Yet Another Reason...


Posted by Coach John

This past weekend was the first day of our local triathlon club’s summer training series. The club, TriGulfCoast, host the Mere Mortals program. This is geared towards newbies as they prepare for their first triathlon. Most of the fledgling attendees have the sprint triathlon, Santa Rosa Island Triathlon in early fall, in their sights.


Over the years the group has had a decent following of 30-60 members at each of the meetings.  The first few sessions have less until word-of-mouth gets out and the numbers grow. This year’s initial meeting had a surprising 114 athletes. Blame a growing sport or social media or even an involved, proactive board on the substantial growth. All I know is, I like it!


A lifestyle that I am passionate about demonstrates how fun and attractive it is by these impressive numbers. And triathlon survives because of the new folks coming out to challenge themselves, check off a bucket list item or just get healthy.


I was so inspired as I looked around the crowd. Many had a race or two under their belt, but a quick “straw poll” revealed that around one-third had not done a triathlon yet. These excited, eager and possibly apprehensive faces were fixed on the speaker as he talked about “first-timer” info. The veteran triathletes were on hand to offer advice and encouragement, showing that all are welcome and that the sport really is all-inclusive. One just needs the desire to attain the moniker, “triathlete.”


I am in the business of helping people achieve that goal, and today’s activities - the intro talk followed by a group ride - was extremely inspirational to me. Give me more days like this, where, despite your fitness level, age or previous athletic experience, goal-seekers come in droves to become triathletes.


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