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Meet Jim Hollentein. RTA triathlon club member and super nice guy.
10 years ago a friend asked Jim if I wanted to do a triathlon. He had run a few 5k’s and done a couple mountain bike races so it sounded doable, but he needed to learn how to swim. Nearly EVERYONE looking to get into triathlon has to learn how to swim!
The next day he went to the pool and couldn’t swim 25 yards. Following that first experience, he thought completing a triathlon was going to be IMPOSSIBLE.
That’s when the triathlon journey began.
Since then, he has completed 4 Ironman races and many shorter distance triathlons.
Below we are going to take a look into Jim’s latest triathlon achievement. IRONMAN #4 which he finished in Lake Placid in 2019.
RTA Tri: How was your training leading up to the race? Why did you decide to attend RTA’s training camp to help prepare you for your race?
Jim: Training was mostly smooth with a couple small bumps (which is normal).
I really enjoyed RTA’s training camp. Training camp is a great way to get a solid big weekend of training, meet great training partners, preview the course and build confidence prior to the race.
RTA: You recently completed IRONMAN Lake Placid, what was that like?
Jim: It was awesome! Lake Placid is a special place. This was my third time finishing Ironman Lake Placid and I plan to come back again.
RTA: What was the best part of the race?
Jim: For me, race morning is the best part of the race. The excitement as you stand at the start of the swim knowing how much you trained, how lucky you are to be there and the energy you get from all the other competitors, spectators and volunteers.
RTA: What was the worst/hardest part of the race and how did you overcome it?
Jim: You never know what to expect during an Ironman swim. Swimming 2.4 miles in open water while getting knocked around by other competitors is intimidating. I take the swim slow, stay in the moment and relax. “Slow and steady wins the race.”
RTA: What will you do differently next time (if anything)?
Jim: I plan to do a few smaller tri’s to get more comfortable swimming with other competitors prior to the Ironman.
RTA: What was going through your head when you crossed the finish line?
Jim: The finish line at Lake Placid is unreal. The last 100 meters of the race finishes in the Olympic oval lined with spectators cheering and high fiving as you finish the race. I felt like a champion!
RTA: Any general advice you’d give to others thinking about doing a 70.3 or IRONMAN?
Jim: Find some people to train with, get a plan (or a coach) and have fun!