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Lester completes 'Epic 5' challenge

by: submitted photo, Jason Lester

Portland-based athlete Jason Lester has finished his “Epic 5” challenge of five Ironman triathlons — except, the grueling challenge took seven days rather than the planned five-in-five on five different Hawaiian Islands. Lester, 35, who lives and trains in Portland with Ironheads Multisport Racing, pulled off the feat along with friend Rich Roll, another super triathlete. The duo, after completing Ironman-length triathlons of 2.4 miles swim, 112 miles bike and 26.2 miles running on Kauai (May 5) and Oahu (May 6), ran into glitches on the planned third day on Molokai — they described it as a mechanical issue (lost bikes, missing seat clamps, broken derailleurs) on their blog at www.epic5.com. Lester and Roll finished triathlons on Molokai (May 8) and Maui (May 9), the latter stretching to 5:15 a.m. Maui time, Monday, May 10 — a 19-hour day. So, the two completed the five-Ironman journey Tuesday, May 11 on Kona. It’s still an unprecedented feat in the multisports world, especially given that Lester lost the use of his right arm in a bicycling accident at age 12. — Jason Vondersmith