Jim - Since my first memories as a child, sports and competing always have been a large part of my life. After college and leaving the baseball diamond, I needed another outlet for competition. This led to triathlons. While the competitiveness existed, the drive and mental challenge for “what’s next?” did not. I was unsure how many more triathlons I wanted to do. At the same time, I reconnected with lifelong friend and fellow ultra runner Phil Germakian when we decided to rent a place together. Phil was the catalyst that opened my eyes to running, the outdoors and ultras. I’ve always loved sports but the mental toughness necessary for ultras was and always will be a challenge. Combining these two aspects have made it an easy transition to ultras from triathlons and baseball.
The last four years have led to some exciting races. Besides Phil, friends Adam and Jen have been critical in my development as an endurance athlete. I find myself happier and problems easily resolved when going out for a long trail run at Harriman State Park or a short four miler on the road. We all should never take for granted the ability to go out and run, bike or let go as we please.
Recently I've been pushing myself to go deeper and further with ultras. In 2013 I completed Ironman Cabo in March, PCT 50 in May, paced a friend for 52 miles at Leanhorse 100 in August and ran the Tussey Mountain 50 miler in November to qualify for Western States.
Last year I completed my first 100 miler by finishing Run Rabbit Run in Steamboat Springs Colorado in 33:16. Also in 2014 I finished the Long Haul 100k placing 5th, Laurel Highlands 70 miler in just over 17 hours (also to qualify for WS) and the Leadville 50.
On the agenda for this year is Mt. Tammany 10!, Breakneck Ridge in April, Rock the Ridge 50 in May, WESTERN STATES 100! and the Leadville 100 in August. While these races are exciting and offer something new, it’s always stimulating to meet new people and develop friendships along the way.
What a great honor it is to join a group of awesome trail runners and wonderful people; I could not ask for better support from Mountain Peak Fitness and Red Newt Racing. It is going to be an awesome year and to keep developing as a runner and a person. Lastly, I am a construction manager for a large general contractor in NYC and I obtained my BS in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University in 2006.