TOP PHOTO: Joey Hicks will compete in an Ironman competition on Saturday.

KNOXVILLE, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County native Joey Hicks is preparing for two upcoming IronMan competitions, one in Utah and one in Florida. Hicks will compete in a half-Ironman in St. George, Utah, on Sept. 18 and in a full Ironman in Florida on Nov. 6. The competition in Utah is the Half-Ironman World Championship. 

A full Ironman competition consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run (140.6 total miles). A half-Ironman cuts the distance of each portion in half.

Hicks loves competing in these tests of endurance and competes in multiple competitions each year.

There are I-M events across the world, and those who are at the top of their age group get an option to attend the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. 

“It’s a great honor to compete in the world championships,” Hicks said.

In 2019, he competed and finished in the Ironman World championship in Hawaii.  

Joey Hicks peels off swimming gear set to bike for more than 100 miles in the Ironman World championship in Hawaii in 2019.

Hicks is a 1987 graduate from Campbell County High School. He has always had been an athlete, playing basketball and running track in high school.  After his residency in orthodontics, he began racing bikes and did that for 15 years.

In the winter, he would run local 5K and 10K events and put away the bike until March.   When he started winning and doing well in running, his wife made the comment that he should learn to swim, and he could do a triathlon.  

Laughingly, he said sure.  He did his first “sprint” triathlon the next summer in 2014.  He did very poorly in the swim (one of the last out of the water) but had a great bike and run, he came in third overall.

Hicks enjoyed his first triathlon so much he asked his wife what the hardest triathlon is, she laughed and said an IronMan.  So, he decided to compete in one.  A year later, in Oct 2015, he competed in his first IronMan in Maryland and completed it in under 11 hours.

To date, he has competed all across the United States including California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Maryland, Indiana, and more.  But he has also traveled overseas to compete in St. Lucia, Spain, and several summers ago he competed in Germany (which is where he qualified for the world championship). In 2018, he traveled to South Africa to compete in the half-IronMan World Championship.

Hicks said he loves to race and compete; but his favorite part is the run. His least favorite part is swimming. 

“I didn’t grow up swimming, so I have to really work at it, competing against these guys that have been swimming competitively their whole lives. 

Hicks said he is excited for the upcoming events and has been training every day. He trains two times a day, doing a combination of swimming, biking and running. 

“I’ve been ramping up and increasing the distance of my workouts each day,” Hicks said.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/13/2021-6AM)

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