2015-07-22 - Last weekend 4.000 athletes jumped into the New York Hudson competing in the triathlon. This is what four of them tell after 1,5 kilometers (0.9 miles) of swimming, 40-kilometer (25 mile) if cycling and 10 kilometer run (6.2 miles).
Julie Pattersson (26); PHD student in Virginia; Married, no children (yet) ; Finishing time 2:08:01
"I just set my best time ever. I finished seventh today, I am extremely satisfied with my result. This morning I had a rough start. I woke up at 3.30 am, left on my racing bike and lost my contact lens right away. I was lucky, I always take extra contacts with me just in case. I jumped in the Hudson at 5.55 am. Really, really early. It should be forbidden to start a race that early. The current in the Hudson was very strong this morning. That’s why I set my best time ever. It usually takes me 22 minutes to swim a mile. But this morning it took me only 14 minutes. I truly love working out. I go to the gym twice a day, also when I am not training for a ‘tri’. In the morning I usually swim, and after school I either bike or run. My peek as a professional athlete has yet to come. I am very much looking forward to that. Women athletes usually peek when they are around 30-35 years old. I thought about that today while racing on my bike. It’s the age when many women have children. I am married; Many of my girlfriends have now start having children. And everybody is telling me the same thing: don’t wait too long. But how will I do that if I also want to compete in triathlons?"
Vincenzo Marhione (38), owner of a bakery in Delaware, married, two sons (4 and 14), finishing time: 2:03:07.
"Last year I also competed in the New York City Triathlon and I crossed the finish line in 1:58. I came in fourth. This year I only had one goal: to stand on the podium, to be one of the first three to finish this race. Actually, I wanted to finish first. But my result is terrible. I finished sixth. It took me five more minutes to complete today’s race. New York City’s triathlon is special; New York is such a wonderful place to race. Although the Hudson smells like poo quite a bit. My friend even said he saw dead fish on the surface while I was swimming there. But the organisation of the triathlon says the Hudson is cleaner than ever before. And so we swam. I usually train and exercise all-year round. I like running a lot, I try to take my son Giovanni with me in the stroller when I can. I guess I have to start running more, because crossing the finish line is one of the best feelings in the world. Yes, even today. Although I am still very disappointed."
Matt Cull (32); works at a television production company in New York; married, son (1,5); finishing time: 2.18:58.
"Today was my twentieth triathlon, the second one in New York City. I did pretty good, I'm satisfied with my time. I don’t take sports that seriously anymore since I have a son. You can ask my wife, she will admit that my mood could dramatically change when I raced a bad race in the past. Nowadays, I am more relaxed about it. Besides, I wouldn’t know where to find the time to exercise like I used to. I know most athletes don’t like the swim, but I do. I didn’t think the Hudson was smelly or dirty by the way. When I bike, I usually bike at home on a computer bike. I hadn't used my racing bike for over a year. I live in Manhattan, it just takes too much of my time to leave the city and ride outdoors. During the race all the bikers had to enter and exit the New York City toll booths twice. It’s a special feeling that the Henry Hudson Parkway is closed the entire morning because the triathlon athletes have to use this road. My cab driver this morning was complaining about that. But I loved cycling the highway. At the end of the ride I felt my back was getting sore – the quality of the highway concrete is questionable at some points."
Dail St. Claire (55); investment banker, New York City; two kids in college; finishing time: 49 minutes.
"I was part of a relay team today. It means that I shared my triathlon experience with two other participants. One did the swim, the next one biked, and I was the one who completed the run, which is the best part: I got to cross the finish line while half of New York City was cheering for me. Five years ago I didn’t know anything about running. I had played tennis on a recreational level, and did some aerobics, but I was never interested in competitive sports until I decided that I had to run a marathon before turning fifty. So in 2010 I raced the New York City marathon. And I experienced how amazing it was to finish and to still be able to breathe. It was a miracle, I felt so alive. I now aim to do two marathons a year. I’ts such a surprise to me that I started running. I always hated runners that bragged about their running life. My next goal is to start swimming. I really would like to learn how to swim, so next year I can do the whole triathlon all by myself.’
Main image courtesy of the New York City Triathlon