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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 15, 2009

Guilderland teen swims, bikes, and runs to the top

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– Logan Marshall competed in his first triathlon when most of the kids his age were still playing with Legos.

The Guilderland High School student, now 15, participated in a mock triathlon when he was 10 years old and this past summer became the Northeast Regional champion (ages 15-19) for triathlon in the Xterra Points Series.

A triathlon is an endurance race that combines swimming, biking, and running in that order.

Marshall told The Enterprise, that as a kid, he used to watch his father, George, compete in triathlon’s. “I was really young, but I liked the idea of combining swimming, biking, and running after watching my dad do it,” Marshall said.

Logan Marshall was so enthused that he enrolled in a triathlon camp called Sky High Adventures in Averill Park in the summer of 2004. The camp featured two weeks of running, biking, and swimming. It led up to a mock triathlon at the end of the two-week session.

“That camp was really exhilarating because I’m a competitive person,” said Marshall, who came in second place in that first race created by John Flyer. “I was amazed that I could actually do a triathlon. I got hooked after that.”

Marshall kept up the work and ran in two more triathlons in the summer of 2005 at the age of 11. “My participation has been steadily increasing every year,” he said.

The Spirit Triathlon in Grafton Lake on Father’s Day in 2006 was Marshall’s next big adventure at the age of 12. The race consisted of a 300-meter swim, eight-mile mountain bike, and two-mile run. He finished 32nd out of 63.

“I felt like I was ready to do a full triathlon that summer,” said Marshall. “But Coach Flyer said I wasn’t ready.”

Marshall competed in his first full Xterra in 2007 at the age of 13 and that event was also held at Grafton Lake. Marshall had to swim 1,000 meters, bike 12 miles, and run another four miles.

“Finishing a triathlon is better than scoring a winning touchdown in football because it’s so rewarding,” Marshall said. “Being the young age that I am, there’s a huge sense of accomplishment. Also, I feel like an old man when I finish a race because my body aches all over.”

Competing in triathlons takes a huge amount of determination, especially for a young kid like Marshall. His training method has become stronger since joining the cross-country and swimming teams at Guilderland.

“My dad and I bike as much as possible and I go to the YMCA to swim,” said Marshall. “Being on the cross-country and swim team has helped me a lot. My training routine wasn’t nearly as good two years ago.”

Marshall only knows of one other teen from this area his age who is running in triathlons –– Casey Gilboy of Shaker. “I see him around a lot and we battle it out a bit because we went to the same camp,” Marshall said.

Leader of the pack

Marshall participated in three Xterra events this summer and won the Northeast Championship with 203 total points. The second-place finisher in his 15-19 age group had 175 points.

“I’ve never been so excited in my whole life,” Marshall said of winning the Xterra points series. “It was better than Christmas morning. Then, I realized that triathlons were my thing to do.”

The first Xterra event of the summer was Sky High Ventures on July 19 in Grafton Lake once again. Marshall finished 33rd out of 68 with a time of 2:19:42. Marhsall then moved to Hanover, N.H. for the Xterra Stoked, placing 66 out of 100 with a time of 3:14:13.

“The run was longer and the swim seemed longer,” Marshall said of the course in Hanover. “The biking was horrible because it was all uphill. But, the venue was real nice.”

Marshall’s final Xterra race of the summer was Aug. 23 in Lake Placid and he finished in 3:17:57 for 59th place out of 97 racers. The mile swim, 17-mile bike, and six-mile run took a toll on Marshall, but he was glad to be there.

Being the Northeast Champion earned Marshall a spot at the Lake Tahoe Nationals on Sept. 26, but the trip turned out to be too expensive for him and his family.

“I bet the trip would have cost about $4,000 and I would have had to skip school,” said Marshall. “I thought that Xterra would help pay, but that wasn’t the case. I was pretty upset that I couldn’t compete, but I’m grateful that I got to go to New Hampshire and Lake Placid and win the title.”

Even though Marshall didn’t race at the Regionals this summer, he got to meet pro triathletes Conrad Stoltz and Melanie McQuaid.

“I talked to Stoltz about training and he said he started when he was 14,” Marshall said. “It takes a lot of dedication to do something like this and I’ve amazed myself. I would like to go pro someday, but it can’t be my primary job.”

Friends of Marshall wonder how he finishes triathlons, but many people around him don’t acknowledge his feats. “Triathlons aren’t popular at all compared to other sports,” he said. “I kind of fly under the radar around here and I don’t want to brag about it.”

Marshall will continue the Xterra series next summer and couldn’t have become a triathlon champion without the help of his father, mother, and coaches Jason Burlingame, Dana Cook, and Vaslov Sotola, he said.

“All of these people have taught me how to be a hard worker,” said Marshall. “I get most of my dedication from them.”

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