Adam Peruta, assistant professor of strategic communication, finished his third Ultraman triathlon this week in Hawaii, placing 15th out of 38 participants.
The 27th Ultraman World Championship, a three-day triathlon separated into three stages, included a 6.2-mile swim, 261.4-mile bike ride and a 52.4-mile run. He finished the race Monday with a time of 28:57:41 — about 20 minutes faster than his time at last year’s competition.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Peruta said. “When you cross the finish line, it makes all of the complaining and whining that you did just disappear.”
Peruta said the 6.2-mile Pacific Ocean swim probably presented the competition’s biggest hurdle.
“When I first got into triathlons five years ago, I couldn’t swim one length of the pool without stopping or being out of breath, so it took a lot of work to get where I am,” he said. “It was a very intimidating swim.”
Hawaii’s inconsistent weather conditions and strong winds, especially during the bike course, increased the course’s difficulty.
“This year there were some particular challenges with the wind,” he said. “There was one section of the bike course on the second day where the wind was 60 miles per hour.”
Peruta said he rarely does the same race more than once but finds Hawaii’s Ultraman, with its three disciplines and long distances, is unlike any other competition and may participate again next year. He said he would like to enter Badwater, an ultra marathon held every July that covers 135 miles in Death Valley, Calif.
“It’s supposed to be the hardest foot race on the planet,” Peruta said. “So I’ve got to add some more things to my race resume to be able to get into that.”