|Ken GearyTell us about yourself. I am the typical baby-boomer, 58 years old, in denial of the aging process and still trying to remain an athlete. Luckily I have lots of role models that are very successful in remaining fit and strong! I have two daughters, one still in college, and they are both athletes also.
How long have you been involved in triathlon and what made you take it up? I am relatively new to the sport, having started in 2011. I saw many of my running friends move to the sport as a way to diversify their fitness and try something new. It seemed like a natural progression, so I jumped in.
Who is your hero? I don’t have a single hero, there are just many excellent local role models, and I look up to many of them. If I had to single out someone it would be Brendan Jackson, my first coach and role model. Brendan is excellent at inspiring others to believe in themselves and guides, rather then pushes, his athletes into a pattern of success.
What is your athletic background? It’s diverse and sporadic. High school track and wrestling, softball and football as an early adult, then a long hiatus while my kids were growing up. My daughters and I took up tennis together (my daughter Jessica is captain of the Le Moynetennis team). Tennis led me to running to improve endurance, and three marathons later I decided to engage in the sport of triathlon.
What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses? I would say that my strength is swimming and my weakness is running. It’s that aging-athlete curse, and a complete reversal of where I was four years ago. I attribute the swimming strength to the coaches I’ve had along the way, Brendan Jackson, followed by Bill Houser and then Karen Allen-Turner. All are great coaches and each has their own set of tricks to make you better.
What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? My first triathlon was the Syracuse 70.3 in 2011. What I remember most was the cycle training, and how difficult it was at first. I trained with team Fleet Feet, had a great summer of rides and was inspired by the wide range of athletic abilities. Truly, anyone can do this sport if they are willing to put in the training time.
What is your favorite race and why? Easily it’s the Green Lakes Triathlon, mostly because it is the first race of the season and it’s a chance to catch up with all my tri friends that I barely see all winter.
What was your worst race and why? The 2013 Syracuse 70.3. It was incredibly hot and muggy, and I started the day realizing that I’d left my own personal fluid mix at home in the refrigerator. Use a checklist, it works. I bonked on the run because I couldn’t get cool. Then the deluge (rainstorm) opened up and they closed the race–not that I was going to complete it anyway. I gained a lot of respect for those that toughed out the race that day and completed it in that incredible energy-draining heat.
What races are on your race calendar for 2015?My calendar is just forming, but I have signed up for the Green Lakes Triathlon. I am sure there will be three or four others.
What are this year’s goals?
To improve my Olympic distance cycling time.
In five years you hope to … : I don’t have my goals set out that far, but I do want to improve each year and continue to train smarter and not harder. This year I am using the Computrainer to improve my cycling efficiency, and I am optimistic that I will see results.
Something most people don’t know about you. I am a Canadian, and I don’t love or follow hockey. I think that is why I had to leave the country and move here…
What triathlon has taught you. Role models are everywhere, and I get inspired by watching entry level athletes improve and flourish. It keeps me motivated to continue to work on all three sports. It is the main reason I joined CNY Triathlon, to be a part of a club that encourages athletes of all skill levels. I learn new things from fellow club members all the time, and we are lucky to have so many talented athletes and coaches that are willing to donate their time to us. It makes you want to pay it forward, and do the same for the newer club members and athletes.