North Yarmouth Ironman competitor headed to Hawaii

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NORTH YARMOUTH — Imagine swimming from Great Diamond Island to Portland, then bicycling to Boston, where you run the Boston Marathon.

That’s pretty much what Ironman Triathlon athletes like Owen Lisa do.

The 34-year-old North Yarmouth resident and Greely High School graduate is training for the Ironman World Championship, to be held in October in Kona, Hawaii.

An Ironman triathlon includes 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of bicycling and 26.2 miles of running.

Lisa, a business consultant who lives with his wife, Elli, and dog, Mambo, started doing triathlons in 2006. A runner since high school, his participation in marathons preceded his triathlon experience.

After running into an old friend who was training for a triathlon, Lisa recalled, he got to thinking that triathlons sounded “a lot cooler” than marathons, “so I decided to give it a shot.”

While bicycling came relatively easily to him, he said he is still refining the swimming component. He tends to catch up to other participants once the swimming leg is over, “which I think … psychologically is a lot better than being a strong swimmer and then just getting passed the rest of the way.”

Lisa was the third amateur racer to compete in the Ironman triathlon in Arizona last November, finishing ahead of more than 2,500 other racers. He finished in 9:02:27, to place 36th overall, beating more than 24 professionals and qualifying for the Hawaii competition.

“I was pretty happy with (the results),” he said. “To ride out in the desert is a far cry from the hilly roads of New England.”

Lisa has trained with Doug Welling, a coach at Sustainable Athlete in Portland, who himself has participated in triathlons.

In training for the Ironman, Lisa said, “fitness builds on top of itself. It’s something that you slowly get into with shorter-distance races, and as you become competent with that, you can continue to build on it. … The last seven weeks of the training schedule is really the critical portion of it.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Sidebar Elements

Owen Lisa of North Yarmouth is training for the Ironman World Championships next October in Kona, Hawaii.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.