Robert Bunting can call himself an "iron man." Though he doesn't have powers like the famous Marvel superhero, the athletic competitions he likes to participate in are challenging enough.

He competes in races known as one-half "Ironmans": a triathlon consisting of 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles of cycling, and 13.1 miles of running. It's an intense hobby, but Bunting said he enjoys the challenge and pushing himself to succeed.

"It's a definite challenge," he said. "The races are never easy. I like being active."

Bunting is a business strategist for the metal detecting division of Bunting Magnetics Co., which is based in Newton and is owned by his parents, Robert and Barbara Bunting. He graduated from Newton High School in 1998 and now lives in Chicago.

In elementary school, he loved to ride his bicycle around town, and during high school, he participated in cross country, basketball and golf.

He started competing in triathlons due to a desire to combine his interests in running and biking, and he now trains six days a week. He also likes to do competitions as fundraisers for charitable organizations.

His first race was in St. Petersburg, Fla. He enjoys the social aspect of competitions, as well as the opportunities to travel and set and meet goals.

Right now, he's focusing on a race in June next year in Lawrence. He said he competed in the race before but didn't perform as well as he wanted to, and he'd like to give it another try.


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