She Swims, Bikes, Runs (and books weddings too)

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November 2021

With the pandemic appearing smaller in the rearview mirror, facility rentals are gaining momentum under the direction of Jenny Ash, who joined us last spring.

Most days Ash keeps busy fielding calls, giving tours and answering questions from excited brides and anxious mothers. New bookings have jumped, and next year’s spring and fall are filling up fast. The allure of an oceanfront wedding and reception keeps Oceanview Hall booked nearly year-round.

Ash’s duties with the Pier differ a bit from her past post, executive director of

Outer Banks Sporting Events. That organization runs the Outer Banks Marathon, Triathlon, and additional races.

But whatever she’s doing, Ash likes to keep up a strong pace — seasoned runner that she is. She follows a lifelong quest to stay physically fit and excel in triathlons.

But whatever she’s doing, Ash likes to keep up a strong pace — seasoned runner that she is. She follows a lifelong quest to stay physically fit and excel in triathlons.

She’s competed previously in North Carolina, Lake Placid and Boulder. And now she heads south to join 3,800 other competitors for the Florida Ironman, Saturday, Nov. 6, in Panama City.

This tri event entails swimming out and around the quarter-mile Russell-Fields Pier — twice — in the Gulf of Mexico, reaching 2.4 miles total, then pumping a 112-mile bike ride, and ending with a grueling 26.2-mile footrace.

At Panama City she’ll ride a Quintana Roo bike and wear a snappy new tri suit. “Because this one is flat, it won’t be the hardest I’ve done,” she said. Then added, “Unless it's windy!”

Ash and her husband, Steve, did the HALF Ironman on the same Panama City course back in May. Saturday’s race is twice as long, so Ash has trained twice as hard and often, with countless workouts at the Outer Banks Family YMCA, swims at Westside Athletic Club

and outings with Outer Banks Running Club. She has practiced for months — early mornings, evenings, weekends.

“I have to trust my training,” she said.

“I love the commitment, the community, and doing all three disciplines, swim, bike and run. It’s a significant investment of time and money. But it’s worth it.”

 

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