Pounds, Herndon gear up for success

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trey Pounds and Billy Herndon have high ambitions and a strongwork ethic to help them achieve their goals. The Brookhavenresidents are packing for the Ironman competition in Panama City,Fla., Nov. 4.

Pounds, 34, has been competing in triathlons for two years. Thiswill be the first Ironman for him. He and Herndon are preparing fora 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike race and a 26.2-mile marathon runnext weekend.

A Foxworth native, Pounds is employed by a local auto partsstore. He did a half Ironman in May. He also has experience withOlympic sprint triathlons which includes a half-mile swim, 18 mileson the bike and a 5-K run.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Pounds became a fitness fan about two years ago. “I gotinterested in running first.

“I swim three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at theHPC,” short for Human Performance Center. “I also do some openwater swimming at Lake Lincoln.

“I’ve seen alligators in the water, late in the afternoon,”laughed Pounds. “They usually won’t bother you there.”

On the bicycle, Pounds averages 150-200 miles per week. “I did75 (miles) Saturday and another 75 Sunday.”

In a recent bicycle race, Pounds competed in the MississippiTour. It covered 150 miles, from Hammond, La. to Percy Quinn StatePark in Fernwood.

“It’s 75 miles one way, then 75 back,” said Pounds. All theproceeds went to MS,” the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

“There were about 1,000 riders in it,” said Pounds. “I got therelate Saturday, so I didn’t start with the lead group. I was 20thSaturday and second on Sunday.”

The course was downhill, with a little bit of tailwind goingback. Pounds said, “It took us two hours and 58 minutes.”

Pounds said the participants were escorted by two LouisianaState policemen on motorcycles going back to Hammond. “There wereat least 100 volunteers on motorcycles Saturday.”

Recovering from a foot injury, Pounds said, “I got in a wreck ina team trial recently. The longest run I’ve done so far is 14miles. I usually run three hours or 18 miles. Anything longer thanthat tears your body down.

He averages around 35-40 miles per jog.

Chronic back problems led to a series of surgeries forPounds.

“I got into fitness because of some severe back problems. I’vehad four back surgeries, including a lumbar fusion. I kind of gotlazy and got overweight.

“The steel rods and screws in my back have been amazing. I haveno back pain.”

At 6-foot-3, and 168 pounds, Pounds is in prime condition. Hiswife, Julie, is an exercise physiologist provides assistance withhis diet. “She helps me with my nutrition.”

“I’ve had a couple people who have been instrumental in helpingme,” Pounds noted. “Brookhaven Cycle & Sports and local cyclistFrank Moak have been great.”

According to Pounds, over 2,000 competitors gather on the PanamaCity beach for the start of the Ironman. At the sound of the gun,they begin an exhausting swim in the Gulf of Mexico. Wet suits,often used by SCUBA divers, are permitted.

“Wet suits have less resistance and they help keep you warm,too, if the weather is cold,” said Pounds.

In this triathlon, swimmers negotiate a rectangular-shapedcourse. They swim out about a half mile, then swim parallel toshore for about 2/10ths of a mile, before returning to the beach.Then they run to a watering station before returning to the waterfor another lap.

Herndon Likes Benefits

Herndon said he started training in May of last year. “I’m arelative newcomer. I’m training five and six days week.

“It’s such a healthy lifestyle to be involved in,” said Herndon.”It’s not just the racing. You eat healthy. You learn a lot oflessons out there about perseverance.”

Herndon said the Ironman competition is a reflection oflife.

“The Ironman races parallel life because there are so many upsand downs,” said Herndon. “You just have to fight your way throughthem.”

Herndon (5-9, 165), is attending medical school; currentlystudying for the MCAT test. He has a business degree from BelhavenCollege where he played soccer and baseball.

In May, Pounds and Herndon participated in a half-Ironman. It’sa 1.2 mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

Regarding diet, Herndon said, “You get to eat a wide range offoods. You consume a lot of recovery drinks. Chocolate milk is goodafter a long endurance race. Different companies offer a variety ofendurance drinks.”

Diet and health are the main factors benefiting participants.The fun part is the race itself.