Runner's Profile - Larry Orlando - Runner, Triathlete, Ironman

We 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) run.

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.

Making 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.

So, the story does not end here - hopefully, I will be writing a follow-up profile and reporting the next exciting step in his career.

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