Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Prime Drivers Compete in Olympic Distance Triathlon

Prime Drivers Compete in Olympic Distance Triathlon

Driving tanker, flatbed, and refrigerated trailers, seven Prime drivers recently arrived in Anderson, S.C., to compete in the Revolution 3 Olympic-distance triathlon relay and aquabike. The triathlon, sponsored by Pilot Flying J, consists of a 0.9-mile swim, a 24-mile bike ride, and a 6.2-mile run.

Prime's Driver Health and Fitness program entered two relay teams in which each driver did one leg of the triathlon. Jeff Schmid also competed in the aqua bike, doing both the swim and bike legs individually.

Matt Young, Jason Davis, and Matt Buchanan comprised the "Matt Sandwich" team that finished in 3:37:35. Diane Kehoe, Mario Abramson and David Calhoun comprised the "Prime Allstars" team that finished in 3:58:31. Jeff Schmid finished the aquabike in 2:36:13.

It was a tough go for swimmers Young and Kehoe. As long haul drivers, they had limited opportunity to train for the long swim, and neither had ever swam with a wetsuit, which they both conceded was "too tight," forcing them to ditch the wetsuits during the swim. Both completed the swim and handed off their timing chip to cyclists Davis and Abramson. Davis, a former professional BMX bicycle racer who is competing in this year's BMX National Championships, had never ridden a high-performance triathlon bike, which was provided to him by the race organizers and Pilot Flying J.

He finished the bicycle leg in 1 hour 28 minutes and 51 seconds, riding at an average pace of 16.75 mph. Abramson, on the other hand, carried his own specialized road bike on his truck, and completed the bike leg in 1 hour 41 minutes and 29 seconds. Both cyclists competed in Prime's September Bicycle Challenge with Davis riding 154.98 miles and finishing first and Abramson finishing sixth with 33.83 miles during the month-long competition.

Buchannan finished the run in 58 minutes and 21 seconds for the Matt Sandwich team, while Calhoun came across the line with a split time of 1 hour 6 minutes and 6 seconds.

For the drivers in both relay teams, this was their first ever triathlon and they were the first long-haul drivers to be a part of the Truckers To Triathlon program created by Dr. George "Bud" Harris. Not so, however, for Jeff Schmid. In 2008, Schmid started training for sprint triathlons while driving in the Midwest. To date, he has competed in eight triathlons and earned an athletic trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine in 2010.

Schmid finished the swim in 46 minutes and 21 seconds and finished the bike in 1 hour 45 minutes and 4 seconds, riding at an average speed of 14.16 mph.

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