Iron man: Zionsville Community School teacher is a prolific triathlon competitor

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Kyle Beimfohr participates in the cycling portion of the Chattanooga Ironman competition in September 2021. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Beimfohr)

Kyle Beimfohr never dreamed of being an Ironman competitor. In fact, Beimfohr, a 49-year-old digital learning coach at Zionsville Community Schools, started out with a passion for biking.

“I could bike all day,” Beimfohr said. “As a kid, I biked because we lived in the country, and that’s how I got from one house to the next. As far as exercise and enjoyment, it wasn’t until adulthood that I started doing that.”

An active cyclist, Beimfohr was encouraged by friends to branch out into other events, beginning with triathlons.

The Avon resident competed in his first sprint triathlon in 2014 in Plainfield. After that, Beimfohr continued doing a few small triathlons. Then, he got the itch for something more, with his friends urging him on again.

Beimfohr participated in his first half-Ironman challenge in Muncie later in 2015, followed by a few more events leading up to his decision to attempt a full Ironman Triathlon in Louisville in 2017.

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Kyle Beimfohr opens with the swimming portion of the Chattanooga Ironman competition in September 2021. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Beimfohr)

An Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, followed by 112 miles of cycling and a 26.2-mile run. It is considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world.

Unfortunately for Beimfohr, he had a cycling accident and broke his ribs and clavicle. But that didn’t stop Beimfohr from competing in his first Ironman.

“At that point, it was too late to cancel or defer, so I went ahead during the recovery and continued my training,” he said. “I was able to compete in that Ironman with a metal plate in my shoulder.”

After fully recovering, Beimfohr signed up for the 2018 Ironman in Louisville, but suffered a broken foot during training and had to withdraw. After recovering, he entered the 2019 Ironman in Louisville and completed the event.

Beimfohr had signed up for an Ironman in Chattanooga, Tenn. in 2020, but it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He competed in the rescheduled Chattanooga Ironman in 2021.

“Chattanooga’s course was a bit different, so the bike ride ended up being 116 miles,” Beimfohr said. “The final stretch was also very challenging. The running portion was super hilly, so I decided that I was going to run up until I got to the hills and then walk up them to preserve energy. It’s run/walk, whatever it takes to get to the finish line.”

Beimfohr said his Ironman goals are to keep improving. He completed his first Ironman in under 14 hours, despite battling through his surgery. He completed the Chattanooga Ironman in 13 hours and 9 minutes, despite it being 4 more miles on the bike than a traditional triathlon.

“It’s a long day but I love being on my bike and seeing the world at a different pace,” Beimfohr said.

Beimfohr said he shares some of his Ironman exploits with his students.

“So much of teaching is about relationships,” Beimfohr said. “When you tell them you’ve done an Ironman, they are interested and want to know about it. I share some of my experiences and photos, especially with my middle school kids since they are getting into competitive sports like cross country and track and field.”

Beimfohr plans to compete in an Ironman in Arizona in November.

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In his spare time, Kyle Beimfohr designs cookies. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Beimfohr)

Sweet retreat

When Kyle Beimfohr isn’t training for triathlons, he enjoys designing cookies.

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In his spare time, Kyle Beimfohr designs cookies. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Beimfohr)

“I decorated cookies for Christmas and my family likes them,” he said. “But I’m looking for ways to improve on it. I’m very competitive, even with myself, so I started making different cookies for family and friends. I would post the finished product on social media, and people would ask me if I’d be willing to bake for their son’s graduation or if they can buy any of these for Christmas.”

Beimfohr began selling his iced sugar cookies to people he knows.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a business, it’s more of a passion project,” he said. “I don’t want it to get where it’s like a job.”

To view Beimfohr’s cookie creations, visit