In September, Spencer Ralston ’14 traveled to London to compete in the World Triathlon Championships – the culminating event of a three-year journey to qualify. Spencer placed 7th in his age group, and was the 2nd U.S. athlete to finish in that group. The race included a .9 mile swim, 24 mile bike ride, and 6.3 mile run.
“I trained an average of 18 hours a week all summer,” said Spencer. “It worked out to be about 50 miles running, 100-150 miles biking, and 4-5 miles swimming. But ever since I started competing in triathlons, I’ve been hooked.” In addition to his rigorous training that had him up at 5am, he worked 20 hours a week in a bike shop.
It was on a whim that Spencer decided to run cross-country during his freshman year at Cushing. He added biking and swimming to the mix because it was more fun, and he’s been at it ever since, even waking up early to shovel out a track around the turf field in the off-season, and serving as XC captain the past three years.
While he just committed to St. Michael’s College where he’ll play lacrosse, Spencer’s dream is to become a professional triathlete after college.
“My plan is to continue building mileage for triathlons every summer and refine my coaching practices. It’s such an individual sport – as much as you give in, you get out. But just as important as the physical training is the mental piece. I always try to find new ways to challenge myself. Whether it’s swimming without goggles to count strokes, or running up hills, I’m always pushing myself to work on the mental aspects of my race because I know that if I can get that little bit of mental edge over someone else, that’s the race.”
Be on the lookout for Spencer in the half Ironman circuit and, ultimately he hopes, in Ironman Hawaii. “There’s no other feeling like crossing the finish line, knowing that you put in all that work and raced your heart out. Even if you didn’t do your personal best, you did it.”
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Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.