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Matthew Ancona

Matthew Ancona

Hometown: Elk Grove Village, IL

Residence: Roselle, IL

Personal Blog: http://ironmancona.blogspot.com/

Personal Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/mancona

Twitter Account: http://twitter.com/mancona

Career Highlights:

- 2010 Chicago Spring Half Marathon - 1st Overall

- 2010 High Cliff Half Distance Triathlon - 4th Overall

- 2010 Twin Lakes Triathlon - 1st Overall

- 2009 Ironman Wisconsin - 1st AG - 29th Overall

- 2009 Chicago Spring Half Marathon - 3rd Overall

Personal Bio:

I'm a 30 year old father, husband, employee and athlete. 7 years ago I was over weight and out of shape. I decided to lose some weight by starting to jog even though I hated running my entire live. Somehow some good friends convinced me to do the Chicago Marathon just 6 month after I started running. I've been hooked on the endurance sports lifestyle every since. My long term goal is simply to be as fast a I can while still balancing my family life and non-triathlon related career.

5 things we should know about you:

- I enjoy training as much and sometime more than racing

- I am focused on getting the most benefit out of the least training time as I can

- I've lost 60 lbs since I started running in 2004

- I trained for my first Ironman while traveling 4 days a week for work and my wife was planning our wedding

- My favorite part of working with Zoot is being able to test new products and provide feedback directly to the people the develop the products

How did you first get into triathlons?

After running my first race ever, the 2004 Chicago Marathon to lose weight, some co-workers convinced me to sign up for the 2005 Chicago Triathlon. At the time I only had a old BMX bike and my only swimming skill was keeping my head above the water.

What was the first race you ever participated in and what place did you finish?

First endurance race every was The 2004 Chicago Marathon and I finished 13,096 with a 4:10:23, and couldn't walk for a week after. First triathlon was the 2005 Harbor Lights Sprint (.5m, 14m, 4m), I was 13/20 in my age group with a 1:36:34.

What is your favorite race?

Ironman Wisconsin – it was my first ironman as well as where I qualified for Kona. I go every year whether racing or not.

What is your favorite workout?

I like quality workouts that give the most benefit in the least time. Short rides with FTP/Lacate threshold work on the bike or runs with mile repeats at about 10k pace are my favorite.

What are your favorite Zoot products and why?

The single product I use the most are the recovery saddles, I wear them almost everyday. The run shorts are by far the most comfortable shorts I have ever run in, and the Ultra Speed shoes feel great and are so light. I'm also a huge fan of the CompressRX recovery line and am always wearing something to recover and be ready for my next workout.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Being able to be a competitive age grouper in this sport while still spending time with my wife and daughter and having a full time career.

What motivates you?

Personal Improvement. I enjoy challenging myself to always do better and set the bar higher.

What is your pre-race meal?

A bagel and a banana race morning, followed by a gel right before the race. The night before is usually Subway, Jamba Juice, or Noodles & Company as I can usually find one of them by most race sites.

What is your pre-race ritual?

Get there early and get my stuff setup quickly. Then sit and relax with my wife while watching everyone else run around like crazy at the last minute.

What are your goals for the 2011 season?

1. Continue to be the best father, husband, employee and athlete I can be.

2. Run to my potential off the bike.

3. Have my best performances in races instead of during training.

4. Continue to improve my swim so I'm not trying to catch up for the entire race.

Events you are racing in this season:

Ironman 70.3 Muncle (July 9), Ford Ironman Wisconsin (September 11)