When Jack Nunn returned home from Orlando, Fla. in February of this year, the Manhattan Beach resident was exhausted.
And understandably so.
He had just competed in the Ultraman Florida triathlon, a grueling, long-distance race where he had to swim, bike and run 321.6 miles. He was looking forward to recuperating.
That was until he got an email inviting him to embark on yet another physical challenge: the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
“I was very excited but I was like this is going to be really tough,” Nunn explained, adding the turnaround time between the races was particularly challenging. “Doing this on top of Ultraman...this has been a big year. The biggest.”
The race, set for Oct. 12, will combine three of the toughest endurance races in Hawaii, bringing together more than 2,000 of the world’s best athletes to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles.
But, Nunn—son of Olympic bronze medalist sculler John Nunn who was raised in Palos Verdes—isn’t nervous. He said he's been training for this his whole life.
“I’m trying to hold it, like control it before race day,” Nunn mused. “It’s been a lifelong dream to go and compete...if you ask anybody that’s doing marathons or triathlons, the ultimate is to go to Kona.”
The 6 foot 3 inch tall bronzed adonis, who just turned 40 earlier this summer, has traveled the world, venturing to four continents to compete in 14 Ironman triathlons.
He also raced in the Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon in Norway.
“I’ve swam with sharks in Australia, jellyfish in Mexico like actually stinging you during the race, big jellyfish in Sweden that come like a wall...dealt with alligators in Florida to crocodiles in Australia swimming in the ocean with you. In Norway, I swam in a fjord that was 40 degrees, 17,000 feet of mountain climbs, ridiculously hard train,” Nunn recollected. “You just think hey if I can do that, I can get through this.”
His preparation for all of these extreme endurance races, including his upcoming journey around Kailua-Kona?
A sport Nunn credits with allowing him to create his own path in life: rowing.
“It’s a whole-body workout so it’s really efficient and low-impact,” Nunn explained, adding he attended his alma mater Cal Berkeley on a full-scholarship for the sport. Nunn owns an indoor rowing gym in Long Beach, RoWorx. “I feel like I owe it back something.”
But, more importantly than physical preparation, he clarified, is mental strength.
“You have to have the mental to turn on the physical,” Nunn said. “I always say if your body quits before your mind, that’s a good problem to have.”
To prepare for the hours-long endurance challenges, Nunn draws from past experiences, as well as the support of friends and family to help him push through.
He also gets into what he calls ‘the zone,’ where Nunn says he squashes self doubt and tries to enjoy the experience.
“I think just being present and focusing on sort of a meditation almost,” he added. “You’re almost at peace sort of.”
To track Nunn during the Ironman World Championship, download the IRONMAN Tracker app and follow No. 364.
For more information on RoWorx, visit roworx.com