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NYC Runs Go Nuts for Donuts 5k + Outdoor Team Brunch

We at Empire Tri Club are committed to creating fun, innovative team challenges to keep you connected, motivated all-year long.  Here are a few of the team challenges going on this fall: 

NYC Runs Go Nuts for Donut 5k + outdoor team brunch

About:  New Yorkers love to multitask, and this race hits the jackpot. Get your runner’s high and your sugar high simultaneously! Run your heart out, then re-fuel with your fill of puffy round goodies (in single serving bags for 2020). Randall’s Island is the venue for this Homer-Simpson-approved race.

Start Time:  50 person waves starting at 8am (Empire members are encouraged to sign up for the 9am time slot)
Where: Randall’s Island, NY

Sign Up / Details:  https://nycruns.com/race/nycruns-go-nuts-for-donuts-5k

Brunch: Following the race we have reserved tables for an outdoor team brunch at The Bonnie (29-12 23rd Ave, Astoria, NY 11105).

RSVP: Club members can RSVP on GroupSpot to ensure you’re included on the reservation.

Social Media:  #GoNutsforDonuts #EmpireTri
More challenges are being created and will be announced soon!  Have an idea? Email info@empiretriclub.com
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Central Park Loop Cup

We at Empire Tri Club are committed to creating fun, innovative team challenges to keep you connected, motivated all-year long.  Here are a few of the team challenges going on this fall: 

Central Park Loop Cup

What: Empire Tri Club has entered a team to compete in the inaugural Central Park Loop Cup
When: The race will be held between 5am on October 26th and 5pm on November 8th.
Details:  What’s your Central Park Loop PR? Don’t know? Don’t have one? Well, now is your chance to grab your Central Park Loop PR.  What team will take home the coveted Central Park Loop Cup and some local bragging rights? Only one way to find out…Let’s Race! 

Rules & Scoring: Old School Cross Country (XC) Scoring – Top 5 runners per team score. Your 6th and 7th runners do count as they can displace other team’s top 5 runners. Roster size is unlimited. Runners can only score for 1 team. Please don’t try and run for multiple teams. Runners need a strava account (free or premium) to get their race recorded. Runners can use a gps watch / device and sync with Strava or use the Strava app directly

Course: 1 Full Loop of Central Park which is a 6.0 mile loop.  Start and Finish is the same location which is the south crosswalk of Engineer’s Gate (90th and 5th Ave entrance).  Race will be run counterclockwise. Please stay between the curb and the bike lane for the entire loop.

Awards:  Top 3 Teams and overall individual winners will get prizes / swag from our friends at: 

Top Female / Male Open Runners – $100
Top Female / Male Masters Runners – $100
Top 3 Teams – Women / Male – Free Pair of Brooks Running Shoes (7 per team)
Winning Team – Women / Men – 1 Case of Other Half Brewery Beer (Value $150)
And more prizes to be added
Cost: FREE
 
Team Codes:  
  • Male: Code: jnFHp419
  • Female: Code: r6o28N5d
Social Media:  #CPLoopCup #EmpireTri
More challenges are being created and will be announced soon!  Have an idea? Email info@empiretriclub.com
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Virtual Tri Across America

We at Empire Tri Club are committed to creating fun, innovative team challenges to keep you connected, motivated all-year long.  Here are a few of the team challenges going on this fall: 

Empire Tri Club has entered a team in the Power Within Virtual Tri Across America!  

What:  A team-based event that challenges athletes to undertake a triathlon across the country – 7 miles of swimming, 2,400 miles of biking and 905 miles of running

When: October 15-November 29.

Details: “Embark on a shared adventure with family, teammates, friends or strangers who will become friend as you virtually cross the United States. From Oct. 15 through Nov. 29, team up to tackle more than 3,300 miles by swimming, biking and running in the Power Within Virtual Tri Across America Presented by Toyota. Each team can create their own strategy for conquering the miles during this six-week endurance test. Let’s enjoy and celebrate the well-worn trails, favorite views and beauty all around us.”
Sign Up:  Join Empire Tri Club’s official team by clicking here to sign up!  https://www.fitrankings.com/r/E682A01F.

