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Empire Spotlight- Liz Harris

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Liz Harris:

Just 1 year of doing triathlons and already Liz has accomplished qualifying for nationals, placing 2nd overall in her very first duathlon, and several podium finishes at Olympic distance triathlons! “I have always been athletic and am always trying new things – marathons, body building, and now triathlons.  Last year I just went out, bought a bike and registered for a Half Ironman. I was committed (not to mention I had just spent a ton of money), so I was going to train and do it well.”

A love for travel and her new found sport, she’s combined the two by doing destination races. She finished her 2016 season at IRONMAN 70.3 Cozumel. “What’s not to love about Cozumel…  clear water, warm temperatures and the most amazing people. It is a magical place…and they have tequila! The race itself was so well organized and it is truly a fast, flat course. You swim in the ocean which is crystal clear and you can see the bright colored fish, then bike 1 loop around the island with amazing views of the ocean. The run is all along the main road where people are dreaming and cheering the entire way… just the motivation you need to cross the finish. Oh, destination races!”

What’s on her calendar for 2017?  The NYC Tri, IRONMAN 70.3 Lake Placid, and her “A race” IRONMAN 70.3 Cozumel!  We are sure to see her atop that podium again!

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Empire Spotlight-Larry Lue

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Larry Lue:

Larry had a very limited athletic background and was a self-proclaimed couch potato! He wrestled and played some basketball in high school but his only exercise since then was to walk 18 holes of golf every once in awhile.

In 2012, and not so sure of his decision as to why, he ran his first marathon in NYC.

“I enjoyed the atmosphere as a spectator and thought it was a great event. The real reason was probably that I was turning 53 that year and was beginning to feel my age and my mortality. I then saw an ad for the NYC Triathlon and thought it might be interesting, although I knew almost nothing about triathlons. I went out and bought a bike and had to learn how to swim properly. That’s when I found Empire and signed up for the Beginner’s Program. I enjoyed the training and the fellowship and now I’m hooked.”

This year he will be competing in his 4th NYC Triathlon and 4th NYC Marathon.  In addition to his second Half IRONMAN in Lake Placid and his second NYRR 60K race!

“My goal is to do a little better with each race but really just to stay fit and healthy while enjoying the training and the company of my teammates at Empire. I’m only two years away from turning 60 but, as long as I stay healthy, I plan to continue to participate in triathlons and marathons.

It occurs to me that triathlons are basically what I did as a kid growing up. Every day in the summer, I’d get up, ride my bike down to the park with my friends, run a few miles playing basketball, then ride to the lake to splash and float around before riding home for dinner. I guess I’m just back to being a kid again.”

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Empire Spotlight-Sara Bryant

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Sara Bryant:

Sara has always been a strong runner.  She ran high school track and cross country, both sports propelling her to be faster on the soccer pitch.  This past November she ran the TCS NYC Marathon with a finish time of 3:33, a 25-minute personal record from her first NYC Marathon in 2010.  As a result, she qualified for the 2017 Boston Marathon.  This impressive accomplishment came after an unfortunate IT band injury in September, giving her only six weeks to train for the marathon.

“It was actually the friends and teammates I met through Empire who allowed me to see that potential and encouraged me to go for it.”

After finishing her first marathon back in 2010 she was determined to find another sport that she equally loved.  After trying many sports, she gave triathlon a shot and was instantly hooked!

She has competed in a few Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and is set to compete in two Ironman 70.3 races in 2017, in addition to the Chicago and Boston Marathons.

When asked about the future, Sara said she looks forward to winter training and a fun and challenging 2017 season!

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Empire Spotlight-Sharon Rochford

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Sharon Rochford:

Sharon is all too familiar with the challenges of being a triathlete and a single mom with a full time job.  Her time is a precious commodity.  It’s a balancing act between parenting, a demanding job, housework and getting her training in.  As Herculean as it seems for the rest us, to her this is a lifestyle.  She has learned to prioritize and make exercise part of her daily routine, just like brushing her teeth!  She’s had days when a late-night workout gets done after dinner, homework and putting her 12yr. old son Noah to bed.

She looks forward to her workouts because it makes her feel happier, stronger and helps her focus better at work.  Noah has also noticed the difference and encourages his mom to exercise when he notices her mood is down.

What makes this all worthwhile?  Being a mom that Noah can look up to and know that goals can be accomplished when your determination is strong.

“I would like Noah to know that anything is possible once you put your mind to it regardless of your age or fitness level.  The human body and the mind are stronger and more powerful than we think.  It is okay to push ourselves sometimes, even if we feel pain, because we are resilient”.

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Empire Spotlight-Olof Dallner

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire coach & athlete Olof Dallner:

He is a level I USAT certified triathlon coach and category 3 road cyclist.  This past October, Olof finished 3rd overall at IRONMAN Louisville with a time of (9:09) and qualified for the IRONMAN World Championship; the world’s most prestigious triathlon.   Within the same month he won 1st place at Empire Tri’s Beer Mile and finished of the season by marrying his fellow Empire coach and IRONMAN, Caitlin Alexander.

Olof is a firm believer that everyone can go beyond their perceived limits, and he is passionate about showing you how. He has worked with many athletes helping them reach their fitness and racing goals.

Olof has helped me tremendously. He pushes me to be stronger and faster than I thought possible. His coaching supports me both physically and mentally.” – Sam Tergek