People lined up to run a marathon on a sunny day

Irene: SJW's Ironwoman

We’ve always known our employees are superheroes and we’re thrilled to be able to share one of them with you. San Jose Water employees are asked to rise to new challenges every day as we work round the clock, 365 days a year to deliver water to our customers at the drop of a “tap.” There’s no shortage of work to keep employees like Senior Civil Engineer Irene Suroso busy. That’s why we were so impressed to learn that on top of her demanding role with SJW, Irene was using her “spare” time to train for the Ironman Triathlon. 

A triathlon, which involves biking, swimming, and running your way through a competition is tough. Just completing a marathon is something only .5% of all Americans can ever say they’ve done. So imagine running a full marathon, after cycling 112 miles and swimming 2.4 miles, that’s what it takes to become an Ironwoman.

Training is the key to completing such a physically rigorous journey. That’s where Irene began, “For the 9 months leading up to Nov. 19, 2017, I had 6 training days per week. On weekdays, I would have either swim and spin, or run and strength training. On weekends, I would have brick trainings – either long swim and long bike, or long swim and long run. During these times, the hardest part of the training was managing my time – in between my 2-2.5 commute hours and 8 work hours, I would train for about 2-hours on weekdays and 8-hours on weekends.”

Friends and family and social activities in general were all put on hold as Irene prepared herself for what she considered to be one of the toughest but most rewarding days of her life. On race day, she says she used the inspiration of her fellow athletes and the desire to hear that iconic Ironman voice call out her name as she crossed the finish line to propel her through the last half of the run.

Irene came away with an important lesson and it's one all San Jose Water employees strive to achieve every day, “Anything is possible, when we set a goal, work hard, do our best, and believe in it!” Congratulations Irene. You’re our SJW inspiration.