Michael Vaccaro

Born: 1974
Team Member Since: 2013
From: Charlotte, NC
Events: Ironman, Running & Sleeping

Do you race for fun, health or competition? Why?

My journey started as a way to get healthy. After having two young kids I found myself more sedentary, the most out of shape and heaviest in my life. My first 5k was about getting active and improving my health. Over time racing has been an accountability tool for me, by always having something on my calendar it helps me stay accountable to myself. In order to perform well, I have to train well, so racing keeps me motivated. The longer I have raced and the better I have performed at races, the more it has fueled my competitive drive.

What personal goals have you reached already?

When doing my first 5k and first sprint triathlon, I always had visions of doing long distance races. A marathon and Ironman seemed like an unattainable goal at first but I quickly realized I could do it and have been able to achieve both.

What personal goals do you have for the future?

I still have a desire to qualify for some of the most premier races in running and triathlon (ie Kona, Boston, New York, 70.3 World’s). I would also like to be able to race successfully into my 60’s and beyond.

What was your first race?

My very first race was a Turkey Trot 5k about 9 years ago and it nearly killed me but I did it! It most certainly sparked me to do more.

How long have you been interested in triathlon/running/fitness?

I have been running and racing triathlon for nearly 9 years now. That first 5k turned into a 10k, then a half marathon. Along the way met some great triathlon people and they turned me on to triathlon which led to my first sprint.

Do you enjoy training or competing most?

I love racing the most if I had to choose, but I see it as a celebration of the work I have done to get ready. Katie has taught me to see racing as a reflection of the training and efforts I have put in to be on that start line. The race is a celebration of that work and commitment.

What is your favorite part of training?

I love finishing a workout where I really hit on all cylinders, nailing what I set out to do in that session. There is nothing more motivating then really having a super successful workout, it inspires me for my next workout.

What drives you to compete?

I think staying healthy has always been a part of competing but it has evolved over time. Over the last couple of years I have been fortunate enough to be on a few podiums and have been successful in being an Ironman All World Athlete. Those successes definitely drive me to push harder and compete more.

Why did you choose Team Malone?

I met Katie on a group ride that she joined in Charlotte with a group of triathletes I knew. I talked to her at that time about coaching me, I loved her energy and positivity. I felt like she was a good fit for where I was in my journey and have not looked back since. This will be my sixth season with Katie and I have thoroughly enjoyed every step, she has been a tremendous guiding force and support for my training and racing.

What race or races are on your bucket list?

Kona, Boston, New York, 70.3 Worlds.