Categorized | Multi-sport, Sports

Hawaii park dispatcher counting down to Ironman

Training at Kilauea volcano’s 4,000-foot summit provides a workout for Bill Greineisen’s legs and lungs. (Photo courtesy Bill Greineisen)

Training at Kilauea volcano’s 4,000-foot summit provides a workout for Bill Greineisen’s legs and lungs. (Photo courtesy Bill Greineisen)

MEDIA RELEASE

When Kona hosts what is regarded as the most honored and prestigious triathlon event to win worldwide next month, one athlete won’t have to travel far.

Among the 1,800 competitors at the starting line will be Bill Greineisen, a dispatcher at Hawaii Volcanoes’ Pacific Area Communication Center.

During the last three years, the 55-year-old has completed several marathons and triathlons and beat out tens of thousands of others to earn a coveted spot in the event.

“For a triathlete, there’s no bigger day,” Greineisen said.

Raced in order without a break, this 2.4 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run is the ultimate test of endurance.

Race conditions are punishing: open ocean is choppy; cycling hills are whipped by gusty trades; and the marathon through lava desert is blistering.

Greineisen credits Coach Eddie Herd, an Ironman veteran, with keeping his spirits up and injuries down.

“Since becoming a multi-sport athlete, I feel better than ever before,” Greineisen said. “Running and biking on an active volcano through howling wind and rain have definitely made me stronger.”

For Greineisen, training for triathlons is a family affair at home and work.

“My son Chris is a huge support,” Greineisen said. “He helps with the house, the dogs, even the cooking.”

“My park supervisor, Teri Murphy, is terrific and understands the demands of my training and race schedule,” he said. “It sounds sentimental but I really feel that working for the National Park Service is like having one big family — people know your name and genuinely care about how you’re doing.”

His co-workers might say the same. As a dispatcher for Hawaii’s seven national parks, Greineisen knows everyone’s name and cares how they are doing. And come Oct. 10 his park service family will line the course to “root, root, root” for a gifted member of our home team.

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