Challenge of triathlons a rush for Shamokin Area grad
BELLEFONTE - Shamokin Area High School graduate Chad Miner has always been competitive, looking for something to keep his juices flowing.
As a high school athlete, he played football and baseball, and ran a year of track.
In college, he was a national club champion boxer at Lock Haven University.
Now, at age 41, he is making his mark in triathlon competitions.
Miner won the Adventure Race, one of three divisions, at Sunday's Pittsburgh Triathlon and Adventure Race, which consisted of a 2-mile paddle, 20-kilometer bicycle ride and 5-kilometer run, with a time of 1 hour, 16 minutes, 49 seconds. The adventure race differed from the triathlon in having a two-mile paddle instead of a 1.5-mile swim.
Miner, who lives in Bellefonte and is a corrections officer at Rockview State Prison, has won smaller events but said this was his biggest win "by far."
In May, he won the Rails to Trails Triathlon in Bedford County, a 12-mile bike ride, 5-mile run and 5-mile canoe, in a total time of 2 hours, 10 minutes, 40 seconds. He won that race by a minute. He won Sunday's race by six seconds over Steve Wendell of Pittsburgh, a well-known adventure racer.
"Beating him was a real big thrill," Miner said Monday night. "I finished third two years ago, then second, and now first. The run was last and that was a real gut check."
Miner gravitated toward triathlon training after he got too old to box, he said. He's been training seriously for about five years now.
"I got married and started having kids, and my wife didn't want me to box anymore," Miner said. "I was looking for something to keep me going. I had actually been in one as a team event with a friend of mine, Rich Danglovitch, in Maryland about 15 years ago, so this seemed like the perfect thing."
Miner trains every other day and acknowledges that the older he gets, the more difficult it is to train.
"It definitely gets to be an issue," he said. "My wife and I have kind of come to an agreement. She kind of assumes that after a day of training, I'll be around the house the next evening."
Miner and his wife, Amy, have two daughters, Lia, 10, and Zoe, 3.
In a typical training session, Miner will alternate a 30-mile bike ride, followed by a five-mile run, on one day, followed by a four-to-eight mile paddle on the other day.
"Sayer Dam (Reservoir, part of Bald Eagle State Park) is only about 10 miles away so I don't have to go far to do that," Miner said. "I love going up there early in the morning. It's beautiful."
As much as Miner loves competition, he also enjoys the latter aspect of triathlons.
"It's not always about competing," he said. "That's me but I plan to stay with it after I can't win anymore. It is keeping my legs under me. I feel great."