Colts Neck resident will compete for a cause in Ironman event

Staff Writer

 Christine Corey Christine Corey You have to have good reasons to want to swim 2.4 miles in the Hudson River, ride a bicycle for 112 miles, and top your day off by running a 26.2-mile marathon. Christine Corey has a couple of good reasons why she wants to do that.

Corey, a former Manalapan High School standout in cross country and track and field, has experience in multi-event races. She has competed in the half Ironman three times, including the 2008 World Championships in Clearwater, Fla.

Corey, who is a triathlete, has completed six marathons. She ran professionally for Asics.

In the back of her mind, Corey said, she always wanted to attempt a complete Ironman triathlon, which is 140.6 miles of swimming, cycling and running (the half Ironman is 70.3 miles).

On Aug. 11, Corey will attempt her first full Ironman triathlon when she competes in the Ironman U.S. Championship of New York and New Jersey. She is hoping this will be her first step toward a spot in the Hawaii Ironman, which is the signature triathlon race.

“In my heart I have always longed to compete in the Hawaii Ironman in Kona,” she said. “Yet, I got away from racing for a few years due to injuries and lost sight of my dream. However, the right people were put in my path and I found my way back to the triathlon, now with my sights set on going for my first Ironman distance. This race is about finishing!”

One of the people who helped put Corey on the path toward the New York race was her boyfriend, Rod Fenlin, who told her about Iron Team.

Iron Team is a Team in Training whose missing is to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“When I read about Iron Team and why they were on a mission to raise $500,000, I knew this would be the race for me to come out of retirement and get back into longcourse triathlons again,” Corey said.

In addition to raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the team is dedicating the race to Kayla Defeo, who died from leukemia in 2011.

Iron Team gave Corey another purpose for giving the full Ironman a go and it helped, she said, to be part of an “amazing team” and its support system.

Corey, who is a personal trainer and nutrition coach at the Atlantic Club, Red Bank, managed to balance training around her work schedule by doing her more taxing workouts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. She had a chance to go to Lake Placid, N.Y., and train there over a weekend (Lake Placid hosts its own triathlon).

“I think I am in a great place physically and mentally going into the race,” Corey said.

The only concern for the Manalapan High School graduate who went on to star at James Madison University is the swimming portion of the New York event.

“The swim in the Hudson takes up a lot of space in my head these days,” she said.

After the 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River, the athletes will transition at Ross Dock, which is just above the George Washington Bridge, and begin a 112-mile bicycle race which will take them along the scenic Palisades Interstate Parkway.

Following the bicycle portion of the event, they will run a 26.2-mile marathon which will take them from the Palisades to the George Washington Bridge, before they finish the event in Riverside Park at 83rd Street in Manhattan.

The race is challenging even for a veteran, but Corey, who now lives in Colts Neck, has an added incentive to push on.

“It’s really about staying positive and remembering why I am doing this race,” she said. “Iron Team is dedicating this race to Kayla Defeo, who at age 7 could no longer fight her acute lymphoblastic leukemia and was given her angel wings on Sept. 7, 2011. I am sure that the pain I will feel in the race will be nothing compared to what she and her family suffered.”

With that as her inspiration, Corey is halfway home.

“I am going to do my best to stay calm and enjoy racing in my first Ironman,” she said. “The goal for me is to finish. I will be very proud to cross the line for Team in Training and to represent Iron Team. Who knows? Maybe my dreams of qualifying for the Hawaii Ironman are alive after all.”

Anyone who would like to make a contribution to Iron Team may visit their website at