Josh Wise has some different holiday plans. The 30-year-old is set to participate in his first full Iron Man triathlon.
The Iron Man race takes place on Dec. 1 in Cozumel, Mexico. The triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26-mile run (the length of a full marathon).
Wise feels good about competing in a full Iron Man after completing a half Iron Man in July at Lake Michigan. He finished 394th out of more than 2,200 entrants in the 70.3-mile competition.
"I felt good about (my half Iron Man finish). It was really hard, which I expected it to be. It was really hot, so it challenged me even a little more than I was expecting. It felt good, but it was definitely an eye-opener to the challenge I had ahead of me to do double the distance. And I only had four months to Dec. 1. It was an eye-opener to how serious I was going to have to take it.
"You have a pretty big window to do it, so I knew I could do it. But being how I am, a race car driver and just a competitive person, I wanted to do it somewhat competitively and respectably. For me, it's just been about doing everything I can to do the best that I can. Wherever that puts me in the final Iron Man, I will be happy with that because I’ll know I've given everything I had."
Wise said that one of the biggest challenges was getting all of his training in especially with his Cup Series and family obligations. But he feels confident and has a goal in mind for this race.
"I have a really broad goal. Obviously, my first goal is to finish because a lot of people actually DNF. You face a lot of challenges with nutrition. It's really around a 12-hour race for most people, and up to 17. If you're slower-paced, the cutoff is at 17. You're trying to fuel and keep energy sources going to your body, but at the same time you're putting physical demands on your body ... It'll just be having a plan and just executing it, and hoping that I get through it and finish it. If I do it all perfectly, then I can have a really respectable time and speed, I think. And if I miss any areas, then I can be considerably slower. I'll just hope for the best."
This past Sprint Cup Series season, Wise ran in 35 of 36 races for Front Row Motorsports, with his best finish coming in the spring race at Talladega (19th).