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From runner to triathlete - Georgios Georgiou becomes a Half Ironman

Getting ready for the 2009 Chicago Triathlon
Getting ready for the 2009 Chicago Triathlon

Georgios getting ready for the swim

Georgios Georgiou is up for a challenge.   The co-owner of ICE Design Factory generally works over 60 hours each week designing, producing and distributing Christmas decorations.  Georgios also became a US citizen in 2010.  What better way to celebrate?  Triathlon.

Georgios completed his first 1/2 Ironman in Door County a week ago with a time of 6:07.  Not enough?  He's also competing in the Steelhead 70.3 this weekend.

I spoke with Georgios as he was debating just which Ironman to conquer next year.  Sign up for Lake Placid, wait to Louisville?  Put it off for another year?  He finally decided to wait one more day but clearly was leaning toward an Ironman Foundation spot for Lake Placid 2011.

I asked a few questions just to see how the progression goes from 8k to Ironman:

How did you start in triathlon?

It started with running.  I began running as a sport in 2008 because a friend pushed me to do so; after an 8K race, a half-marathon and then a marathon in the same year I was looking for a new challenge. I had heard about triathlons and the fact that it was foreign to me, made it appealing. Before you know it,  in 2009 I signed up for tri training at my health club and the fun began.

You'd completed the Chicago Marathon.  Why triathlon?

I like the challenge of competing in multiple sports and trying something new. More importantly for me it meant that I had to conquer my fear of swimming and drowning and learn how to swim.

Have you found your strengths in the sport?

In the tri-training process I have found out how much I actually enjoy cycling. It came more natural to me than swimming or running. And my genetically muscular legs came in handy.

What do you struggle with the most?

Swimming, swimming and swimming ... but I did take it one step at a time and within a year of consistent training I am finally seeing the improvement.  As my swimming improves my fear of drowning seems to go away.

What was training for a half-Ironman like?

I must admit that I could not have done it without the guidance of my coach. With 5-6 days of training a week it did require dedication and some juggling of work and social life.  Thankfully being part of an awesome training group (Georgios trains at East Bank Club) also meant for some good fun. It essentially took me over a year to prepare. I started with a Sprint triathlon, then moved up to an Olympic triathlon and a ½ Iron seemed to be the natural progression.

What's next?

One more 1/2 Ironman is next and there is no turning back. It is time to raise the bar again and I think I see an Ironman in my future.

We see an Ironman in your future too, Georgios.  No doubt about it.


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