Cory Cameron is a self-diagnosed glutton for pain.
The 2009 Warrenton graduate says he gains a unique satisfaction from pushing his body to its threshold and testing his tolerance for physical exhaustion.
He was at it again on Sunday.
Now a senior at the University of Illinois, he brought fellow ROTC member Cameron Stuva back to his home county to compete in the Ultramax Team Triathlon at Innsbrook.
“You just have to possess the mental fortitude to be able to deal with discomfort,” explained Cameron. “When the pain’s coming, you have to be able to keep pushing.”
The duo finished third in the open men’s division and sixth overall in the challenge, which featured running, biking and canoeing portions. Cameron says he and Stuva were strongest in the run and weakest on the bikes.
“We haven’t been on the bikes in a couple of months, so we were out of shape in that respect,” acknowledged Cameron.
Navigating the waters was old hat for Cameron, who also competed at Innsbrook in 2010 and 2011. For Stuva, it was an entirely foreign experience.
“It was the first time he had ever been in a canoe,” quipped Cameron. “We did get on the rowing machines at the Rec Center, but that’s not really the same.”
Beyond the obvious obstacles, competitors during Sunday’s race also had to contend with a steady downpour during the last half of the race.
“Our body temperatures dropped after getting out of the canoe,” said Cameron.
Soaking wet and in a state most would consider undesirable, the team pressed on.
“I think we thrive in those miserable weather conditions, because in a way it makes it more fun,” said Cameron. “It’s almost humorous, because we look at each other like, ‘why are we doing this again?’”
Cameron, who began testing his endurance as a cross country runner in high school, is now part of the ROTC Endurance Team.
“ROTC PT actually isn’t that hard by itself,” said Cameron. “But the endurance team mixes it up. We do strength, long runs, bike and swim. For me, it’s sort of a relief from everyday life.”
He knows the physical demands on his body are only about to increase as he will head off to the service after graduating with a Aerospace Engineering degree in August.
“It’s sort of a cultural thing for me since I’m about to be in the Navy,” said Cameron.
He has plans to compete in the 5150 Triathlon at Innsbrook again in late June. Cameron has also qualified for the Amateur Triathletes National Championship.