Real estate mogul Elie Hirschfeld, the president and CEO of Hirschfeld Properties, is used to flexing his real estate muscles while making deals in New York. But Hirschfeld, who worked with his father, parking garage magnate Abraham Hirschfeld, for more than 20 years, will be flexing his muscles in a more traditional manner this weekend when he competes in the first New York City Iron Man event.
Hirschfeld, whose Manhattan projects include the Grand Sutton co-op and the Crowne Plaza hotel, both in Midtown, will take to the streets on Saturday along with 2,500 people to compete in the inaugural New York championship. The developer, 62, is no stranger to multi-event athletic competitions — having competed in more than 75 triathlons. But this event may be a bigger test than even he is used to.
The course will include a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River, a 112-mile bike ride on the Palisades Parkway in Bergen and Rockland Counties, and a 26.2-mile run starting in New Jersey and finishing in Manhattan’s Riverside Park, according to the event’s website.
Hirschfeld, who has previously competed in two other Iron Man competitions and said he didn’t know if others from the real estate industry would be participating, noted that the winners of these extreme events normally finish in the range of 8.5 to nine hours. His favorite stage of the event is the cycling component.
“The Iron Man has a long standing tradition of closing the clock at 17 hours,” he said. “I did an Iron Man when I was 40 years old in Hawaii in 13 hours and two years ago I did the Israel Iron Man in 15 hours. My goal this year is just to break 17 hours. I want to finish within the official clock.”
Hirschfeld has been training for months by going on long runs in Central Park, swimming in the pool at his Sports Club LA East building at 330 East 61st Street, and going on long bike rides. His friend and business associate Donald Trump also granted permission for him to train by running up and down the stairs of the 90-story Trump World Tower building at 845 United Nations Plaza, Hirschfeld’s representative said.
Now, Hirschfeld’s only concern is the potential for a blistering hot Manhattan day on Saturday.
“Right now they don’t predict an enormous heat situation,” he said. “[But] the heat is an enormous drain.”