By Sarah Trefethen
For some people, even New York City real estate isn’t enough competition.
The 63-year-old developer Elie Hirschfeld placed 1,600 out of 2,849 entrants in the inaugural 2012 Ironman U.S. Championship last weekend.
The 140.6-mile race course ran through New York City and parts of New Jersey, making it the most metropolitan environment ever to host an Ironman.
“I am a proud born and bred New Yorker, and there’s no way that I as an Ironman could pass up the opportunity to compete in this inaugural Ironman American championship.
“After I was the oldest competitor to participate in the 2010 Israman Ironman Distance Triathlon I decided to retire — but when I learned this amazing event was coming to my great city, I had to come back and ‘unretired’ from Ironman triathlons,” Hirschfeld said before the race.
“I find tremendous personal satisfaction in competing and am sure this event will only grow in size in the years to come.”
Hirschfeld’s professional connections came in handy preparing for the event. When not working out with his tenants at Sports Club LA East, he was granted special permission by Donald Trump to train up and down 90 stories of New York City’s tallest residential tower: Trump World Tower at 845 U.N. Plaza.
Hirschfeld has completed over 75 triathlons as well as previous Ironman competitions and the NYC Marathon.
Saturday’s race included a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River, a 112-mile bike ride on the Palisades Parkway in Bergen and Rockland Counties and a 26.2-mile run from New Jersey to Riverside Park.
Hirschfeld completed the course in 14 hours and 22 minutes, and placed 17th out of 32 men in the 60- to 64-year-old category.
Hirschfeld’s development projects including Park Avenue Court, the Hotel Pennsylvania, the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and Park Avenue Court. He has co-produced of Broadway shows including Passing Strange, Oleanna, and Equus.