Well, it’s been decided by this writer that Mr. QC Marathon himself, Joe Moreno was sent down from the heavens and can conquer any feat he puts his mind too. If being the Race Director for some of the Quad Cities biggest road races such as the Firecracker 5k & 10k Run, the Freedom Run and most known for his masterful orchestration of the Quad Cities Marathon wasn’t enough, Moreno chose to run in his first triathlon last weekend at the Quad Cities Triathlon at West Lake Park in Davenport, IA. And if you are thinking that finishing a triathlon is impressive but not the greatest feat known to man, Moreno only learned to swim four months ago, he is a self-proclaimed “bad bike rider” and he was nursing a knee injury and hadn’t gone on a run since February.
If you know Joe Moreno and have had the pleasure in taking part in his races that he’s organized, you will know that you feel like you are a part of a race family when at these events. And family is what drove Moreno to take on the daunting task to compete in his first triathlon. “I was inspired a year ago going to the triathlon and watching my son Tony,” explained Moreno. “I knew if I signed up for the triathlon I would have to do it.”
And sign up he did, along with also hesitantly signing up for his first swimming class as well. “People thought I was crazy because they knew I didn’t know how to swim,” said Moreno.
I go back to when I said that this man can do and overcome anything as just two years ago Moreno suffered a stroke sending shockwaves through the running community. “It’s something you don’t plan for, but it happened.” said Moreno. But Moreno said it wasn’t his heart that he was concerned with going into training for the tri. “My concern was my knee injury I’ve had for the last 5 months,” Moreno said. “You would think with my history of being an avid runner my whole life that the run would be my strong point. Well in this case it was my weak link.”
Moreno’s definition of weak is a bit different than most as he went on to finish the triathlon in 1 hour and 31 minutes. “When I talk to people, they say that’s a respectable time,” said Moreno. And of course, Moreno is already looking to do another one later this summer. “I knew when I retired two years ago that I wasn’t going to sit around,” Moreno said. “I’m already looking at doing another one in Dewitt in August.”
A former Mayor in East Moline, a dad, grandpa, husband, multiple-race director and now triathlete, Moreno credits his drive and determination to his community around him that he has selflessly dedicated his life to improving. “I’ve always been one to think we can always better ourselves,” said Moreno. “Whether it’s personally, your home, your family or your community.”
And as he turns 60 very soon, Moreno shows no sign of slowing down either. “I don’t care how old you are,” said Moreno. “You’ve always got to be striving to improve yourself.”
Photo courtesy of Tom Betts