Big Island Ironman Beckons Berkeley-Columbia Grads

A team of nearly 20 graduates from the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program's class of 2009 headed to Hawaii to compete in the grueling Ironman 70.3 on May 30.

The graduates were joined on the Big Island by numerous other classmates, who saw cheering them on with mai tai in hand as a fitting culmination to 19 rigorous months of studies. The athletes, meanwhile, tested their endurance by swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56 miles, and then ending with a scenic but challenging half-marathon past ancient fishponds and petroglyph fields on the grounds of a lush resort.

"Our class is athletic, and filled with over-achievers," says Damon Kryzer, who organized the effort with classmate Patrick Dempsey.

The team hired a training coach after graduating in December and had been swimming, bicycling, and running ever since. “What better activity to replace the daily efforts we have been devoting to the MBA!” Dempsey says.