After spending his youth on the US Canoe/Kayak team, Luke Moore became a triathlete in 2007, and after only four years at the sport, he qualified for the Iron Man World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. In his first (and only) multistage bicycle race, he finished first overall among Category 4 racers at the Green Mountain Stage Race, and in his first marathon he qualified for Boston.
VS: How long have you been doing triathlons?
LM: I started in 2007. Before that I was a competitive kayaker on the US team. Then I moved to the Stowe area and met my wife, who had been a competitive swimmer. I had done some biking, but I’d never swum competitively, and I was a terrible runner. My wife signed me up for the Stowe triathlon in 2007 and taught me how to swim laps. She was my swim coach, and I started running and biking more to get ready, but the first one was really hard.
VS: What is your best discipline?
LM: The run is my best, which is kind of ironic considering how bad I was. In addition to the triathlons, I’ve started doing some running races. My first stand-alone marathon was the Green Mountain Marathon, which I finished in under three hours, so I qualified for Boston. This spring I finished first in the Shelburne Half-Marathon.
VS: What was it like to compete at the World Championship in Hawaii?
LM: That was an incredible race. It was the hardest race I’ve ever done. It was very hot and humid and the bike ride was tough and windy and hot. I felt OK during the bike ride, but during the run, the heat was starting to get to me. I finished in 10 hours and eight minutes, which wasn’t my best time. I’d like to try and qualify again, so this year, I’m planning on doing an Iron Man in Lake Tahoe. After I finished the race at Kona, I said I’d never do it again, but now I think I’d like to try.
VS: Where do you practice your swimming?
LM: During the summer I swim inside twice a week and outside once or twice. We live near Lake Elmore, but I swim with a masters group in the pool several days a week. When I started swimming, I really couldn’t swim across the pool and back without being completely out of breath, and I couldn’t do a flip turn, so I’ve come a long way.
VS: Do you have a favorite cycling or running route?
LM: I really like biking what we call the Montpelier loop, which goes from Elmore to Montpelier, Waterbury, Stowe, Morrisville and Elmore for 60 miles. We have a lot of really nice dirt roads around Elmore, so I do almost all of my running outside.
VS: Has your new baby put a damper on your training?
LM: She was born this spring, and we haven’t set an alarm clock since then because she gets us up at 5 a.m. That’s good because I get my workout earlier. I have adjusted my training because I’d rather spend time with her than work out, so I’ve only done two races this year—the Stowe Triathlon and the Shelburne Half-Marathon—but it’s been great so far.
VS: Tell us about your experience on the US Canoe/Kayak team?
LM: I was on the team from 1999–2001 when I was in high school and my first year in college. I did that during the summer months and traveled all over the United States and Europe. I got to go to Brazil for the World Championship.
VS: Are you still a whitewater kayaker?
LM: Not as much anymore. The whitewater-kayaking season in Vermont is so short, and the last few years, I’ve really focused on triathlons. It was fun while I did it, and it was a good way to see the world. I also worked as an instructor for a while.
VS: What was your best triathlon?
LM: That would be 2011 in Lake Placid. I finished third in my age group and qualified for the World Championship. I really enjoyed it because my wife and brother-in-law did it as well, and I had a really good day. You train so long for these races, and you spend so much time and money, but for that race, it really came together. The run is the most important part because it’s right at the end and I did it in 3:13.
VS: How do you find time to train?
LM: My wife writes my training plan for me. That was my Christmas present. It’s pretty structured with workouts for each day. Six days a week I do at least one activity, but sometimes, I’ll bike and run or bike and swim. It varies from day to day. I’ve only done it for a few years, but I’ve found that if you have a structured workout, you don’t need to do as much. Most of the workouts are just one to two hours, although if I have a day off, I may go for a four to five hour ride. If you do it the right way, you don’t have to work out all the time.
VS: How long does it take to recover from a triathlon?
LM: It takes three weeks to fully recover. I’ve done three now, and I find that within a week I can jog or bike, but to fully recover takes three weeks. It takes a lot out of you. After all, a good race can be 10 hours.
VS: You finished first among Category 4 cyclists at the Green Mountain Stage Race in 2010. Why haven’t you done more bicycle racing?
LM: That was a fun race, but it was a one-time thing with my brother-in-law. I had a pretty good crash at the end of the criterium. It was exciting and I enjoyed it, but now I’m focused on triathlons, and I don’t have the time to do both. Still, it was fun; so at some point in my life, I might try it again.
VS: You manage AJ’s Ski & Sports, but we haven’t talked about skiing. Do you ski?
LM: I grew up skiing at Suicide Six in Pomfret and took up snowboarding in the early 1990s. I still snowboard and I also Nordic ski, but I don’t race in the winter. I enjoy snow sports, but for some reason, I’ve never taken up any form of competitive ski or snowboard racing.