Athlete of the Month, May 2016 – Larry Gray
Athlete of the Month
This past year D3 initiated an Elite Team of athletes who all excel in their abilities and love of triathlon. Several times a week the team trains together in Boulder, CO, and they’ve already had their first team race at the St. George 70.3. They are building a united force of energy and drive, and one of the athletes stands out in this arena as our May Athlete of the Month. It is a pleasure to introduce Larry Gray!He was nominated by Coaches Mike Ricci and Leigh Dodd for his positive attitude, training ethics (hard worker!), good-nature and humor as a teammate as well as his overall focus and commitment to improve. He remains open to coach feedback and as a result, his swim times have improved significantly. Plus, he ran a 1:30 half marathon at the Damn Run in January!
Those are great qualities to emulate and we are proud to turn the spotlight on D3 athlete and Elite Team member Larry Gray!
1. From NY to CO, how did you get here and how did you come to the sport of triathlon?
I grew up on Long Island in New York playing team sports, basketball, football, and soccer. I was never a runner or a cyclist, actually never owned a road bike of my own until a few years ago. I did grow up near the ocean and was always very comfortable in the water. I don’t think you want the long answer of how I came to the sport of triathlon, but in short, I have always thought that Ironman is the ultimate athletic endeavor, both physically and mentally. So, I thought I should give it a shot.
2. You’ve had some big gains in your swim time this spring. Describe what’s helped you achieve the success.
My swim has improved by coaching, technique, and swimming in the lane next to Greg, Brian, Jim, Julian, Nick, and Jeff on Thursday nights. Watching them will either make you quit or get faster, so I had one option.
In the photo, Larry is the athlete looking at the clock.
3. You’ve been described as a great teammate. That’s in reference to your spot on the D3 Elite Team. What is your definition of a great teammate?
As I stated before, I grew up playing team sports, and I think that being part of a team provided some of the greatest times of my life. Not just the games, and not just the wins and good times, but everything, the bus and plane rides, the struggles, the friendships, working hard to reach our goals, practices, the laughs, the tears, the sweat, and the blood. Triathlon is not really a team sport, but being part of the D3 elite team has been awesome. Everyone works hard, plays hard, has fun, is very goal oriented, determined, and very fast.
4. What’s on your horizon for this season? Goals, races? Which one are you most excited to see how it plays out?
I just raced St. George 70.3. I think I did ok, but hope to do better as the season goes on. I will also be racing the Boulder 70.3 and full, as well as the Lake to Lake and Louisville full. There is not a specific race that I’m excited for, because I’m excited for all of them. As for goals, I would really like to get on the podium, I don’t want to disappoint my D3 Elite teammates.
5. As you prep for a race, what are some of your race routines (night before, morning of, after the race)?
I don’t really have any pre or post race rituals. I just like to make sure I have everything, and once its all set up, I try not to think about the race at all. Just block everything out. If your not ready at that point, then there’s nothing you can do. Post race, maybe Lisa Plunkett has started a ritual by doing a shot of tequila!
6. A favorite workout from your coach(s) is?
Favorite workout? My day off!! Any workout with the young guys and the one old lady (LP) from the D3 Elite team. Just to swim, bike or run with those fast guys is a treat. I want to be like them when I grow up.