The forecast was for a beautiful day, but as I drove up to the race the fog cover was severe. The fog seemed to clear while we were doing our swim warm-up. However, by the time we were ready to start the fog had dropped back down to the water’s surface. The decision was made to shorten the swim to under a .5 mile in order to keep things safe. Normally, I would be totally fine with this decision. However, I had tweaked my left calf while racing a sprint distance event the week before. I was actually looking forward to using the swim to loosen up a bit more and hopefully build up a decent spread to the stronger runners. Swim: I tried to go out a bit faster, but the fog cover made it tricky to site. A friend of mine who was in the 2nd wave commented that it was a comical site watching our wave start. We were swimming straight out, then we spotted the first turn buoy and had to break hard to the right. It was similar to watching a herd of cattle. Oh well, the shortened distance made it a quick experience. Bike: My main focus was to get out quick and be as consistent as possible. I knew that I needed to ride well so I could ease up on the run. My most important race was the following weekend out in Texas and I did not want to jeopardize that race by significantly injuring my calf. I was able to get up to the lead pace car by mile 6sh. Sometimes this can be an advantage and sometimes... well not so much. I was following the police car that had the lights flashing. A truck had pulled out in front of us from a side road. The driver of the truck, apparently, got a little confused and thought the lights were meant to slow them down. Fortunately the situation was resolved quickly as the police car sped up and forced the truck to get moving. I pushed the remainder of the bike as hard as I could without going into the red zone. I was able to finish the bike two minutes faster then the previous year. Run: I headed out onto the run in my K-Swiss Kona’s and my Sugoi Timex calf compression socks. I wanted to use the compression socks to keep my calves warm and prevent them from bouncing around to much. My calf was still very tender to the touch. I focused on shorter strides with good cadence. This approach helped to limit the impact on the downhill section at the beginning of the run. I was able to find a comfortable pace quickly. The run is an out and back two loop course. I knew I would be able to determine if I needed to push the pace after the turnaround. I hit the turnaround and realized that I could keep a consistent pace. I came in with a two minute slower run split than the previous year, but it was enough to hold on for the overall spot.
Career Highlights: 2009 USA Triathlon Amateur Athlete of the Year, 2012,2013, 2014 USA Triathlon Masters Athlete of the Year, 2014 USA Triathlon Olympic National Championship Masters Champion, 4 X Ironman 70.3 World Championship Age Group Winner (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013), 18 X 70.3 Overall Amateur Champion, 9 X Ironman World Champion Finisher (4 X Top 10 in Age Group), 2015 American Zofingen LC Champion, 2nd OA IM Maryland
I started competing in triathlon in the summer of 2000. I had always been intrigued by the sport since the early ‘80s when I would watch the Hawaii Ironman on TV. I got into running at a young age (6yrs old) as my father was a big marathon runner back in the late 70’s, early 80’s running boom. I did my first 10-mile road race when I was 10 years old. I also played ice hockey throughout my childhood and I stopped running my sophomore year in high school in order to completely focus on ice hockey. I did not run again until the fall of 1999. During that race, a friend of mine mentioned that he competed in sprint triathlons, short duration races lasting around one hour. I was immediately interested and I signed up for my first triathlon in July of 2000 up in Falmouth, Ma. I was immediately hooked. I loved the competition. I especially liked the aspect of the three sports and how one could continue to practice and improve in each sport. I believe all three sports compliment each other. I also really enjoyed the idea of challenging myself to see where I could get. So, while triathlon is a competition, I see it more as a race against yourself then others. It is a very addictive sport, but I think it’s probably one of the healthiest addictions that I know of. The training is also a great stress relief. I worked in New York City for the past 5 years and down on Wall Street for 2 years. The commute and the lifestyle can get pretty stressful at times. The training really helped me de-stress and stay focused. I have three little boys and I really enjoy sharing the sport with all three of them. I don’t care if they ever compete in a race, but I do believe it’s important to expose them to healthy opportunities in life. I would say that the hardest endurance scenario I’ve faced was actually the first half ironman I competed in up in Laconia, NH, which was the Timberman race. I’ve completed four full Ironman events, but that half ironman was my first attempt at the distance. I feel, in hindsight, that I just was not properly trained for the event. It was an incredible eye opening experience. I don’t think I’ve been more tired then the moment I crossed that finish line. However, the human mind is fascinating, as I was looking forward to the next race less then 24 hours after.