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Apr 26, 2011 7:06 PM by Angela Douglas - Q2 News

Heart patient triathlete hopes to qualify for Ironman this weekend

BILLINGS - Back in February we introduced you to an elite Billings athlete who has survived two open heart surgeries and is now training for the most physical race out there. The Ironman.

Since 1987, Jay Marschall, 49, has competed in more than 250 triathlons and seven Ironmans.

This October he's hoping to complete the grueling race one more time, but in order to get there he must win his age group in the St. Croix half-Ironman this coming weekend.

After months of training, Marschall is feeling confident as race day approaches. Last weekend he competed in the Grizzly Triathlon in Missoula. He won his age group, 35 and above.

If Marschall qualifies for Ironman Hawaii, he could become the first heart patient to ever finish the 140 mile race without a handicap.

An Ironman race consists of swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and then running a full marathon at 26.2 miles.

Track him during the race next weekend at ironmanlive.com.

Race day is Sunday.

Follow Jay Marschall's blog at CoachJay.com.

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