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
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
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
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
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!