Have you ever met an athlete whose first triathlon event was an IRONMAN 70.3?!
Meet the beast, James Grauel!
As a local, sports have been in my blood since a young child. Growing up on a 5 mile island and with everything being easily accessible, if you aren't playing you're either eating or sleeping. After High school, I found a love for CrossFit and strength training in college. However, once COVID began and access to the gyms got tough, I found that outdoor fitness was not my strong suit. Every training session was a struggle and that made it frustrating. The workouts were grueling, but with consistency, discipline, nothing but time, and my dad, anything is possible 😉 . I turned what was once "hard," into "easier" because it is definitely not "easy."
1. What is your favorite DelMoSports event to race and why?
Obviously all DelMo events are amazing. From the easy registration, welcoming family and crew, and very dummy proof course? There is not much, if anything, to complain about. I'd have to say IM70.3AC took the crown for me! Can't beat that run on the boardwalk to cap off such an amazing day.
2. What is your favorite workout song?
IMAC Race day morning I was introduced by my training partner, Nick Holland, to "Machine" by Imagine Dragons. During that race I hummed that song to myself for the majority of the last hour of the bike because we are "The Machine" that keeps the bike moving. Ever since, that has been my pump up song some mornings/nights to get my mind back in the right space to crush a workout.
3. Favorite pre-race meal?
Night before? Carini's Veal Parm every time! Morning of? Overnight Oatmeal and Coconut Water.
4. What is your race mantra?
I believe due to being an accountant and numbers always rushing in my head, I love to break the trainings/races down in portions: "I am a quarter... third... half way... ALMOST done, get it!" Thinking optimistically and with numbers has always been the mantra because it keeps the mind positive, causing the time to go by much easier.
5. What is your favorite memory from a DelMoSports event?
Has to be opening my welcome pack and my former teacher and boss, Kristy Thall, wishing me good luck! Definitely helped boost my moral!
6. What does your training look like right now?
Training has all been building aerobic fitness and very HR (Heart Rate) based. The stronger my heart is, the easier the longer distances become.
7. What do you do with your free time when you are not training or racing?
Hanging out with family, eating, reading, eating, recovering, and oh, eating.
8. What is your goal for next season?
The goal this season is to become a Full IRONMAN on July 24th.
9. Tell us three things we should know about you.
- In the picture attached, that was the "race to the finish line" after Poverty TO COVE 2.4 Mile Swim. That was quite frankly the slowest WALK and most relieving to be done moments in my life. Was a very humbling experience, but I can't wait to get back out there this year!
- I used to work for DelMoSports and now I am racing DelMoSports. They are easily the best race organization and family to be around! Steve, Kristy, Jamie, Rachel, and the many others involved there definitely helped me become the young adult I am today! Very grateful for all they've done.
- I used to think training and racing was a punishment or a need. When in reality it is a privilege. To be able to do all this with such great family members and friends/training partners, it truly is an honor and is often overlooked. Always counting your blessings after every session because there are plenty of others that want to be in your shoes, cleats, or swim jammers!