From Buffet Lines to Finish Lines – Journey to Becoming an Ironman

Meet Eddie Morin. He’s a 40 year-old Little Rock, Ark., resident who decided one day to get in shape and turned his passions from unhealthy eating to getting in shape.

“I started running in 2000-ish.  One day I got on a treadmill and could not run a quarter mile!

Obviously, it was discouraging. I was overweight – probably weighed 180 lbs.  I am 5’9!

I guesstimate (my weight), as I would never get on a scale. I just knew I was wearing about a 34-35 pant size and hit buffets constantly.

A healthy diet was not in my routine. With persistence, I gradually built up some endurance and was able to run. I also turned to (healthier) meals. This dropped some pounds and I was feeling better(mentally/physically).

In 2003, I heard (about) the Little Rock Marathon. At the time, I was running between three-five miles, five times each week. I did not know the distance of a marathon, but something drew me to it.

For weeks, I contemplated the event. One Saturday, I decided to do a long run. I ran 7 miles. So, I decided to do a marathon.

I believe this was sometime in March and the marathon was in May that year. I then decided I needed to run with the official training group. That week we met at Lake Willastein in Maumelle. Ark. I was wearing a cotton t-shirt, basketball shorts and I wore Nike training shoes. I did not know to bring water or fuel (energy gels) and thought we were going to run “laps” around the lake. Boy was I wrong!

The training distance was 14 miles around Maumelle, and I could not back out because I do not quit.

I ran the distance with ease and despite my lack of preparedness, I felt great.

From then on, I never stopped running.


“In 2004, I saw a commercial for the Ironman Triathlon (2.4 mile swim/112 mile bike/26.2 mile run), and immediately wanted to do one.

Oh, did I mention that I could NOT swim!

Ok, I could “dog paddle” and could survive if thrown in the water. I could not swim efficiently.

I joined War Memorial Fitness Center to learn to swim.

I watched others in the pool doing laps and observed.

One day, I finally swam the length of a pool. This was a huge accomplishment, as I was used to drinking nasty pool water every other stroke.

Then, one lap turned into two…four…so on.

I finally swam 20 minutes without stopping and felt “ready.”

Keep in mind I really had no clue how long a 2.4 mile swim would take me.

I had a friend that knew a guy who completed an Ironman. So, I emailed a now good friend of mine, Bentley Blackmon, and asked for advice. He gave me the “13 week to a 13-hour Ironman Training Schedule.”

I looked it over and I thought to myself, ‘what have I gotten myself into?’

About 3 hours of swimming each week, hours on the bike, and hours running?!?!

Well, I paid my entry fee and there was NO turning back after that.

The training went well, and I was as fit as ever. My family met me in Panama City, Fla., and there was no way I would let them down.

I finished under 13 hours, which is common goal, and I have competed in four Ironman’s since.

I’m not sure if I will return to that distance because the training does consume me.

Bentley and I became training partners/good friends. He is the one I must thank for pushing me to do the Arkansas Traveller 100 miler, too.

One day, I was meeting him and his family for lunch. I told my then, girlfriend, that I was breaking the news to him that I was not going to do the 100 miler with him as I had just finished Ironman Wisconsin weeks before. I told him during lunch and he casually said OK.

I thought to myself, ‘that was waaaay too easy…what’s he up to?’

“He should be trying to convince me to do it!

So I asked, ‘What gives?’

Bentley said, ‘No problem. Just remember, I am going to do a 100 miler and you are not.’

“Ok…I was in!

It was brutal, but I finished.


“Fitness is now a huge part of my life.

I was asked to join Team Michelob Ultra …

My friends joke and remind me that I have my ideal sponsor.

My greatest achievement is probably the March 7, 2010, LR Marathon (It should be noted that my “long” training run was an 8 mile treadmill run.  I was doing a lot of cross-training and did not plan on running that fast.  So, I guess, less can be more.)

I ran a 3:13:51 and that made me a BOSTON Marathon QUALIFIER!!!

Lining up with the fastest runners from all over the world in Boston was an awesome event that I will never forget.


I now eat salads/fish/chicken/power bars/greens/fruits, and even monitor with the MyFitnessPal app.

I workout about 6 days each week. I do weights/elliptical/run/cycle.

Now, I am under 150 pounds, and when I am training, I get down to a healthy 137-ish.

Of course, I do enjoy a burger, pizza and Michelob Ultra. They are now a ‘treat’ for my hard work and not a daily meal.

