Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Skirt Sports' Tim DeBoom Night

Every month, Skirt Sports does a clinic on the first Tuesday. The clinics include a fun run (around 5K or just under) and something informational, whether it be nutrition, or run form, or whatever.

May's clinic featured Skirt founder's husband, Tim DeBoom. Tim, if you don't know who he is (and if you're a triathlete reading this blog, SHAME ON YOU), is a triathlon rock star. He excelled at pretty much every level of the sport and is the last American to win the Ironman World Championship in Kona. He was inducted into the USAT Hall of Fame over the Boston Marathon weekend and finished his career with a win at Norseman.

I've met Tim a few times previously, but only briefly (see: Skirt Sports 5K last year). Listening to him talk was an awesome experience - he's an engaging speaker and a great storyteller.

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A few highlights:

- During his first Kona win in 2001, he passed by Nicole on the run during an out-and-back portion. Wifey (who finished 12th that year), stopped on the run and waved her arms and screamed at Tim ... who was so focused and in his zone that he didn't even notice her and ran right by. Of course, being the lead runner and having all the cameras on him, this was picked up and shown on the broadcast that year.

In 2002, win #2, same thing happened, except this time, Tim stopped for a hug and a kiss ... and go figure, no media caught the moment for his redemption.

- In his peak years of training, he would have to wake up in the middle of the night to eat something, his metabolism was so revved up.

- He spoke of the long rides he'd do, from his home in Boulder out to ... somewhere, 60-80 miles away, easy out, hard back. That the gas station pizza that had probably been sitting out for four, five hours never tasted so good halfway through, and he'd grab an ice cream cone on his way home for another bit of energy.

- He spoke at length on Norseman, the last race he did (and won). How he loved the realness of it, the very anti-corporateness of it. That the lake you swim in his cold, and if the weather shifts and it got colder, they'd throw you out deeper into the fjord and your bike would get extended by several kilometers, but hey, whatever, that's Norway. That he would purposefully seek out the miserable days, to train in the rain and wind and snow and hail. That he had his brother Tony, as his crew (no aid stations; your aid stations are the friends and family you bring with you), reminding him of their early days in the sport, traveling around the world racing. How it was probably his most favorite race ever.

(I took notes so I could pass them off to Sonja, who's racing it this year.)

- He trained himself to have an iron gut, eating all sorts of weird stuff and going out the door for a workout, so if his nutrition plan went to hell in a race, it didn't matter, because he could eat anything on course and he'd be fine. 

(I enjoyed hearing that, as it means my run nutrition plan at IMAZ of eat whatever looked good was actually validated.)

- After he finished and I ran, I asked him if he thinks another American will ever win Kona. He thinks it can be done, but thinks that someone is going to have to go over to Europe or elsewhere and get beat up in racing, learn what it takes to be the best and get humbled, before it will happen. Knowing the image of athletes in our sport in this day and age, it makes sense ...

Overall, it was a fantastic night. I almost didn't even care about the run; listening to a triathlon legend, one who raced in the days when you could qualify for Kona at an Olympic-distance race, was awesome.

Again, thank you to Skirt Sports and Nicole DeBoom (and Tim, of course!) for making the night happen.

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Nicole reciting off Tim's accomplishments.

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