Mike just completed Ironman Lake Placid several weeks ago on a journey with a very good friend of his…Bernie Garruppo.

What type of sports (if any) did you compete in during HS/College?: Soccer and Lacrosse in High School; Lacrosse in College

When did you start in the sport of Triathlon? 2013

What attracted you to the sport? I kept experiencing nagging injuries running distance and my friend Bernie Garruppo (https://www.facebook.com/mike.tropea.18/posts/1159560864121297) convinced me to try triathlon. Once I learned to relax on the swim, I fell in love with the sport. I love being around like-minded people (like Mickey) who enjoy the sport, keep it all in perspective and have fun.

How many races have you competed in? 75 Total; 16 Triathlons

What is your favorite race? Distance? Half Marathon for sure (completed close to 50); great race distance (challenging) but doesn’t totally wreck your day/weekend. Love going to different cities and racing ½ marathons

What is your favorite memory? IMMT ’15 – My first IM with my entire family cheering me on and having a great race: https://number8isgreat.tumblr.com/post/127168680141/my-im-journey

Why do you race? Many reasons but mostly to stay healthy – I feel better when I have a race goal to pursue and I can beat my expectations. My current goal is to complete 50 ½ marathons in all 50 states before I turn 50. I have been at it since 2011 and dedicate the effort to my High School Classmate Cliff Patterson, who died on 9/11 at the Pentagon.

What do you do for a living? VP, Sales for a Medical Device Company

Does triathlon help you in your job? Yes; Exercising clears my head and allows me to focus better.

Is your family supportive of your “habit”? Balancing Work, Life and Exercise is a challenge but my kids are older so it’s a bit easier. I try and get out early and get it done so I can be present the rest of the day.

If you could tell us one important thing about you, life, the sport or anything…What would it be? Set goals that inspire you and work hard to achieve them


Start-tri Athlete of the Month

by The Coaches on July 12, 2017

Triathlete of the month of July spotlight: Pete Kavalus

Pete is a long-time Start-tri athlete who has many great races at the 70.3 and 140.6 distances. This year he was awarded a 70.3 World Championships spot at California 70.3 and ended up on the podium at Raleigh 70.3. We are super proud of Pete’s drive and devotion!!!

What type of sports (if any) did you compete in during HS/College?
Basketball & Baseball

When did you start in the sport of Triathlon?
My first race was 2008

What attracted you to the sport?
I always played basketball, but after knee injuries/surgeries I couldn’t move laterally anymore and my foot speed was getting slower, causing more injuries. I would swim, bike & run just to stay in shape and talking to some people at the Y, they convinced me to do a race.

How many races have you competed in?
7 IM, about 20 IM 70.3, and about 6 or 7 short course.

What is your favorite race?
IM Louisville will always be special to me.

What is your favorite memory?
At the halfway point of the marathon in the 2015 IM Mt. Tremblant during a very hot race and struggling, seeing my grandnephews Nick & Anthony yelling to me as I made the turn for the second loop “see you at the finish line Unc”!! That got me there!

Why do you race?
I was never really a racer, as I played team sports all my life. Just some 5K when I was in my 20s. But as I got older and couldn’t compete on the court like I wanted to, I found triathlons as a new way to maintain my focus and stay healthy. After doing a few IM races, I really took to the whole triathlon scene…the different ways to improve your performance through nutrition, strength training and mental training. Really tap into your body’s potential and what you found out of reach, untouchable and even ridicules, is really obtainable. And of course the whole build up during race week is really a rush!!

What do you do for a living?
I manage a wastewater treatment plant.

Does triathlon help you in your job?
Yes, I think any kind of healthy activity can help in your job and daily living. I think the physical aspect and benefits of training roll over in to everyday life. It helps me to keep mentally focused and sharp, helps with time management, and is a good distraction or relief from the everyday grind.

Is your family supportive or your “habit”?
Absolutely!! They are the first ones signing me up for races, booking hotels and flights!!

