By Ed Farrell
Herald Assistant Sports Editor
It’s not every day Mercer County can boast of having a world-class athlete, but it can now.
Hermitage resident Amy Javens continues to excel on the tri-athlon circuit. Recently, the 40-year-old ended 8th in her age group (40-44) at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
Competing amidst approximately 1,900 triathletes, Javens made her mark on the world stage in a collective clocking of 10:39. That included the swim (1:13) in the ocean’s bay; bike (5:40) — bypassing approximately 100 other competitors during the final 30 miles — and marathon run (5:40) along the Queen K lava fields — all in spite of a painful calf sprain.
The former Hickory High standout athlete, on her web site (www.amyjavenstriathlete.com) blogged, “ ... Running down Palani hill at mile-24 (of the marathon) was an amazing feeling, and I smiled the whole way! Ali’i Drive greeted me with a tunnel of people a quarter of a mile long. I had never heard cheering so constant like I had up to the finish line ... ”
Javens was accompanied on her journey by her husband Chad and their daughters, who greeted her at the finish line, enabling her to “ ... enjoy my last joyful moments, thankful for my blessings.”
Despite her workload, Javens indicated she will not be slowing down any time soon, blogging,
“What now? Inspired by Natascha Badmann’s 6th-place pro finish at the age of 47, I am encouraged that I do have some good years left in the sport. I have improvements that are imperative, and a right of passage of obtaining a KOA bowl before I will — or if I will — ever take that next big step.
“I will continue to race amateur elite in 2013, and focus on earning another trip back to the island and, hopefully, place higher, learn Ironman racing and training a bit more — after racing two IM races I am still a ‘newbie’ to this distance — train more overload, hit higher wattages, and improve my swim technique.
“Remaining healthy and balancing family with the sport will be a high priority, as always. But, as we all know, life if what happens as we make plans ... ”
Expressing gratitude to family, friends and others who have supported her, Javens cited the theme for this year’s IM World Championships: “Aa Na Maka O Na — the sparkling eyes of my roots,” or “as we live our lives, we will never lose our way as long as we remember where we came from. Success is about respecting our roots, taking value in what we learned, and embracing our journey.”
Specifically for her, Javens refers to it as “the Power of Three”: Mind, body, spirit, to faith, hope, love. ... To me it means my three daughters, strength, swim, bike, run, life’s struggles, as well as many other significances that I have had or will share in my blog.”
Leading up to the IM World Championships, Javens enjoyed a busy journey this past spring and summer. Included in some of her more recent events, she: ä Placed as runnerup in her age class at the Pittsburgh Triathlon in July. Her cumulative 2:21.55 clocking included the swim (24:36), bike (1:09.06) and run (45:32). She was bested only by Heather Westerman (2:17.27) in the 40-44 age group, and finished 4th among all females and 56th overall.
ä Finished 4th in her age class at the Ironman 70.3 Eagleman Triathlon in Cambridge, Md. in June. Javens’ 4:49.10 clocking included the swim (33:09), bike (2:34.05) and run (1:37.55) as she placed 20th among all women and 175th overall.
ä At the Eischsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans in April she was runnerup in the 40-44 class, edged by Nusha Pelicano, 4:15.46 to 4:17.40. Javens’ respective times were 13:56 (run), 2:27.04 (bike) and 1:34.35 (run).
“As far as 2014, only my Kapunas (elders, including her mother and grandparents) know. ... gone, their physical presence may be from this earth, but spiritually very close and always with me ...”