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Jay Fitzsimmons: In hot pursuit of the ultimate endurance race

Just before dawn in the Cleydael subdivision in King George, there is a figure moving methodically at a rapid rate of a speed. Logging countless hours in the wee hours of the morning has become a ritual for endurance athlete, and NSWC W64 branch head engineer Jay Fitzsimmons. 

 Long before Fitzsimmons developed a passion for endurance racing, he played football, and basketball with the same interest as every other athlete did. However, long after he entered corporate America as a branch head for a major government agency, the 32-year old endurance athlete could never get rid of the itch to run faster, and longer than anyone else. 

Most recently, he finished second in the 30-34 age group portion of the Hartwood 10 Mile Run with a time of 1:10:53. Overall he finished 36 out of 260 runners. His ultimate goal is to condition his body to run the 26.2 miles needed to complete a marathon. 

“When I first got into it, I knew I needed to log a lot of miles,” Fitzsimmons said. “I know I’m going to be running 26 miles on race day. My goal is to build up my endurance in order to meet that physical requirement.”

Although Fitzsimmons has already competed in the five marathons, his purpose is to surpass his personal best. His primary focus is to compete in three out-of-state marathons this fall (Rochester, NY, Columbus, OH, Huntington, WV). 

Prior to competing, he is well aware that there has to be a balance between his mental and physical preparation. “You learn a lot mentally as you prepare,” Fitzsimmons said. “You know you’re going to hit a wall, and when you hit it in your first marathon, you sometimes have to stop and walk before continuing. You have to train your body to work through mental walls.”

Managing preparation time during a 50-60 hour work week is a challenge for Fitzsimmons, but somehow he incorporates his passion for physical fitness with his family and professional lifestyle.

Not only is he an active participant in the Fredericksburg area races, he is the director of the Grand Prix of the Fredericksburg Area Running Club. As a director he must coordinate 12 races featured in the Coldwell Banker Grand Prix Elite Series. Runners must run seven out of the 12 races to qualify for an award in the end of the year Grand Prix Elite Race Series Banquet.

“It’s a nice way to come out, and have fun, while competing against other runners,” Fitzsimmons said.

As for the future, Fitzsimmons is seriously considering competing in triathlons. As the challenge of transitioning from water to land, continues to captivate his interest, his immediate goal is to conquer the world of endurance running. Stay tuned! The story of Fitzsimmons continues to unfold.

 

Leonard Banks

Sports Editor

 

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