The Re-Bucket List


Back in 2008, I decided to cross off a some of my bucket list items.  First, I wanted to run a marathon.  Secondly, I wanted to do an Ironman.  And so I did.

My first marathon was along the Atlantic shore here in Jacksonville as part of the “26.2 with Donna – the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer”.  That particular race (which still runs every February) was a fantastic initial marathon.  Pancake flat.  A couple of miles on the beach.  Great crowd support.  Amazing women and men who had beat (or were in the process of beating) breast cancer.  My finishing time was not great (and really isn’t important)…but I was successful in crossing that item off my list.  Incidentally, back in 2010, I did a “Ten Questions With…” interview with Donna Deegan – the founder of the race.  Click HERE to read that interview.


On the run course at IMFL in 2009

Following that marathon experience, I signed up to race Ironman Kentucky, in Louisville.  I was severely underprepared for that race.  I tried to train without a real plan.  I didn’t think that the hills would be all that rough.  I didn’t devote as much time as I should have to training.  As a result, the race was a disaster!

I got into the swim expecting to have some downstream current.  There wasn’t any.  I sort of freaked out mid-swim and ended up having to do some backstroke and breaststroke.  I finished the swim in close to 1:40 and then headed out on the bike.  So….in case you were wondering….Louisville is NOT FLAT.  I was seemingly going up or down the entire time.  I tried to take my time and pace myself, but by the end of the bike, I was completely gassed.  I started out on the run and very quickly determined that that leg of the race would be a combination of running and walking.  By the time I got through 13 miles, it was more walking than anything.  I made it through 18 miles and got pulled off the course.

Upon returning to the transition area – completely devastated about my performance – I called home to speak with my wife.  Believe it or not, she had already signed me up for Ironman Florida – in just about six weeks’ time!  She really wanted me to cross off that bucket list item!

And so, in November 2009, I toed the line in Panama City Beach for IMFL.  The swim was much better than in Louisville – even despite the Gulf being seriously choppy.  The bike was great – much more along the lines of what I was accustomed to.  I did a modified Galloway approach on the run – running 3 or 5 minutes and then walking 1.  And best of all, I finished!  The time was not great (15 hours and change), but…..I FINISHED!

Cross that baby off the list!

Except that baby is back on my list again.

See, for the last couple of years, I’ve been thinking about doing an iron distance race again.  Sometimes when I’m in a rough spot on a run, I call up a mental picture of crossing the finish line at IMFL or remember that feeling of accomplishment.  But, I’ve held off on actually doing another race.

Things started to get serious last year – my friend and I were talking about doing a full.  It was on his bucket list, after all.  Plus, he wanted to do one before he turned 50, and time was running out.

We had our eyes set on doing Beach to Battleship in November 2016.  This Wilmington, NC, race had developed a fantastic reputation for being a super-high quality independent iron distance race.  The price point was much lower than Ironman, the swim was current aided (and crazy fast), and the rest of the terrain was similar to northeast Florida.  Plus, the November timing was perfect.

And then, B2B decided to sell out to Ironman.  While I certainly am open to racing an Ironman event, to me it was difficult to reconcile spending $300 or so more on race entry fees for substantially the same race – just because of a name change.

Enter Rev3 Triathlon and their race at Cedar Point!

Cedar Point

See, I’ve been on the Rev3 age group team for a bunch of years, but have never raced at Cedar Point.  Honestly, I’m not sure why – other than the fact that Sandusky, OH, is about 17 weeks away by car and not super-easy to fly to, either.  I do love roller coasters, though, and by all accounts the course is quite similar to what I’m used to.

So….Rev3 Cedar Point is now on my 2016 bucket list!  The race is September 11th this year, and I’ll be ready to race.

And this time, it’s not just about completing the distance and crossing off a bucket list item.  This time, instead of “Complete an Ironman”, the bucket list item is “Race Rev3 Cedar Point”.  There’s a real, tangible difference there.



Volunteering Can Earn Your Group Money!

We all know that races in general, and triathlons specifically, live and die on the backs of volunteers.  You need volunteers to hand out race packets, man the aid stations, direct traffic, hand out bottles and bananas, deliver race medals, and so much more.  Quite frankly, were it not for the multitude of volunteers at any race event we do, those events would likely not exist!

Perhaps you have volunteered at races previously.  If you have, you know it’s a really cool and rewarding experience.  One time, I volunteered at the bike check-in for Rev3’s race in Knoxville.  What made this even more fun for me is that I wore a bunch of Florida Gators gear and gave anyone who was wearing University of Tennessee clothes all sorts of needling (in case you didn’t know, Florida and Tennessee are fairly big rivals).  I had such a fun and amazing time…and all I was doing was telling people where to rack their bikes!  It’s not like I was handing out gels to folks who were on the edge of bonking or anything!

Volunteerism is a great way for you to meet tons of athletes, give back to our sport, earn hours required for high school graduation, work off that community service requirement for your misdemeanor trespassing charge, whatever.  Typically, though, when you volunteer you just give of yourself.  Your time.  Your talent.  Your effort.

Now there’s a chance for Rev3 to give back to you (or more specifically to your group).  Rev3 has a really cool thing called the Local Charity Donation Program.  They will donate $15 PER VOLUNTEER to a group that brings 15 or more volunteers to work at one of their races.  Talk about a really easy way to make some money for your Scout troop, Abuse Center, or Pet Adoption agency!  If you happen to volunteer at either the Williamsburg event (June 22-23) or The Dells event (August 10-11) and bring a group of 15 or more, Rev3 will pay $20 PER VOLUNTEER!

What else do you get for your time?  Well, in addition to the eternal thanks of other athletes, a lot of “Thanks for volunteering!” comments, and a good sunburntan, you get a handy-dandy Rev3 Volunteer t-shirt!  What a bargain!

Interested?  Check out Rev3’s website and pick the particular race that you’re interested in volunteering for.  Each race has a “Volunteer” tab that details out each open spot and how many folks are needed.  It’s really as simple as 1-2-3!  If you’d like to bring your Youth Group, Knitting Outreach Club, or other organization and take advantage of the Local Charity Donation Program that Rev3 offers, reach out to Tracy Bryant, Rev3’s Volunteer Director.  You can reach her via email at  You could also send a tweet to @REV3TRI or leave a comment on their facebook page.

Go volunteer at a Rev3 race.  You’ll be glad you did (and so will countless other athletes)!