Boel Promises Strong Finish in Ironman

Boel says he's ready to go.

I’ve heard John Boel talk about the Ironman, and how many great stories there are among the people crazy enough to swim across the Ohio River, ride a bike out to Oldham County and run through the streets of the city. This year’s race is schedule for Sunday.

But there’s no better story than the former WLKY newsman’s this year. Boel spoke with his friend Terry Meiners on 84WHAS Radio yesterday. Boel has attempted the Ironman three times, and ended up in the hospital twice, and vowed never to run it again.  This time, he says he’s going to “crush” the 12-hour mark and finish among the elites.

The difference? In the last year, Boel has addressed his alcoholism, gotten treatment and served as an inspiration to others he’s met. He’s almost finished with a book, and would love to get back into journalism. He’s 49, has lost 45 pounds and told Terry yesterday “I’m gonna go under 12 hours, I guarantee it.”

I’m not doubting him.

He told the story of getting ready for the 2010 Ironman by drinking a dozen beers on Friday night, and drinking every night of the week leading up to the event.

“One year ago, I didn’t think I was an alcoholic,” he said. “The 7-day forecast called for 96 degrees, and I told myself I wouldn’t drink for a week. Then I did it every day and drank 12 beers on Friday night.”

So now he says he’s 10 months sober, 45 pounds lighter, has a clear head and feels great.