School: Rutgers University, Senior majoring in philosophy, minor in psychology
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
Why did you decide to participate in the Westchester Tri this year? Have you before?
Westchester is the NECTC Championship race and is worth the most points. I have not done the race before.
What do you like about this race in particular?
It's not too far away from Rutgers and it looks like it's a big race.
What motivates you to take on such large physical challenges?
I like finding out what my body is capable of. Also, crossing the finish line of a race is a very satisfying experience for me. It makes me feel accomplished.
How do you feel athleticism ties into charity work?
I know that many races/race companies support certain charities and it makes me happy to know that doing something that I love (racing) can help support a cause (even if it's only in a small way - i.e. profits from my registration fee).
How many months do you train for something like this?
I train throughout the year with varying levels of discipline and diligence. I tend to start the year strong and consistent but then I begin to burn out later in the year (like right now unfortunately).
How many hours a week do you train leading up to the event?
When I am consistent with training (like earlier this year, leading up to my half ironman race in August), I typically train 8-12 hours a week.
Can you give us an idea of your work out routines?
I typically swim, bike, and run 3-4 times per week, each. The workouts depend on the training phase of the year and also vary within the week. My peak workout this year in preparation for my half ironman was a 56-mile bike (1 lap of the Ironman Lake Placid course) and a 10k transition run. Earlier in the year, I focus on long slow distance (LSD) and then as the year progresses I begin doing more speed work (track intervals, etc.)
What is your pre-race meal? Post-race?
Pre-race I typically go with foods that are "safe." The night before most races I eat Italian food of some sort. The morning of a race I eat things I'm used to like oatmeal, a bagel, or a muffin.
Post-race I eat anything and everything.
What else have you competed in?
I've competed in 16 triathlons. 7 Sprint distance, 8 Olympic distance, and 1 Half Ironman. Westchester will be my 9th Olympic and my 17th triathlon.
Race results: http://athlinks.com/racer/results/116000995
More information on Verano
He never competed in endurance sports until college when he ran his first 5K during freshmen year, and came in around 30 minutes. From there he trained for a half marathon, which he ran in the spring of freshmen year.
Verano got tired of running and got a mountain bike that he rode everyday the summer after freshmen year and decided he wanted to compete in a triathlon as a personal challenge. At the time, Verano did not know how to swim so he started learning. He was only mildly comfortable with it when he competed in his first spring distance tri, the Mighty Man Sprint. He strugged throught the 800 meter swim and finished it in 28 minutes. (Verano writes “lol – I can do 1500m faster than that now!)
He also got two flats on his bike during that race, fixed them and kept going. He came in third to last in that race, out of NECTC athletes he was 162 out of 165.
“Despite all those struggles, I committed myself to getting better at swimming and triathlon as a whole,” he said. Verano competed in nine more triathlons by the end of 2012 and now in 2013 he has done two more sprints, three more Olympic races and his first 70.3. Plus he became president of his triathlon team and expects to soon become the conference director.
He writes: “I've come a long way, but I've got plenty more to do (especially get faster...)”
The Westchester Triathlon is on Sunday, Sept. 29 in and around Rye. Here are all the details.