From finding love at the finish line, to ticking off every IRONMAN on the circuit, Elizabeth Model is one busy athlete. This Surrey mom not only juggles her high-profile career as Executive Director of the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association with an important role as Surrey Marathon Society Chair, she is also an elite athlete who regularly competes in grueling IRONMAN triathlons. Model was recently chosen as one of IRONMAN's Legacy Athletes - an honour given to just 100 contestants each year - and will compete in the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona Hawaii this October. Even more impressive is the fact that this event will be Model's 50th IRONMAN competition. Her goal is to compete in every IRONMAN branded event in the world, and when she challenges the World Championship course in Kona next month, she'll only need to toe the line in Japan to reach her goal. Born and raised in British Columbia with three brothers, Model grew up as a sporty tomboy. But after moving away for university and focusing on finishing her degree, she let her fitness fall to the wayside and by graduation she weighed 280lbs.
Many years and life milestones later, with her 40th birthday looming, Model decided to get serious about getting back in shape. She signed up for the Vancouver Marathon, and that decision set the stage for her impressive triathlon career. Just a few years later, she competed in her first IRONMAN race in Penticton, and after experiencing the thrill and energy - and first timer mistakes - of the intense competition she set her sites on IRONMAN Arizona. It was there at the finish line that she met another fellow Canadian athlete, John Wragg, and when he flew to Vancouver for their first date - the Vancouver Marathon - they fell in love.
Wragg, who holds the world record for the most IRONMAN finishes - 160 in total - will compete alongside Model in the IRONMAN World Championships, and of course, the two will lace up to show their civic pride for Model's second great love - the Surrey International World Music Marathon.
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