February 09, 2018

Andover’s Ironmen

Three alumni tackle one of the most challenging triathlon courses in the U.S.
by Allyson Irish

It was an Andover reunion of sorts and it included a lot of exercise—about 140 miles worth. German Instructor Lisa Johnson Svec ’81 and John Rauen ’17 shared a momentous “first” last summer, both competing in the 2017 Ironman in Lake Placid, NY, which is known for having one of the most challenging courses.

Svec, an active member of the Andover community who enjoys running, swimming, and other outdoor activities, ran her first marathon at age 48. She had been thinking about taking part in an Ironman for a while, but it was her brother, Jeff Johnson ’90—an eight-time Ironman competitor—who gave her the final boost.

“Jeff had been encouraging me for several years to do one, so I thought, why not? This would be a great challenge,” Svec says.

The course along Lake Placid consists of a 2.4-mile swim in Mirror Lake, a 112-mile bike ride through the Adirondacks, and a 26.2-mile run.

When Svec began training in spring 2017, she discovered that someone else from Andover—Rauen—had signed up. Rauen had previously run a few marathons and says he spent most of his training time in the pool, learning freestyle swimming with several of his friends who were swimmers. He also joined the cycling team and used “brick session” training to help with the transitions.

“The race was without a doubt the most memorable day in my life,” says Rauen who was one of the youngest competitors. Rauen was so enamored by the experience that he signed up for another Ironman competition a mere 48 hours after completing Lake Placid!

The Lake Placid Ironman is considered one of the most difficult courses, consisting of 2.4-mile swim in Mirror Lake, a 112-mile bike ride through the Adirondacks, and a 26.2-mile run.

John Rauen ’17, in Andover gear, of course
German Instructor Lisa Johnson Svec ’81 and her brother, Jeff Johnson ’90
Categories: Alumni, Magazine Online

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