More info: https://www.teamusa.org/usa-triathlon/power-within-virtual-tri-across-america

Use GroupSpot to coordinate, motivate one another, and stay on course as we swim bike and run across America!
#TriAcrossAmerica
More challenges are being created and will be announced soon!  Have an idea? Email info@empiretriclub.com
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Empire Tri Club Virtual Marathon, Half Marathon & Fun Run + Team Cheer / Aid Station 

We at Empire Tri Club are committed to creating fun, innovative team challenges to keep you connected, motivated all-year long.  Here are a few of the team challenges going on this fall: 

Empire Tri Club Virtual Marathon, Half Marathon & Fun Run + Team Cheer / Aid Station 

About: To coincide with the Virtual NYC Marathon, Empire Tri Club is hosting a virtual race on November 1st.  Runners are encouraged to complete a marathon, half marathon or fun run (any distance of your choice).

Start Time:  Empire’s Founder Alison Kreideweis will be kicking off her run at 9am from our Aid Station in Central Park (see below for location).  Join her to kick off your run or run your race virtually and start from your own location at any time you wish!
Route: Since athletes will be running all paces and distances, we will not be publishing any specific route.  However, for camaraderie and support, we recommend choosing a route that will pass by our aid station in Central Park several times for cheers and nutrition!

Aid / Cheer Station: To support our athletes, we’ll be setting up an aid station in Central Park (West Park Drive between 72nd St & the Delacorte Theater) from 9am-1pm on November 1st, to provide cheers and nutrition from UCAN, Gatorade and Clif Bar.

RSVP: Club members can RSVP on GroupSpot if you’re running or cheering so we know to look out for you!

Social Media:  #EmpireTri #EmpireTriVirtualRace #TCSNYCMarathon 
More challenges are being created and will be announced soon!  Have an idea? Email info@empiretriclub.com
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November Schedule of Events

Empire Tri Club has adapted our program throughout COVID19, to offer both virtual events as well as in-person events with safety protocols in place to ensure the well-being of our athletes.  Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening this month:

NOVEMBER 2020

KEY: 
VIRTUAL EVENTS
IN-PERSON WORKOUTS
Sunday, Nov 1, 9AM — Empire Tri Club Virtual Marathon, Half Marathon and Team Fun Run.  Empire Tri Club will have an aid / cheer station on the West Park Drive between the Delacourte Theater and 72nd Street Transverse with drinks & food provided by UCAN, Clif Bar and Gatorade.  Swing by for free fuel and an energy boost!  If you’re not running (or when you finish running), join us at the table to cheer, hang out and encourage runners! It’s Halloween weekend – costumes encouraged! 
Monday, Nov 2, 5:15PM — Coached Group Bike ​Ride on Zwift
Tuesday, Nov 3, 6:30PM — Group Strength Training in Central Park @ Delacourte Theater with Coach Alison 
Thursday, Nov 5, 6:30PM – Coached Group Run in Central Park @ Columbus Circle
Sun, Nov 8, 9AM — Group Ride NYC to WCL including outdoor coffee + brunch at Coach Ali & Sascha’s House
Mon, Nov 9, 5:15PM — Coached Group Bike ​Ride on Zwift
Tuesday, Nov 10, 6:30PM — Group Strength Training in Central Park @ Delacourte Theater with Coach Alison
Thurs, Nov 12, 6:30PM — Clutch PT Strength Session in Central Park
Sat, Nov 14, 9AMNYC RUNS, Go Nuts for Donuts 5k Team Fun Run + Brunch afterwards, Randall’s Island (Empire teammates are encouraged to sign up for the 9am wave).
Mon, Nov 16, 5:15PM — Coached Group Bike ​Ride on Zwift
Tuesday, Nov 17, 6:30PM — Group Strength Training in Central Park @ Delacourte Theater with Coach Alison
Thursday, Nov 19, 6:30PM – Coached Group Run in Central Park @ Columbus Circle
Mon, Nov 23, 5:15PM — Coached Group Bike ​Ride on Zwift
Tuesday, Nov 24, 6:30PM — Group Strength Training in Central Park @ Delacourte Theater with Coach Alison
Thurs, Nov 26 — Virtual Turkey Trot. Complete a 5k, 10k or any distance run of your choice (better yet, if there is an in-person, turkey Trop that you can participate in, sign up!). Looking to run for a greater cause? Sign up for the Women’s Health and Men’s Health Virtual Turkey Trot to benefit Feeding America.
Mon, Nov 30, 5:15PM — Coached Group Bike ​Ride on Zwift
Workout Details are posted for club members Training Peaks and an interactive real-time calendar where you can RSVP is accessible to club members in the GroupSpot app.  Not a member? Sign up for a FREE 2-week trial!
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Fall is Here! October schedule of events

