Competitive desire fuels weekend warriors’ drive to train


Special to the Miami Herald

The great thing about participant sports is that everyday people get a chance to have a feeling of victory.

In competitions such as marathons, triathlons and adventure races, weekend warriors get the chance to feel that adrenalin-pumping excitement of seeing your opponent next to you while going stride for stride all the way to the finish line.

These 9-to-5 warriors have the discipline to put on their running shoes or jump on their bike a few times a week to train.

Some do it for a cause but others for competition, such as Pedro Ocariz, 37, of Sunny Isles, who recently finished the Homestead Bayfront Challenge Triathlon. This was Ocariz’s third triathlon and the first time doing an Olympic distance.

“People my age, you know we love sports,” Ocariz said. “Basketball, baseball, football and soccer, but we are never going to play any of these sports in a competitive way. But when we start running, bicycling or swimming, we can get to that competitive level.”

Ocariz didn’t win, but that didn’t take away the thrill of completing the triathlon.

“Doing this felt like I was doing the freaking Super Bowl or in the NBA Finals,” Ocariz said. “I never ran as fast as I did on Sunday, and the feeling was great. I still feel great.”

Ocariz finished the 1.5-mile swim, 39K bike and 5.6-mile run in 2 hours 46 minutes.

Triathlon results

In the Sprint distance race of the Homestead Bayfront Challenge Triathlon, Martin Grigio, 54, of Key Biscayne was the overall top finisher in 1:01:06. In the female division, Rebekah Asselin, 29, of Fort Lauderdale, topped the field in 1:09:51.

Bocko De Pawlikswiski, 45, was the top finisher in the Olympic distance race with a time of 1:55:12.

Coming in fourth overall and first in the Olympic women’s division was Robyn Miller, 34, of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, who finished in 2:10:41.

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