A Rewarding Journey

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Port Resident competes in more than 60 marathons

After Port Washington resident, Paul Aloe watched his dad experience a double bypass surgery nearly 30 years ago, he made a pact with himself that he would do his best to live a healthy lifestyle.

Aloe, who is now a partner at the law firm Kudman Trachten Aloe LLP, was just starting out his career when he decided to take up a more active lifestyle. He began training and building up endurance by running laps at Schreiber High School.

“[At the time] I was a relatively young lawyer, I worked like 60 hours a week,” Aloe said. “I was basically doing only work and I said to myself ‘I have got to do something, because otherwise 30 years from now that’s going to be me.’ I went out to the track at Port Washington High School and I did four laps. Then I went out and did eight laps, then I did 12 laps, which is three miles. Then I said ‘you know I think I could run the New York City Marathon. But then I said ‘that’s absolutely crazy.’”

Aloe began training—running seven or eight miles at a time, and eventually even longer distances when one of his friends convinced him to run the Long Island half marathon.

Aloe during the Ironman competition. (Photo courtesy of Paul Aloe)

“I said if I could the Long Island half-marathon in under two hours, I would sign up for the New York City marathon. I ran it in 1:45, signed up that year for the NYC marathon, got in and I have run every NYC marathon since, except the year of Hurricane Sandy when they didn’t have it and then obviously this year when they didn’t have it.”

Since then, Aloe has competed in more than 60 marathons and more than 10 Ironman competitions. His says his competitive streak is what has propelled him to keep up with the sport throughout the years.

“I think for me, I needed the challenge,” Aloe said. “I found the events themselves to be exhilarating. The NYC marathon is one of the largest spectator events in the world. It’s a pretty awesome experience. But it’s also about the challenge—going out to do things that I [thought] I couldn’t do. I got into triathlon. I was a really bad swimmer. I actually had to repeat swimming in high school. One of my first triathlons, I was nearly last and I’ve gotten myself to a point where I compete in the Ironman and I’m an All World athlete, which means they rank me in the top 10 percent for my age group. It’s really the challenge—trying to push limits, doing something that you think is absolutely impossible and being able to do it. That’s what keeps me going.”

Running has taken Aloe to places like Ireland and Canada, though he says his favorite marathon to compete is in the New York City marathon.

“I think there are very few events quite like the New York City marathon,” Aloe said. “If someone were going into running, I’d say ‘this is something you have to experience.’ You could run a marathon like the Long Island marathon or in the Hamptons, but it’s nothing compared to the NYC marathon. It’s the difference between playing baseball in the backyard and baseball at Yankee Stadium—not quite the same. What is amazing about the New York City marathon besides just the crowds in the diversity. You’re starting in Staten Island, you’re going through Brooklyn—all these different neighborhoods where everyone is coming out to cheer on this thing that pulls everyone together. It’s one of the things that really makes that race so amazing and so unique.”

Aloe stated that being a marathoner and competing in the Ironman competitions throughout the years has been time consuming, but also very rewarding.

“A healthy lifestyle—that’s important,” Aloe said. “Keeping yourself fit and in good shape and the best you can be—that’s a very big positive. [Running] is probably the best anecdote there is for getting old.”

Becoming a marathoner and competing in competitions has also given Aloe the opportunity to meet a lot of different people, and make friends from all around the world.

“We all have something that we can share together as human beings,” he said. “I think that’s one of the most spectacular parts about this sport and the lifestyle. People from completely different cultures and backgrounds—many of us have become friends. I think the world of running and the world of triathlon is very unifying and something we need more of these days.”

While many of the marathons have been canceled this year because of the pandemic, Aloe is continuing to prepare for his next marathon in Lake Placid, which takes place in July 2021.

“I am almost always training,” Aloe said. “I probably swim, bike or run almost every day. I’m not swimming in the winter but I’ll get to 20-mile runs, 100 mile bikes and I’ll get to 2.4 mile swims.”

Living in Port Washington near the water, Aloe is able to train in the warmer months from the comfort of his own back yard,

“I get to jump in the water and I can swim along Sands Point and then swim back,” Aloe said. “That’s part of my preparation and I’m very fortunate to have that ability because not everybody can just go out their back door and do that. It’s a great experience to be able to do that.”

Despite the year gap in competitions, Aloe has also been thinking about his future goals and what he would like to accomplish in the sport. He hopes to compete in a races in Europe, France and Barcelona, Spain.

“I’d like to qualify for the Boston Marathon and in the triathlon I’d like to qualify for the championship in Kona, which is very, very hard to do,” Aloe said. “Those are some aspirational goals I have. One of the great things about this lifestyle is that you can achieve things that you don’t think are possible.”

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