If you could tell us one important thing about you, life, the sport or anything…What would it be? Stay focused, don’t get discouraged because there’s always a solution, don’t be afraid to experiment and try things that seem outrageous, when things aren’t going well go back to that “happy spot”, trust in yourself, your training and the good Lord. He put you in that spot for a reason! And eventually it will all work out!


Spring Updates

by The Coaches on May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!

Many of us think of this day as the unofficial start of summer, but I would ask you to pause to remember our veterans and those who have passed on…

Many of us took advantage of this fine weekend to race in the some classic swim races. Stephanie Mitchell took on the 2 mile swim at Lake Audubon in VA. Jen Palombo, Dave Swezey, Ted Dew and Susan Levy all took on the Navesink swim in Sea Bright, NJ. Joining in with them were numerous Paramount members and Start-tri alums. Way to join our fish friends.

Looking ahead…We have many athletes tackling a number of races…

@ REV3 Quassy, Ed Riley will be racing the 70.3 distance and Ted Dew will race the Aqua Velo half.

@ Raleigh 70.3 Pete Kavalus will look to rip up the course that he raced last year!

@ Escape the Cape, Jen Palombo will look to get back to racing again!

@ Eagleman 70.3, Brian Rosener will look to showcase his hard training!

Great job to all that race last weekend and this weekend.

Best of luck to all of those racing again soon:)

Coach Mickey


Here comes spring…

March 19, 2017

Believe it or not, SPRING does start tomorrow, March 20th. Spring does mean March weather though here in the Northeast. Which means temperature ranges of 21-66 degrees this week. That 66 degree day making us anxious/wanting MORE. Let these days motivate you! I am finishing up a USA Track and Field Coaching Clinic here @ [...]

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New Year’s Resolutions (reproduced from USAT update)

January 17, 2017

USA Triathlon’s 2017 New Year’s Resolutions and Wishes 1) Race more, you will feel more alive — https://www.teamusa.org/usa-triathlon/events/sanctioned 2) Explore – try a new format: offroad, tri, du (trust us, run-bike-run is hard and a great fitness driver: https:// www.teamusa.org/USA-Triathlon/Events/Duathlon-Race-Series/Duathlon-Race-Series-Schedule), aquabike, aquathlon, winter tri 3) Join a Club — https://membership.usatriathlon.org/Public/Public/FindAClub, Become an official — https:// [...]

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2017…A Great year?

January 2, 2017

Well, we have turned the page of our calendars…Now, we see 2017! What have you planned, if anything? As “TRIATHLETE” humans, we are goal oriented and therefore we are always seeking to “put something on the calendar”. As an athlete and tri coach, I have put a few on the calendar. Some are for my [...]

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Accountability in 2017

December 15, 2016

accountability [uh-koun-tuh-bil-i-tee]  noun 1- the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable. As triathletes are often type A personalities or self starters, at times, they need accountability. That “accountability” can take many forms. For some, it can be performance in a race, for some it can be answering to a coach or training partners and yet for others it can be answering [...]

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Sad News…

October 30, 2016

This earth lost a special man, loving father, husband and triathlete this week. My friend, training partner and beloved supporter Bernie Garruppo passed away on Tuesday. It is with great sorrow that I write this knowing that he won’t be in the pool to push me, on the bike to accompany and challenge me or [...]

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Mid Season Report

July 28, 2016

End of July feels like the “Dog Days of Summer” this year in the Mid-Atlantic. Start-tri is just back from (a little bit cooler) Lake Placid where many triathletes competed in the now iconic 18th annual Ironman Lake Placid. This year the race presented itself with no rain, but a blazing sun that did not [...]

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Summer almost here…

June 16, 2016

Action is heating up (and so is the weather) for Start-tri athletes this weekend…Tom Whelan will be hitting the Atlantic as he takes on the Asbury Park ice breaker swim. Traveling to Staten Island to race the classic Flat as a Pancake Triathlon will be Steve Grimes, Mike Grussgott, Coach Mickey Cassu, Coach Kristin Cacicedo [...]

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