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.