Swim. Bike. Run. Just training for one of those sports can be hard. But doing all three one after the other? Now that’s a challenge! There are plenty of triathlon events out there such as Ironman, but it can seem pretty daunting, especially if you’ve never done a multisport event before. That’s why DIEMlife® created SELFIEMAN™, a self-sustained triathlon.
If you’ve thought about completing a triathlon, but didn’t know where to begin in terms of training, then this might be the perfect Quest® for you. SELFIEMAN™ provided its participants with 12 weeks of training and access to weekly live Q&A’s with Olof Dallner, a Level I USAT triathlon coach. There were also special guests including two time Kona Ironman athlete Eric Hinman and triathlon coach-turned-crossfitter Sammy Hutchinson.
Coach Olof said, “It is really inspiring for me as a coach to see people do their best, moving themselves outside of their comfort zone, and taking it to the finish!”
Most of the SELFIEMAN™ participants had never done an event like this before, but thanks to DIEMlife®, they were equipped with the right resources and training. On October 6th, 10 DIEMlifers pushed themselves to go beyond their limits and completed the very first SELFIEMAN™. Here is a quick recap of the event:
DAY BEFORE RACE
Since most of the participants were first-time triathletes, they felt nervous before the big day. Everyone was traveling to Playland in Rye, New York from different parts of New York City, New Jersey, and even Maine. Local friends John and Nancy hosted the participants and helped plan the logistics of the event.
Ben said, “I felt super nervous! I couldn’t really sleep and kept going over my packing list in my head. As I’ve never done an endurance type race before, I kept wondering if I brought enough nutrition or sustenance for the race.”
The swim began at 9 am at Playland Beach. For some participants, the swim was easy and enjoyable. For others, there were some problems such as having trouble siting, water getting into goggles, or getting leg cramps. Nonetheless, they handled the water well. John was also there providing guidance for the swimmers.
Gareth said, “I ended up swimming faster than I had hoped for. Basically I wasn’t afraid of spending so much time in open water as I had been during a practice swim at the location.”
After swimming, everyone got on their bikes to cycle from the beach to SUNY Purchase. It took some time for them to learn the route, figure out the gears, and overcome hills.
Yoo-Sun said, “I learned a ton here, specifically about the relationship between gears and efficiency. In my second loop at SUNY Purchase, I played around with the gears and the timing of when to shift. By my third and last loop before heading back to Playland, I felt better in control of the bike, gear shifts, timing, and power. I treated every hill as another opportunity to test out gear shift-timing combinations for best efficiency.”
By early afternoon, the racers began running around Playland Park. This was a very difficult part of the event because many of the participants were beginning to lose energy. Though it was challenging, they were surrounded by beautiful scenery on the trails.
“The route was beautiful through the nature preserve, and the trails were soft on my tired legs. I saw deer and turkeys, and enjoyed the bird calls and view of the lake,” Andy described.
Andrew said, “I ran with Tim during a few of his loops and felt really good during this. I ended up running about 13 miles.”
At the end of the race, everyone felt good and proud of the challenge they accomplished. Many of them learned that their bodies are stronger than they thought. They are also capable of more than they give themselves credit for.
Fran said, “I felt great. It was good to know I could swim 1.2 miles without drowning, bike 56 miles, and jog 13 miles in the same day. I am truly grateful that I am capable of doing these things.”
A lot of family and friends also came to support the participants including Andrew, Yoo-Sun’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Park, Tim’s sister, Theresa and nephew, Sammy, and Fran’s in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Herbst.
SELFIEMAN™ was more than just a triathlon. It was a group of people coming together to accomplish a new challenge. Many of them had just met for the first time at the event, so it was a great opportunity for everyone to make new connections. Not only did they achieve new fitness goals, but everyone also gained a new community, created new memories, and became the first and original SELFIES.
Timothy said, “The best part was the stories we created and the fact that there is nothing else quite like what we did out there. We have a memory and story to tell forever. That’s what makes a Quest® a Quest®.”
Check out our video in the Quest® to see highlights of the event. If you participated or attended the event, share your thoughts in the comments section! If not, let us know whether you’d join the next SELFIEMAN™.