From Ironman to Student-Athlete
Most student-athletes follow an offseason training program, but Lee Carrier, a mens ice hockey player at Hobart College, has taken it to a whole new level.
Carrier, who will be a senior this fall at the Division III school in Geneva, N.Y., spent his summer training for and competing in the 2005 Ford Ironman USA Triathlon in Lake Placid, N.Y., on July 24. The race " one of the most arduous, single-day endurance races in the world " starts with a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bicycle ride, and culminates with a 26.2-mile run.
Carrier attended his senior year of high school at the Northwood School in Lake Placid where he first learned of the sport of triathlon. Some of his teachers competed in the Ironman during the previous summer, but Carrier's first reaction was like many others.
"I kind of thought it was crazy and why would anybody ever want to do anything like that," Carrier said.
The following summer Carrier watched the race in Lake Placid, and he got hooked.
"I saw just everyday people " people that were 65 or 70 years old and people that looked like they weren't in the best shape " completing this event," said Carrier. "It was really inspirational to see these people setting this goal for themselves and seeing it true to the finish. I thought, 'if they could do it, why can't I?'"
Carrier began competing in triathlons the summer after his freshman year of college. He started with the shortest distance races, and gradually did longer and longer races with the ultimate goal of competing in an Ironman.
"Last summer, I watched the Lake Placid Ironman and decided that day that I was going to do it the following summer," said Carrier.
Carrier was fortunate enough to be in very good shape because of hockey, but on April 1 he hired a professional triathlon coach and started a six day per week training schedule.
"During the week, I would usually train 1.5 to 2 hours a day," said Carrier. "On the weekends, we had really big workouts, especially as I got deeper into my training program. As it got more difficult, I'd be doing like seven or even eight hour workouts. It's really important to train your muscles to get used to transitioning from one sport to the next."
Carrier finished the race in 12 hours, 34 minutes and 30 seconds. He placed 758th out of 1,997 participants and 16th of 35 in his age group (18-24).
"It was an awesome feeling," said Carrier. "It's kind of hard to describe. I was absolutely exhausted at about mile 20 (of the run), but at mile 24 you start seeing a lot of spectators again. When you start coming back into town, the fans really help pull you towards the finish line. The last couple of miles are just pure adrenaline " crossing the finish line is pretty awesome."
Carrier will be in top condition when he arrives at Hobart for his senior season because of his intense training. He's even gotten a couple of his teammates to compete with him at the Finger Lakes Triathlon this fall. Adam Scott will do the swim, Carrier will ride the bicycle leg, and Aaron Laycock will do the run in the Olympic-distance event.
Carrier also hopes his hard work pays off with a successful hockey season and another trip to the NCAA Tournament.
"Since I arrived at Hobart, we've continually progressed up the ladder," Carrier said. "We made it to the NCAA Tournament in my sophomore year. This year, we're going to have a lot of veterans on the team and a lot of those guys have been starters or in the lineup every game since they were freshmen. As long as we stay healthy, and the guys did their work over the summer, I see us going to the NCAA Tournament again and being a contender for a national championship."
The Hobart College men's hockey season opens its season on Oct. 29 at Potsdam.