Shamong resident Rob Rossi competes in and finishes Lake Placid Iron Man Triathlon

By Katrina Grant

Inspired by a show on HBO, Shamong Township resident Rob Rossi recently finished the Lake Placid Iron Man Triathlon.

The triathlon was held on July 24, and contestants had to do 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and 26.2 miles in a marathon. Contestants had to complete the triathlon in 17 hours. Rossi finished in 16 hours and 28 minutes.

“I saw Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO about New York City firefighter Matt Long,” Rossi said. “He was hit by a car while riding his bike during the public transportation strike. He was impaled. They didn’t think he would live and if he did, they didn’t think he would ever walk again. He ended up competing in a triathlon. It was inspiring. I thought if he could do it, I can do it.”

Rossi began training a year and a half prior to the competition.

“Before the competition, I ran with my friends, and I ran a marathon in Philadelphia four years ago,” Rossi said. “For this, I purchased a bike, a gym membership and started riding my bike to work in Voorhees four days a week.”

With all the training, Rossi didn’t change his diet, but it did grow.

“I had no changes in my diet, but I ate more,” Rossi said. “I burned lots of calories with the workouts. I did watch what I ate, laid off the beer.”

The triathlon day began at 7 a.m., and contestants had to finish by midnight. Rossi enjoyed doing the triathlon, but doesn’t think he would do a full one again.

“I’m looking forward to the half Iron Man in the Poconos,” Rossi said. “I may not do a full one again because it was a big commitment, but I’ll never say never. It was a special event because I did it with my brother in law. The whole family supported us.”