Catching Up With Elliot Albirt
Fort Lee man resident recently completed his first "iron distance" triathlon in Lake Placid, N.Y.
On Sunday, July 24, 33-year-old Fort Lee resident Elliot Albirt completed his first full “Ironman” triathlon in Lake Placid, N.Y.
The event was intense and included rigorous events, including swimming, running and biking. All events were done in two loops starting with a 1.2-mile swim in Mirror Lake and then repeating it. After that, it was a 56-mile bike ride out of Lake Placid and back followed by the same ride again. The conclusion was running a 13.1 mile loop, which also had to be repeated to complete the marathon distance.
People from 45 states and 19 countries participated in the 2011 Ironman Lake Placid. There were about 2,800 people with numbers assigned for the race, and about 2,300 of them finished. Training really helped Albirt prepare for the event.
“I used a coach to create a training plan, which included a base building period, started immediately following Thanksgiving," Albirt said. "Within the plan, early on were all three disciplines [swimming, biking and running] in addition to some weight training. As the volume of training increased, the weight training dropped out. In addition, I had to have a targeted nutrition plan to ensure I took in enough calories and hydration, utilized a heart rate monitor to gauge fitness level and help with interval training, and learned the importance icing and Advil can have for my body. Finally, at the end of June, I went up to Lake Placid for a training camp weekend to do a good amount of the race on the actual course during three days.”
Albirt came in toward the end of finishers, somewhere in the 2,200 area, but accomplished his overall time goal and was pleased with his performance
"In hindsight, I see things I could have done better, which gives me some motivation to do another," he said. "But that doesn't change the accomplishment and that I completed one of the more grueling endurance events an amateur does on what I've been told is one of the more challenging Iron distance triathlon courses.”
The first 15-mile stretch of the biking leg was the most difficult for Albirt, but he said he enjoyed the whole race and completed it, which is a major accomplishment in and of itself.
"For the most part I was able to enjoy the entire race," he said. "I had a great support group and knew I was going to see some of them with frequency. Coming out of the water and the finish line were great because there were great mass crowds in addition to my friends and family. If I had to pick one thing, entering the Olympic Oval may be the single biggest adrenaline rush I've ever had in my life.”
The event and training for the event were exhausting and exhilarating for Albirt, but he may not be done challenging himself and entering more intense competitions.
"I may do another race this year, but haven't decided yet," he said. "I have a charity bike ride for the American Diabetes Association in September. I think my next big training goal will be for the Goofy Challenge in Disney World, which is running their half-marathon Saturday and the full distance on Sunday. But I'm going to wait a couple more weeks before deciding that for certain."
Elliot Albirt made his friends, family and the town of Fort Lee very proud.