Empire Tri Club has adapted our program throughout COVID19, to offer both virtual events as well as in-person events with safety protocols in place to ensure the well-being of our athletes.  Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening this month:

OCTOBER 2020

KEY: 
VIRTUAL EVENTS
IN-PERSON WORKOUTS
Thurs, Oct 1, 6:30PM — Group Run in Central Park with Coach Ryan
Mon, Oct 5, 5:15PM — Coached Group Bike ​Ride on Zwift
Mon, Oct 5, 6:30PM —  Coaches Corners to discuss marathon & half marathon prep on Zoom
Tuesday, Oct 6, 6:30PM — Group Strength Training in Central Park with Coach Alison
Wed, Oct 7, 6:30PM — Zoom Book Club Meet Up — “The Athlete Inside” By Sue Reynolds 
Thurs, Oct 8, 6:15PM — Clutch PT Strength Session in Central Park
Mon, Oct 12, 5:15PM — Coached Group Bike ​Ride on Zwift
Mon, Oct 12, 6:30PM —  Coaches Corners to discuss marathon & half marathon prep on Zoom
Tuesday, Oct 13, 6:30PM — Group Strength Training in Central Park with Coach Alison
Wed, Oct 14, 6:00PM — Zoom Yoga with Hess
Thurs, Oct 15, 6:30PM — Group Run with Coach Ryan in Central Park + HAPPY HOUR
Saturday, Oct 17, 8AM — Group Ride NYC to WCL including outdoor coffee + brunch at Coach Ali & Sascha’s House
Mon, Oct 19, 5:15PM — Coached Group Bike ​Ride on Zwift
Mon, Oct 19, 6:30PM —  Coaches Corners to discuss marathon & half marathon prep on Zoom
Tuesday, Oct 20, 6:30PM — Group Strength Training in Central Park with Coach Alison
Wed, Oct 21, 6:30PM — Zoom with Coach Joe Friel, founder and creator of Training Peaks, coach of many world champions and author of 17 books. 
Thurs, Oct 22, 6:30PM — Group Run in Central Park with Coach Sam Ellis
Mon, Oct 26, 5:15PM — Coached Group Bike ​Ride on Zwift
Mon, Oct 26, 6:30PM —  Coaches Corners to discuss marathon & half marathon prep on Zoom
Tuesday, Oct 27, 6:30PM — Group Strength Training in Central Park with Coach Alison
Thurs, Oct 29, 6:30PM — Group Run in Central Park with Coach Sam Ellis
Details are posted for club members in the GroupSpot app.  Not a member? Sign up for a FREE 2-week trial!
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Athlete Spotlight: Wissam Nasr

Meet Wissam Nasr! 

Wissam is one of the Empire Tri Club’s most recent additions to the Spring Beginner Program. He was born in Cairo, Egypt and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, the most diverse zip code in the world. Roughly a square mile with 113,000 residents who speak 167 languages. Growing up in Jackson Heights attracted him to a career in human rights and civil rights later in life.

Tell us a little about your family. 

My mother and father operated a local veterinary clinic for 20 years in Queens. The clinic was located next door to Corona’s Parkside Restaurant, a famous Genovese mafia hangout.  Local mobsters would bring in their baby alligators for checkups.  They would play with the cats. Most of you have never seen a hitman cuddle with a kitten, but I have. As late as 2015, a checkup for your dog was $25. My parents were often were never paid fully for surgeries they performed. They never sent a collection notice in their lives. I’m proud of that.

