I love to compete but there are so many additional reasons why I love being involved in multi-sport and running and this weekend was a great example. Saturday morning I competed in the Crystal River Triathlon and this time as a relay team with great friend and Duathlon (run-bike-run) legend, Bob Brown. Here I’ll share my experience racing with Bob and our Total Fitness team.
I remember meeting Bob years ago at races and I always thought – this was one freakin’ tough customer who always seemed to embrace the suck and loved a great competition. We chatted a bit over the years and then in late 2018 I began racing duathlons and this was Bob’s wheelhouse. We chatted more and more and before you know it we began riding together from time to time and when I say we pushed each other to get stronger…wow… We have completed several rides in the hills of San Antonio, Florida where we would leave not saying much as we didn’t have much energy to chat…
Our friendship continued to grow and discussions about life, our kids (we are proud dads!), the Bucs, and health entered the equation. I have learned a lot about and from Bob over the years and one thing is certainly true, this guy is a fighter. From competition, to life and in October (29) – a knee replacement. For someone who lives for duathlon like Bob does this was a major challenge to confront. Not only did he have the knee replacement, he needs another on the other leg so he has been and still is, in constant pain.
He continues to work on his recovery seven months later and still can’t run far although he is trying (and it will come…). About a month ago we were chatting and I asked Bob if he would be interested in doing a triathlon relay where he could do his thing, on the bike, and I would swim and run. He thought about it for a few seconds. His voice changed in a curious, positive manner for a couple seconds with the thought of racing again and committed. I imagined how I would feel if I was sidelined as Bob has been and simply wanted to help him feel like Bob again. We would compete as team, Try Plants, as Bob has been eating more plants too…helps so much with recovery and overall health.
When we arrived in Crystal River Saturday morning he had the face I remember on race mornings. He was excited to be there but there was no doubt, he wanted to COMPETE and do his part on the bike. I loved seeing him be Bob again. We practiced exchanging our timing chip that wrapped our ankle as we would need to exchange it throughout each transition.
I started out on the swim, my first in a race since 2018. I was excited to dive back into the swim portion. It was a quarter mile swim and when I came out I was satisfied with my effort and quickly raced into transition where Bob grabbed the timing chip and off he went on the bike looking like Bob! He came back quickly after crushing the 15 mile course and I grabbed the timing chip back for the final run.
Out on the run I was thinking how cool it was doing it together and that quickly vanished after mile one as I felt the heat and strain running the 5k sprint. I came through the finish and we gathered for celebration and reflection…we had won the relay. It was awesome to be talking race stuff with Bob again and on a team this time. As you can see in the photo his smile lit up the podium.
Bob and I both love competing our asses off but on this day for me it wasn’t about racing, it was about a friendship… This sport has taught me a lot about myself and life and on this day I was appreciative to be Bob’s friend, teammate, and also friend and teammate with my fellow Team Total Fitness family.
Thank you Bob for the opportunity to race with you and be your friend.
– Add Health to Your Life