The challenge of an Ultraman race with a 6.2-mile swim, a 261.4-mile bike ride and a 52.4-mile run over three days isn't physical, Easton resident Christian McEvoy says. It's mental.
"Ultraman is all about focus. Most people would think that preparing for an endurance event like this is about logging lots of miles in the pool, biking or running,'' Christian said. "And of course that's necessary. But the most important training for this type of event is building strength between the ears."
And McEvoy knows what it takes. He finished sixth out of 40 athletes last weekend in the 2010 Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii. McEvoy, director of the Connecticut Challenge Center for Survivorship, finished in 24:16:42.
Participation was by invitation only, and McEvoy, 28, was the youngest competitor this year.
Christian is no stranger to ultra endurance events. When he was just out of college and teaching English at Fairfield Prep, Christian met Jeff Keith, the first above-the-knee amputee and cancer survivor to run across the country, and became inspired to follow in his footsteps. Just as Keith had done in previous years, in 2006 McEvoy ran 3,400 miles across the country, from San Francisco to Rhode Island. Along the way, he met with cancer survivors, filmed their stories and was inspired by their determination.
"I participate in ultra-distance sports to challenge my own perception of limits, and I pair every major effort with a charity," he said. "The charity closest to my heart is cancer survivorship. Through my participation, I am raising funds for cancer survivors through the Connecticut Challenge." Christian's athletic endeavors have helped him raise $350,000 to benefit cancer survivors.
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