My father, whom resembled a mad professor when wearing a lab coat, died from smoking related causes in 2016 after 10 months on various machines. Then my favorite Uncle died the next year. And right after his death, my mother became completely blind and lost her memory. Facing such daunting issues, my fiancee decided to leave for better weather in California. I had no choice but to go it alone, so I quit my job and took care of my mom for a couple of years. 55 million Americans are taking care of an elderly loved one with a disability, and I was one of them. On May 13th, 2020 my mom passed away.  My only surviving family member is a sister that lives in France. 

Why did you choose Empire?

I joined because I understood the importance of surrounding yourself with a good peer group, especially a group of people I would consider to be role models in their own right. I find Empire to be motivational, educational, and helpful to be a part of as I train for a formal event for the first time. I can ask specific or general questions, and I think the collective experiences of my many coaches and teammates are the greatest benefit for a beginner like me. 

What is your fitness background? 

I’ve never been involved in organized fitness, unless eating ice cream finally becomes the Olympic event that we all feel it should be. As a matter of fact, I spent most of my life 20 to 50 pounds overweight. Things changed about a year ago. I wasn’t proud of my health. I began to integrate exercise into my daily routines, like commuting to work by bicycle. I have always felt most comfortable on a bike; but I am now enjoying running a lot more than I thought. I can’t swim all that well yet, but I have a Pinky and the Brain level plan to solve that problem, so let’s see. 

What is a personal goal of yours?

I recently turned 42, and I have the opportunity to retire early, the result of years of good personal finance and eating cold noodles for dinner. I like the idea of traveling the world, training in Mallorca, and competing in events. Or I might rent an apartment in South Africa and play soccer with children across the street every single day. I don’t know. I can’t play soccer but maybe they’ll need a goalie. Americans are good goalies. I’m ok with either plan. I do know that training for events will be a central part of my life. I have already been to 60 some countries and 200 cities. In fact, I taught tourism and hospitality at a public high school for a year so I can probably help my teammates with travel advice.  

At the aspirational level in the triathlon world, I saw Doc Golden’s speech on YouTube with a buddy of mine, and her vivid description of competing in a triathlon, has made the Ironman an official daydream of mine now. And look, it’s good to daydream. There’s not much else to do for me to do when I’m running up a hill on mile 6. So I’ll run my first tri and see where it takes me. 

One Crazy swim/bike/run adventure?

I was a United Nations civil affairs officer stationed in Kosovo in 2008 just prior to their declaration of independence. I was posted in a rural setting where there had been religious violence. I took a new route from my evening walk one day and ended up being chased by a massive bull. Or it could have been a really masculine looking cow, I don’t know. I could have sworn I saw horns. But it was fast! I didn’t want beef with the cow, so I ran as fast as I could. Apparently cows are able to smell blood despite being vegetarians. And I can confirm that running from something as bizarre as a cow happens only in slow-motion. Luckily, some of the local Roma kids saw me, and since 10-year-olds are always much braver than adults, they distracted the cow while I got to safety. The next day I went up the hill to thank the kids who helped me and they asked me if I was going to run again. I agreed and they ran with me every few days after that. I t was nice. Running with 10-year-olds in a recovering warzone after work was how I started, I guess. 

Fun fact about you?

I’ve been known to have a lot of pretty cool jobs over the last 25 years. Right now, I currently teach child actors on movie sets and Broadway shows, so I often get to hang out in famous actors’ dressing rooms, like Joaquin Phoenix in the Joker or Forrest Whitaker in Godfather of Harlem. You’d be surprised to hear what Donnie Wahlberg has to say about curling. 

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Athlete Spotlight: Mike Ritz

MEET MIKE RITZ

For the past two years Mike Ritz has been one of the coaches of the HSS Run Club, a corporate wellness program that Empire runs for the employees of the Hospital for Special Surgery. Mike first got involved with Empire Tri Club in the winter of 2015 when he was leading a 12-week winter training session, preparing athletes for the NYC Half Marathon.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Syosset, NY, a small town on the North Shore of Long Island. I am one of four boys, and we were all pretty active in sports growing up. My first sport was soccer because my mother’s family is all immigrants, and I played lots of baseball too. I was pretty much up for anything as a kid.  I was a small kid growing up but always practiced and tried to out work everyone else.

