Who is that cycling, sprinting barefoot triathlete?
SHARON — If you’ve seen an athlete cycling on local roads, dropping his bicycle, helmet and shoes at the side of the Housatonic Valley Regional High School track or other local soccer fields, and then sprinting barefoot, and then getting back on his bike to do it again, then you’ve seen local TeamUSA member Doug Landau training for his next race.
If you’ve seen a swimmer, in a brightly colored cap splashing in Mudge Pond, Lake Wononscopomuc, Wononpakook or Buell, and then dashing out of the water and stripping off his wetsuit while in full stride, then again, you’ve seen Landau practicing for national and international triathlon competitions.
Landau has been running in the Sharon Audubon Center woods, Ellsworth Hill roads and Litchfield County races since his senior year at Hotchkiss in 1978. Now he splits his time between a home in Virginia and Sharon.
Currently a USA Triathalon (USAT) All American, Regional Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon champion for his age group, he routinely podiums in road-running and multisport competitions. Landau turned 64 on July 4.
Landau qualified for the 2022 World Championships in Sprint Triathlon, Duathlon and Super Sprint Triathlon. He had previously competed in Australia and Canada at Sprint Duathlon Worlds, which is comprised of a run-bike-run format. With the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling many races and Championships, he was keen to get back to racing.
“I enjoy seeing my friends at races, and the training is my Ritalin! It helps me cope with the stresses of a busy practice as a trial lawyer helping injured and disabled clients. Plus, I learned to relish running in the woods and enjoy the scenery here in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut.”
Landau credits many people who have supported him: Sharon Recreation Director Matt Andrulis-Mette, Salisbury Grove’s Stacey Dodge, trainer Pat Kelly and Greystone Racing’s Will Graustein and Peter Hawley.
“I even took Erg rowing lessons from (Hotchkiss) Crew Coach Victoria McGee in Lakeville! It is now an integral part of my indoor year-round training.”
So will he ever do an Ironman? Not a chance. Landau notes, “The longest racing I will do is an occasional Olympic Distance event. The Sprint race is typically half the Olympic distance. Since I am not great at ‘pacing’ myself, I enjoy going flat out the entire time.”
The sprint distances are: 750 meter swim (about a half mile), followed by a 20km (12.4 miles) bike ride, and then a 5km (3.1 mile) run. “Transition time in between each part is counted and I usually can gain time there,” he said.
“Some races I have enjoyed, like the Sharon Sprint, Stissing (Pine Plains), Pawling, Waramaug and the Terramuggus series are different distances, depending on local roads,” he said.
So, if you see someone dashing about from sport to sport (often without shoes), it’s not someone who has been out in the summer sun too long, but local triathlete Doug Landau preparing for his next competition.