Joe MunchakJune, 2018
Joe came to the sport of triathlon from a background of Cross Country and Track in high school and just enough swimming in elementary school to make it across the pool in something resembling freestyle. After a running injury sidelined him in his freshman year of college at Penn State, he began swimming with the Triathlon Club to stay in shape, bought a bike that summer, and began his multisport career with the Greeting of the Geese Duathlon in fall 2003 and Clermont International Triathlon in spring 2004. From that point, he was hooked and continued his collegiate racing career in graduate school at Colorado State University, where he won the Graduate Division of USAT Collegiate Nationals in 2009 and 2010, when he placed 5th overall. While at CSU Joe also raced his first Ironman in 2008 at Coeur D’Alene, winning the M20-24 age group and qualifying for Kona that year, and raced on the cycling team for a season in 2010. After moving to the DC area and taking a hiatus in 2011 to focus on running, Joe joined the DC Triathlon Club in 2012 and has been part of the elite team since 2013. Joe returned to Kona in 2014 after qualifying at Ironman Wisconsin in 2013. More recently, Joe accomplished a long-sought-after goal of breaking 2 hours in an Olympic-distance race at the 2017 Rock Hall Triathlon, while winning the race overall and leading the DC Triathlon Club to another regional title.
Strengths on the course: Finding the start and finish lines.
Goals for 2019: PR in the marathon (if the weather at Boston complies this year), qualify for AG worlds, and do a non-standard format race.
Favorite Races: Half IM – Savageman; IM – Wisconsin.
Favorite Result: Collegiate Nationals 2010 (5th overall and repeat grad division champion).
Favorite thing when not swimming, biking, or running: Sleeping
Notable mentors in the sport: I owe a lot to my high school cross country and track coach, Matt Ryan – he knew exactly how to motivate me without taking anything too seriously. In triathlon, I learned more about racing, training, and general bike knowledge from Sean (Sparky!) Ion at Penn State than anyone since.Any other cool bits of info/something funny, etc: I once entered a competitive eating contest with my roommate in grad school – we attempted to eat a 14-lb pizza in 1 hour, and got a little more than 8 lbs into it before we ran out of room. Eating the toppings first was a bad idea.
2019 Race Schedule:
- Boston Marathon