Through fitness, I have made incredible friends. We all get to sleep early to train in the mornings, eat well, and share race stories.

Each week, we meet at Go! Running for our Thursday afternoon run.

Afterward, we stay and chat as refreshments are provided and some go to dinner together.

People have noticed a change in my physical appearance and attitude. The Ironman mantra is, I Can!

I often get asked to give tips/guidelines.

The basics have never really changed: eat healthy/drink lots of water/get plenty of sleep/and exercise.

Pretty simple.

I have completed 100% of my races. This has not been easy, but I hope to never see a, DNF (Did Not Finish) after my name.

I train at the River Trail. It has plenty of water fountains and nice scenery.

I can basically do all of my long runs on the North Little Rock or Little Rock side.

The Little Rock Marathon training group meets every Saturday at 6:00 am and the locations change weekly.

It’s really nice to wake up early and be done by the time most people are getting out of bed.

I am also a member of 10 Fitness.

I like 10 Fitness because you can workout at any facility and their equipment is maintained.

I do my running ‘speed work’ on their treadmills. That makes it easy for me to monitor the exact speed/pace.

When riding my bike, I also do the North Little Rock-Little Rock River Trail.

The Two Rivers connection adds a lot of miles and has cycling friendly roads.

Sometimes during the summer, a group of us ride to England, Ark. When I trained for Ironman, that was still not enough distance, so I would add on an additional couple of hours solo. I would pack cold pasta and eat during the ride.

I also trained at Lake DeGray.  I would leave my house at 5:00 am, get there and do a 30 minute open water swim, a 4-5 hour bike ride, and a 1-2 hour run. I packed an ice chest with cold pasta and flat sodas (no carbonation), and water, of course.  I would return home around 4:00 in the afternoon or later.

I must admit, the training can be draining, but well worth it.


With FaceBook, just about every running/cycling/triathlon training group has a page. So finding a training partner and/or training locations/tips is really simple. It was as easy when I began my journey.

In my SUV you will always find:  swim goggles, swim shorts, bike shorts, a helmet, a pump, socks, extra running shoes, running shorts, running shirts, sunscreen, power bars, sunglasses, towel, and an iPod.  I have to take my bike out every so often.”

Below is Eddie’s race history with completed times.

Little Rock Marathon

May 4, 2003: 4:11:08

March 7, 2004: 3:55:19

March 6, 2005: 5:01:17

March 5, 2006: 4:15:59

March 4, 2007: 3:26:53

March 2, 2008: 3:47:52

March 15, 2009: 3:46:04

March 7, 2010: 3:13:51  (BOSTON QUALIFIER)

March 6, 2011: 3:32:27

March 4, 2012: 3:59:02

Eddie plans to compete in the Little Rock Marathon on March 3, 2013 and the Austin Marathon, Feb. 17, 2013.

Other marathons

Houston Marathon, Jan. 18, 2004: 3:46:15

Houston Marathon, Jan. 18, 2009: 3:56:52

Houston Marathon, Jan. 15, 2012: 4:04:46

St. Jude Marathon, Dec. 6, 2003: 3:39:09

St. Jude Marathon, Dec. 3, 2004: 4:21:18
St. Jude Marathon, Dec. 2, 2006: 3:34:02

St. Jude Marathon, Dec. 5, 2009: RAN AS BANDIT (but made donation)

Nashville Marathon, April 26, 2008: 4:30:24

Boston Marathon, April 18, 2011: 3:27:28

Route 66 Marathon, Nov. 20, 2011: 4:40 (approximation)

Midsouth Marathon, Nov. 3, 2012: 4:28:27

Ironman Competitions

Ironman Florida, Nov. 2005:

Swim: 1:22:30

Bike: 6:22

Run: 4:42:18

TOTAL:  12:39:38

Ironman Florida, Nov. 2007:

Swim: 1:15:57

Bike: 5:44:29

Run: 4:00:49

TOTAL: 11:13:29

Ironman Wisconsin, Sep. 7, 2008:

Swim: 1:24:18

Bike: 6:19:58

Run: 3:47:01

TOTAL: 11:44:35

Ironman Kentucky, Aug. 30, 2009:

Swim: 1:33:25

Bike: 6:26:36

Run: 4:24:58

TOTAL: 12:37:52

Other Races

Ouachita Trail 50k, April 19, 2008: 6:49:28

Arkansas Traveller 100, Oct. 4-5, 2008: 28:59:04

Full mOOn 50k, July 16-17, 2011: 5:47

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