Coach Jim has led an active lifestyle his entire adult life, beginning with wrestling in high school and college and extending to running and triathlon today. His passion is for endurance sports, especially triathlon and the sport’s complex, four discipline nature. Jim has completed many endurance races, both run events and triathlons, with the most recent being Ironman Wisconsin for the second time in 2015. Also in 2015 Coach Jim qualified for Boston at the Circular Logic Marathon and attained the title of Bronze Ironman All World Athlete with his performance at Ironman Racine 70.3 and Ironman Madison.
Jim’s journey in endurance sports eventually brought him to triathlons and The Naperville Sprint Triathlon presented by Experience Triathlon. In a relatively short time Jim has become an accomplished age group triathlete by qualifying and competing in the USA Age Group National Championships in 2011. Jim has raced in a variety of triathlons from sprint to Ironman distance races. Forever changed since his entry into the world of triathlon, Jim brings the same passion for racing that he brings to helping others experience the joy and accomplishment the sport has to offer.
“Thanks to Coach Jim Riga! Several months ago I made the decision to transition to triathlon training. The decision was exciting, but a bit daunting. I interviewed with Coach Jim, went through my swim, bike, and run assessments and began training. We set goals together, kept track of my progress, monitored any injuries, etc. All this was, in my opinion, expected. That’s basically what a coach does…right? What was unexpected, is the encouragement, camaraderie, friendship, and hands on education. This is an environment that allows you to train with confidence. The “Experience” in Experience Triathlon is truly met in this great coach. Thanks Coach Jim, you are awesome!” – Bob M.
Coaching the sport of triathlon gives Jim the opportunity to lead a healthy lifestyle and give back some of what the sport has given him personally. His goal is to generate the same love for the sport in his athletes of all abilities that drives them to their personal goals, whatever they are, and reveling in those accomplishments.
Coach Jim graduated from Roosevelt University in 2006 with a B.A. in Business and received his MBA from Elmhurst College in 2008. Jim stays very active philanthropically with Elmhurst College by performing mentoring activities to undergrads, leading fund raising events for the Department of Business, and held the title of President of the Department of Business Alumni Association for two terms from 2010 – 2013. Jim is a USAT Level 1 certified coach.