Why did you start running?
I got into running through soccer. In high school, the cross-country coach came out to watch one of our soccer games and spoke to me after the game. He asked me to join the team at a cross-country meet the next day. My soccer coach gave me permission. I remember that I was angry because I was missing soccer practice. I ran the meet in my regular Converse gym sneakers and came in second on our team, 5th overall. So I continued to run cross-country while playing on the soccer team. My older brother was a pretty accomplished runner so it was fun for me to follow in his foot steps. Honestly though, I hated running back then, because I felt like I was missing out on playing ball!

My senior year at Boston University, my friend and I decided to run the Boston Marathon, which runs right past our campus. I actually went to the Bill Rodgers Running Store to interview Bill Rodgers (Olympian and 2x Boston & NYC Marathon Winner) and ask him for some training tips. Remarkably, he was there, and more remarkably, he spoke to me.

In addition to marathons and half marathons, I have done a couple of duathlons, but the notion of a triathlon really scared me because of the swimming (yikes!).  One of my cousins, who is not a good athlete, decided to do the NYC Triathlon and dared me to do it as well. Challenge accepted. That was 2010. Since then I’ve done a few Half Ironman’s.

What is the scariest thing to happen to you during a race?
I try to do a “destination” run each year. Combining running and vacation is a great thing. The scariest thing that ever happened was the Tel Aviv Marathon. It was crazy hot and my son was meeting me at the finish line. I guess the heat got to me because I don’t remember finishing the race. The first thing I remember was walking with him, drinking water from a bottle. I remember asking him “Did I finish?” and he looked at me like I was crazy and pointed to my medal. It was already 20 minutes after the race, but obviously I was in a complete heat-induced fog.

What is the funniest thing you experienced during a race?
I ran the Florida Half Marathon a few years ago, which features a different musical act at each mile. I think I was the 10-mile mark and feeling pretty crappy, but as I approached I heard this great, kick-ass band playing some classic rock ‘n roll. I looked at the drummer and made some feeble motion to indicate that I wanted to sit in on the drums. He happily waved me over. One Rolling Stones song later, I was on my way, with renewed energy to finish the race!

How have you been involved during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I’ve lived in NYC since I graduated college. A while back, a relative suffered a heart attack on the street and was saved because of the fast response of the EMTs. So I decided to be an EMT and have served in various volunteer ambulance services since. I was a first responder and survivor on 9/11, when I ran with my medical gear from my apartment in Greenwich Village to the Twin Towers. My office at the time was in the South Tower (the second to be hit). I was going to a meeting that morning, so I wasn’t at work, but I called my office and told everyone to leave immediately. Even though there were announcements to stay, I insisted that everyone exit the building. They all survived and I am proud of that. When the first tower fell, I remember looking up in fear and thinking “there’s no way I’m getting out of this.” I grabbed a backboard for protection and started running before I was consumed by the thick, black smoke and debris. I managed to find a safe place and pulled other people in. I guess running prepared me for that moment. I survived the second tower collapse as well and stayed on site until 3am helping with the rescue and recovery efforts. I volunteered at Ground Zero for two weeks after that.

The COVID-19 crisis has brought back many thoughts of those days. As an EMT, I was part of some planning calls and meetings and worked at the Javits Center to help set it up as a hospital. Unfortunately, they didn’t let me continue working there because I am over 50 years old and they didn’t want to put me at risk. However, there has been so much to do within our building and local area. I work in my Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood to help organize community outreach. I think the greatest challenge for so many people is the loneliness that results from sheltering in place. If nothing else, I tell people to reach out to neighbors and friends and loved ones. Just call to say hello or to see if they need anything from the store.

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Empire Tri Club acknowledges and supports

We want to take a moment to acknowledge that the past few weeks have been extremely difficult and eye opening for all of us. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor have surfaced deep-rooted systemic problems and racial tensions the country has been facing for a long time.

Empire Tri Club has always strived to be an inclusive community.  We open our doors to all athletes regardless of age, ability, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or political belief. We support our black community and stand with you in solidarity.

While all of us may not have personally experienced racial discrimination, we will listen, learn and try our best to unite us.  Empire Tri Club is committed to understanding how we can help support people of color in our city and our sport – not just now, but ongoing. In the coming weeks, we will be sparking conversations with community members, race directors, governing bodies and athletic brands to better understand the issues and the roles we play.

