By Collin Breaux | Email: cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com | Twitter: @collin_breaux

Matt O’Malley of San Juan Capistrano was training for Ironman Triathlon competitions in Wisconsin and then Texas before each got canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So he decided to organize his own Ironman Triathlon at home, without any other competitors.

O’Malley swam 2.5 miles in Dana Point from Baby Beach doing a 320-yard loop 14 times; then did a 112-mile bike ride through Irvine and Camp Pendleton; and finished the one-man race with a 26.2-mile marathon run through San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and back to Baby Beach in Dana Point—all on Oct. 5. His car in the parking lot near Baby Beach served as a transition station of sort for each part.

San Juan Capistrano resident Matt O’Malley did a one-man Ironman Triathlon in Orange County after others he was training for were cancelled. Photo: Shelly Sheldahl

“I get emotional, because it’s pretty cool that my wife and daughter made a medal and trophy for me,” O’Malley said.

O’Malley raised money for the Karl Harter Head and Neck Cancer Scholarship at the University of Wisconsin and the Orangewood Foundation in Santa Ana. O’Malley originally planned to do the Ironman event in Wisconsin while visiting relatives and was subsequently given the option of switching to Texas, before that option was also canceled.

O’Malley, who turned 60 in July, finished his one-man event in a little over 13 ½  hours. The total distance was 147.56 miles. Supporters cheered him on throughout his route.

“I really wanted to get that thing under my belt for my 60th birthday,” O’Malley said.

Matt O’Malley’s daughter and wife made a medal and trophy for his one-man Ironman Triathlon. Photo: Shelly Sheldahl

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