100 Triathlons
Go to the early blogs to read how I got into triathlons. Click on any picture to enlarge it. I'm now in USA Triathlon's Century Club; go to
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly." Theodore Roosevelt 1910

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Reflections on # 100

On July 20, 2010, I completed my 100th triathlon. I stumbled on this upcoming event several years ago when I totaled all the race numbers I had saved over the years (with the race data inscribed on them). At that time it was a very surprising 72 which in turn provided me with a goal of 100 in the not too distant future. Looking back at the 100 Triathlons I've done, you can view the statistics:

1 Mini-Sprint Tri (my first triathlon; see earlier post)
1 Team event: 1993 Chicago Sun Times Triathlon; Team Ameritech, 2nd place (I did the 25 mile bike leg in a thunderstorm on Lake Shore Drive)
22 Olympic distance Tris (St. Anthony's Triathlon 10 times)
76 Sprint Triathlons (plus 1 fun triathlon, the 2001 New Year's Day Hair of the Dog Triathlon put on by the St. Pete Maddogs. Sandy & I did it together on our tandem bike.)

Medal Count:
Firsts - 12, Seconds - 8, Thirds - 10
No penalties ever, No DNFs, 2 flat tires (same race!)

But I think the greatest part of competing in this sport is all the great people I have met. My wife Sandy has been extremely supportive, emotionally with encouragement, physically by being there, and nutritionally with her wonderful meals. (Pic on left is from the 2000 Sanibel Triathlon)

Others who contributed to my success are my friend & occasional coach, Jeff Cuddeback (pic below with former pupil Olympian Hunter Kemper), his wife, Dr. Kim Watson, who got me back in shape after a broken collarbone in 1995 and several other injuries,
Alec & Lera Rukosuev (National Training Center coaches) for their advice over the years, the late Jim Ward (for years the oldest Ironman World Champion), Bruce & Maddie Olster, David Sanborn of David's World Cycle, for his continued support, Race Directors Fred Sommers/CFT Sommer Sports, Zahid Buttar/Buttar.com, and Rob Wallace/Tigershark Endurance Events, USA Triathlon for their guidance & management of this young & growing sport (when I joined it was Tri-Fed USA), the St. Pete Maddogs Triathlon Club, all the wonderful volunteers and referees like Charlie Crawford who labor on hot Sundays so we can race, and many others who I've met over the years. And a big thank you to the fine people at Hammer Nutrition for the wonderful products that I used for many years. Their free guidebook is a great resource for endurance athletes. http://www.hammernutrition.com/
One of the neatest experiences I've had was when a co-worker, Hollie Finley (pic on left), asked me to coach her in her first triathlon. Over several months, we found her a bike and the accessories and did practice rides and transition rehearsals. She then did her first race at Moss Park.

Looking ahead, I've just signed up for the Atlantic Coast Half-ironman Triathlon on October 17 at Ameila Island, Florida (just north of Jacksonville). This will be my first half-iron race (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run).

People ask me why I did 100 triathlons. It’s not like I planned on doing one or two and then moving on. I look upon triathlon as a fountain of youth; something that will keep me fit and moving for the rest of my life. But endless training with no goal is to me without purpose. Triathlons, whatever distance, give you a point and a goal to achieve, if just to have a good time. After all 17 years and 100 triathlons, I still get excited on race mornings. I also still say to myself during the swim, bike and run, "Boy, is this great!"! That's why I keep going.

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