Izzo, Hartman ready for 2021 Ironman Lake Placid
SARANAC LAKE — For some, the Ironman triathlon means nothing, but for others, it means everything.
Ten local athletes are registered for the Ironman Lake Placid race on Sunday, July 25, and each of them have trained for this moment. Some are competing for the first time, and others have been here before. At the end of the day each of them want to hear famed emcee Mike Reilly say, “You are an Ironman!”
Being called an Ironman is something not many achieve, but for 29-year-old Lake Placid native Elizabeth Izzo, Ironman is more like a family name.
In 2016, Izzo was the third member of her family to become an Ironman, following her mother Sandra and father Bill. Her father, who is a multiple time Ironman finisher, also competed in 2016.
In Izzo’s first Ironman, she had the fastest time out of anyone in the race’s youngest 18-24 age group for females.
“Some people say that the first time is the best because it’s all new, but it’s one of my favorite experiences of my life so far,” Izzo said.
On Sunday, Izzo will compete in her second Ironman.
“I watched Ironman come to Lake Placid,” Izzo said. “I watched my friends and my parents do Ironman Lake Placid. So then I did it in 2016, and I want to do it again.”
Izzo is an emergency room physician assistant at the Adirondack Medical Center and an advanced EMT.
On average, she spends about two hours a day training for Ironman while maintaining her job.
“I find that three swims a week, three bikes a week and three runs a week is a pretty good place to start to build a base,” Izzo said.
She graduated from the University of New Hampshire, where she competed as a Nordic skier for the women’s ski team.
Much like Izzo, Bryce Hartman graduated from the University of New Hampshire, where he competed for the men’s Nordic ski team.
Hartman, 22, grew up in Saranac Lake. He will be competing in Ironman for the first time in the youngest age group for men, 18-24. He was one of the many registered to compete in 2020 before it was canceled.
“I decided that when I graduate college, it is time to do it,” Hartman said. “I was registered to race last year but things got pushed back a year because of COVID-19, so I’m excited to get the chance to finally do it this year.”
Hartman grew up with Ironman Lake Placid.
“Being from that area, I have been around that race for years through volunteering for it or working in the merchandise tent. It has been a big family thing,” Hartman said.
Shortly after graduating, he moved to North Carolina for an internship. Within the past month, he moved to Boise, Idaho to work toward his master’s degree.
Hartman is prepared for Ironman as he has been training for the event since last year.
“Off and on, I’ve been preparing for about a year,” Hartman said. “I was prepared to do it in 2020. I found out last May that it was not gonna happen so I took a little break and picked it back up in January of this year. I’m trying to get ready for it as much as I can.”
Hartman said his goal is to finish around the 12-hour mark.
Local Ironman athletes
– AuSable Forks: Jason Pare, 48
– Lake Placid: Matt Cook, 44; Kirk Fasking, 63; Elizabeth Izzo, 29; Stephanie Pianka, 55; and Zachary Simek, 29
– Saranac Lake: Jay Niederbuhl, 42; and Bryce Hartman, 22
– Wilmington: Jessie Sangster, 39; and Timothy Meyer, 29