NWI Tri club has another stellar turnout at Valparaiso
By Anthony D. Alonzo Post-Tribune correspondent July 13, 2013 9:50PM
Volunteer Lucy Gabrys of Cedar Lake hands out participation ribbons at the Valparaiso Triathlon at Rogers-Lakewood Park just north of the city on Saturday, July 13. Gabrys was among dozens of people to join in and help coordinate the event with the city's parks department and YMCA.
Updated: August 15, 2013 7:07AM
Nearly two dozen Northwest Indiana Triathletes Club members participated in Saturday’s Valparaiso Triathlon. Club president Elaine McCracken is always looking to grow the organization, yet for some of NWI Tris, less is more.
Forty-nine-year-old Stephen Gabrys started training for triathlons in October when he found NWI Tri.
“I was 70 pounds heavier then,” he said. “I’m still five foot and 11 inches, but I’m now 188 pounds.”
With his wife Lucy Gabrys working as a volunteer at the Valpo Tri, he said NWI Tri has offered “all kinds of support” with goal setting and follow-through. He bought a new Trek bike and has worked out six days a week.
He placed in the top half of all participants on Saturday and was about two minutes behind McCracken’s time of 1:18:26.
Dan Krecik, 47, said he’s been training with the triple-sport group for about a year.
Krecik described the progress he’s made in a short time as “total life-changing” and recommended that others prioritize fitness starting at a younger age. He said that he hopes that by staying fit he can avoid having to take doctor-prescribed medications.
At 23, Zack Bryan’s concerns are different than those of some of the triathlete group. The Crown Point resident is relatively new to the competition and said Saturday’s tri “was a lot of fun.”
Never a school or club sport athlete, Bryan said he initially didn’t have a reason for entering triathlons. Then his girlfriend introduced him to the challenge.
“I was never really athletic before maybe a year ago,” said Bryan. “NWI Tri is great because they offer many clinics throughout the entire year.
“I’m kind of thin so I have a little bit of a built for this. There’s still a learning curve, especially when it comes to swimming and biking — I’m learning the finer points of it.”