July 29, 2013

Painter knows pain as top local finisher

By COURTNEY LEWIS Press-Republican

---- — 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.”

Dan Dohman wasn’t far behind Painter on Sunday, finishing 11th in the same age group with a time of 11:16: 59. This was his second time completing the race, and he said he was more prepared this year.

Like Painter, Dohman is an AuSable Valley Central School graduate, and Painter helped talk Dohman into trying triathlons. Experiencing the Ironman as a volunteer also motivated him to join the field.

“I came and volunteered three years ago at the Ironman, and being around this, it’s just so inspiring,” Dohman said. “After that, I said, ‘You know, I’ll try it.’ And it was just amazing.”

Peru’s Nathan Zerrahn had raced the event twice before, and after ramping up his training, he finished about two hours faster than he ever had before. But that didn’t necessarily mean it was easier.

“The last three miles did not feel like it was two hours easier, that’s for sure,” Zerrahn said. “About three miles to go, my legs kind of decided to stop working.”

He pushed through it and reached the finish line in 11:21:22, well under his goal of 11:30.

“I just kind of upped the training,” Zerrahn said. “Went harder, hit more hills, put in more hours than I ever have before and got into the best shape of my life.”

Snow’s time was good enough to place her 17th in the Women’s 50 to 54 age group. Wendie Bishop of Morrisonville, who’s done the race several times before, clocked 13:00:34.

Lake Placid’s Colleen Porter, a first-timer, raced in the Women’s 35 to 39 division and turned in a time 12:52:27, beating her husband, Loring Porter, by almost 23 minutes.

Gregory Moore was another first-time competitor.

“I thought it would be not quite as hard as it was,” the Saranac Lake resident said, adding that his time of 11:31:40 was right around what he was hoping for.

He had a group of family members — all dressed in blue t-shirts that read “Team Moore” — cheering for him, and he even gave his wife, Linda, a gift on the course.

“I actually had a friend of mine at the turnaround for mile 13 hand me a half dozen roses that I ran down with and gave my wife as a big thank you for her helping me get here,” Moore said. “She was surprised, and the crowd went crazy.”

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