Terry Borcheller took on a new challenge last weekend at Sebring – placing second in the novice class in his first triathlon.
Competing at the Heartland Triathlon at the Olympic distance of a 1.2-mile swim followed by a 24-mile bike and 6.2-mile run, Borcheller finished in two hours, 57 minutes and 40 seconds.
“I had only 19 days preparing for this meet,” said Borcheller, the 2013 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Street Tuner (ST) titlist and three-time Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series champion. “Finishing under three hours was a big accomplishment personally, and I think it says a lot for the training I do to stay in shape for driving. Heck, I don’t think I ran any real mileage in 20 years!”
Borcheller found out about the event three weeks ago from his brother, who offered to sponsor him if he joined him. Knowing he would be on the road most of the remaining time with his coaching, Borcheller took a day to make up his mind. But then, did a race driver ever turn down sponsorship?
Another incentive to participate was the event’s location, which was not far from the site of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida at the historic circuit where Borcheller has raced many times. Borcheller was leading the Novice class after two segments, but finished second in the run to come up seven minutes shy of the class victory.
“It’s always nice to finish on the podium, but I wish I had known I was that close to first,” Borcheller said.
The swim started in Lake Jackson, near the race headquarters at the Kenilworth Lodge, and passed by many familiar landmarks along the way.
“I also saw a few people I’ve know from over the years from racing,” Borcheller said. “A group of volunteers recognized me while working a water stop. ‘What are you doing here?’ they yelled.”
Now, Borcheller is getting ready to head to Watkins Glen International for Saturday’s Continental Tire 150, where he will join Mike LaMarra in the No. 23 Burton Racing BMW 328i.