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Noel Reagan does a warm up ride across the Walnut Street Bridge on Friday. Reagan is a flight attendant for Delta Airlines and trains for events like the Ironman 70.3 in far away locations while working all over the world.
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Noel Reagan stands with her bike on the Walnut Street Bridge on Friday afternoon. Reagan is a flight attendant for Delta Airlines and trains for events like the Ironman 70.3 in far away locations while working all over the world.

TRAFFIC IMPACT:

From 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday

› Southbound Riverfront Parkway from Molly Way to Market Street: One lane closed

› Eastbound West 20th Street from Riverfront Parkway to Market Street: One lane closed

› Intersection of West 20th Street and Market Street/Intersection of 20th and Broad Street: Expect delays

› Southbound Market Street to Alton Park Boulevard: One lane closed

› Interstate 24 exit ramp to Southbound Market Street: Closed

› Interstate 24 on ramp from Southbound Market Street: Closed

› Intersection of St Elmo Avenue and 42nd Street: Expect delays

› Intersection of St. Elmo Avenue and Tennessee Avenue: Expect delays

› Highway 193 at Highway 341 and Highway 136 at Highway 193 and Highway 136 at Highway 341: Expect delays

› 40th Street from Alton Park to Tennessee Avenue: Closed

From 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

› Westbound Riverside Drive/Amnicola Highway from Lindsay to Wilcox Lane: Closed

› River Street between Fehn and Heritage Landing: Closed

› Battery Place Ramp from Amnicola Highway: Closed

› Veterans Bridge/Barton Avenue/Hixson Pike between Fourth Street and Riverview Road: Lane closed

› Eastbound Frazier Avenue between Walnut Street Bridge and Barton Avenue Lane: Closed

MORE: Riverfront Parkway from Molly Lane to Aquarium Way will be closed from Wednesday at 9 a.m. to Monday at 5 a.m.

2016 Ironman 70.3 Schedule

4:30 a.m.-6:45 a.m.: Shuttle bus for athletes and spectators from Ross’s transition to swim start

5 a.m.: Ross’s Landing information booth opens

6:50 a.m.: Race starts

7 a.m.: Ironman Village and Ironman store open at Ross’s Landing

7:30-8:30 a.m. Shuttle bus for spectators runs from swim start to transition

11 a.m.-5 p.m.: Athlete food open at Ross’s Landing

4 p.m.: Awards ceremony at Ross’s Landing

 

Hopping on a three-speed rental bicycle designed for tourists, while dealing with jet lag in Germany, is a peculiar way to train for an Ironman triathlon.

But it's just another day in the life of Noel Reagan.

Reagan, the 33-year-old former president of the Chattanooga Triathlon Club, is two years into her career as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines, and she's rolling with the bizarre punches her profession throws — all while continuing to train for triathlons.

When she enters the water to begin Sunday's Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga, Reagan will have flown more than 600,000 miles as a flight attendant, her work taking her all over the world and forcing her to adapt as she prepares to race.

"Before, I was more able to follow a training plan, and now, doing what I do, it's become about enjoying where I am and who I'm with," Reagan said.

Sometimes that means running over the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, along the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, or riding a bike through places like Madrid, Spain, and Anchorage, Alaska.

The unique training schedule hardly fazed Reagan in last year's race. She finished in 5:50:58, good enough to place her 35th out of 85 entrants in her age and gender division.

Reagan said her sub-six-hour finish came as a surprise, and she's not sure she's as well trained for this year's event. An Ironman 70.3 consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

"It kind of depends on how much I can gut it out this year and how much I can dig," Reagan said. "It's always a surprise. That's the hard thing about training while working as a flight attendant. You never know how you're going to do because your training is so different."

Reagan said her training is more about "stopping to smell the roses" now, but there are at least some elements Reagan finds advantageous about working as a flight attendant. She said her body gets used to being tired, which is good for triathletes, and she joked that her altitude training gets taken care of automatically through her work.

"She's got such a great personality to be able to apply herself, stick with this and travel around the world," said Kelli Smith Schwind, who became friends with Reagan in 2012 when they met while training. "She has her passions, which are travel and triathlons, and she gets to do both of them."

Reagan's network of connections continues to expand around the world through her training. She met a group of Americans while running a few weeks ago in London and has stayed in touch with one of them.

That is the beauty of the sport, she said, and she hopes her Ironman story can inspire others to write one of their own.

"I hope people can see that something like this can be possible for them, because I'm busy, I travel and I'm tired," she said. "There are people who are busy, tired and don't travel.

"So I hope that I could maybe be an inspiration for them to do something they've never thought about doing."

Contact staff writer David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6249.

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