A Tulsa man was first across the finish line for the 2022 Ironman Triathlon.
Sam Carr beat athletes from around the world on Sunday, completing more than 140 of swimming, cycling, and running.
Carr said he's not one to shy away from a challenge, but he is still in shock that he won an Ironman on his first try.
"A little sore. I'm a little tired. Maybe I should've taken a couple extra vacation days, but yeah, feeling pretty good," said Carr.
9 hours, 22 minutes, and 59 seconds: That's the time it took 28-year-old Sam Carr to cross the finish line and claim his title as the 2022 Tulsa Ironman Champion.
"Still sinking in. Still can't believe it," said Carr.
Carr said if he's Ironman, his wife is Wonder Woman for picking up the slack with their six-month-old while he trained 15 hours a week.
"I saw my wife compete in Chattanooga in 2019 during her first full Ironman and I thought, 'Man I'm never gonna do anything like this. It's just so long. And it's crazy. The distance is unbelievable, but yeah, you catch a bug, and an Olympic distance maybe turns into a half and then you see that full. And being here in Tulsa, it's just hard to resist," said Carr.
The start of the race was rocky.
Carr said it tests not only your physical ability but your mental toughness.
"The swim start, first off, was a little rough. They changed the course right when we were on the starting ramp because of some chop in the water further down in the lake. And then there were some big swells. That kind of got in my head a little bit. We did a two loop course where we actually got out of the water and back in, and I checked my watch and was a little discouraged at how slow I was going but just tried to put that behind me and then knew once I got on my bike I'd be in my element and could make up some ground," said Carr. "I get excited to get on the bike. I think that's my strong suit and it's just a lot of fun. Get to go fast. Get to see lots of scenery."
Carr said he was shocked to learn the progress he'd made.
"Halfway through the bike course, I had some friends out on course that were giving me splits on the leaders, and I thought it was just for our age group and then I realized as I rolled into transition that I was the second one into transition and the race was on. So yeah, it was kind of mind-blowing in the middle of the race to come to that realization," said Carr.
He then hit the ground running.
"I think the best thing was having the support of lots of friends and family out on the course. Especially on the run course on Riverside. There were people every mile that were saying 'Go Sam,' and I could pick out friends and family, and it was super encouraging. Helped the miles fly by," said Carr. "Thought about my family and all the time and sacrifice they put into this for me to be able to compete and that kept me going."
Carr said a lot of people accomplished their goals on Sunday.
"I would say anybody that towed the line on Sunday is already a winner," said Carr. "Whether they were at the front of the race or at the back, every single person who got out there on the course did something hard and did something pretty cool this weekend."
He said it was cool competing with some of the best in the world.
"Some tactics came into play kind of towards the end," said Carr.
Carr has a few words of advice for folks interested in doing an Ironman.
"Get a good support system. Get a coach. Get a group of athletes around you that will keep you consistent. I think the biggest challenge in training is just kind of building up your fitness brick by brick rather than trying to do big workouts to get it all at once. Just doing a little at a time and solely building up, I think, is the best way to go about it. Maybe start small," said Carr.