Profile - Larry
Orlando - Runner, Triathlete, Ironman
all know that feeling of elation in finishing a race - it means a completion,
a success, an accomplishment, an achievement. Some of us are able to muster up
the will and train to complete tasks that many others would deem impossible or
out of range. The Ironman races would fall into that category. We have a WTAC
member who has gone the extra distance and completed the 2001 Janus Ironman-Florida
Triathlon - that is 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a full marathon (26.2 miles)
Larry Orlando (of Westerly, RI), former VP of the WTAC, is not one to boast of
his accomplishment, but as he began to answer my questions, you could see and
hear his excitement.
the commitment to train for an Ironman means devoting many hours of time, enduring
physical pain, and building the mental strength to create the will. Before Larry
decided to attempt the Ironman, he made sure that his wife, Dianne, and daughter,
Rachel, were in agreement. "My family is first, and racing is after." Larry tries
not to let his training overcome the rest of his life, so he is usually out the
door by 4:30AM each day to do some part of his 4-5 miles worth of swimming, 200
miles of biking or 50 miles of running a week.
It is not unusual to see Larry and his training partner, Steve Schonning, swimming
in the ocean in the early morning hours at the east end of Misquamicut Beach.
There were many days that were less than desirable to be in the rough surf trying
to get in the miles. Nonetheless, as we athletes know, it does not matter what
the conditions, we have to (need to) do it.
Maybe growing up across the street from the McCoy's, helped Larry build up the
desire for competition as a child. Tom McCoy and friends, like Larry Hirsch, were
training for and running marathons (before they seemed commonplace). It might
have seemed out of touch then, but now, Larry has brought it to the next level
and made it part of his life.
Larry's first time Ironman goals were to first, finish the race and second, to
complete it in under 12 hours. With a time of 11:01:13 (429/1818 overall and 67/260
in his age group), he more than met those goals.
the story does not end here - hopefully, I will be writing a follow-up profile
and reporting the next exciting step in his career.