Castleton man on the path to becoming an 'Ironman'

April 07, 2017 04:06 PM

Most of us have simple goals for getting into shape - eat better, lose five pounds, walk more. However, a Castleton man has a much bigger dream -- to be, not just a triathlete, but an Ironman. Fueled by his passion, he's well on his way.

"I had a 'What am I doing with my life' moment," explained Zach Boivin.

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It came July 28, 2015 and was a game changer for the 30-year-old.

Watching the Lake Placid Ironman, he vowed he would cross that finish line one day and hear the words: "You are an Ironman!"

However, he was morbidly obese, topping 330 pounds. He didn't run, bike or swim and high school football was a memory. However, Boivin focused on tomorrow mustering the courage to take the first step.

"It was hard going through the journey. I mean the first few steps of a couch to 5K program hurt tremendously. My shins still feel it right now, just thinking about it," he explained.

WEB EXTRA: Zach Boivin

However, his passion to succeed was stoked and with support from his wife, he signed up for a half Ironman in Syracuse. He finished but it wasn't pretty.

"After I crossed the finish line, I said never again. I'll never do this again," he said laughing.

However, he re-focused and embarked on training for the Lake Placid Ironman which consists of a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112-mile bicycle race topped off by a 26.2-mile run.

Plagued by ongoing training mistakes, he entered the Beachbody Performance "Make me an Ironman" competition. Boivin was one of six winners out of 2,000 applicants nationwide.  The prizes included all the gear needed to complete and being assigned a coach. His coach, Kristen Hislop, is Ironman certified and organizer for the Freihofer's Run for Women.

"I thought it's awesome because we have this race in our backyard. Here we have somebody who's ready to jump on this journey and inspire other people locally. We need that kind of inspiration, right," pointed out Hislop.

WEB EXTRA: Kristen Hilsop

Under Hislop's guidance, Boivin's gaining strength and confidence - adding to his weight loss. Since that "aha" moment back in 2015, he's shed more than 100 pounds.

"I was maybe a few pounds maybe a few years, many years away from a heart attack, diabetes, all these things," admitted Boivin.

With a 5-year-old daughter who doubles as his cheerleader, there's no thought of slacking off.

Boivin's date with Ironman history is July 23 in Lake Placid - fueled to the finish line by family love and personal passion to succeed.

"It's not easy by any means but it's just how bad do you want it at the end of the day," he reasoned.

The Ironman motto is "Anything is Possible,' and the "Make Me An Ironman Competition" Boivin won aims to show everyone with the dream of tackling the 140.6 mile race they can do it.

Thanks to Southern Saratoga YMCA.

More information:

"Ironman" Triathlon


Benita Zahn

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