Local dentist competes in Ironman Triathlon

We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” For local Ironman triathlete Dr. Ryan Moore, it wasn’t just a marathon, it was a 2.4-mile swim and a 112-mile bike ride as well. Moore competed in the Ford Ironman Triathlon last month in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The 31-year-old dentist from Rockford made the journey from Illinois to New York to compete in his first Ironman triathlon. After intense training for the previous nine months, Moore decided it was time to give it a try.

At 7 a.m. on a near-perfect July Saturday morning, Moore and 2,000 other Ironman triathletes jumped into the 70-degree water of Mirror Lake. Following the 2.4-mile swim, he climbed out of the water and mounted his bicycle for a 112-mile ride through the countryside of upstate New York. As if that weren’t enough physical exercise for one day, he then laced up his running shoes and headed out for the 26.2-mile run to complete the event.

At 8:41 p.m. that evening, it was finally over. Moore had endured his first Ironman triathlon. He covered a total of 130.6 miles in 13 hours, 41 minutes and 51 seconds.

During a recent phone interview I had with him, I asked him about his motivation to enter the grueling contest. He simply replied, “It was time to try something out of my comfort zone.” One of the many other questions I asked him was if he ever wanted to stop during the event. He said he asked himself “What the hell am I doing?” no fewer than 20 or 30 times throughout the day. But the desire to finish and not to let himself down kept him going. He said he was encouraged by fellow Ironman competitor Chip Griffen, also from Rockford. “Having Chip there made it easier,” Moore said.

Griffen, an employee at Entre Computer in Rockford, also made the long trip to Lake Placid to compete in his ninth Ironman triathlon. He competed in the 40- to 44-year-old division. Griffen finished the course in 11 hours, 59 minutes and 4 seconds. I’m guessing since he already had eight previous Ironman triathlons under his belt this probably wasn’t something out of his “comfort zone.”

When I asked Moore if he would ever do another one, he said, “I would definitely do it again, just not anytime soon!” That’s perfectly understandable, since he and his wife, Lindsay, also a dentist, are expecting their first child in January.

I’m guessing the new baby might test his “comfort zone” as well. Parenthood promises to present him with a whole new set of challenges. If Moore is like most new parents, he will get the opportunity to once again hear that haunting question that kept popping into his head some 20 to 30 times on that grueling day in Lake Placid six months earlier.

from the Aug 15-21, 2007, issue

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