Hugh Driscoll of Ormond Beach said you can't help but be healthy if you run triathlons.
"Since you have to get up early in the morning to train, you quit drinking," he quipped. "People you hang out with are all healthy people."
The 59-year-old Driscoll has been a bicyclist for many years. He has been competing in triathlons for the past eight years.
Driscoll was one of the more than 3,300 athletes, ages 7 to 84, who participated in the Clash Endurance Daytona 2023 events that were staged in and around Daytona International Speedway this past weekend (Dec. 1-3).
He was one of 19 members of the Ormond Beach Triathlon Club who competed over the weekend.
The Clash Endurance Daytona consisted of 10 different races ranging from the Jingle Jog 5K on Friday — a 5K through the Magic of Lights display at the speedway, ending at One Daytona — to the USA Triathlon Long Course Multisport National Championship on Sunday.
Javier Figueroa of Puerto Rico and Caroline Kaplan of Lexington, Kentucky, took the men's and women's titles in the 70.3-mile Middle Distance Triathlon to qualify for the World Triathlon Multisport Championships in Townsville, Australia, Aug. 15-25, 2024.
About 1,200 runners, many dressed in holiday apparel, participated in the Jingle Jog. Children ages 7-11 competed in a kids triathlon on Saturday inside the speedway. Test Track and Redline Relay were two cycling races for non-competitive racers, where the teams used the speedway's pits to switch riders.
Former Olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett of Tampa competed in the sprint triathlon as part of a three-woman relay. She also served on the lifesaving water rescue team for Sunday’s events. Former NHL star Zdeno Chara completed the Middle Distance Triathlon in 5:03:45, finishing 18th in the male 45-49 age division and 128th out of 448 competitors overall.
Driscoll volunteered on Friday and Saturday and competed on Sunday in the Middle Distance Aquabike, a 1.1-mile swim in the speedway's Lake Lloyd and a 56-mile bike ride. His time was 3:07:36, placing him 12th out of 27 competitors in the male 55-59 division and 56th overall out of 191 competitors in the race. This was the fourth year he has competed at Clash Endurance Daytona.
The other members of the Ormond Beach Triathlon Club who competed during the weekend were: Michael Schiering, Garrett Klayer, Thomas Dubrule and Phillip Brennan in the Middle Distance Aquabike; Joe Ventura, Naomi Ventura, Rick Taylor, Leo Garcia, Brian Eschen, Irena Marks, Kim Lyznicki, Lynn Hill and Huan Dinh in the Middle Distance Triathlon; and Mike Cain, Matt Banker, Cory Trusty, Skip Stamper and Dinesh Arab in the Sprint Triathlon.
The club does its water training at the Ormond Beach YMCA under USA Masters Swimming coach Scott Bay.
"He's one of the best coaches in the U.S., and he's our coach," Driscoll said.
Driscoll said the club members train together at least five days a week.
We have dinner together. We travel together. We motivate each other and we help each other."
— HUGH DRISCOLL on Ormond Beach Triathlon Club members
"We have dinner together. We travel together. We motivate each other, and we help each other," he said. "It doesn't matter if you make $8 an hour or $1½ million. We're all the same."
Driscoll has worked for Cunningham Air Conditioning and Heating for 36 years. He and his girlfriend, Lynn, compete in about 24 races a year, including a variety of triathlon distances. They also run half marathons, 5Ks and 10Ks, compete in ocean swim races and off-road cycling races and cyclocross.
He said he transitioned from cycling racing to triathlons when he learned how to swim efficiently.
"Swimming is like golf; it's all technique," he said. "Running is something you do as much as you can until you're injured, and then you back off."
Complete results of Clash Endurance Daytona 2023 can be found at clashendurance.com.