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Friday, August 22, 2014
Challenging themselves physically and mentally
Hewlett residents to compete in third Ironman Triathlon
Courtesy Cary Epstein
Former Hewlett teacher and coach Cary Epstein competed in first triathlon 13 years ago.

Cary Epstein and Jay Greenbaum, both Hewlett residents, along with Steven Gartenstein of Hewlett Harbor, are preparing to compete in their third Ironman Triathlon on July 28.

The trio will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles at the Lake Placid-based event. “The Ironman Triathlon is named ‘the grand daddy of all endurance races,’ it is hands down the toughest one-day endurance event in the world,” Epstein said. “It tests both your physical and mental limitations; it’s not for the faint of heart.”

Having competed in his first triathlon 13 years ago, Cary Epstein couldn’t have imagined he would still be participating. “The last 13 years have been an incredible journey for me in the sport of triathlons,” he said. “I never thought I would do another triathlon after the first race and here I am about to go into my third Ironman.”

Epstein, a former health education teacher and head coach of the girl’s varsity swimming and diving team as well as assistant coach for the boy’s swimming and diving team at Hewlett High School, is also a member of the 40-person Ironman Triathlon Team. “I filled out an application just for fun; I didn’t think I had a shot in hell,” he said. Two months went by and I received a phone call from them saying I had been chosen from thousands of applicants across the U.S. I was in shock and I couldn’t be more excited to be apart of such an incredible group and give back to the Ironman Communities who host our races.”

Greenbaum participated in an Ironman Triathlon last August in Manhattan and again in March in Melbourne, Australia. He’s competed in 25 triathlons over the past eight years. “I enjoy the multi-sport discipline,” he said. “Rather than simply focusing on one sport, having to become proficient in all three components: swimming, biking and running, breaks up the monotony to a degree.”

Gartenstein has competed in more than 30 races. “My first triathlon was an Olympic distance triathlon in Montauk,” he said. “The weather was terrible and the water was very cold but I had a great time and I was hooked on racing and the competition.”

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