There are very few moments in life that feel as amazing as crossing a race finish line. Especially in triathlon after pushing yourself to the limits both mentally and physically to swim, bike and run, the final sense of accomplishment that overwhelms the body at the finishing tape is so surreal that it is no wonder why many triathletes are hooked on the sport from there on end.
Chasing that euphoric feeling is what drives the person, where they not only challenge themselves to finish races but push boundaries and seek new feats such as tougher courses or longer distances.
That feeling is what drives TITAN Miguel Sarachaga. While originally from Peru, Sarachaga is now a Grand Rapids local and is a testament of that triathlete who sought out that intoxicating race feeling by not only working his way through the race distances from a sprint- to a full-triathlon, but now challenges himself by the number he can accomplish as he has finished a total of seven 140.6-mile full triathlons!
Meet Miguel Sarachaga, a MiTi TITAN
City: Grand Rapids
Distance: 140.6-mile Full
How did you first get involved in triathlon?
I’ve always enjoyed running since high school and then I started to get curious about triathlon and wondered if I could do it. I went to a race one day just to check it out and see if it was something I would like to do. At the race, there was a woman racing who only had one leg and she gave me the inspiration and motivation I needed to sign up for my first TRI!
What is your favorite discipline? And strongest?
Swimming and biking are my favorite disciplines, but I think that the run is actually my strongest.
What was the first triathlon you ever raced in?
The Reeds Lake Triathlon in 2007.
What made you first decide to race the full 140.6-mile distance?
I worked my way up from a sprint distance, then an Olympic distance, then a half Ironman. It was a challenge to myself to do the full distance.
What was your training schedule like for that race?
I went to the gym almost every morning and ran on the treadmill. I would swim two or three times a week in the pool and do spin classes. Always a long ride on my trainer on the weekends during the wintertime. But during the summertime, I would of course do my training outside.
How was your race experience?
It was a great experience, but it was really challenging mentally and physically. I felt proud of myself for finishing my first full-distance triathlon. I enjoyed the distance very much. That’s why I have seven more under my belt!
What did you like specifically about the MiTi race experience?
What I enjoy most about MiTi is that it is very convenient racing in town close to home and I also enjoy having all my hometown Grand Rapids friends there supporting everyone.
What advice would you give to someone looking to do the full distance for the first time?
The advice I would give someone wanting to do their first full-distance race is to research training plans thoroughly and put together a solid training plan that works for them. Also, talk to as many people as they can who have done full-distance triathlons before and get as much advice from racing veterans as possible.
What makes you a TITAN?
My discipline and determination make me a TITAN!