There are many wonderful things about the sport of triathlon. There are the health gains, the thrill of competition, and the challenge of mastering three sports, just to name a few. But for me, one of the biggest sources of joy is the people. I am blessed to work for a company of coaches whom I deeply respect, but I also personally admire them and treasure their friendship. That a!one would be enough. But there is so much more than that.
As a coach, an athlete, and a rules official I have built a network of relationships with a tri-family that widens every year. This past week at IRONMAN 70.3 New Orleans I made many new friends and found myself reconnecting with many athletes that I have met before.
The world of triathlon is indeed small. I don't know how.many times I have asked, "do you know _______ " only to find out that the person I have just met DOES know ____!
Lee and I were talking to a triathlete who was in New Orleans as a sherpa supporting her father. She is a grad student at the University of North Texas. We asked if she knew Coach Amanda, who is working on a PhD from UNT, and of course she does!
Speaking of Coach Amanda, yesterday I was in a rules briefing and looked over my shoulder and there was Coach Amanda, in town to cheer on an athlete! So Lee and I met that athlete, Kelsea, our Facebook friend who is coached by Amanda, in person.
Lee, Coach Amanda, Coach MarkT, and Kelsea at their improptu meet-up
At the IRONMAN 70.3 New Orleans swim practice I heard a voice yell out, "is that Coach MarkT?" And I turned to see Susan from the 2016 Team RWB tri camp.
The tri world is great. The greatest thing about it is how small it feels. We are family. We are close, inclusive, and supportive. Interconnected.