DOA employee wins triathlon in London

Filed in Employees by on November 4, 2013

Jack McAfee, Landside Operations supervisor at Hartsfield-Jackson and an avid triathlete, won first place for his age group in the sprint-distance event at the PruHealth World Triathlon, held in London in September.

13-09-13 Triathlon World Champs 04A former high-school swimmer –“I’m more comfortable in water than on land,” he says ‑ and collegiate runner, the 29-year-old Kennesaw resident has been competing in triathlons since 2000, but it wasn’t until last year that he decided to push himself to the next level. McAfee bought a new, carbon-fiber sprint bike and, with the help of a sponsorship from The Sport Factory, a Roswell firm specializing in athlete training, hired a coach and ratcheted up his training regimen to 15-20 hours a week.

The London event was the last in the ITU World Triathlon Series, a year-long group of triathlon events held in eight cities around the world sponsored annually by the International Triathlon Union. The five-day event, which used some of the same venues as the 2012 Olympic Games, featured a number of individual races of varying distances for different age groups. McAfee competed in the aquathon ‑ a 1 kilometer swim along the Serpentine, a long lake snaking through Hyde Park ‑ and in the sprint-distance triathlon, which includes a 750-meter swim, 20K bike ride and a 5K run.

Although McAfee concedes he was off his game in the aquathon, coming in 13th, he did well in the sprint triathlon, winning his age group – for 25-29 year-olds – and placing second overall, finishing only 15 seconds behind the 19-year-old winner. His time of 1 hour, 4 minutes was 8 minutes slower than his best effort, but, because of rainy weather and generally poor racing conditions, McAfee was simply glad he hadn’t crashed his bike like several other contestants had.

The results were good enough to instantly qualify McAfee for next year’s World Triathlon Series, but he declined the offer because he can no longer spare the time needed to train. For the next year, McAfee will be devoting his efforts to earning a Master’s degree in public administration with a focus on aviation from the University of Nebraska.


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