He (and his wife) put on an awesome half marathon in the spring (Egg Shell Shuffle) in N. Burbs of Chicago and had a chance to meet them earlier this year. Not only are they both amazing runners but also triathletes (who will both just qualified for Kona!)... yes, BOTH of them.. read more below. and Welcome Ryan as our 6th Tri-Friend
1. What is your "A" Race you are focusing on this year?
My A race is actually coming up really quickly! I will be racing Eagleman 70.3 on June 9th which is out in Cambridge, MD. I never did much of a focus on longer distance races until this year so I am excited to see what I can do with increased endurance and fitness. The past few years I have jumped in many half ironman races, but never did the necessary training in order to be successful in them. If all goes well, I will be racing a full Ironman at the end of this year!
*****RYAN's RESULTS FOR EAGLEMAN*****
1st (out of 123) in the M 25-29 AG
**It should also be pointed out that his wife also won her AG and therefore, both of them qualified for KONA!!!! Her blog post HERE**
Balancing all of the races can be hard sometimes, but you just need to keep focus on the key events of the year. Early this season, I jumped into a bunch of road running races. The main reason for this was to test out where my run fitness was at as well as that they were fun ways to get longer harder runs in. Many of the road races were done with tired legs from hard training weeks, but the key focus was still to train through them and make sure I was still on track to perform well in June. Now that triathlon season is just kicking up, I will be racing more triathlons for the next few months than running races. The hardest part for me is to balance my work and race schedule. I work as a Nutrition Tech Rep for PowerBar and most weekends are spent working events. So figuring out when I have a free day to race can get tricky at times. I'm looking forward to racing Eagleman in two weeks as I will not be working it. So I can focus entirely on the race itself.
3. Funniest race moment?
When I first got into the sport, I actually didn't know much about nutrition while training and racing. Funny how it works out that now I help others with their training and race day nutrition!
Anways, I went out to compete in a large duathlon on the East coast in order to quality for my Elite license. I was told many times that I needed to take in more carbohydrates and sugars while racing, so I decided to try out Hawaiian Punch as my drink choice on the bike since it had loads of sugar in it. I sat in transition on race morning filling my bottles with cans of Hawaiian Punch. One of my main competitors saw me doing this and said, "Are you really using Hawaiian Punch? Have fun with that coming back up on you!" Well, I ended up having a great race, was 1st overall, and qualified to receive my elite license. The competitor came up to me after the race and said, "Well I guess I will be using Hawaiian Punch in my next race!"
4. You completed Ironman Wisconsin in 2010 (10:43), what was the most rewarding and the most difficult moment in that race?
Yes, I raced Ironman Wisconsin back in 2010. This probably wasn't the best move on my part, but a few factors went into it. I was racing as a pro triathlete at the time, and we were allowed to register for any Ironman sanctioned event that we wanted, even when they were sold out to amateurs. I was going to be in Madison working the expo for PowerBar, so figured that I might as well try out the race since I was going to be there anyways. I signed up a week before with my longest swim at 1600meters, longest bike at 50 miles, and longest run at 13 miles. I worked the Ironman expo from morning til night for 3 straight days, and then got up race morning and jumped in the race. Surprisingly, the swim was great, but once on the bike I fell apart after 60 miles. This was the most difficult part as I knew if I didn't stop, I probably wouldn't finish the race. So I pulled over, got off my bike, and sat in the grass for 20 minutes to regain composure. It was really hard watching all the athletes go by on the bike asking if I was ok. I told myself that I didn't jump in this race to not finish. So I got back on, started riding and used the crowd support to keep pushing through. Once on the run, my legs really didn't want to go. My now wife, Jacqui, was there running/walking beside me giving me encouragement the whole way. The most rewarding part was getting to the finish line knowing that I finished one of the hardest endurance events out there. I look forward to doing another, but I will definitely be more prepared to tackle the distance!