Mathisen conquers the Northeast Maryland Triathlon
October 8, 2009
A Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic employee set out Aug. 16 to accomplish his goal--to win the Northeast Maryland Triathlon by "swimming with the swimmers, running with the runners and biking with the bikers."
Major Arthur Mathisen, deputy commander for Administration of KUSAHC claimed victory after swimming 1500 meters, biking 23.5 miles, and running 6.2 miles with a time of two hours and one minute.
"It's great to win. I was the fastest person out of three hundred fifty competitors. That's cool," Mathisen said. "Nothing replaces good ole' fashion hard work."
With so many participants in the race, he described the swimming event as 'combat swimming.' He was elbowed in the face, scratched, and his goggles were knocked off.
"People are swimming over each other and in all different directions - total mayhem," he said.
Not only was his goal to win but it was also to "crush" the bike and hold nothing back. He said he passed other competitors on the bike like they were standing still.
Although the 'combat swim' and the other events seem somewhat grueling, it's the competition in its entirety that Mathisen continues to push to contend.
"The journey is rewarding. You're doing something that's bigger than yourself. I have a goal that most people wouldn't even think or consider achieving," Mathisen said.
Since 2000, Mathisen has raced in the Ironman Arizona, California, Canada, Hawaii, Japan, Korea, Malaysia; and Half Ironman's in Singapore and Disney, with many competitions in between.
Perhaps the most influential person that has helped him succeed in this demanding sport is Special Forces Lt. Col. Guy Lemire, referred to as 'Yoda' by Mathisen.
"He's the person who got me into it. The way of the sport is to be giving. There's good karma in reaching out and giving help to those who are just starting out or who need the advice," he said.
To race in any triathlon, dedication, time management skills and a good training plan are needed, not to mention many early morning training sessions.
To be a successful competitor, Mathisen said he swims three times a week, bikes five to six times a week and runs five times a week.
"What's great about this sport is that anyone can do it. Anyone can swim, bike or run. When you line up and look next to you, you could potentially be racing next to the best tri-athlete. What other sport can you do that with," he said.
In the near future, Mathisen will be competing in the Half Ironman in Delaware, Half Ironman in New Jersey and the Half Ironman World Championships in Florida.