Wednesday, November 22, 2017

TOP LOCAL RACER: Gerald "Double Digits" Brady

In the Utah tri scene, no one raced more this season than Mr. Gerald Brady.

We reported on a total of 19 Utah triathlons (36 total races when you count sprint, olympic, etc), but with some races occurring on the same day, there were 12 race opportunities.

Gerald raced 10 of them: six Olympic, two 70.3's, and two sprints.

We wanted to recognize this beast for being atop our list and get to know him a little better... thanks for the time, Gerald!

What’s your athletic background and how did you get into triathlon?

I swam on the swim and water polo teams when I was in High School. I followed that up with 20 years of a couch potato. A little over 6 years ago I needed to get a new job. I found USANA and that is what got me off the couch. I had a great coworker (her and her husband have started triathlons!) who talked me into joining her for a crossfit class at work. It was hard getting started, but I kept at it. I always hated running but was asked by our wellness instructor if I wanted to participate in a couch to 5k that another coworker was putting together. I was shocked that soon after I could run a 5k without stopping. I was added to the Facebook group Run4Fun and signed up for my first race on my own, the Revolution Run.

The following year I was told about the KOPFC indoor Tri series, and signed up. Shortly after that several coworkers at USANA got together to race Ironman St. George 70.3. I went and loved it, well except for the running. It was getting ready for St. George when I was introduced to the SLTC. The support and friendship from the club is one of the major reasons I race.

move aside and let the man go thru, let Gerald Brady go thru

You crushed the field this year with 10 local races (of the 19 we tracked for rankings), with your closest competitors coming in at 7. You also took down Ben Russell’s 9 from last season. What would you say to encourage people to race more often? Maybe not double digits, but to get out and support the local scene a race or 2 more?

The biggest thing that helped me race so many was signing up for RaceTri’s "The Works" package. I signed up early in the season, so I knew when I had races. What else are you going to do on the weekends? Cut the grass? Do that the day before garbage day! 1) the smell around the can will be less and 2) You will have time to come out and race on Saturdays! Your attendance not only helps the local race scene, but you could actually help someone who may be struggling in the field.

We had you at 10 local races, but word on the street is you did a handful more… what others did you do this year?

When I signed up for Oceanside I took a package that included the Super Seal Olympic in Coronado Ca. Both of those races were amazing. Many cities will also put on races, and I did several of those. The South Davis Labor Day Tri is one of the first outdoor tri’s I raced, and I've been racing that one for a few years now. I also raced the Lifetime and KOPFC indoor tris. While IM puts on a good show, I really enjoy the city races. I have found many people who are just trying out this sport for the first time. I enjoy encouraging them to keep at it. It’s awesome to see them the next year or even at the next event with a smile on their face!

What gets you out to so many start lines… what do you love most about racing?

I wonder that often, but essentially racing is how I burn off stress. If it is not a race, a group training activity would also do the same. I try to get to as many as possible. I enjoy being out and active. When I let that old couch potato me take over, that stress builds back up. Burning that off is what I love the most.

Briefly summarized, in your opinion what is the biggest “pro” and “con” about each of the local tris you raced this year?

Icebreaker: Pro - First big outdoor race of the year, 50 meter pool!! Con – Rain.

St. George 70.3: Pro – Club support/beauty. Con – crashing on the bike coming out of the lake ☹

Salem: Pro – The firetruck shower after the swim. Con – first race after crashing at St George.

East Canyon: Pro – Bike ride down the canyon! Con – the run, did not match the views of the swim or bike.

RockCliff: Pro – Green, cool, great location! Super fun! Con – Mosquitos the night before

Daybreak: Pro – very close, good run course. Con – lost my good swim goggles, steep hill by Butterfield Canyon.

Echo: Pro – Bike and run along the lake! Con – Fellow Club member had a bad bike crash.

Utah Half: Pro – lots of personal time to think. Great support from several club members. Con – very hot during the run and too much time to think.

Black Ridge: Pro – last min swim change. Con – they did not include the water slide as the swim start.

Camp Yuba: Pro – RaceTri had so many race day issues collide this year. Final race of the year and we had a very long delay due to dense fog, yet they made it work. Con – Same day as Brineman.

After all those races, what was your favorite overall and why?

Camp Yuba. Life changes all the time. How do we deal those changes? So many things were going wrong with the weather that morning. Fog and mud. The race director was calm and supportive while they scrambled making changes so we could have a complete race. I feel I had my best run for an Olympic at this event.

What’s the prognosis with your knee, and how are things looking for 2018?

Left knee is healing well, as of right now, the right knee is still in question. They definitely have caused me many issues during the run portions of all my races this year with Oceanside and the Mt. Nebo Marathon being at the top of that list. At Oceanside if not for the support of many friends at the event I would have crawled off. 2018? I am going back to Oceanside to crush it. Plans for a full are on hold till I understand my knee issues and I hope to go back to St. George and get a new personal record.

Do you typically train solo or with SLTC, and in general how has SLTC influenced you as a triathlete?

My first year at St. George I had the support of several coworkers, and the following year I had the support of the SLTC. The support of the club, both on and off the course, made a huge difference in my race. I know this is an individual sport, but for me it is about sharing the experience with others. If it was not for the invitation and support of a coworker I would not have become active again, and I would not have found triathlons at the core of my activity.

I train when I can. My biggest struggle is time and myself. I do better with a group, when left alone I can easily talk myself out of the workout. If not for groups like Run4Fun and SLTC I don’t think I would be racing at all. I would not have pushed myself, I would not be racing.

You brought up Ironman when we met up for your swag. Have you completed one and/or is that a big motivating goal for you once your knee recovers?

I have never completed a full Ironman. That is something I would love to do. Training time and the run are what are keeping me from racing. We will see how my knees heal.

 Anything else you want to share?

Help others. Keep a positive, forward moving attitude, stay focused and remember why you race. Say hi as you pass me on the bike or run!

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