Wall Street Triathletes Run, Bike, Swim for Charity in NYC Race
For years, Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. trader Charles Macintosh tortured his body in triathlons, searching for victory and personal fulfillment.
On Sunday, the mortgage-backed securities trader will do it for sport and to raise money for the Robin Hood Foundation’s Endurance Team at the Nautica New York City Triathlon. His goal is to raise $10,000, which includes $2,500 of his own money and the rest coming from friends and supporters.
“The triathlon fulfills a combination of my interests,” Macintosh, 33, a veteran of more than 100 triathlons around the world, said in a phone interview. “It allows me to do what I love athletically, and the other is to make a charitable contribution. So it was an easy decision to do this.”
Robin Hood and other charities are turning to young Wall Street executives who do banking or trading by day and train for triathlons at sunrise or sunset to help them raise money. Last fall, the New York-based poverty-fighting nonprofit launched a team and has signed up 20 triathletes who will raise at least $240,000 for it this year.
“We’re trying to fight poverty in New York City, and we rely on private individuals,” Leslie Rioux, a senior development officer at Robin Hood, said by phone. “This broadens our base of people who ordinarily don’t give to Robin Hood.”
The triathlon, a three-in-one endurance test which began in Southern California in the 1970s, is one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S. The USA Triathlon organization’s membership has grown to 135,000 today, compared with about 1,500 in 1982.
Finance executives regularly introduce the sport to their peers, who then get nudged or recruited by charities for fundraisers. Macintosh started competing in triathlons while serving on the crew and hockey teams at Vermont’s Middlebury College. He encouraged his friend, Merrill Lynch & Co. mortgage trader Timothy Fallon, to become a triathlete. Fallon will compete Sunday to raise money for the Norwalk, Connecticut-based Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
“The triathlon is a great stress outlet, and you meet a lot of the same kind of people” said Fallon, 35. “It’s like golf for this generation.”
The grueling event begins Sunday morning at about 6 a.m. with a 1,500 meter swim in the Hudson River near W. 98th Street on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. That’s followed by a 40 kilometer bike race that will take competitors into the Bronx and then back into Manhattan. Then comes a 10 kilometer run, which begins in Riverside Park at 72nd Street and goes around the northern loop of Central Park.
Fallon said he rises early to swim before heading into his Manhattan office and runs in the evening after going home.
“If I have my daughter, I’ll take her out in a stroller and run while pushing her,” said Fallon, a single parent. “I also have a spinning (stationary) bike in my apartment. It pushes you to the limit.”
Macintosh, who said he would like to win Sunday’s race in his age category, said he works out about 10 hours a week with an Iron Man coach and a trainer at the Equinox fitness center he belongs to in Manhattan.
“When I started triathlons, I could barely swim across a pool,” Macintosh said. “The next thing you know, you’re waking up at 5 a.m. to train. What motivates me I guess is that I want to see what I’m made of.”
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