Local Ironman competitor speaks to 5th grade students

Mandi Steele/FULTON SUN photo
Clint Smith spoke to 5th grade students at McIntire Elementary School Monday about his experiences in the Ironman Triathlon.

Mandi Steele/FULTON SUN photo Clint Smith spoke to 5th grade students at McIntire Elementary School Monday about his experiences in the Ironman Triathlon.

Fifth grade students at McIntire Elementary School were full of questions for their guest speaker on Monday.

Their teacher, Cami Webb, invited Clint Smith to come and share his experiences of competing in the Ironman Triathlon with them. Webb said her class has been discussing goal setting and practicing how to ask better questions. She said they have also been reading about young children who have set and achieved “great” goals. Joe Davis’s 5th grade class also came to the presentation. The students researched the Ironman competition prior to Smith’s visit, so they had a multitude of questions for him after his presentation.

Smith competed in the Louisville, Ky., Ironman competition on Sept. 29, which included a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. He spoke to the students about how he had to train for the triathlon and the different goals he set for himself along the way.

Alisha Tuck, 5th grade student, wanted to know, “Did you get a break?”

“You don’t get a break,” Smith answered her. It’s just a constant event.”

Smith said the question that stood out most after his presentation was, “Why did you do the Ironman competition?” The question was asked by fifth-grader Kylie Davis.

“I guess I just wanted to see if I could do it,” he answered.

Smith admitted that it was a good question and one that really made him think.

When Smith asked the students about their own goals, they started with answers such as becoming a football player or basketball player, but then he said they started saying things like “finishing school” and “going to college.”

“It was great to see their little minds working like that,” Smith said.

Smith is the president of the Fulton Board of Education. He said he was glad Webb asked him to come, because it was a “unique” opportunity for him to converse directly with students.

“It seems they all had some pretty good goals,” he said.

Webb said the students were very excited about Smith’s visit. She said she hopes they learned “not to give up on their goals.”

“Sometimes it’s so easy for them to just give up on something,” Webb said.

She said it was good for them to meet a local person who had worked hard and achieved his goals.

Out of 3,000 competitors, Smith said, he came in 1504th place. He told the students that it took him 14 hours and 45 minutes to complete the event.

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