Sports have always been part of my life even from an early age. Running around on the soccer field as a boy transitioned into many years of cross country and track and field and then road racing. My first triathlon experience came in 2002 when I joined a sprint relay team with my girlfriend Shannon (who I now get to call my wife!). I was immediately hooked on multisport, and began the journey into individual sprint triathlons, then Olympic distance races, and eventually half-iron distance. In August 2012, Shannon and I completed and survived our first iron-distance triathlon at IM Louisville. Having learned valuable racing lessons, we successfully applied those lessons in 2014 and thrived at IM Mont Tremblant. The past 16 years have provided so many unique multisport racing experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything!
Outside the competitive season, I pursue my calling of teaching earth and environmental science at the high school level. In addition to teaching for the past 20 years, I have been blessed to coach high school sports Each fall I get to coach over 100 student-athletes on the cross country course, and again during the spring track & field season. Wanting to introduce this next generation to multisport, I’ve organized a summer sprint triathlon for our student-athletes the past 2 years.
Shannon and I have two amazing daughters who also have a love of sport, including competitive swimming and recreational gymnastics. They have even completed a number of youth triathlons, and inspired us to start a summer youth triathlon training class in our local community in 2016. That class has grown to now include an adult triathlon training class as well as community youth sprint, mini-sprint, and sprint triathlon races. This year we will introduce triathlon relays as a way to introduce kids and adults into multisport (coming full circle from 2002!).
Triathlon is a life-changing sport that so many can benefit from experiencing first-hand. I am very excited to become part of the Barrelman Niagara falls Ambassador team and see this as an opportunity to bring other Michigan athletes to the event. Racing Barrelman in 2017, I loved how well the race was organized and logistically designed with the athlete and their safety in mind for all 3 disciplines. The swim venue and bike course were ideal for setting PR’s. The challenging run course offers such a unique and beautiful venue for a half marathon. Finding high quality multisport events can be challenging, and I feel more Michigan athletes need to learn about Barrelman Niagara Falls. I can’t wait to share my journey to the 2018 race and realize the potential it can have for others.