Bob Spicer moved to Colorado from New York in 1983. Currently he is gearing up for the St George IronMan 70.3 and later in the summer Lake Placid IronMan 140.6. He began his triathlon career in 1989 at the St Croix, U.S.V.I. Half-IronMan event known as the “Beauty and the Beast”. St Croix is a ridiculously hard course made more heart-breaking as all the age group winners were awarded Kona Qualification slots, meaning, in addition to the course itself, it attracted some of the top amateur athletes in the world who were constantly flying by you as they vied for the KQ slots. The race itself starts with a beautiful ocean swim followed by a bike ride around the island. The Beast is a 0.7-mile climb that touches a grade at over 25 percent at its max. The climb breaks a lot of people as many folks are walking or “mail-manning” as they go up. Finally, the blazing hot run goes along the coast and winds through the golf course at the Buccaneer Hotel. It is a challenging course to say the least; therefore, it only makes sense that Bob then trained for 26 years in preparation for his next race; i.e., the 2015 LavaMan Olympic triathlon.
Bob played football and wrestled as kid; therefore, having no relevant background in any of the disciplines was an adult-onset swimmer, biker, and runner. In 2013, after losing nearly 50 pounds (down to 188 pounds), he started running marathons to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The LLS also had triathlon coaches available; so, he was enticed to race the LavaMan Olympic Tri in Hawaii in 2015. Bob wanted to make sure the course challenged him, so, in addition to little swim preparation and a “Johnny Weissmuller” swim-style (head out of the water and no goggles), he bought a used Women’s Bike from a friend and off he went. Despite an overall pretty miserable day which included missing a turn on the run course and needing to DQ, he got bit by the tri bug. He found the training and racing helped him break-away from the stresses of life and used it to balance his mental sanity. Shortly thereafter, he joined RMTC and began racing triathlons of all distances.
Bob’s favorite race was IronMan Arizona in 2016. He shared how much he enjoyed the training and the race itself. He shared that, in preparation, Bob rode his first Triple Bypass to test his fitness and readiness. “I was in great shape for that epic ride and I absolutely nailed the Triple Bypass. It ended about being that huge boost in confidence I needed as I now knew that riding the flat 112 miles at IronMan AZ after the 120 mile, 10K’ elevation gain Triple Bypass would be a piece of cake.”
At IronMan AZ itself, Bob had a very funny story. Bob was convinced by a former coach that training with Slim Jim’s was a good idea. So, at his first full IronMan in Tempe, AZ he decided that eating a Slim Jim during the halfway mark on the swim was a great idea. He slipped two unwrapped Slim Jim’s into his wetsuit sleeve and off he went. He consumed one; but, forgot about the other until he got out of the water and the wetsuit peeler was stripping off his wetsuit. As she pulled on his wetsuit, the remaining Slim Jim, by now, a different color and swollen with water, went flying up in the air and landed at their feet. They both looked down at it; then, locked eyes momentarily as she had a completely bewildered look. What do you say? Bob said, “Um. You can have it.” Then, ran off. 😊
Finally, he shared his experience when he crossed the finish line. There is nothing equal to the feeling you get when you finish your first IronMan. And, for Bob, it brought a tear to his eye as he recalled all the work and effort he put in while he ran down that finisher chute.
Since 2015, Bob has raced in multiple triathlons at all distances with his last race being the RMTC Club 70.3 race held last summer. As he readies for St George 70.3 and Lake Placid 140.6 despite working through a posterior tibial tendonitis injury, he has been building his bike capability by spending quality time on the Trainer, leveraging TrainerRoad. Bob is a regular at RMTC track, weekend Rides and Gravel Pond. Bob shared that the RMTC sponsors have been a big help as well as he recently placed a big order for BASE SALT, has found the Hyper Volt percussion massage tool by HYPERICE to be a key contributor to recovery which he described as a “Foam Roller on Steroids”, has tapped into REBOUND for his ongoing rehab on the surgery he’s had on his foot, and tapped into both XTERRA and ROKA for wetsuits and ROKA for their bike glasses. Finally, he shared that one of the best things he has done is to tap into the RMTC Coaches. He shared how great it was to have someone to talk with to help you along your journey has been invaluable, especially as he has gotten older (he is now 61).
In closing, Bob shared that over time, triathlon taught him how to keep his life in balance through dedication and disciplined training. He shared that as he has gotten older, you have to realize that you are no longer going to throw-up super-fast times, but, you will have great days. If you really are not up for a given workout, take the day-off. If your body is telling you to take a break. Take a break! He then summed it up with the powerful statement — Be kind to yourself.