the world at that time -- New Zealand, Penticton (Canada), Hawaii, Germany and Japan.

-- Mackinnon also reported in 2003 that Wragg's best time at Kona was 10:37 and best time ever came in Germany in 1993 when he broke the 10-hour barrier in 9:56.

-- Ironman Lanzarote reported that in May 2009 he was going for no. 109. So with at least four finishes in 2010, Wragg has to be at at least 113.

From everything that we've read and heard about Lanzarote and China, if he can finish those, Texas will be a piece of cake for the 60-year-old Ironman. -- By Jon Walk

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