We’ve got a new podcast for you to check out! Junior triathlete Aidan Landrum, age 14 of Georgia, started the U23 Triathlon Podcast in late 2017 to chat with youth athletes, coaches, pros and other industry specialists about triathlon for youth, junior and under-23 athletes. USA Triathlon Kids caught up with Aidan to learn about the podcast and his own multisport experiences.
USA Triathlon Kids: What inspired you to start the U23 podcast?
Aidan Landrum: For several years, I’ve been watching International Triathlon Union (ITU) races on TriathlonLIVE and listening to triathlon podcasts while driving to and from practice. I’ve learned so much from watching the races and listening to the interviews. I wanted younger athletes to have a chance to learn about each other and feel like pros being interviewed because it’s just a matter of time before they will be the next generation of Gwen Jorgensens and Ben Kanutes.
USAT Kids: What types of content can listeners expect to find in the podcast?
AL: Listeners to the show can expect to hear interviews with youth and junior elites and U23 athletes just getting into CAMTRI racing all the way to pros who grew up in the sport or got into triathlon through the Collegiate Recruitment Program (CRP). We have interviewed bike mechanics, running specialists and former swimmers but will also talk to sports psychologists, coaches and even USA Triathlon in future episodes. Our “Ten-Minute Topic” focuses on current issues like new ITU rules, and we also have a trivia section where people can test my knowledge of the sport.
USAT Kids: Do you have a favorite episode so far?
AL: This is a hard question to answer because each interview has been good in its own way. Lane Hollis’ interview was interesting because he talked about his third-place finish at YE Nationals and I was in that race. Tamara Gorman, a Junior and U23 World Champion, had a lot to say about running in college and returning to the sport at an elite level, and Michael Zimmerman told us about race directing youth triathlons and what it is like to travel around the world announcing races. Kira Stanley has won Nationals and is always a top finisher at races was a really fun person to interview and talked about her experience in CAMTRI races. I can’t pick because they were all so great!
USAT Kids: How did you get your start in triathlon?
AL: My parents had done several sprint triathlons and decided to sign me up for IRONKIDS Alpharetta when I was 6. I remember practicing transitions and doing mini triathlons at our local YMCA so I would know what to expect on race day. I was convinced I had placed top three in my division, but in reality, I was third from last. My parents didn’t tell me the truth for several years. I didn’t do another triathlon for two years because I was running 5k races and playing baseball and soccer. But I won a local kids’ race at the YWCO when I was 8 and decided I wanted to try and qualify for IRONKIDS Nationals. My parents drove me from Georgia to Quad Cities, Iowa, where I placed third and qualified for Nationals. Three weeks later we went to Des Moines where I placed 10th at IRONKIDS Nationals. We stayed and watched the HyVee pro race the next day and got to meet Javier Gomez, Emma Moffatt and Hunter Kemper. I have been committed to the sport ever since.
USAT Kids: What’s your favorite part of the sport?
AL: My favorite part of training is being with my friends and teammates. My favorite part of racing is the run because I have been doing local 5ks and fun runs for as long as I can remember, and I just love running. My favorite part of the sport is the excitement at all the races. I love it when I show up and get to see friends from other states and athletes that I look up too, and of course race!
USAT Kids: Why should more kids consider giving triathlon a try?
AL: Triathlon doesn’t just teach you how to swim, bike and run. It teaches you great life skills that you will use no matter what you do with your life, like dedication and grit. Racing has taught me how to deal with nerves and pressure so I can use that experience before a test or job interview when I get older. I have met people from all over the United States and visited places I never would have if it weren’t for triathlon. It is so much more than just a sport.
USAT Kids: Anything else you’d like to add?
AL: I think that people should remember to enjoy the sport. I love the quote from Non Stanford, British triathlete and 2013 World Champion: “I would rather walk away from the sport with more memories that medals.” I think this is a great quote because you could have hundreds of medals but if you have 1,000 memories that is so much more valuable.
Listen to past episodes of the U23 Triathlon Podcast on u23podcast.com.