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A passion for fitness second to none

Lake Oswego podiatrist John Mozena qualifies for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships at age 60

JOHN DENNY - Lake Oswego resident John Mozena has worked at the Town Center Foot Clinic in Happy Valley for more than 30 years. He is an accomplished triathlete who recently qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.John Mozena, who lives in Lake Oswego and has worked out of his offices at the Town Center Foot Clinic in Happy Valley since 1985, has competed in 10 full triathlons and 25 half triathlons since 2007; and he’s run 25 marathons since completing his first 26.2-mile race in 2002.

Mozena trains the year around, many times two to three times a day, conditioning with his running, swimming and cycling workouts.

He even spends his lunchtime working out, running a 4-mile loop near his office just north of the Clackamas Town Center, or stopping by Eastside Athletic Club for a swim.

The only time he misses a day or two is following a race, when he takes a little time off to heal up and recuperate.

Mozena’s hard work and dedication paid dividends earlier this year — at an Ironman 70.3 half triathlon race in Monterrey, Mexico, in March; and again in April, at an Ironman 70.3 race in New Orleans, Louisiana.

He completed the race in Monterrey in a lifetime personal record time of 5 hours and 10 minutes; and his fourth place 60-65 age-group finish in New Orleans qualified him for the Ironman 70.3 Half-Triathlon World Championships.

Mozena will travel to Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia in early September, where he’ll be among 75 elite athletes competing in his age division of the 2016 Ironman Half-Triathlon 70.3 World Champion-ships.

Competing in a triathlon, or even a half-triathlon is no cakewalk. Just finishing the race is no small feat. A half-triathlon is a 1.2-mile swim, followed by a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run. Double those distances and you’ve got a full triathlon.

Why does Mozena do it?

He’s been a fitness advocate since a close friend, Jeff Baird, talked him into running when Mozena was a student at Central Catholic High School in the early 1970’s.

Mozena says that after high school he continued to run three to five miles a day until 2001, when he upped his fitness routine and began training for his first marathon. And, he says, six years later he got bored with marathons and switched to the more challenging triathlon.

“I love the feeling of being fit, and being an Ironman is special,” says Mozena, who stands 6-0 and tips the scales at 150 pounds. “People give you respect, because they know the Ironman is one of the hard-est events an athlete can do….

“I look in the mirror and I’m happy with what I see. I’m lean and mean and probably in the best shape I’ve been in in my life….

“I try to be a role model for my family, as well as promote a healthy lifestyle to my patients.”

Mozena’s first marathon was the Silicon Valley Marathon in San Jose in 2002. He qualified for and completed the Boston Marathon in 2007. That same year he competed in his first half-triathlon in Bend and his first full-triathlon [2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, 26.2-mile run], the Vineman, in Sonoma, Calif.

Mozena says his plans are to compete in four half-triathlons and two full-triathlons during the 2016 calendar year. He’s already got three half-triathlons behind him, having competed in Monterrey in March, in New Orleans in April and in Bend this past weekend.

He’s entered in a full triathlon, the Vineman, in Sonoma, near the end of July; the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Australia in early September; and a full Ironman triathlon in Tempe, Arizona, in late November.

Mozena says of his goal for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Australia, “To finish. I’m hon-ored just to be with all of those amazing athletes. It’s an honor to be there with all the world’s best ath-letes in the sport.”

Mozena says his ultimate goal is to qualify for the Ironman Full Triathlon World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

Mozena belongs to two Portland area triathlete clubs, Portland-based Ironheads and Happy Valley-based Summit Performance Triathlete Club. Much of the year he does workouts developed by Portland radiologist David Ciaverella, who is a 7-time Kona Ironman qualifier and an Ironman age-group cham-pion.

Depending on the proximity of his workouts to his next race, Mozena says Ciaverella’s weekly workouts range from running 20 to 40 hours a week, swimming two to three hours and biking eight to 20 hours.

Mozena does much of his bicycle training at home on a CycloOps trainer. He says he just clamps his bicycle on and watches a movie while he trains.

Mozena’s podiatry office isn’t your typical foot clinic. Each of the six exam rooms has a special theme, based on “six things I enjoy in life,” Mozena says. There’s a triathlon/running room, a Blazers room, a New York Yankees room, a Star Trek room, a Beatles room, and a movie and TV room. Each room is packed with memorabilia, much of it donated by Mozena’s patients.

Mozena says he’ll retire from podiatry “in another five to 10 years.” In retirement, he says, he’d like to start up a Rock and Roll band. He played bass in a Rock and Roll band called Highway 43 from 1996 to 2006.

And, of course, Mozena would like to continue competing in triathlons and half-triathlons for as long as he can.

He says he draws inspiration from Sister Madonna Buder, an 84-year-old nun from Spokane who still competes in triathlons and half-triathlons. At age 75 she became the oldest woman ever to complete the Kona Ironman.

With his passion for fitness and dedication to the sport he has grown to love, don’t be surprised to see Mozena at the Kona Ironman when he turns 75.