2020 Member Spotlight – Justin RoweDecember, 2020
I got involved in Triathlon in 2016. A good friend of mine was diagnosed with Leukemia and the doctors gave him a list of things he shouldn’t do anymore. One of them was endurance racing events, so naturally he signed up for Raleigh 70.3 in 2017. Out of solidarity with him, I said I would join in with him for the race and training. I had never swam competitively whatsoever, had never biked more than a few miles and had never run more than a half marathon before. I had done a few Spartan races and Tough mudders but these always ended up being more social events than really trying to see how I could challenge myself physically.
My biggest mistake in triathlon, as you would expect, was grossly underestimating what I needed for training. Specifically in terms of practicing swimming in open water. When I got in the water and the swim start, I immediately had a panic attack and had to be taken out of the swim and ultimately the race all together. It was an incredibly memorable experience getting to watch my friend finish the race. His determination and focus really inspired me. Life took hold and I missed out on tris for a few years but in 2019, I finally finished my first 70.3 out in Atlantic City New Jersey.
After finishing Atlantic City 70.3, I was officially hooked on Triathlons and endurance events all together. I signed up for a 200 mile race across Haiti for charity as well as Ironman Cozumel. 2020 was going to be a big year but with Covid…all of the plans were put on hold. As I’m fairly new to Triathlon, I’ve spent 2020 focusing on Z2 training and just enjoying the process and finding new places to ride/run and new groups to ride/run with (socially distant of course!).
Outside of triathlon I’m a big “travel hacking” nerd. I love to try to find ways to travel around the world for as little money as possible using frequent flyer miles and credit card points. Pre covid, my wife and I did a 2 week trip through England, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong all for next to nothing! Right now, I’m just stocking up points for whenever everything clears up!