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Pacific Swim Bike Run Introduces Essay Contest Winners for Free Ironman Training

Pacific Swim Bike Run announces Jeanette and Mark, winners of essay contest for FREE Ironman Training, Gear and entry To REV3 Cedar Point in September!

Back In December 2012  Pacific Swim Bike Run held a 500 word essay contest and whomever wrote the most compeling story on why they should be chosen won FREE Training, Gear and Entry to Rev3 Cedar Point in Ohio in September 2013. After weaving through stacks of entries our staff chose two winner, Jeanette and Mark. Below is an entry for the first blog post they wrote for us. Stay tuned here for more postings! Please feel free to ask any quesitons as well.

Meet Jeannette!

My name is Jeannette Dudda and I am originally from Frankfurt, Germany. I am a child of the 80’s and can clearly say that I am very happy to be born in those years.

I grew up in a small village but moved to Frankfurt when I was in the age of 9. Once I finished High School I decided on a career of childcare and teaching. At the age of 23 I graduated with a degree in teaching and made the decision to move to the USA for a chance to become fluent in English and to learn other ways of raising and teaching children. It was the end of October 2003 when I first moved to Connecticut to a family in Darien to became an Au Pair.

After several conversations and sleepless nights I decided to extend my stay and begin studying. I attended Norwalk Community College as well as UCONN and graduated with an associate in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor
Degree in Human Services.

While being able to study and exploring this country I made many new friends. I became very close with a group of people who have been involved in different sports such as running and biking. It didn’t take us long to become closer and to set ourselves some goals for the future.

It was in 2009 when two of my friends started training for their first Half Marathon. It was exciting to see them train and to eventually be able to accomplish something so big. They were able to run the full distance and finish. They automatically became my role model and a year later I started training for my very first Half Marathon as well. Up until then I never thought I would be a runner.

Well after my first Half Marathon it became more or less something regular in our circle of friends. We signed up for different races, participated in lotteries and also became member of the NYRR in order to eventually one day be able to run the
New York City Marathon.

While training and running I talked to one of my very close friends and we decided to give triathlons a chance. We thought, “Hey we prepared and trained for a half marathon, why not change it up a little bit and challenge ourselves.”

Well I am always up for a challenge and faster than I was able to realize I had finished my first Mini Triathlon. I immediately fell in love and knew right away that this is something I see myself doing more often.

Thanks to a spot with the lottery I was able to participate in last years NYC Aquaphor Triathlon. Ever since being able to finish this race, my friends and I have talked about what could be next for us. What are our goals for the future and what would we like to be able to accomplish.

Our dream is to eventually, and one day in our lives, be part of the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii.

Every time I would swim, bike, or run I would try to vision myself doing all three sports in one huge event.

When in the beginning of December I saw the challenge of Pacific Swim, Bike, Run I called my friend Karoline and I asked her: “ Please give me an honest answer and tell me if you think I will be able to do this?” Her answer was “ Well Jeannette, to be very honest, did you think you would ever run a half marathon; an Olympic distance triathlon; You were able to train for these events, and you did it all on your own. See how far you have come. If you think you have the time to train then yes do it.” It was then when I already had made my decision to apply.

Once the essay was written and handed in I kept on thinking about the event and if I am really able to do this and to give it my all. But I already know the answer. And the answer is Yes.Yes I am able to give it my all- even if it will be painful at times.

This event and the next eight months will change my life and will give me an opportunity that is just out of this world. I am beyond excited to start training and to get the experience every athlete has when training for a race that will push your body to its limits.

I am looking forward working together with other athletes and trainers who are able to teach me everything they know and help me become a better athlete. Even though I know that times can get tough and I might be ready to throw the towel I know I will push through and keep training. I want to be able to not only finish this race but be better than ever before.

My goal is to be in a shape that my body and soul have never been in before. And my biggest goal is not only to finish the race but also to be able to keep running for 26.2 miles without having to stop and walk.

I am beyond thankful to Pacific SBR and them making a dream of mine come true! I will make sure to not disappoint but to make you proud of me!

Meet Mark!

My name is Mark Montanaro. I'm absolutely thrilled and honored to have been selected for Pacific's Ironman challenge! I'm still shaking my head wondering what I got myself into...

A little bit about me:  I'm married to an amazing and supportive wife. We have two young daughters (One of which has already competed in two Mossman kid's triathlons!). Grew up in Norwalk and now reside in Weston. I studied business and supply chain management at Northeastern University. I work for, and help manage, an IT consultancy based in Westport. Our primary focus is on what is known as Business Intelligence. We partner closely with companies like SAP, Microsoft, and Qlikview.

I was never a die-hard athlete growing up. Although I think I realized I was a bit of an endurance junkie when I joined the cross country team in high school. I may not have been the fastest or best runner on the team. But on those long runs was where I got my first real glimpse at being "in the zone" and I loved it! I grew up skiing and eventually crossed over to snowboarding. In college I was on the crew team (4-man) and even had a chance to row in the Head of Charles.

It wasn't until my early 30s when I did my first sprint triathlon where I fell in love with the sport. On a 15 year old mountain bike I finished the Mossman sprint in Norwalk. Since that first race,  I've been doing about five triathlons per season for the last 3 years. To date, I have not done anything bigger than an Olympic distance tri or 1/2 marathon. I was supposed to run the NY Marathon last year which is now deferred to 2014.

I'm hoping this challenge will ultimately make me a better person both mentally, physically and spiritually. I also hope to inspire others to get involved with the sport of triathlon. As for actual goals and times for the 140.6 I have not had a chance to really think through that yet. To cross the finish line within the allotted 17 hours would have to be goal # 1 . I'll report back on a future blog post with more specifics.

As Eminem once said - "You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, cause opportunity comes once in a lifetime!" The Ironman challenge will be my Mt Everest climb opportunity for 2013 no question about it.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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