'Obsessed' Athlete Finds Success
RailWorks Treasurer Glenn Hartrick enjoys time outside of work competing in distance running, duathlons, biathlons and his favorite: triathlons.
New York, NY
By his own account, Glenn Hartrick is obsessed with triathlons.
That’s been the case since 2012. For the five years prior to that, he was merely “hooked” on being an endurance athlete.
And before that, it seems that Glenn, RailWorks’ corporate treasurer, was testing the endurance-sport waters. He ran cross-country for a couple of years in high school, but didn’t run or play sports until a couple of years after college. He’d had in mind to run a marathon at some point, so he registered for the 2006 New York City Marathon. Glenn was selected through the lottery system and says he trained for about seven months using “some programs online, and did what I thought I needed to do in order to finish” the 26.2-mile course, which he did.
“Finishing my first marathon was an experience I will never forget,” he recounts. “Of all of the events I have done, there is nothing like the New York City marathon. Pushing hard and training for something for so long and accomplishing that feat is just remarkable, and I get chills just thinking about it.”
Completing the world’s largest marathon was obviously a major milestone. It was the following year, Glenn says, that he became fanatical. That’s when he competed in his first triathlon. Afterward, he recalls, “I sat exhausted on the boardwalk at a shore town in New Jersey, thinking, ‘this is the mostly painfully happy I have ever been. And I was hooked ever since.”
To a degree, a person can gauge Glenn’s gradual escalation over the years from interest to obsession by noting the variety and increasing quantity of events (for example, eight events in 2007 compared to 36 in 2012). And by the quality of his bicycles.
For his first triathlon in ‘07, a sprint distance event, Glenn rode a $100 bike he’d found on Craigslist. He completed four other events that year on that bike. Additionally, he ran two 5-kilometer (5k) races and, to culminate 2007, the New York City Marathon (bettering his prior-year and original time by 24 minutes). “In the spring of 2008, I bought an entry-level road bike and used that throughout 2008. In 2009, I bought a triathlon-specific bike, which I used for three seasons. Then in 2012, I pulled out all the stops and combined with sponsors, I got the best bike on the market, and hired a coach, and that solidified my obsession.”
Recent years have contained many triathlons, including 16 of his favorite type, the half-ironman or 70.3’s, consisting of a 1.2-mile swim portion, a 56-mile bike portion, and a 13.1-mile run. The years also have featured a mix of 5k’s, half- and full marathons, duathlons and biathlons.
To succeed with such a schedule, Glenn does some combination of swimming, biking, running and weight training for 20-30 hours a week year-round. He works out in the morning before work (beginning with a 4 a.m. alarm) or evenings, or both. Days when he doesn’t work out are rare and are purposeful “taper days” when he rests prior to a big event.
The schedule pays off not just on the race course but also in the workplace. “No matter how bad or stressful a day or a life event is, it is always cured by a run. Running allows me to clear my head from any issues and also gets me ready for the day ahead. I can compartmentalize and all of the sudden, I’m ready to take on the day.” And Glenn says his athletic pursuits prepare him for on-the-job success.“In order to be successful at your job and in sports, it requires the same fundamental principles: discipline, hard work, attention to detail, perspective, perseverance. And in both your sport and your work, you need to be prepared for whatever obstacles and challenges you face.”
Glenn counts his first New York City marathon in 2006 among his most cherished sporting experiences. Another particularly gratifying achievement was his qualifying for the USA Triathlon (USAT) organization’s 2012 Team USA. His qualifying race was a sprint-distance national championship event in Burlington, VT, where he finished fourth among men 30-34, with an overall finish in the top 3.7 percent.
Glenn enjoys the benefits of racing: meeting people, seeing new places, and being fit. “My ultimate goal is to enjoy what I do,” he emphasizes. “I want to have fun racing and give back to the multisport community that has been so great to me.” He also has at least one competitive goal. “While I don’t want to become a professional triathlete,” he says, “I would like to earn my professional triathlon license.” That entails certain qualifications and is a 2015 target.
Updates: In June 2014, Glenn suffered a very serious bike accident. During his recovery and adjustment to partial paralysis, Glenn determined he would pursue handcycling. He was in his first race on a handcycle only 10 months to the day after the accident. Learn more about Glenn as he excels in what he calls his "new normal."