Elite NC Triathlete George Worrell Profile | NC Now | UNC-TV

Uploaded by exploreUNCTV on 07.12.2011

Kelly Mc: George Worrell is one of America's elite tri-atheletes. He spent his teen years
developing his running, swimming and bicycling endurance ability.
George Worrell –I was on the swim team all through high school. I've always been real
real active. I used to go to the YMCA as a kid. I'd go to swim practice and I'd jump
rope. I'd hop on the stair mill and then I'd play a game of basketball until they kicked
me out at ten at night.
Kelly Mc: George's father, Tony Worrell, ran marathons when George was a kid and George
didn't want his Dad to come in from a long run to catch him lounging. But those short
runs turned in long runs, then VERY long runs.
Tony Worrell – If you don't do it, you feel a lot worse. And you know the feeling and
you just want to keep that feeling. You get out there and run, once you get past running
for an hour, some days you can run forever or if you bike, you can go. The part is getting
to that point.
George Worrell – When you do your first race, that's when I would say that people
become “addicted.” It's one thing to go to the gym and exercise, to get home from
work and go for a two-mile jog. But then, someone kinda coerces you - “There's a Turkey
Trot 5K coming up. You know, run it with me.” Then you kinda get the race, the Finish Line
and the adrenaline, that's when you kinda get hooked.
Kelly Mc: George reach that “point” by his early twenties and quit his then-new career
in finance to become a professional, but not well-paid, triathlete.
George Worrell –I couldn't really find a reason not to go for it. I couldn't accept
not trying. It was my dream. It kind of became just all consuming. I was 22 and no debt.
If there was ever a time to do it, it's now.
George Worrell – It was what I did full time during the day. I waited tables and worked
some local front desk at a local hotel to pay rent and travel expenses to races and
entry fees and stuff like that. Scraping by...
Kelly Mc: George eventually quit the pro circuit and joined his father at the family-owned
“Wayco Ham Company.” But even with a nine-to-five job running a factory, George STILL topped
the U-S amateur rankings by training before dawn and after dark using school tracks, stationary
bikes and the YMCA swimming pool.
George Worrell – I kind of grew up just doing my own thing so I would say ninety percent
of my training, I do solo. I just kind of get out there, five hour six hour bike ride,
I just zone out and get the miles in.
Natural Sound
Tony Worrell –You have that, in North Carolina, have 1,500 to 2,000 people in a race, which
is an awful of people out there. And when you come in number one or number two or number
three like he usually does in these races, that's pretty incredible.
Kelly Mc: George's focus, now that he's competition in the 35 to 39 year old age bracket, are
“Ironman Triathlons.” It's a 2-point-4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike race AND a 26.2
mile marathon finished in one day.
Kelly Mc: So, what's the secret to running a triathlon is it that you don't run out of
breath or is it that you can run breath more deeply for longer than someone else?
George Worrell: It depends on the distance of the race. Obviously, the shorter “sprint”
triathlons that are an hour long, it's just full gas the whole way. So, just how fast
can you go? The longer stuff – the half Iron mans, the Iron man, which I like to do,
it's pretty much not slowing down. So you want to get it up there right to your red
line and be able to hold it. So, essentially go as fast as you can but not slow down over
a four hour race.
Kelly Mc: Some people measure success by job or money. Others measure it by the mile...by
the hundreds of miles.