My name is Pascal Lauffer, I am 42 year old, 6 feet tall and around 155 pounds when racing. I have an exciting career that takes a lot of my time and energy. I travel a lot. I don’t have kids. I love competition. I love competing with my friends and I love measuring myself against people I respect. I love pushing others to do better. Above all, I love making progress, getting better. A friend of mine recently answered one of my race story with the Olympics motto reintroduced by De Coubertin; Citius-Altius-Fortius. It touched me. De Coubertin also said (in my own interpretation), “The essential in sport and in life is not to have won but to have fought well” or in the even more expressive words of Iron Maiden:
White man came across the sea
He brought us pain and misery
He killed our tribes, he killed our creed
He took our game for his own need
We fought him hard, we fought him well
Out on the plains we gave him hell…
What is more moving than fighting for a hopeless cause and how glorious would the victory be?
I don’t consider myself particularly gifted. I have some speed and I can last but nothing extraordinary. I believe my best assets to be my determination and my discipline. My first real sport was swimming. I did pretty well. I switched my focus to running at age 16. I was not super fast. I never managed to run an 800 meters under 2’. I was better at longer distances. My strength was cross-country. I won races and even ran in the French national championship. I never cycled competitively but I always had a bike. I raced my first triathlon in 1981 at a time triathletes were considered complete nutcases. It was an Olympic distance and my race was a catastrophe. I then went on with my life, got myself an education then a career and stopped competing. I tried to come back in my late twenties but my career fought back and won. I reached an athletic low point around 2000-2001. I was global CIO in a French investment bank while finishing an MBA at Columbia University. I was working countless hours and was sleeping very few. I was physically a wreck when I decided to try a second comeback.
My first big race was the 2002 New York City Marathon. I ran in 2h57 and finished 460. In 2003, I ran in 2h49 and finished 187. The same year on September 21st, I entered my second triathlon. It had been 23 years since my first attempt and the result was no better. The difference, this time I was hooked.
As I write these words at the end of 2007, I have raced a few Olympic distances under 2h10, got close to 4h30 at the 70.3 and did 2 Ironman. I am a descent swimmer but I still suffer from the 20 years away from the pool. My bike and run have both been strong this year.
In 2007, I trained an average of 12.5 hours per week. I swam a total of 295 km. I biked a total of 8,800 km and I ran 2,800 km. The highlights of the season were a 1h17 at the NY City half-marathon, a 30’ swim at the Harriman 70.3 and a 2h27 bike leg at the Eagleman 70.3. My best race overall was a 4h59 at Monaco 70.3. My best finish was 2nd in my age group at the NYC triathlon.
My early objective when I started this project was to qualify for Kona. Today, doing Kona still remains an objective but I upgraded my ambition. Now, I want to race it and come as close to the top of my age group as my abilities will allow me.
I hope that this little bit of context helped you know me better.