Say Hello To Ironman CDA’s Youngest Athlete

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — You have to be 18 years old to compete in an Ironman triathlon. Two local teens, Aly Hougton and a Post Falls boy are the only 18 year olds in this year’s competition.

“I’m just going big, I guess,” said Houghton.

Big might be an understatement for this young woman. With her pink bike in one hand and her swimming and running gear in the other, Houghton made a few last minute adjustments before Sunday’s journey of 140 miles.

“People think I’m going nuts and they laugh but I think it’s cool. It will be nice to cross the finish line and prove them all wrong,” she said.

Houghton’s dream to race in Ironman began right here in Couer d’Alene.

“I’ve watched it every year, it just kinda motivated me,” said Aly.

A senior in high school, somehow she finds time to train as much as 8 hours a day. Now it all comes down to Sunday’s race.

“I’m a little tired,” she said. “Really nervous, I’m excited.”

Her training partner, Shannon Harrison, says the whole experience has taught Aly some important lessons.

“It’s given her something to strive for,” she said.

Harrison has trained with Aly for the last three months. Not only has Aly earned her training partner’s admiration but that of her training partner’s daughter Maya.

“I’m going to do it when I’m 18 too,” said young Maya.

What’s only a dream in a nine year old’s eyes will become reality for this 18 year old come race day.

“I dont even know how I’m going to feel when I’m finishing,” said Aly. “I’m sure it will be the greatest feeling.”

Aly plans to finish the Ironman in just about 14 hours.