Member Spotlight: Charley Perez, RMTC Coach!

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The club wouldn’t exist without Charley (literally — read on!) and he puts a ton of his own time, sweat, and love into making sure it’s even more awesome year after year… but what do you know about the man who loves tequila, biking fast, and coaching? Uncover more in this week’s member spotlight!

Why did you decide to join the peace corps?
​I was just out of college, John F. Kennedy was a hero and he kept giving me messages that I should join the Peace Corps and be of service to people in another country.  That made more sense than going to war with people of other countries (Vietnam and Cambodia).​
Who are your heroes or coaching idols?
Running Athlete – “Boston” Billy Rogers / Steve Prefontaine
Coaching – Arthur Lydiard (Famed New Zealand Coach) / Percy Cerutty (Famed Australian Coach)​. Today’s coaches have built their methods upon them.
Who has a faster marathon PR, you or Stuart Evans?  (hehe)
​​I’m old and the older I get the faster I was.  My best time was 2:40 and change at the Deseret News Marathon.  I believe you were 2:40 and change at the St. George marathon.  Let’s call it a tie!
What is your favorite workout to do?  What is your favorite workout to make your athletes do?
That’s a tough question, but I like the workouts that keep people moving with little time to think about it – For running it’s hard to beat the racing to break the 4 minute mile like we did a few weeks ago.  I also like combination workouts (e.g. 1200/400 combos with little rest in-between), and the 2 person relays for repeat 400s.  For long “sufferfest” workouts, it’s hard to beat the Metric IM.
You have a lot of experience in doing awesome races and events. What are the best 3 events you have done (What events would you recommend people make sure they do)?
My best events???  – Ironman World Triathlon Championship in Hawaii has to be #1 just because it was an event that I had never expected to do I got totally swept up in the atmosphere and experience. After that, it’s hard to come up with #2 and #3.  I have been very fortunate to have competed in some huge events such as Boston and The Dirty Kanza (albeiit the “half pint”), but sometimes best events are not always races.  An awesome event that I think everyone should do at least once is the Puerto Rico Vuelta – over 350 miles in 3 days is an experience I will never forget. Also, taking a week long bike tour in Italy is something everyone should do.
Do you have any bucket-list events that you haven’t done yet?
No, not really.  As I said before, I feel very blessed to have been able to participate and compete in an unbelievable number of races and events.  God forbid that something would happen and I could no longer say “yes” to something new on the agenda, I think I have been allowed more than my share of good times.
How did you first get interested in triathlons?
Running injuries. As I got older, I started experiencing more and more running injuries. Rather than sit on the couch, I would be water running and therefore got interested in swimming. I had an old bike and realized I could do long rides to replace long endurance runs. At first triathlons were all just cross-training to stay fit (oh and back in the 80s, nudity was allowed in transition!)
What is personally your greatest athletic accomplishment?
Probably staying healthy and uninjured for as long as I have (knock on wood). I have nagging injuries that seem to be chronic, but I have been lucky in regard to career ending issues.
What is your favorite part of RMTC?
The members of the club. My career has been working with people to better themselves (either psychologically or physically).  As a psychologist, I always saw my patients as people who had an innate drive to be better.  Some people just picked unhealthy ways to make themselves better and that’s why we were working together.  Every week, I see our members running, swimming, biking, to meet that innate drive to be better.  I love the “endorphin chatter” that follows an especially taxing workout.  That tells me we’re doing good stuff here.

At what point after founding RMTC did you become the “coach”.  Did you draw a short straw?
It was me from day one. I was the Team In Training Triathlon Coach in 2001 and RMTC grew out of Team in Training. Although I provide the coaching leadership, this club would not have grown and become the Monster club that we are without the officer leadership. I love how each year we have people step up to take on the officer roles.  I think that helps us remain a club for all the members, and one that works to support all levels of performance, from the beginners to the elite. I believe we are all special here, because we are all working very hard to achieve our goals.
The 2015 President for RMTC, KP loves to do triathlons, write emails about triathlons, and play outside (specifically skiing uphill).
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