USA Triathlon News Blogs My Story 21 70.3s in 21 Days

21 70.3s in 21 Days

By Jeff Fairbanks | May 31, 2016, 4:49 p.m. (ET)

Jeff Fairbanks“You are going to do 21 days of 70.3s in 21 different cities? You’re crazy!”

This is the reaction I tend to get when people hear about my upcoming tour to discover “why we tri.” And yes, I agree. But let me back up and give you a little understanding of why I’m doing this journey called,The Triumph Project.”

A little over two and a half years ago, I was met with a challenge from a buddy to complete a marathon. Coming from a background where I found it difficult to train for a mile and half run, I was naïve and just proud enough to think that I could do it. Of course I did it, but not with the strength I was hoping to achieve. What lacked? What went wrong? Maybe it was the absurd distance. Or maybe it was because I needed a twist.

I decided to switch it up — keep the crazy but extend it across several sports. So I decided to keep with the running but trade my dirt bike for a cycling bike and why not add in a swim? I used to surf, so I know how to swim — or I thought I did.

So with a borrowed bike, an old surf suit and the willingness to tri, I found the finish line along with an amazing community experience that left me wanting more.

I had never been involved in something that seemed to support the last finisher as much, if not more, than the first. There were so many individualized competitions within the competition itself. It felt more like a joint effort of personal achievement more than a me-against-you environment. I couldn’t believe it, and in that moment, knew that it was something I needed to be a part of.

Several months later, during a cold winter’s night, my wife and I were searching for a movie to watch. She had come across a documentary titled "Tiny," which was about a young man embarking upon his first tiny home build (without any construction experience) in order to pursue his dream of living small.

The documentary showcased his struggles to build his new home and magically interlaced others who had made the transition and discussed the whys of doing so. It captivated me and at the same time, lit a fire inside about this new passion of mine: triathlon.

I remember telling my wife that this is what I needed to do: a documentary about why we do this sport from the ground up.

I had no clue about how to get that done. No movie experience. No contacts. I didn’t have any experience in triathlon, but that didn’t stop me. This wasn’t going to stop me either.

Nearly two years and many adaptations later, my vision and what is nowThe Triumph Project” has evolved into something I am so proud of and encouraged by.

The journey itself begins July 27, 2016. I will be traveling down the east coast, beginning in Freeport, Maine. Over 21 days, I will visit 21 cities and complete a 70.3 effort (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) in each city.

This is meant to be a community project. Its goal is to bridge our voices, to ignite those within the community and to spark those who may be gaining their courage to tri. I invite others to join me along the way, at any of the stop locations, for any of the efforts (swimming, biking or running) or just to spectate and support!

I believe we are capable of so much more than we potentially give ourselves credit for and the reward is far greater than you could ever imagine.


2016 Triumph Project Dates and Locations:

  • July 27 Freeport, ME
  • July 28 Old Orchard Beach, ME
  • July 29 Gilford, NH
  • July 30 East Freetown, MA
  • July 31 Naragansett, RI
  • Aug. 1 Westerly, RI
  • Aug. 2 Middlebury, CT
  • Aug. 3 Long Island, NY
  • Aug. 4 Atlantic City, NJ
  • Aug. 5 Lewes, DE
  • Aug. 6 Cambridge, MD
  • Aug. 7 Cape Charles, VA
  • Aug. 8 Williamsburg, VA
  • Aug. 9 Grimesland, NC
  • Aug. 10 Wilmington, NC
  • Aug. 11 Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Aug. 12 Kiawah Island, SC
  • Aug. 13 Tybee Island, GA
  • Aug. 14 St. Augustine, FL
  • Aug. 15 Clermont, FL
  • Aug. 16 Vero Beach, FL

If you would like to be a part of Jeff’s journey, including but not limited to spectating, sharing your story and planning, please feel free to reach out to him on his website, Instagram or via email.

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