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Aleppo man happy to complete triathlon

| Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, 12:01 a.m.
Aleppo resident Ray Sisak competes in the Pittsburgh Triathlon.
Aleppo resident Ray Sisak competes in the Pittsburgh Triathlon.

Ray Sisak of Aleppo exceeded his goal in the sprint triathlon at the Pittsburgh Triathlon & Adventure Race at Point State Park earlier this month.

Aiming just to finish, he also was satisfied with his time in the men's 70-74 age group.

Sisak, 73, placed 233rd of 245 people overall in 2 hours, 1 minute and 16 seconds.

It was the fourth time he competed at and finished the race, which in previous years was on the North Shore.

“With the new course, (I) was not sure what my time would be,” Sisak said. “It was well within my expectations.”

Sisak swam 600 meters in 20:26, completed a 20k bike ride in 55:45 and did a 5k run in 38:35.

His total time included transitions of 4:44 and 1:45.

Sisak went under two hours the three other times he competed, including 1:56:34 last year.

Sisak had mixed feelings about the new course.

“I liked the swim much less because the start was (farther) away from the transition area,” he said. “Plus, the path was very rough and hard on bare feet.

“Instead of a ramp to enter the water, we had to jump from the bank and swim to the middle to start the swim.

“I liked the run a lot more because we ran along the Point and past the fountain, (which) I have not done for a long time. It was very enjoyable and more pleasant and scenic than the North Shore Trail (where we ran before).”

Sisak said the bike route was about the same.

Of the three events, his best rank was in bike, in which he was 209th. He was 232nd in both swim and run.

He was 206th in the transition from bike to run. In moving from swim to bike, he was 237th.

Sisak said he plans to buy a pair of “cheap flip flops” to cover his feet as he walks to the swim area next year.

“My feet were pretty sore,” he said.

Sisak said doing a simulated triathlon while visiting his son Neil in Switzerland shortly before the race helped.

“That definitely boosted my confidence a lot,” Sisak said.

Sisak, a retired accountant, said he probably will not compete again until an event in Meadville, Crawford County, next June.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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