2020 Member Spotlight – Brian Lee

May, 2020

How did you get involved in triathlons?

In the summer of 2017, I had recently moved back to the DC area and started a new job. With all of the changes in my life, I decided to try something else totally new and so I signed up for my first olympic distance triathlon for the following May. Completing a triathlon sounded super impressive, so I figured why not give it a shot? After signing up, I also decided then was a good time to learn another new skill: how to swim! Nothing like a race 8 months away to start learning how to swim!

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in a triathlon?

During that first triathlon (Monticelloman 2018), I learned two fundamental facts rather quickly: 1. It is not a good idea to have never worn a wetsuit until the day before your first race. 2. It is also not a good idea to have never performed an open water swim until the day before your first race. Who knew it would be that different from a pool? After being rather quickly taken out of the water with a nice DNF designation, I was lucky enough to be allowed to continue onto the bike and run portions. Unfortunately, this meant I was now mixed in with the racers for the 70.3 course and so I really stood out as I got passed for the following two hours!

Even with this memorable racing experience, I was hooked and quickly signed up for two sprint races with *pool* swims a few months later, signed up for the next year’s NTP program, and practiced wearing my wetsuit and open water swimming! I’m hoping to return to Monticelloman next year for my “redemption” race…

How was NTP?

The NTP program was even better than expected. While I had some experience (questionable) coming into it, I found the seminars and training program instrumental in helping me achieve my goal of completing an olympic distance race. They took what seemed like a huge goal and made it achievable. The community we formed was also a great way of experiencing the same struggles and successes as we worked towards our mutual goal.

What do you enjoy outside of triathlon?

I really enjoy movies, reading, and traveling. My wife and I alternate each year with a domestic US trip (usually to a national park) and a trip abroad the following year. Pre-COVID-19, I was supposed to be leaving for Belize this week… Oh well. More time to train indoors?