Friday, July 8, 2016

Curls For Girls: Interview with Rory Duckworth

Rory Duckworth is a local beast known to both inflict and endure pain at any race he enters. In addition to being one of our state's fastest triathletes, as many of you know he's also the visionary founder of the Salt Lake Triathlon Club. Among other things, here he relives the true glory days of high school football and breaks down what he currently has in common with "The Mailman," Karl Malone.

Thanks for the time, Rory, and best of luck to you and the entire SLTC this season!

What’s your athletic background and how did you get into triathlon? What was your first race and what were your typical results as a newcomer to the sport?

Growing up I played the typical Utah sports: football, soccer, basketball, and track (100m & 200m). I was best at soccer but most of my good friends played football. I decided in high school to only play one sport and focus on football. I really only played so I could get the ladies. That's how I ended up with my hot wife, Courtney Duckworth! After stopping sports and getting married, I put on some weight. Triathlon was an appealing way for me to regain fitness and lose pounds. 70lbs to be exact. My first race was the Telos Turkey Tri in Orem... I finished 33rd out of 36 in my age group. I borrowed a mountain bike and walked it up a small hill. I was so excited afterwards that I didn't get last!!! So excited that I signed up for one the next weekend in St. George at the rec center and finished about the same. Yet, I was hooked and the rest was history.

I feel like people with a football background turned triathlete are often strong cyclists, maybe in part due to squats/time in the weight room? Have you been a beast on the bike from the get go or did it only come with a lot of hard work?

No bro.... I did curls for the girls!!! Leg squats were for the guys that wanted to play college ball. I go hard on the bike because I know if I don't hurry they might run out of aid at the aid stations. My motivation is FOOD! But in all seriousness, I learned how to train with power and yes, worked my butt off.

 Just watch GEICO commercials. Support Rory if you actually need something (btw the plug is our idea to help a triathlete brother out, not his).

What was the breakthrough race for you where you realized “I can be pretty good at this sport,” and what are the top 3 results you’re most proud of?

Every race is a breakthrough... I learn something every time. I never think I am good at this sport. I just continue so I don't get fat! I don't have a top 3 because I truly love every race where I am out with other athletes suffering so we can go home sore, bragging to our friends that we paid to suffer...

What’s the history of SLTC, and what have been the most rewarding aspects of getting it going?

We started the SLTC in my little Farmers insurance office with the goal of helping others to become healthier/better athletes, improve the local triathlon community, and just have fun. I felt the Salt Lake area was missing a tri club and wanted something like the SUTC had down in Southern Utah.

Who’s on your SLTC podium (can expand beyond 3 if you want) for Most Improved Players over the past 1-2 years? Same question for best team players/fun teammates to be around.

With over 500+ paying members this question would be way too hard to answer. The SLTC has some pretty amazing people, not just with speed or talent, but just really good motivating individuals. We really love to win podiums and see the improvement in everyone but it's way more than that. It's a very social group that athletes can count on in times of need. From single mothers losing weight and staying motivated to first time Ironman finishers. This club has it all. That's what I love!

Healthy competition is part of what makes triathlon fun (if no one else showed up for a race, it would be pretty lame!). On that note, several people have told us there’s a bit of a “friendly rivalry” between SLTC and BAM. We think that is great for the local scene. Do you concur?

I think having ANY support group will help the triathlon scene, whether it be from our club or others in the state. We are fortunate enough to live in a state where triathlon is very prevalent. I've talked to countless people who have moved here from out of state, where the triathlon community is lacking. I love where we live and love the community! I don't focus on "competition" and try each day to make the SLTC better and give back to our members and the Utah Tri community as a whole. I care about every member of the SLTC and the Utah tri community; I wish them the very best and hope they can represent our state and country wherever they race regardless of club affiliation.

at times the race bib can double
as an excellent "loin cloth"
Is Kona a big goal and a motivator for you? Can you give us a quick summary of past Ironmans and the number of spots away you were from qualifying?

Kona-- heck yes!!! Who wouldn't want a reason to fly to Hawaii!!!

1) St. George 2011 38th place who knows how far?

2) St. George 2012 (Super windy) 13th probably 6-8 spots

3) Arizona 2012 19th (12-15 spots)

4) Lake Tahoe 2013 (9th 5 spots)

5) Texas 2014 9th (4-5 spots)

6) Unofficial Tahoe (Cancelled for smoke) 1st place overall out of about 15 of us that raced anyways. (No Kona spots)

7) CDA 2015 11th (5 spots)

8) Lake Tahoe 2015 6th (1 spot) :(

9) Canada July 24, 2016 ???

Kona is my equivalent of Karl Malone not getting his championship... lol

What’s your take on the triathlon scene in our state? It seems like participation is down overall, although in other ways it seems very strong.

I can only tell you from our club stand point... we have only grown each year and it only seems to be getting better!

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