My older brothers, Rick and Mike, both ran cross country at West Seattle High School. When they practiced on weekends or at night, after school, I would go out and run with them. We ran in old Converse tennis shoes. We would go on 2-3 mile runs. Those runs were easy for me. I had no problem hanging in there with them. I learned what sport I could do. Both cross country and track and field. Back then, there were great runners in Washington State, such as Gerry Lindgren, from Spokane. Both Washington State and Oregon were running meccas. Running was extremely popular in all the Seattle Public Schools.
I was good enough my sophomore year to walk on and make the Varsity cross country team the first day by running 2 miles in 11 minutes. I was varsity all 3 years of high school. Although I found running easy, I didn’t have the discipline to train hard. I was only average throughout my high school years.
One of my first triathlons was in 1987. I just walked on at Lake Sammamish to do a sprint tri without training. Until those days, I was primarily a marathoner. During my National Guard days, I turned out and ran with the National Guard marathon team. This earned me a spot to run every year in Lincoln, Nebraska at the National Guard Championships. So, running was an entry for me into triathlon racing.
Once I began swimming consistently, I also began to look for long distances such as the Olympic. I attempted to run my first Half Ironman in Boise. While I finished that race, me suffer score was high and my times were relatively slow in my age group. After completing Boise Half Ironman, I was first in my age group and qualified for the World Championships in Las Vegas. I continued to race and eventually completed a full Ironman at Lake Coeur d’ Alene. That race, at that distance, is still my PR today. The following year, while training at Coeur d’ Alene I ruptured my left Achilles tendon. Although having ruptured my Achilles tendon, I didn’t believe it for 2 weeks. I finally woke up, sought surgical help, and had my rupture repaired. I didn’t handle injury with grace. I was frequently caught cheating by riding my bicycle around the neighborhood with my cast on. I embraced physical therapy at Outpatient Physical Therapy. I had 22 sessions and that became my work out.
In recent years, my racing is primarily the 70.3 distance and a once a year a 140.6 Ironman. I try to do at least one Olympic and one duathlon per year. My favorite race is our very own Black Diamond Half Ironman. I think it is my familiarity and my training ground that make this race so much fun for me.
The future-I’m not the best planner. Many times, I can’t see past the next race. My next race often depends on how I did in my last race. I’m not ready to quit although safety is paramount. One cannot train without putting time on the bike and on the road. I look forward to many more years of training and racing.