Please feel free to reach out if you have resources, questions or ideas to share. We encourage healthy dialogue in order to better understand and address issues.

Finally, remember to stay safe! Spread your voice through peace and take necessary precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We will get through this!

Alison

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Alison Kreideweis

Empire Tri Club
Co-Founder, Head Coach
alison@empiretriclub.com
www.empiretriclub.com

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Athlete Spotlight: Cindy Carde

Let’s Meet Cindy Carde!

 

Empire Tri Club, a NYC based club with over 100 members, sits in the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic.  This month we had the chance to connect with Cindy Carde who contracted the Coronavirus in March.  

Cindy is a 7-year Empire Tri Club member with over 70 races under her belt.  This year, Cindy set her sights on becoming an Ironman.  However COVID-19 had other plans for her.  Read more for the full interview with Cindy!Cindy, where are you from? The boogie down BRONXWhere do you live now?  Still in the boogie down but in a more diverse neighborhood

How long have you been a member of Empire Tri Club? I just made 7 years with Empire in April. It says a lot about Empire Tri Club when your members keep coming back for more.

What are a few races you have done in the past? 1 sprint tri, which was my first and worst race ever. 6 Olympics tris, 3 long distance 70.3 triathlons. Over 25 marathons and definitely over 40 half marathons

What are you training for this season (assuming we actually race!)? My goal this year was to compete in a full long distance 140.6 triathlon but with lack of being able to train properly due to being diagnosed with COVID-19 by 3 doctors put a halt on training and being able to compete with a strong mind, confidence and endurance.

When did you start experiencing symptoms? March 16th. I couldn’t sleep at all. Not a wink for 3 days straight. On March 19th I woke up with a crick in my neck, my shoulders and back ached and I had a fever. As the day went, my well being declined. My fever spiked, I couldn’t shake the chills and the body aches were severe that Thursday night. Some days I felt well enough that I could force myself to try to have a normal quarantine day of watching TV and catching up on some work emails. Some days I felt awful that all I could do is sleep for 2 days straight. Headaches, a slight fever and extreme fatigue was an everyday occurrence. I even had extreme dizziness for day. The list of symptoms can go on and on.
What lead you to believe you might have the coronavirus? When I lost my sense of smell and taste.
Did you get tested for it? No, because I am younger to those who are as risk and I do not have any preexisting health conditions. I was told that I could not be tested because they only have a small amount of tests available and because I am younger to those who are at risk and I do not have any preexisting health conditions.

How long did your symptoms last? 4 weeks

What did you do to recover?  Sleep, sleep and more sleep. Drank lots of fluids, which consisted of water, gatorade, tea and chicken broth

Were you scared?  Not at all, I keep a pretty healthy lifestyle of running, biking, swimming, hiking and walking, which made me feel healthy enough to beat anything that was trying to take over my body.

Was there any advice you received that you found to be particularly helpful? Yes, I was told that it was ok to take tylenol. That was the only thing that allowed me to kind of function when I could.

Do you live alone or was anyone in your household caring for you? I live alone. I would get regular food and medicine deliveries dropped at my door by my mother and boyfriend.

Were you in touch with your Empire teammates during this time? Absolutely, they were the reason why I would wake up and get out of bed. They feel like family and I needed to see what everyone was up to.

How, if at all, did they help you get through it? The constant banter, well wishes in a group/separate chat/text messages, words of encouragement made me feel like a had a team of COVID get well sherpas. They kept me positive when I had doubts of ever getting better. They even offered to get on a Citi Bike to bring me medicine and food at my way uptown residence.

How are you feeling now? GREAT!! Like myself again.I am itching to start swimming, biking and running. I have walked several miles and stared to sprint uphills during my hikes

Are you fully recovered? Fully recovered with zero symptoms

Any advice you have for fellow triathletes about your experience? Fight, never ever let anything/anyone take you down

Anything else you’d like to share? A quote that i take with me at every training day and race, “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up” by Dean Karnazes – but i always add ever to the last statement of the quote so that it loos like Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never ever give up. It is truly a motto that i follow. You have to physically remove me from a course. I will never stop trying to reach that finish line. 4 flat tires and a broken hand couldn’t stop me from completing the 2018 NYC Tri.