July 29, 2013

Painter knows pain as top local finisher

LAKE PLACID — After finishing Sunday’s Ironman Lake Placid, Jacob Painter said his day “went pretty well,” which was a rather optimistic assessment considering where he was when he said it: lying on a cot in the medical tent with an IV in his arm.

Oh, and he likely broke a toe. In the morning. Before the 112-mile bike ride and the 26.2-mile run.

Finishing in a personal-best time of 11 hours, 15 minutes, 50 seconds was enough to keep the Keeseville native smiling despite his travails.

“It was just a lot of pain. It didn’t quite go away,” Painter said. “But, I mean, not finishing wasn’t an option.”

Painter was the top local finisher in the 15th version of the annual triathlon. Catherine Snow of AuSable Forks was the first local female to cross the finish line, clocking 12:43:02.

In his fourth year competing, Painter placed 10th in the Men’s 18 to 24 age group. After finishing the 2.4-mile swim, he stubbed his toe into the heel of someone in front of him, and he was pretty sure it was broken. The 24-year-old said the toe wasn’t too painful during the bike segment, but in the run it hurt “every single step for 26 miles.”

The Ironman was just the start of a big stretch for Painter — the recent graduate of Western New England University School of Law is set to take the bar exam on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Studying for six to seven hours a day — and contracting Lyme disease a month ago — made it tough to train. But he still beat his previous personal best by about three minutes.

He said passing the bar exam on his first try would be even more gratifying.

“The PR is definitely a win,” Painter said, “and if I pass the bar, that’s a big win, too, because I’ve got a lot of student loans I need to pay off.”

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