Some days go better than others. However, there are no excuses. I made a promise to myself 10 years ago that I wouldn't show up to a race unless I was ready to race. I was hoping to use the Harriman Olympic race to dust off the cobwebs and kick start my racing season before my qualifying race at 70.3 Eagleman. I have been starting my racing season a little later over the past couple of years as I try to stay fresh into 70.3 Worlds in September and the Ironman World Championship in October. It's kind of a double edge sword. I'm trying to peak later in the year, but I'm having a harder time hitting high intensity efforts without racing. I was curious to see what I could put together at Harriman. It's a good odd distance race to prep for a 70.3. The swim is .6 mile long, while the bike is 28 miles with a couple of big climbs. The run is the standard 10k.
I thought the 59 degree water actually felt pretty nice. I swam well, but just was not prepared to hit threshold for the effort. I was by myself the entire swim and felt very comfortable.
This is where I started to really work out the kinks. I headed out onto the bike. My QR Illicitio felt great even though I had only been able to ride it outside a couple of times before the race. I got about 3 miles into the bike and realized that my Joule 2.0 had popped off of my handlebars. I didn't think it was a big deal. I figured I would be able to find it after the race. I then began the first minor decent of the course and I noticed that my handlebars were a little low. I didn't think much about it until a car decided to cross over the road right in front of me. I grabbed my bullhorns(brake pads) and the bars went right down close to my front wheel. I thought I was going to hit the car. Fortunately, I was able to miss the car and make the right hand corner with my bars down. Then I got into the aero position and pulled my bars back up. I spent the remainder of the bike pulling the bars back up as they would slip down on every bump. I had a very hard time bringing my effort up, but I tried to stay as consistent as possible. I came into T2 with some fresh legs. I saw two guys heading out on the run as I was entering. I figured they had about two minutes on me. So I tried to get ready to go as hard as I could and see if I could pull some time back.
I was really happy with how I went on the run. I committed to running as hard as my fitness would allow me to. The leg turnover was good and I was able to get my heart rate up into Z3. This is not the most ideal for an Olympic distance race, but I was happy on the day.
Finish: 2:10:23 2nd Overall
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.