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Breakaway Triathlon and Cycling

Kevin Elwood

Kevin Elwood

How did you get involved in Triathlons and Running races? The story starts out in a fairly typical way – i was 40 years old, i had 3 kids, and i was about 70 pounds overweight. I would get worn out playing with the kids so i decided it was […]

How did you get involved in Triathlons and Running races?

The story starts out in a fairly typical way – i was 40 years old, i

had 3 kids, and i was about 70 pounds overweight. I would get

worn out playing with the kids so i decided it was time for a

change. As part of my weight loss strategy, i started running (i

had never run before). A lot of friends told me i should race –

believe it or not, i said “never” for a long time. Finally, after about

a year (on September 7, 2008), i entered a race – the run the

goose 7k in Gloucester. I ran 6:59s, took 3rd in my ag and i was

hooked!

Not too long after, i went for a bike ride with a friend who grew

up racing bikes (and his brother was semi-pro). We went out on

the road with mountain bikes as that is all i had and i was not

ready for trails. He quickly told me that he knew i was a good

runner, but he told me i would find i was a better cyclist – i guess

somewhere deep inside i had some cycling skills and he saw

them. He soon let me borrow a road bike and cycling with friends

became a great new way to stay in shape.

So, only one more sport to go! And the call to honor triathlon was

the catalyst. I was enjoying running and cycling and some people

told me about call to honor. I know it will be hard for people to

believe, but i was actually a swimmer growing up (i was a sprinter

which is not as reliant on form!) So i did a couple of workouts in

stiles pond to get myself ready to compete. And signed up for my

first tri.

It did not take long for me to learn that people are evil in the

swim! But i did pretty well for my first race (boy were those

transitions awful!) And decided that i had found my new passion.

Tell us about your background. Were you always athletic?

Growing up, i was the classic football, basketball, baseball kid but

did a lot of swimming and bike riding with my friends and was

always active. Downhill skiing has always been a constant in my

life as well. In high school, i played football and was a decent

swimmer (yep – i could do a 54 second 100!) Unfortunately, i

went to a division 1 college and my skills were not division 1

worthy. My active life took a back seat to beer and pizza – and

that is where the weight issues began

This was a big year, what are the top 5 accomplishments that you

are most proud of?

It was a big year!

(1) A 3:10:53 in the NYC Marathon. That was a nearly 5 minute

pr compared to my previous best in Chicago

(2) AWA gold in ironman 70.3 and AWA silver in ironman

overall. In 70.3, in my ag, i finished 19th in the us and 66th in

the world. I successfully competed in 4 im70.3 events and

took 4 top 10s (1 as high as 4th)

(3) Winning the breakaway tri to support habitat for humanity.

Previous athletes of the month Jeff Gordon and Tim Oakes

went down hard!

(4) Attending nationals and making a decent showing. I got my

ass kicked in the 3 foot swells but i showed i deserved to be

there and it will be better next time

(5) It is not triathlon related, but i continue to be proud of the

work i do for make a wish. This year was my 9th year of

skiing 100,000 vertical feet in a day to raise money for makea-

wish. This year i went over $600,000 in funds raised. My

fundraising has impacted a lot of families, many of whom i

have been fortunate to meet.

Which race did you work hardest to prepare for?

I worked hard all year, but i would have to say the NYC marathon.

After a long triathlon season, i had about 7 weeks to focus on

nyc. There was a lot of lonely early morning run workouts. But

the result was worth it. It was a truly amazing day.

Which event was the most rewarding?

IM 70.3 Puerto Rico. Tim and i did that race on late whim and i

took 7th in the AG(not heat acclimated!) It was a great way to

pump money into the hard hit Puerto Rican economy. And the

day after the race, we went into a neighborhood to meet

impacted people and help with clean up – it was truly amazing to

see what they were going through. That night, we celebrated

Tim’s 50th birthday!

Which event was the most fun?

There were two. One was the second annual roll your own 70.3.

Nothing is more fun than getting together with friends for some

“racing”, eating and drinking. For those who don’t know, this is

an event that Tim and I have hosted for the last 2 years for fun.

The second was nationals. My son traveled with me. We drove

out together and saw the rock and roll HOF and pro football HOF

as part of our trip. Mixing time with him and racing in Cleveland

was a lot of fun. And i got to race with a lot of other friends there

as well!

What do you enjoy more, training or racing?

I love racing!!!! I love finding that extra gear.

What is your favorite workout?

My favorite is long rides with friends. I do a lot of my workouts on

my own – it is what works best for me. But i need that social

aspect once in a while. The long rides with friends don’t even feel

like work (even though we kill each other sometimes) – just a

great way to spend the day.

What is your hardest workout?

Run intervals in the dark by myself. It is not easy to wake up, go

out in the dark and do things like 6 x 2 miles or 8 x 1 mile. But i do

it – and it works!

Do you have a post race, reward yourself meal?

I love food so i am not terribly picky. However, my protein go to is

often a chicken sandwich with an extra chicken breast and fries.

And i am a total sucker for ice cream.

Do you do any mental training before races?

I am very good at breaking workouts and races into pieces – “you

just need to do x”. I can’t think about 70.3 or 140.6 miles – but i

can tackle one piece after another.

What are your toughest obstacles?

I don’t think anything unusual. All of us who have jobs and

families need to strike the right balance, and the priorities always

need to remain “family, work, training”. I travel quite a bit and

that adds significantly to the balancing act. Also, i love the snooze

button just as much as everyone else – another area that requires

mental training!

Do you have any other comments?

I would say i came for the fitness and stayed for the friendships. I

won’t deny it –I am one of the most competitive people you will

meet. But i don’t think i would stay in this crazy triathlon game

without the friendships. It is an outstanding community that has

given me some of my best friends. Thank you to all of you that

swim at stiles, hit the local YMCA’s train and open ride at

Breakaway, swim with Craig, ride outside, run with me (seriously, i

don’t always have to go fast!), and road trip, road trip, road trip!

As the holidays will clearly remind all of you – your family does

not want to talk to you about triathlon – but the crazy people

reading this will!

Written by Sharon
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