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Published: February 19, 2024

Ironman Internship Leads to Part-Time Gig, Newfound Passion

Emily Lochhead ’25 knew there was more to her human performance major than an occupation in the health sciences. A recent internship and a new part-time job with the Ironman Foundation have proved that to her.

	Ironman Internship Leads to Part-Time Gig, Newfound Passion Emily Lochhead ’25 knew there was more to her human performance major than an occupation in the health sciences. Photo by Luisa Januario

The Ironman Foundation is the charitable arm of the triathlon company Ironman, and Lochhead has gotten a chance to “dip her toes” in everything it does

The foundation raises money through donations and athletes event entry fees to support local initiatives in the cities where Ironman races are held. Foundation volunteers also build bicycles for children, rebuild homes, hold swim clinics and deliver for Meals on Wheels.

Lochhead has worked with the foundation’s development: athlete communications, keeping on top of athletes and making sure their fundraising commitments are met and corresponding with all athletes with the appropriate race entries and community outreach.

She found the internship on the Ironman website after brainstorming with her mom about corporations she could work with within the realm of health and fitness.

Recently, as the internship was about to end, Lochhead was asked to continue her work with the organization. Now, as a part-time employee, Lochhead is the development coordinator. She oversees the athletes to make sure they are meeting fundraising deadlines. She also makes sure injured athletes get transfers to an event that allows them ample time to heal and prepare for the extreme endeavor, she said.

“I feel really grateful I was given the opportunity to continue to grow with the amazing team in Tampa and work with new people from all over the country."

Last semester, Lochhead had the opportunity to work at an Ironman event in Panama City. She said she was surprised to meet so many inspiring people from all different backgrounds.

“(You’re) seeing what you worked on come to life," she said.

Being around the races and speaking to athletes inspired Lochhead to train for her first half Ironman, a race of 70.3 miles (a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run) that will take place this summer. In the summer of 2025, she plans to complete a full Ironman, a total of 140.6 miles. Lochhead will train 15-20 hours per week on top of taking four classes and working 30 hours a week.

“(It) will require me to be strategic with my time management skills,” she said. “It will be challenging and not leave me much downtime, but I thrive when I am busy and on a structured routine."

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