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My Race Addiction

By Jeff OCoin | June 11, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

My start into the multisport lifestyle may be similar to your story: I was a runner who was getting bored of 5ks and wanted a new challenge.

Growing up my dad and a few of his friends would race a local triathlon series as a relay team, so I thought I would give it a try too. I found a race close to my parents’ house that sounded interesting and signed up to do it as a relay with my dad and uncle. This race was the Aggieman Triathlon and consisted of a kayak/road bike/trail run. After that first race I was hooked and decided that the next year I would do the whole thing.

My second year consisted of two kayak/bike/run triathlons because I was not — and still am not — a swimmer. My third year I started off with two winter triathlons, still avoiding the swim, and then my first-ever duathlon. Later that year, I even tried a few sprint triathlons.

My race addiction was getting started and in that third year I ended up completing 14 multisport races along with a number of running races. I became known in my tri club as a “race addict” for my 30 to 50 races a year — getting me into the USA Triathlon Century Club after only five years of racing. Every year starts and ends with duathlons.

jeff ocoin

Even though I can get through all distance swims from sprint to ultra-distance races, duathlons are still my favorite events since I started as a runner and have progressed to being more of a cyclist. There’s just something about the start of a duathlon, with everyone lined up together getting ready to go where people are more relaxed and have more conversations, which I just don’t feel that you get at the start of a triathlon where people may be more anxious getting ready for the swim.

 I’m not in this sport to win, just to improve on my own times and have fun while doing it. Most of my friends are the people I have met and compete with in my local Tuesday night off-road triathlons and Thursday night road triathlons. Luckily for me I live in an area where I can race in a triathlon every Tuesday and Thursday night all summer long. Multisport is more than just a race in my community, it’s a social event.

By the time Nationals come around I will already have competed in four duathlons and most likely five triathlons so I will be race tested and ready to compete for a spot in the World Championships next year, which is one of my main goals for the year. Nationals was also an easy sell for a destination race to my fiancée since her sister lives less than 30 minutes from the race. Race day has turned into a family reunion where I’ll be able to meet some future family members for the first time at a post-race/pre-wedding get-together making it a full day. Of course if I qualify for Worlds next year that trip may top this one just due to the destination itself. We’ll see how many family members want to get in on that trip.

For more info or to register for the race, visit the 2014 USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships event page.