Matt Ancona has never been afraid of a challenge. His first race of any kind was the 2004 Chicago Marathon, quickly followed by a triathlon. His career has grown to the point of not only participating, but winning triathlons all over the country, even qualifying for Kona.
“It’s a totally different experience, you kind of feel like an Olympian with the race and the hype,” Ancona said. “It’s a very humbling experience, you realize everyone around you is skinnier and faster, they are the best in the world. It’s very motivating for both reasons.”
The Schauburg native says his favorite event right now is cycling, however that seems to change every year. His preferred distance is a half Ironman, “it’s the right balance for me of long distance but it doesn’t beat me up,” he said.
Ancona has already gotten his first victory of the year, winning the Life Time Fitness Schaumburg Indoor Triathlon. Finishing with more than a 20 point gap between him and the second place finisher, Ancona is gearing up for an exciting 2012. He plans on participating in races across the country including Leon’s Triathlon in Hammond, Indiana, All of them, however, are in preparation for 70.3 Ironman Championships in Las Vegas. “It’s the big one of the year,” Ancona said.
Already a competitive marathon runner, Schaumburg resident Kristin Frey was talked into trying the 2010 Hustle up the Hancock by her friend and coach. Although she beat her goal time to the top, something was missing. Frey didn’t feel like she had pushed herself as much as she could. It was that feeling that grew quickly into an addiction.
In the almost two years Frey has been climbing, she has challenged herself in races all over the world. In addition to the Hancock and Aon Building in Chicago, Frey has also reached the top of the Empire State Building. Climbing has taken her as far as Sao Paulo, Brazil and Bogata, Columbia.
The 28 year-old Arlington Heights native said that while her favorite building is the Empire State Building in New York, her two biggest accomplishments came in Chicago. 2012 has been a banner year for Frey – she started by winning and setting a course record in the Kohl’s Step up for Kids race up he Aon building and followed hat with another victory in the Hancock building at the Hustle up the Hancock.