Triathletes love the competition and camaraderie of swim/bike/run events.

By Lynn R. Parks
From the August 2018 issue

feature-triathletesBefore they got married, neither Joe nor Chandra (Bloom) Capen knew how to swim. They had graduated in 2006 from Penn State, where Joe played soccer for two years, and were seasoned runners. But they had never learned to effectively propel themselves through water.

Not a decade later, Joe came in first overall in the 2015 Dewey Beach Triathlon, a “sprint” racing event that requires participants to run almost 3½ miles, bike 16 miles and swim a half mile in the Atlantic Ocean. Chandra placed 10th among women, and 45th overall.

By the next year, Joe was entering his fourth Ironman competition, a much longer race. (Even though she was registered to compete, Chandra was pregnant with their son and had to be content with watching.) At that event, in the Quebec town of Mont-Tremblant, Joe came in 231st out of more than 2,200 racers with an overall time of 10 hours, 53 minutes and 41 seconds. His swim time — that portion of the Ironman is 2.4 miles — was 1 hour, 10 minutes and 20 seconds.

So — what happened that enabled the Capens to become good enough swimmers that they could compete in triathlons and Ironman races?

They got engaged.

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