A woman from Salem competes in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii

This is part of a weekly series introducing readers to people who are passionate about serving our Mid Valley community.

For some, life is about the journey, not the destination, but for Patricia “Pat” Ketcham, it’s all about the destination. And that feeling of relief and excitement when you finish something difficult.

Ketcham felt just that after crossing the finish line at the first Ironman World Championships in Hawaii this fall since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Though the 64-year-old Salem-area resident didn’t finish first, she was among about 5,000 competitors who attended Hawaii’s worldwide Ironman-only event in Kailua-Kona earlier in October for qualification.

The 140.6-mile journey began with a crystal-clear 2.4-mile swim in the ocean, progressed to a 112-mile bike ride with scenic views, and ended with a 26.2-mile marathon across lava fields.