2020 Member Spotlight – Bob BrennanMarch, 2020
In the late 1990s, I started doing the Masters Swimming program at Hains Point. Through that I started doing Open Water swimming, but I also met a lot of triathletes. Triathlon sounded really awesome, but I had one small problem – I didn’t know how to ride a bike. Through my then-fiancée, who was a cyclist, I ended up learning to ride in the early 2000s. However, I stopped swimming after that because with starting a family, I did not have the time for it. I did continue to ride and was doing Century rides. Fast-forward to 2011 – after I had done a metric century in March, my boss said “you should do the Eagleman Aquabike in June. You are already trained for the bike and since you used to swim, you could probably be ready in two months.”
I signed up and went to the race in June. While I was in line at the port-a-johns, I was stuck behind this obnoxious man bragging to a woman out of his league about his triathlon experiences when a volunteer came up to me and, spying the age on my leg, told me I needed to get to the start line because my age group was going off. After I explained to the volunteer that I was doing the Aquabike and going off last, the woman interrupted the man and asked what happened. The man replied “Oh, he’s JUST doing the Aquabike.” I was so pissed that I vowed at that moment that I would be back next year to do the whole thing (and I did).
What was your first triathlon?
My first triathlon was the Terrapin Triathlon at the University of Maryland in 2012. It is a sprint triathlon with the swim in the indoor pool. It was nice because it was only 10 minutes from my house and since I went to Maryland, I was familiar with the terrain.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in a triathlon?
I made two huge mistakes the day before I did the Eagleman Aquabike in 2011. First I decided to attend a family graduation party in Harrisburg, PA. Leaving at 8:00am, I drove from Silver Spring to Cambridge to rack my bike, back to Silver Spring (getting stuck in Bay Bridge traffic), to Harrisburg for the party and returned home about 10 that night – about 8 hours of driving to attend a 3 hour party. And I still had to wake up at 3:00 the next day to get back to Cambridge. The second mistake was bringing a 6-year old with me to bike racking and not realizing that they would not let him in with me, meaning I had to leave him outside of transition. I think he is still scarred from the experience.
Do you have any memorable races or experiences?
Mont-Tremblant in 2016 was special because it was my first (and likely last) Ironman and my family was able to share the moment with me. I probably had my best race at Timberman, and I am sad that it is no longer an event. My favorite local triathlon is Rock Hall, and I plan on doing it again this year.
What races are you doing this year?
I have decided that this year will be a swimming year. I signed up for the Chesapeake Bay Swim in June and the Traversee du Lac Tremblant, a 12k swim a week before the Ironman in August. I hope to do a couple of local Olympic triathlons, including Rock Hall and Waterman’s.
What do you enjoy outside of triathlon?
My time outside of triathlon is usually spent driving to and attending the sporting events of my daughter (who is also a DC Tri member) and my son. I enjoy going to concerts (already psyched for Green Day in August) and watching Maryland Basketball and Philly sports.
Any fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share?
I will share my “Two Truths and a Lie”, and you can figure it out.
1. I was compared favorably to a Hall of Fame shortstop in the local newspaper for a play I made in Little League.
2. I coached a basketball player when he was in the 7th grade who was later compared to Michael Jordan.
3. I was referred to in a critically-acclaimed Christmas song.