Tempe Congresswoman to compete in Ironman Arizona - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tempe Congresswoman to compete in Ironman Arizona

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TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

Freshman Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, (D) 9th District, is taking on a challenge none of her peers in Congress have ever attempted before.

When it's over, she could claim to be the most powerful member of the House. Not politically speaking, of course, but athletically.

Sinema has been training seven days a week all year long to prepare for Ironman Arizona, one of the most intense athletic events on the planet.

"I thought it was crazy and no human should be able to do that. So I decided, I thought I should try it," said Sinema with a chuckle.

An Ironman event consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycling ride and a 26.2 mile run.

Competing in a political race is tough enough, and Sinema acknowledges this latest endeavor has plenty of people asking if she's crazy.

"I've always been excited about challenges that ordinary humans can do extraordinary things," she said.

Fitting in lengthy training sessions around her job in Congress and her weekly commutes to Washington keeps Sinema's schedule pretty hectic.

She tells CBS5 she wakes up most mornings around 3 or 3:30am. Adding to the degree of difficulty, Sinema says she did not know how to swim before taking on this goal. She hired gold medal winning Olympic swimmer Misty Hyman as her coach.

Sinema hopes to finish the race in under sixteen hours.

She isn't only competing as a personal mission, Sinema is also raising funds for the Desert States Charitable Foundation and has close to $10,000 in donations so far.

Read more about her fundraising and the group HERE.

Sinema says she's already chosen her next big athletic goal, which is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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