Local couple crosses finish line of grueling world championship together

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Nicki Seidensticker, 46, and her husband Jim, 48, of Waco, completed the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii this past weekend, marking the 14th time each has competed in the highest triathlon level, swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 and then finishing it off by running a full 26.2 mile marathon.

Nicki Seidensticker, 46, and her husband Jim, 48, of Waco, completed the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii this past weekend, marking the 14th time each has competed in the highest triathlon level. (Courtesy photo)

“It was really tough, but it was awesome,” Nicki said.

It was a photo finish as the pair crossed the finish line hand-in-hand in fitting fashion for a relationship that started after the two met in 2013 through an online Facebook group for singles who compete in Ironmans.

By 2014 Jim had relocated to Waco where their love for competing in triathlons only grew.

“We’d both done several Ironmans up to that point and then we started doing them together,” Nicki said.

In 2015, 2016 and 2017 the fitness enthusiasts completed two Ironmans together each year.

In 2018 they each did one but at different locations.

Training requires a dozen hours or more a week and finding the time to fit that in between the Seidenstickers’ full time jobs, Nicki at the Texas Farm Bureau and Jim as a CAT scan technician at Ascension Providence Hospital, has proven to be tough.

But on the weekends they run and ride side by side.

“We usually just did the long rides and runs on the weekends together,” she said.

Completing the events at the same time without planning is a near impossibility.

They’ve only crossed the finish line together once before and that happened in 2017 in Santa Rosa only because Jim decided to hang back on the run and wait for his wife.

“He actually waited for me at mile 25 of the run and so we ran the last mile together,” Nicki said.

“Usually you do your own thing.”

But on Saturday the stars aligned.

“There are three disciplines,” Nicki said.

“In the swim he's faster and the bike he's usually faster, but sometimes I can catch him on the run. I finally did at mile 22 of the marathon this time. So we ran and walked the last 4 miles together. It was really cool and really special to cross the line together.”

The Seidenstickers were not alone in representing Central Texas on the world stage.

Nancy Goodnight and businessman Todd Behringer joined them bringing along fans and family from back home to cheer them on.

“It was great to have so much support,” Nikki said.

The competitors are enjoying some well-earned days of rest and recreation in Hawaii before returning home.

“It was the toughest one we've ever done but it's the world championship so I guess it should be that way,” Nicki said.

“It feels really special.”