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Last weekend was a busy one for Digitaria Sports. Our clients aren’t the only ones staying active and at the top of their game(s). Here’s three ways Digitarians are swimming, biking and running for great causes...or just because.
San Diego Triathlon Classic
While I’m an athlete, I don't consider myself to be one of those diehard crazy competitive people. Maybe that’s because I’m not competitive about being competitive. But, I do love trying new things, especially things that push me outside my physical comfort zone. Enter: triathlons.
Digitaria has been working with USA Triathlon since 2010. That was my first real exposure to the multisport lifestyle. I have never considered myself a runner, so I hadn't considered an event that makes me run when I'm already tired from biking and swimming. But I also didn't realize how accessible these races are.
Like many, I had always thought a triathlon was some grueling 12-hour endeavor, something "unattainable" to a human without superpowers. Kind of like a marathon. But then I learned USA Triathlon represents a wide breadth of activities. Can't swim? Try a duathlons (typically run, bike, run). Don't have a bike? An aquathon (swim, run) is for you. Bad knees? Aquabikes (swim, bike) are still accessible. Or mix it up with a winter triathlon (run, bike, cross country ski) or an off-road triathlon with mountain biking instead of road biking. But it's not just the activities that vary; you can start small with a sprint or even a super sprint, long before you're moving up to what the Olympic athletes do.
Sprint triathlon? I found one in Ventura in June, the USAT-sanctioned Admiral's Cup Triathlon: swim 400 meters, bike 12.5 miles, run 3.1 miles. Challenge accepted. I make some rookie errors, like swimming in 57 degree water without a wetsuit, but finished in a respectable 1:23:26. I finished the race head held high, thinking, "That was easy. What's next?"
The San Diego Triathlon Classic was last weekend in San Diego and I pushed myself to try the Olympic distance. My second race was bigger with four times the swim and twice the run and bike. It was a real challenge, and I finished in 3 hours 20 minutes and 57 seconds. With no baseline for comparison, I’m happy that I just crossed the finish line respectably in the middle of my age group. But only hours after the race was over, I found myself asking, “OK, what’s next?” --Kristina Eastham
What an amazing weekend! IRONMAN Wisconsin was an experience I'll never forget! It was my first IRONMAN and after doing a few IRONMAN 70.3 events (half the distance of a full IRONMAN), 2012 felt like the right time to step it up: 2.4 miles swim; 112 mile bike ride; 26.2 full marathon to cap it.
Training with a group in Chicago got me prepared and I felt ready as race day came. What I didn't expect was the enormity of the event. The energy the whole weekend in Madison was palpable. World Triathlon Corporation, also a Digitaria Sports client, puts on a great race and the Madison community comes out to support in force!
They always say there is no such thing as a perfect race and I definitely had my share of issues, but you just gotta keep moving forward. With tons of support from friends and family and the crowd that gathers, I felt energized all day. Once I got to the point where I could hear the finish line crowd and knew I had done it, I couldn't believe the feeling. I floated across the line to hear Mike Reilly's booming voice say:
"Doug Ruhl - YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!"
We were able to get showered, changed and head back to the finish line to watch the final participants finish. It’s an emotional experience to watch those people who had been out there for almost 17 hours make it to the finish line with the support of Mike and the crowd. I will return many times as a participant and a spectator. Not sure what's next, but I am fairly certain there is another IRONMAN in my near future. It’s a class organization putting on a great event. --Doug Ruhl
9/11 Heroes Run 5K: Travis Manion Foundation
September marks the start of fall, football, tailgates and of course, fundraising season. We heard about a wonderful cause through JWT, who sponsors the Travis Manion Foundation’s 9/11 Heroes Run. The Travis Manion Foundation’s mission is to “honor the fallen, by challenging the living.” To raise awareness for their cause, they host a series of races called the 9/11 Heroes Run, which also serves as a universal call to never forget the sacrifices of so many Americans who have chosen a life of service to our country. This year it hosted more than 35 races around the world, including San Diego.
Through weeks of trash talking and training, team Digi Sports showed up on Sunday ready to race and honor a very special cause. (If you’re wondering why it took weeks to train for a 5k, you have to remember that we are no longer young bucks in the prime of our glory days, but old goats behind a desk reminiscing about the time we could run circles around people like us). It took place at Liberty Station’s NTC Park on what was considered an unseasonably ‘hot’ day for San Diego. The opening ceremonies consisted of an inspirational speech given by Captain Duncan Smith remembering all of the fallen heroes, including Travis Manion, the foundation’s namesake, who was KIA (killed in action) in 2007 and his roommate from the Naval Academy Brendan Looney, who is now also part of the foundation’s mission after he was KIA in 2010.
The countdown began and it was race time. Each group had a pacing leader who ran carrying an American flag. Some were dressed in their full camouflage uniform, others running with weighted vests up to 50 lbs, while a couple were decked out in full firefighting attire. Other race attendees wrote names on their shirts of whom their run was honoring or what service they were dedicating this challenge to. When you looked around you undoubtedly knew why you were there and what you were running for: to remember the fallen and the continuing sacrifices of our service men and women.
Each team member ran hard and made it to the finish line, where we were presented with a Travis Manion dog tag that we could proudly wear around our necks. Overall, this was not only an event to reflect and remember, but also served as an inspiration for Digitaria Sports to do more events and runs throughout the years. Team Digi Sports is in total domination training mode! Be sure to follow our progress and get the latest scoop from @Digi_Sports on Twitter. -- Tricia Leone