Triple Threat

One local athlete is among the contenders this week at the 2013 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, an event considered by many in the sports world to be the ultimate triathlon competition.

Julie Birbilis will take on both amateur and professional athletes in a challenging 1.2-mile swim, an endurance-testing 56-mile bike ride complete with steep climbs, and a 13.1-mile run, all in one day as she strives to earn the Ironman title.

Birbilis, who works as a fitness instructor at O2 Fitness, will compete on behalf of the fitness chain on Sept. 8 in Las Vegas, after becoming one of more than 1,800 domestic and international competitors to qualify via races throughout the 2013 70.3 series.

So how did Birbilis become an Ironman contender?

You have to train like one.

As an O2 Fitness BodyPump and RPM Instructor, Birbilis combines her teaching classes with additional bike, running and swimming training three times a week.

And while most Ironman contenders step away from teaching classes to focus solely on their training, Biribilis enjoys the support of fellow trainers and O2 Fitness members. Many of them even came out to cheer her on in June’s Raleigh Ironman contest, when she qualified for the World Championship.

For more information on the races, see

Best of luck, Julie — Cary is rooting for you!

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