Greetings from Michigan!
I am blessed and honored to represent the Barrelman Triathlon for 2019 and help spread the word back in the states about multisport and this great event!
I’ve been running since grade school, but fell in love with multisport during the run leg of my first triathlon relay in 2002. Waiting for my biker to come into transition, I couldn’t help but admire (and feel slightly jealous of) the brave athletes doing all three disciplines. My first mini-sprint tri followed shortly afterwards and I was immediately humbled during the swim (but finished the race smiling and wanting more). Sprints turned into Olympic distance races, and eventually half-iron distance events. Ten years after that first relay, I committed to training for an iron-distance triathlon in hot, humid Kentucky. Crossing the finish line hurting (but smiling) I said “never again”. The next day I was already writing my race report and thinking of redemption at a future 140.6 (Mont Tremblant)! Multisport has provided so many unique racing experiences over the past 17 years that I wouldn’t trade for anything!
Outside of triathlon, I have been lucky to teach high school science for the past 21 years as well as coach high school cross country in the fall and track & field in spring. Wanting to introduce the next generation of athletes to multisport, I’ve organized a summer sprint triathlon for our student-athletes the past 3 summers.
My triathlete wife and fellow Barrelman Ambassador (Shannon) and I have two amazing daughters who love to stay active in competitive swimming, recreational gymnastics, and even a few youth triathlons. They inspired us to start a summer youth triathlon training group and triathlon event in our hometown in 2016. In its 4th year now, the group has grown to include a separate adult triathlon training cohort plus a weekend of triathlon races (including triathlon relays…coming full circle from 2002!).
As a Barrelman Ambassador, I see an opportunity to not only bring other Michigan athletes to the event, but also introduce them to a sport that can benefit people from so many backgrounds. Racing Barrelman in 2017 and 2018 introduced me to a well-organized event logistically designed with the athlete and their safety in mind for all 3 disciplines. The swim venue has unique elements ideal for setting PR’s. The scenic bike course has also been the site for PR both years. The half marathon run course is one of the most challenging I have ever raced, although the sights along the way make it memorable. Finding high quality multisport events can be challenging, and I feel more Michigan athletes need to learn about Barrelman Niagara Falls.