Daniel grew up in Ecuador and, as he described, “swam before I walked”. He absolutely loved the water and took every opportunity to be in it. He was, for a long time, the smallest kid on the high dive at the local pool and trained with the local swim team. After college, back in Ecuador, he got an affinity for the bike as well and learned to find enjoyment mountain biking as well as a bit of road riding with the local cycling community.
In the year 2000, he took on an epic challenge. He rode from the southern tip of Patagonia to the Arctic Circle. A self-supported, 14K+ mile bike ride that took 8.5 months to do. (This revelation deserves a dramatic, jaw-dropping pause.) He said that it was kind of a crazy thought that came to fruition when he met a guy through the local cycling community who was interested in doing the same thing, and that guy knew another person who shared the goal. Apparently what you think about in Ecuador… 😊 When asked how one mentally and physically manages to complete such a mammoth accomplishment, he shared that although at the beginning, the totality of the goal was beyond comprehension, coupled with the most difficult part of the trip occurring during the first few weeks where they dealt with massive head winds (13 hours to ride 35 miles), eventually what he and his compadres settled into a systematic routine: “wake up, have breakfast, ride, find some place to camp, have dinner, go to bed… Repeat”. Very quickly it became like a job where they would, for two weeks at a time, ride on average 60 miles a day and camp; then, take a day off and spend time in a hotel or with friends they knew of or met along the way. When asked about what stood out about this life changing event, he shared that “it was the realization how wonderful humanity is as, along the route, we met very nice folks who would give us money, feed us, allow us to stay at their home, and more.”
It was only a matter of time before triathlon came into the picture and, of course, it was going to be long course… 😊 In 2010, his wife and he were on summer vacation in Colorado and decided to race Boulder 70.3. One’s first race is stressful enough without factoring in the distance and the ‘enormity’ of the IronMan events. The race itself went off flawlessly; however, getting there was a challenge as they were markedly delayed in getting from their connection in Miami to Denver and, once arrived later than expected, spent the day before the race running around to get their bikes and be sure they were functional leaving little time to rest prior to race morning.
A few years later, Daniel and his wife moved to Colorado and he quickly was introduced to and joined RMTC. He shared that “RMTC is a great community of like-minded people with a diversity of levels that made it very easy to feel welcome. For anyone that does this type of stuff, they need to find partners in crime to support you throughout and that is what the RMTC community does.”
He joined the Friday swims, weekday Track workouts, and the Saturday morning rides as he prepare for both the Boulder 70.3 and Boulder IronMan in 2014 as a member of RMTC. In preparation for that race, and since, he has frequently tapped into the RMTC sponsors: bought his bike through Blue Bicycles, his shoes at Runners Roost, his wetsuit with ROKA, and frequently taps into Blue Rub when recovering from workouts.
Since 2014, he has made a 70.3 and/or full IronMan the focal point of every year; i.e., Galveston 70.3 and Arizona IronMan in 2015, Boulder 70.3 in 2016, IronMan Chattanooga in 2017, Boulder 70.3 and Cabo 70.3 in 2019, IronMan Cozumel in 2021 an, recently, has recaptured his roots of being a mountain biker to take on XTERRA Lory and XTERRA Beaver Creek which he has done for the past 3 years and are the focal points for 2022 along with a 7-10 bike trip along the Colorado trail – from Durango to Denver.
Dan shared that his affinity with long course racing isn’t about crossing the finish line, it is all the work that goes into preparing to be at the start line. “I have a passion for the feeling I get as my capability improves and truly enjoy the training process itself.” Triathlon has provided him goals that require a healthy life style and relishes in the goal setting and tracking that are required to participate and compete in multisport.