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Mini-Triathlon for Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards’ fitness program was put to the test on Wednesday at Infineon Raceway as the driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion combined with two young Bay Area children in a Mini-Triathlon.

Edwards, noted for his rigorous fitness regimen, was in the Sonoma Valley to promote the upcoming Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 20-22, as well as bring awareness to the need for fitness among young children.  Edwards teamed with two young Bay Area triathletes, Colin Gibson (13) and Trueman Gibson (8), for the friendly Mini-Triathlon.

The trio first rode mountain bikes through a half-mile course on the hillsides behind the raceway. They then took part in a half-mile run around a portion of the world-famous road course, which included the legendary hairpin at Turn 11. Finally, to continue the cardio, Edwards, Colin and Trueman took part in an old-fashioned grape stomp in the Wine Country Winner’s Circle. The trio completed the entire event in 9 minutes, 29 seconds.

The abbreviated triathlon, while not the same as running the stairs at Bristol Motor Speedway, was a nice little workout for Edwards, who has won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series-best three races this year, including last weekend’s Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. He sits ninth in the standings.

“For me, I take a lot of pride in that I’m investing in myself. I really enjoy being physically fit and this was a lot of fun out here today, especially making the grape juice,” Edwards said. “It was also neat to do this with Colin and Trueman. They’re pretty good athletes.”

It was a thrill for the Gibson brothers, who live in Santa Rosa. Both Colin and Gibson plan on competing in several triathlons this year. Colin is also a member of a competitive cycling team (Team Swift).

“I like to run, swim and stay active,” Colin said. “I think I’ll always be that way.”

Edwards also looks forward to returning to the Sonoma Valley for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 in June. He had a personal-best finish of sixth place in 2006 over the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course.

“This track is so difficult,” Edwards said. “I grew up racing on a three-eighths oval in Missouri so this is totally different. You go uphill, downhill and you’re shifting at the same time. Plus you’re driving a big 3,400-pound stock car. It’s a very tough thing to do that around here so if I can win this race it would be one of the most satisfying wins of my NASCAR career.”

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