First tri for valley man |

First tri for valley man

When it comes to the triathlon, Jon Leibel takes it personally.

And with good reason.

Leibel, who just turned 50 on June 18, completed his first triathlon last month.

The Carbondale resident is a native of Livingston, N.J.

He returned to his roots in July to join childhood friend Jeff Peacock to compete in the Auqaphor New York City Triathlon.

“My 9-year-old daughter Layla, from her Girls on the Run program … was my inspiration,” said Liebell, who owns Valley Interior Plants.

He said that when his daughter started running in the program, it triggered a family movement.

“My family did our first 5K in the fall,” Leibel said. “That got me going.”

He gradually moved up to attempt his first triathlon back home.

The Aquaphor New York City Triathlon included a 1-mile swim, a 26-mile bicycle ride and a 6.2-mile run.

Leibel and his pal, both 1981 graduates of Livingston High School, finished in their 50-54 age category.

Leibel finished his very first triathlon in 3 hours, 25 minutes. Peacock finished in just under three hours.

The two were featured in the people section of their hometown newspaper, the West Exxex Tribune.

The triathlon fever has spread throughout Leibel’s family.

His son Jeremy, 11, and daughter Layla will participate in their first kids triathlon next weekend.

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