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Elizabeth and I first met Brian Moran and his buddy Rob on the day of IRONMAN Lake Placid in 2015.
After talking to them for a couple minutes we quickly learned they were looking to get into triathlon and were hoping to do their first IRONMAN the following year in Lake Placid.
We tried to discourage them from doing an IRONMAN in their first year of triathlon, but they insisted. We gave them our card, parted ways and didn’t expect to hear from them again.
A few days later we received a phone call and the rest is history. After all, anything is possible.
Below you will hear from Brian and learn how he went from overweight to a IRONMAN finisher in 1 year.
I got into triathlon the same way I got into running (my first marathon). I had a friend who talked me into it. My buddy and I were 2 guys who had a propensity to be overweight, so it seemed like it could be a good idea. Not only was doing a triathlon (let alone an IRONMAN) going to be an incredible accomplishment, but it would help with weight management.
We were probably a bit overzealous as we signed up for IRONMAN without even having a bike or the ability to swim. Fortunately for us, we were smart enough to know we needed to be coached. As luck would have it, we ran into the 2 co-founders of RTA Triathlon at IRONMAN Lake Placid in 2015 while we were volunteering at the race.
On that day, I watched so many RTA athletes cross the finish line, it seemed like the perfect choice for us.
It started with some one on one sessions in the pool. After all, I had to learn how to swim and I didn’t have much time. Receiving proper swim instruction was invaluable and definitely help speed up the process.
Soon after, through Saturday morning group rides, I met others in Team RTA. It was just an amazing group of people who made my first IM journey an experience of a lifetime. At this point, I really knew I had made the right decision, by joining Team RTA and having them coach me.
Leading up to IRONMAN Lake Placid – 2016, I endured 3 *KYAH triathlon training camps (*kick your ass hard) as well as my first Olympic and 70.3 distance triathlon.
RTA had prepared me with an incredible training program that worked for me, my life and my schedule. Looking back in my training log, it was incredible to see how far I came while working with RTA. I was in the best shape of my life and had lost a considerable amount of weight.
Needless to say, I was incredibly nervous for my first IRONMAN. However, I also knew that I had properly prepared under the guidance of professional coaches. I knew I had done everything I needed to do to finish the race and I did. The personal achievement and that finish line in Lake Placid was truly magical.
That was 2016… fast forward to 2019 and with the help of RTA I have done 6 70.3’s having set another personal best this year at Mont Tremblant 70.3. Additionally, with the guidance of RTA, I have run my fastest NYC Marathon in 2018.
2019 was especially gratifying for me as I completed my second IM with my wife (which was her first).
Over my first couple of years in triathlon, I had unintentionally inspired my wife to become a triathlete. At the time she decided she wanted to do a triathlon, she (also) couldn’t swim (for distance), didn’t have a bike and was never a runner (due to knee problems). However, coaches Chris and Elizabeth got her up to speed quickly and prepared her for her first full IRONMAN in only 2 years.
Training together with my wife for the 2019 IRONMAN Lake Placid was fun, but it was definitely not an easy 9 months of training. This was mostly because we are also the parents of a 10-year-old.
Coach Elizabeth customized the workout plans so we could also take care of our daughter. If it wasn’t for Elizabeth’s customized and flexible approach to coaching, this dream would have never become a reality.
Through the RTA family, we are blessed to have our daughter surrounded by so many wonderful and caring people always chipping in to help especially on race days.
Having just completed my second IRONMAN, I was a lot more confident this time around despite having lost my watch during the swim.
There is no doubt, I was mentally prepared for something stupid like this. Unthinkable events inevitably happen on race day and it’s how you have prepared and then respond that makes all of the difference. Coaches Chris and Elizabeth are always preparing us for the worst-case scenarios on race day.
On race day, my coaches were all over the place and they kept me informed on all of my (bike & run) splits since I had lost watch.
It was a brutally hot day and everyone out on the race-course was moving slower than normal. And with no watch, I was fortunate to have one of my 30 RTA teammates who were also racing, pace me out for the first half of the marathon. The second half of the marathon was brutal. And I started to run every 2 telephone poles and walk one. With the support of teammates and by doing this, I ended up cutting 1.5 hours off my time.
As I crossed the finish line at IRONMAN Lake Placid, the sense of accomplishment and pride of completing my journey was overwhelming!
Shortly after I received my medal, I was fortunate to have 5 of my teammates around me to celebrate, but my thoughts turned to my wife as she was still on the course.
What’s special about RTA is that you are never alone on your journey. I was extremely happy for all my teammates who finished and especially my wife.
If you are thinking of doing a race, whether it’s a half marathon or a half IRONMAN, I would highly recommend RTA Triathlon.
Chris and Elizabeth Kaplanis have helped me reach goals I never thought were possible. For someone who started this journey at age 46, they taught me it is never too late to get started and the harder the battle the sweeter the victory.
Finally, the unintended icing on the cake, is through RTA, I have been blessed with new friendships that will last a lifetime!