Elie Hirschfeld in the 2010 NYC Triathalon. Photo: Elie Hirschfeld.
A 2.4 mile swim, a 112- mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run will be the challenge for this weekend’s first ever New York City Ironman Triathlon and at 62 years old, New York developer Elie Hirschfeld could not be more excited to participate.
“I think this is a great celebration of a sport that isn’t yet fully appreciated,” Hirschfeld told The Algemeiner. “This is going to be a very significant event for New York because there is no other urban Ironman out there.”
A veteran of over 75 triathlons around the world, including races in Hawaii and Israel, Hirschfeld says that when New York announced it would be hosting the Ironman event last year, it was an opportunity he could not pass up.
“New York is foresighted to be doing this. I do think when you look back a decade from now, this will be a remarkable event with worldwide potential.”
A graduate of Brown University, Elie Hirschfeld is an avid art collector and philanthropist with development projects in New York City that include the Hotel Pennsylvania, Park Avenue Court and the Crowne Plaza hotel. Speaking to The Algemeiner from his office in Manhattan, he says the week leading up the race is his favorite.
“This is the best week of the experience because you taper into the event. You’re training so hard all the time that you’re never giving your body much rest, but this week you rest your body so you can strengthen it.”
Much of the credit for making this event happen should go to John Korff, according to Hirschfeld. Korff is the lead organizer for the New York City triathlon and was instrumental in bringing the first Ironman Triathlon to the Tri-State area
“You really have to congratulate John [Korff], the City of New York, and New Jersey in this unique effort to coordinate,” Hirschfeld said.
Asked if his family has been supportive of the decision to take part in the 140.6 mile race, Hirschfeld spoke of just one person.
“My wife is bringing two things to the finish line – a bottle of champagne and the will. She’ll pull out one or the other.”