On Saturday, November 5, 2022 Scott Heintzelman raced at IRONMAN Florida in Panama City Beach, Florida!
This was Scott’s 12th IRONMAN race! That’s 1,687.2 total miles raced! With this finish, Scott qualified for the IRONMAN Legacy Program, which will ultimately give him a spot at the IRONMAN World Championship! This milestone represents a significant amount of work on Scott’s part over many, many years.
IRONMAN changed the rules of the IRONMAN Legacy Program for athletes starting in 2023. Athletes are still required to complete 12 IRONMAN races, but starting in 2023, they must also have 12 years of racing history with IRONMAN in order to qualify. With his finish at IRONMAN Maryland in September of this year, Scott had 11 finishes and four years of racing history with IRONMAN. This meant that if he didn’t finish a 12th IRONMAN by December 31, 2022, he’d have to race eight more IRONMANs over eight more years before he could qualify.
Scott and I agreed that he was too close to glory to delay this goal by eight years. So, I advised him to do something that I’ve never advised for any other athlete I’ve ever worked with: I advised him to complete a fourth IRONMAN in 2022 so he could meet his goal.
My advice to Scott was a deviation from my normal because of the significant additional time it would have taken him to reach his goal and he was already practically there since his “normal” race schedule had him at 11 IRONMAN finishes this year. So, we added IRONMAN Florida to the calendar.
Scott has been dealing with a knee injury for a majority of this year and our only goal for this race was to have him finish it to lock in his Legacy status. The swim in the Gulf of Mexico challenged him, but his experience at the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim helped him conquer this one. The bike was windy and flat; while there were significant headwinds, there were also some tailwinds that helped out. On the run, Scott walked about two-thirds of the 26.2 miles to help his knee out. He crossed the finish line and gave his wife Gaye the biggest hug.
The road to Scott’s accomplishment at IRONMAN Florida was much more than 140.6 or even 1,687.2 miles long and was made possible by so many important people. Scott has spent the better part of five years training for this opportunity to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championship. In addition, his family has been there supporting him literally every step of the way. He’s completed his training runs with his daughter Sarah, his wife Gaye has had post-workout smoothies at the ready, his daughter Hannah and her husband Andrew have cheered him on, and his son Caleb has gone out on the dark stretches of IRONMAN marathon courses to help push him to the finish line. Scott may be the one who crossed those 12 finish lines, but the glory of his achievement is certainly one to be shared by his entire family.
To Scott and all of Team Heintzelman: CONGRATULATIONS! Bask in the glory of this multi-year journey and accomplishment!
While it is the largest marathon in the world with its the TCS New York City Marathon is also notoriously challenging to get into. Fewer than 19% of athletes who apply for a spot receive one via the lottery system that the race runs. Other slots are allocated to athletes who meet time-based qualification standards. Still others are allocated to athletes who fundraise for charities that are partnered with the New York Road Runners (the owner/operator of the New York City Marathon), and it was one of these charity slots that gave Marcus his berth in this year’s race.
Marcus ran all 26.2 miles with his fiancée Elizabeth. When I wished them well on Saturday and said I’d be tracking them, Marcus advised me that I should probably watch The Lord of the Rings Extended Trilogy while I wanted for them to finish. (For those who don’t know, this version of The Lord of the Rings is approximately 12 hours long.)
Well, I’m so pleased to report that Marcus and Elizabeth’s effective use of a run/walk strategy kept them going strong through all 26.2 miles to the finish line and thus did not take as long as The Lord of the Rings Extended Trilogy for them to complete. It was one of the hottest and most humid New York City Marathons on record; these conditions caused several thousand athletes to not finish the race, but Marcus and Elizabeth were not among them!
Congratulations to Marcus and Elizabeth on a strong day in one of the greatest cities in the world!
The Burn Run
Jean Carnese and Natalie Metz ran The Burn Run on Sunday, November 6, 2022 in East Syracuse, New York!
The Burn Run features two distances: a 5K and a 10K. However, these two distances start at different times, so athletes can elect to run both of them if they so choose. Both Jean and Natalie selected this option, and thus ran a 15K each!
Jean pushed herself and ran extremely consistent miles for both races; there was only a difference of three seconds between her average pace for 5K and the 10K! For those of you out there who run, know how challenging this is to do, and thus how significant this result is!
Natalie was using The Burn Run as C-Race as she prepares for an A-Race in a few weeks’ time. Having completed a 56-mile ride around Oneida Lake the day before, she was running this on tired legs. And she rocked it! Running this training run in a race scenario allowed Natalie to practice her nutrition and hydration strategy for her A-Race day and capped off a great weekend of training!
There are many distance options for this event. Since Lisa was using the race as a C-Race as part of her training for an A-Goal race in a couple of months, she elected to do the “three quarters” distance of 19.65 miles. Since Lisa already had a 19-mile run on her training schedule, this race fit in very nicely!
This was a small race with a lower number of runners, and Lisa ended up being the last person to finish. Despite Lisa being the only one out on the course, the volunteers and race staff stayed through to the end to cheer her on! Lisa even got to enjoy her post-race meal while having a one-on-one chat with the race director.
Way to go, Lisa!
Coach Laura Henry
Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.