The Star-News


Iron-willed teacher dreams of Hawaii

Sat, May 25 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Robert Moreno

Clarissa Alba is many things to many people.

She’s a wife. A mother. A teacher. A triathlete. A cancer survivor.

But one thing she is not, that she is hoping she will soon be, is an ironman.

“(Kona, Hawaii) is the only championship triathlon in the world, it’s the cream of the crop.” Alba said. “If you have a dream, go for it; why not?”

The Ironman competition in Kona is a series of  long-distance triathlon races that consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile marathon run.

The kindergarten dual immersion teacher at Veterans Elementary School in Chula Vista is not a professional triathlete.

Not discouraged and wanting to make her dream a reality, Alba did some research and found out she still has a chance to qualify. Much like the second chance at life she got after beating breast cancer in early 2012.

There are a few designated slots for non-professionals in Kona.

In hoping to secure a spot, Alba had two choices: enter a lottery where numbers are randomly drawn out of a hat, or submit a 90-second video to the Ironman website explaining why she represents the Ironman mantra “Anything is Possible.”

Alba, 38, chose the latter. She said she had a story to tell.

In the video Alba explains how she was staying active while battling the rigors of stage three breast cancer.

“During all these (cancer) treatments, I never stopped exercising,” she said in the video. “I’ve always pushed myself and my oncologist said I was over doing it, that I should be resting, and recuperating, but being an athlete, I know my body (and) my limits.”

Diagnosed with cancer on July 16, 2011, Alba underwent painful cancer treatments that included 16 chemotherapies, five weeks of radiation, a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

Just like she refused to lose her battle with cancer, Alba is refusing to be denied a spot in the Ironman completion.

Alba said she’s been training as if she’s going to Kona.

Alba said the long distances might be challenging but if she beat cancer, she is sure to conquer the long distance.

Now the rest is up to America to decide if she will get to live out her dream.

The only way she will get to Kona is getting the most votes for her video on wwww.konainspired.thismoment.com. On the right side of the page click on Explore Entries and search for Clarissa Alba. Once the video comes up, click on Vote for This, which is on the lefthand portion of the screen underneath the video.


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