Meet Rich from the United States and the story behind his Sportymaps prints.
Rich in front of his Ironman Sportymaps collection
You have several Sportymaps posters for half and full Ironmans. Can you remember when you first heard about Sportymaps?
I seem to remember just doing an internet search for race posters and coming across some pictures and being really impressed with the look. I really liked the simplicity of the posters and thought it would be a great way to celebrate some hard-fought race successes.
Why did you want to remember your sportive achievements with Sportymaps?
I don’t care how tough you are or how great of an athlete you are, finishing any Ironman distance is a win no matter the time. I wanted something to remember those accomplishments that would look great on the wall. Sportymaps fit that bill perfectly.
How did you become an Ironman Did you transition into it from another sport?
I certainly didn’t start out to be a triathlete. Like most people, I would have considered the idea very unnecessary and perhaps even a waste of a lot of time. I grew up playing soccer but I got into running because my wife was a runner. I managed to injure myself after my very first marathon and wasn’t able to run or bike for quite some time. I knew how to swim, but I was basically only able to not drown. Since I wasn’t able to run and I still wanted to exercise I started to go to the local Rec Center and forced myself to eventually swim laps. I doubt I would have taken the time to swim if I could still run. Once I recovered, I thought I would put my swimming skills to work and signed up for my first triathlon. After that I was hooked.
What Ironman discipline is your best and how do you try to improve the other two?
I would say that I am least bad at running. To improve the other two, I’ve taken a combination of extra time training on both as well as utilizing technology such as a power meter on the bike to help my training. I’ve really focused on the swim more recently and have slowly improved my technique from comically bad to pretty ok. Someday I hope to get to kinda alright.
Do you have any Ironmans, or perhaps other sport events, on your wishlist?
I’d love to compete in the World Championships in Kona someday but I’m way off of that pace. I believe they have a lottery to get in too, so perhaps I could just get lucky some year. Beyond that, I would love to travel internationally to do races. I have my eye on a race in New Zealand at some point in the hopefully not so distant future.
Finally, do you have a tip for people who would like to take on a (half) Ironman too?
Know that you can do it and don’t hesitate to get help in preparing. I’d recommend at least one triathlon season before tackling any Ironman distance race but once you have the basics down I’d say go for it. Sign up for that race, get a coach (or online training program) and get to it. There is something about having the race on the calendar that is incredibly motivating. I know when I was training for a full Ironman I would daydream about crossing the finish line and how I would feel knowing I completed the race. The feeling was even better than I imagined when I actually did it.