MacPhail Continues the Tradition With Strong Finish

Warren MacPhail doesn’t just coach it well, he runs it well, and his career as a world-class triathlete is still going strong.

The popular Winthrop High School and Fisher College track coach added another achievement to his list of awards with a 13th place finish in the 50-54-year-old division in the USA Duathlon National Championships in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was 82nd overall in the elite field that drew athletes from all 50 states.

The endurance event consisted of a 5-kilometer run, followed by a 20-kilometer bike and a 3-kilometer run.

MacPhail, 54, had taken more than a year off from competitive events due to the COVID-19 restrictions. His last race was a first-place finish in the Nahant Beat The Tide road race 18 months ago.

“I just continued to train on my own,” said MacPhail. “Competing again [in Alabama] was a shock to my system, that’s for sure. To be honest with you, I was looking for a top-ten. It was so hot (95 degrees) and I suffered the whole way, especially on the bike on a rolling, hilly course with a super-strong headwind.”

MacPhail said his goal is to become an All-American, an award that goes to the top-10 finishers. He did receive a medal for his 13th place effort.

“What was so impressive about this race was seeing the older competitors still killing it,” said MacPhail. “You have women and men in their 60s and 70s just still so active and so really, really good.”

Inspired by a colleague

Warren MacPhail is a fourth grade teacher at the Cummings Elementary School.

He said he has been inspired by the athletic greatness of one of his professional colleagues, Jillian Dempsey, who is a fifth grade teacher at the Cummings School. Dempsey is the captain of the NWHL Isobel Cup champion Boston Pride women’s professional hockey team.

“She’s awesome,” said MacPhail.  “She was a little bit of a motivator to me because she’s always the best in her sport,” said MacPhail. “She was one of my former students and one of my top students ever. It keeps me a little bit motivated to keep pushing in my sport, to try to continue to be the best in my sport in my age group.”

MacPhail will be back on the course in the Nahant Beach Triathlon in June. He will also be spending time with his son, Cormac, who will be joining his father as a competitor in the Nahant races, and his daughter, Fiona, a talented vocalist who will be returning to Winthrop after completing her freshman year at New York University.

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