2019 Member Spotlight – Hugh Harris

November, 2019

How did you get involved in triathlons?
When I was in the Army I used to swim and run a lot. A friend suggested that I should do a triathlon so all I needed was a bike.

What was your first triathlon?
My first triathlon was the Fort Devens (MA) Tri back in 1989.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in a triathlon?
I would have to say that undertraining on the bike had been my biggest mistake. I used to rely on my swimming and running talent and ignored the bike portion.

Any memorable races or experience?
I would say Ironman-Lake Placid in 2013 when we had 50+ club members there. This was to be my official retirement from the 140.6 distance (until IM-MD opened).

How many Ironman Maryland have you done?
All six of them.

What is it that keeps you from coming back to Ironman Maryland?
I love the community of Cambridge. Also, due to my coaching schedule it is hard for me to get away for more than 4-5 days so a race that close is hard to pass up.

Is it true that you eat a sub in transition?
I have done that a few times. In my bike special needs bag I put a sub in a lunch pouch with a cold packet. Now my big thing is to drink a bottle of chicken broth when I start the run.

What do you enjoy outside of triathlon?
I enjoy coaching high school cross country and track and athletes. I have to juggle my training schedule around meets.

Any fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share?
When I was in the Army for basic training I won an award for the highest score on the fitness test in our company.

If you had to give one piece of advice to a new triathlete, what would it be?
I would say to get a lot of open water swim practice in so that you are comfortable in the water. Anyone can ride a bike and run, but it takes some work to be a good open water swimmer.