Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Introducing Greg Close - Professional Triathlete

Endurance Sports Travel welcomes its first-ever male sponsored athlete. We plan to follow Greg as his 2013 professional campaign is underway. We will provide race day coverage, results, interviews, photos, videos and more insights into his up-and-coming pro season! Get to know Greg as we ask him some basics.

Greg, tell us about yourself and how you got into triathlon.

I'm a 29 year old triathlete, living and training in Brooklyn, New York. My wonderful wife Robin and I (just married in August!) are parents to three adorable cats that dominate our Facebook pages. I graduated from Rutgers University in 2005 with a BA in Political Science and History, and finished my MA at Lehigh in 2007. From high school through grad school I was a rower which served as the athletic foundation for my triathlon career.

In addition to racing and training, I own a multisport coaching company, TriBy3 Performance Coaching, which I started in 2010. I coach a number of athletes spanning a wide range of disciplines and abilities, and I love having the opportunity to share my passion with such a great group of individuals. Basically, I have the greatest job in the world- I get to ride bikes, run, and splash around, and when I get tired I get to tell other people to do the same!

Training 30+ hours a week and coaching doesn't leave a lot of time for other hobbies, but I am an avid baseball fan and never pass up a chance to watch the Phillies win or the Mets lose.

I rowed for 7 years and absolutely loved the sport, but one of the things I personally found in big boat rowing (I rowed in an 8-person boat) was that personal responsibility is somewhat lacking. When you have 8 people all trying to do the same thing, it's really easy to pretend you're the best and blame everyone else when things don't go well. I was a champ at this. So when I finished up at Rutgers and was reflecting on my time as a rower, I didn't really like the athlete I saw. I went to Lehigh where I was coaching rowing and doing my graduate studies thing, and I wanted to stay fit but do it on my own terms. I had a bike, I had been running for a while, and figured swimming couldn't be all that hard, so I jumped in to a triathlon. It was the "Give it the 'Ol Philly Tri" sprint triathlon, and I loved every second of it. I won an age group medal and was instantly hooked.

When did you turn Pro and what was that “shining” moment that you decided to go from Age-Grouper to Pro?

I earned my pro card at Ironman Lake Placid in 2011, and officially took my license at the end of that season. I was 3rd amateur at Placid but wasn't entirely sure whether to transition from age-grouper or not. Kona 2011 was the "shining moment" that convinced me to make the move- I was in the top 75 overall, did a 9:11, had a strong run, and felt that I had earned a spot in the pro ranks

2013 Race Schedule?

Its a little tentative at this point as I had some pretty serious sinus surgery in January, but the plan is-
March 17th - Ironman San Juan 70.3
April 14th - Ironman South Africa
May 5th - Bassman triathlon
June 23rd - Rev3 Williamsburg/Ironman Mont Tremblant 70.3
August 17th - Ironman Sweden

The schedule will fill out more but those are the big races so far.

What, in your opinion, is the most inspiring thing about IRONMAN?

The most inspiring thing about Ironman, and the thing I love about coaching and racing, is that we all share the same course. From the 8 hour winner to the 17 hour finisher, we all toe the same line, complete the same 140.6 mile course, and experience the same highs and lows. There's no other sport where you can say that.

How do you think IRONMAN has transformed you as a person?

Ironman has made me take ownership of everything I do. When you win in Ironman, you share those victories with the people around you (your coach, your loved ones, your support crew). But when you lose, it's on you- you swim, you ride, you run, and if you aren't where you want to be at the end of the day, you get back to work and do better the next time. It's a good life lesson- share your wins and own your losses- and something that Ironman helps me appreciate every day.

Thus far in your young career, if you had to pick one of your "IRONMAN moments" as your favorite or most powerful memory, what would it be and why?

My favorite moment in my racing career so far has to be the last mile of Ironman Lake Placid in 2011. I went in to the race looking to earn my pro card, but 25 miles in to the marathon I was sitting in 5th. Some hard uphill strides and a big sprint bumped me up two places and earned me that license with less than a minute to spare. I was really proud of that race because I went in with a plan, faced some adversity, executed, and came out with the result I wanted.

1 comment:

  1. Love that you have Bassman on your calendar. You are always welcome, even with sinus issues. :-)

    Good luck this season!