PLATTSBURGH - Logan Franks has his eyes on the prize.
The 22-year-old Plattsburgh resident and Keeseville native is coming down from his high of placing 11th in the Ford Ironman Competition in Lake Placid July 24. Logan's placement, which also included scoring the best completion time in his age bracket, has landed him a spot to compete in the World Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
The win was one that Logan had been hoping for, but something he didn't know he could achieve considering he has only been competing in triathlons for about a year.
"I was hoping to be in the top 10 overall, win my age group and break the 10-year course record for my age group," said Logan, who's a student at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. "I pulled away with all of them except placing in the top 10. And, I only missed that by two minutes."
Logan, who is a member of U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, credits his time in the service for preparing him for what can often be grueling training.
"It definitely gave me the discipline to be able to stick with it, that's for sure," he said.
Logan returned from a tour duty Iraq in April 2009, and prior to his return, he had one thing in mind - and it wasn't competing in triathlons.
"I was thinking about looking into joining the Navy Seals, so I started swimming to practice," said Logan. "I was swimming every day toward the end of my deployment ... then I was talking to a friend about Ironman. I went on-line and researched it, I thought it looked extremely challenging."
That challenge was where Logan decided to set his sights.
"When I got home, I dropped like $6,000 within two days from the money I made overseas. I bought a new bike and started training literally two days after I got home," said Logan.
Enlisting the help of Scott Bombard as his coach, Logan subjected himself to training at last six to eight hours a day, many of which consisted of 100-mile bike rides. Many times when Logan felt he was "going to die," he reached down and pushed himself harder.
"Training is definitely the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and that's coming from someone in the Marine Reserves," laughed Logan.
Leading up to the Lake Placid Ironman, Logan participated in shorter triathlons in Burlington, Vt., and Bristol, N.H., pushing himself to the limit each time. The Bristol race was just a week after the Burlington event, leaving Logan to finish the event even with blisters on his feet.
"I've done a lot better than I thought I would do," admitted Logan. "I was just doing it at first to see if I could do it. As I started training more and more, it became not so much if I could finish, but how fast I could do it."
Logan's determination is something which makes his father, Dean Franks of Keeseville, beam with pride.
"I broke down in tears when he crossed the finish line," said Dean. "He said to me, 'Dad, I'm going to Kona.' I'm so proud."
Dean is now in the process of organizing fundraiser to help send Logan to Kona in October. Most recently, the Plattsburgh Moose Lodge hosted a benefit featuring auctions of items donated by area businesses.
Businesses like Mountain Riders, Loreman's, TwinState and Kinney Drugs, among others helped out with the event. Donna's Hair Salon and Arnold's Grocery in Logan's hometown are among others that have showed they're behind Logan 100 percent, he said.
"I couldn't have done this without the community or my family backing me," said Logan, who also credited Operation Injured Soldier as a major supporter. "It's awesome to have not only the best family in the world but also the best community to grow up in and have these people having your back."
As for Logan's thoughts on Kona? He's keeping it simple.
"I hope it's going to be a good race, but anything can happen," he said. "Either way, it's been a fun ride."
Those interested in helping support Logan in his participation in the World Ironman Championships may send donation in care of him to 1821 Main St., Keeseville N.Y. 12944.