Usually when a couple decides to settle down, that doesn’t mean training for and competing in an Ironman triathlon.
But after hiking all over the country, Colleen and Loring Porter needed to stay in one place for a while — and still be active.
“Ironman was a way to get outside and do all the sports we like to do,” Colleen said.
The Lake Placid husband and wife will be among more than 2,800 people expected to take on the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run that comprise today’s Ironman Lake Placid.
The Porters hiked the Appalachian Trial, which stretches about 2,180 miles between Georgia and Maine, in 2002. They’ve also completed the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail between Canada and Mexico.
In 2011, they moved from Maine’s Mount Desert Island to Lake Placid and became interested in triathlons.
“We heard there were Monday mini-triathlons, and we thought, ‘That looks interesting. We have bikes. We can swim. We’ve been running. We’ll see how it goes,’” Colleen said. “We were dabbling in it.”
Eventually they raced in the Tupper Lake Tinman. Today they’ll tackle their first Ironman.
Colleen, an occupational therapist, and Loring, who works for Placid Industries, have put in plenty of training during the last year, including running and cycling around the area. It’s a significant time commitment, and Loring said they’ve encouraged each other.
“It’s a benefit that we’re both doing it,” he said. “We don’t have kids; we don’t have dogs — the laundry may get neglected or something.
“Some days I don’t know if I want to go running, but she says, ‘I’m going.’ So I say, ‘OK, I guess I’ll go.’”
Colleen will be racing in the Women’s 35 to 39 age group, and the swim and the run are her stronger events. She said before doing triathlons, she took up running and raced in the Boston Marathon in 2010.
Loring said he used to bike to school while growing up in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and the ride home included a big climb. Around here, he likes to ride Whiteface Mountain. So it’s no surprise that the bike leg of the triathlon is his strength. He’s in the Men’s 45 to 49 age group.
Colleen said she “can’t fathom” what it’s going to be like doing all three legs, one after the other. But Loring thinks that some of their hiking experience will make today’s grueling task a little less daunting.
“A lot of the trails, you’re physically in motion for 10 to 12 hours. That’s the same as Ironman; you have to meter your energy for a whole day of movement,” he said, adding that when hiking, he would break down each day’s trip into segments and he plans to do the same today. “I’m not running an Ironman, I’m just going to run to Intervale Bridge, which I’ve done 100 times. I’m just cycling to Jay.”
After bruising his ribs in a mountain biking accident two weeks ago, Loring said his goal for the Ironman is “to finish in one piece.” Colleen said at times she has set a target of 14 hours. But other times, she thinks just finishing will be enough.
If the pattern holds, Colleen will cross the finish line before Loring — which has been causing Loring a little bit of grief.
“It’s been a joke from our friends — ‘Colleen always beats you. Are you going to let her beat you this time?’” Colleen said. Loring readily admitted that his wife is usually more competitive in races, although he did point out that he beat her by 50 seconds in a half marathon trail race they both entered.
Colleen said they won’t try to race together today.
“Because the bike is not my strongest thing and it is his, I don’t want him to have a horrible experience,” she said. “We decided you just bike your race, and I’ll do mine. And he’s not as strong a runner. So we’ll probably see each other, but we’re going to just go with what’s comfortable and see what happens.”
Email Courtney Lewis:firstname.lastname@example.orgLocal entrants Bib Name Division City 2905 James Adams M65-69 Altona 1540 Josh Baker M35-39 Plattsburgh 1844 Jason Baldomir M40-44 Plattsburgh 805 Wendie Bishop F40-44 Morrisonville 1558 Brandon Boutelle M35-39 Lake Placid 939 Lori Chadwick F45-49 Lake Placid 1196 Alex Dillenberger M25-29 AuSable Forks 2282 James Dillenberger M50-54 AuSable Forks 500 Nicole Dirolf F25-29 AuSable Forks 287 Dan Dohman M18-24 Jay 1134 Michael Douglas M18-24 AuSable Forks 2790 Kirk Fasking M55-59 Lake Placid 501 Hannah Feinberg F18-24 Saranac Lake 18 Logan Franks MPRO Syracuse 306 Stephen Gothard M30-34 AuSable Forks 2618 Chris Grant M50-54 Lake Placid 2921 Robert Heins M70-74 Plattsburgh 1219 John Hornaday M25-29 Lake Placid 2805 Bob Ketchell M55-59 Wilmington 620 Jennifer Ketchell F30-34 AuSable Forks 2026 Jon Lundin M45-49 Saranac Lake 2027 Jonathan Lysek M40-44 Lake Placid 2037 William Maverick M40-44 Peru 2911 Stewart McCullouch M65-69 Tupper Lake 1246 Taylor McKenna M30-34 Lake Placid 1250 Kyle Mochol M25-29 Lake Placid 2061 Gregory Moore M40-44 Saranac Lake 1253 Matthew Morganson M25-29 Lake Placid 2819 Robert Morganson M55-59 Lake Placid 1148 Jacob Painter M18-24 Keeseville 1068 Dorine Peregrim F50-54 Lake Placid 765 Colleen Porter F35-39 Lake Placid 2437 Loring Porter M45-49 Lake Placid 1152 Douglas Racette M25-29 Saranac Lake 897 Julie Reidy F40-44 Plattsburgh 1108 Marilyn Robak Zygo F55-59 Lake Placid 2475 Darrin Schwenkbeck M45-49 Keeseville 2841 Tony Searing M55-59 Morrisonville 2722 Bill Skufca M50-54 Wilmington 1081 Catherine Snow F50-54 AuSable Forks 2915 Robert Tebo M65-69 Tupper Lake 781 Stephanie Tobrocke F35-39 Plattsburgh 1293 Weston Wheeler M25-29 Lake Placid 2753 Wesley Wilson M50-54 Bloomingdale 1297 Nathan Zerrahn M25-29 Peru 2756 Mike Zerrahn M50-54 Peru