Brent, we know you have a unique story both with your weight loss and your height. Would you mind sharing a little of it?
I've been a computer programmer, inventor, business owner and sat behind my desk for my whole working life for 8 to 10 hours a day. At 7' the most common phrase I get is "Do you play Basketball". But I'm terrible at it and all other group sports! I rarely exercised beyond home projects. I've struggled with weight gain all my life and peaked at 320lbs around 10 years ago. My knees hurt, I was tired and a big sweat machine all the time, very unhealthy.
After much discouragement, end of 2015 I downloaded couch to 5k app and started running, as the fastest way to burn calories and get the yucky exercise done quickly.
One goal led to another, in 2016 Bolder Boulder 10k, October Rock n Roll Half Marathon, and in January 2017 did my first Marathon in Arizona. Never had marathon as a goal and mostly hated running, but just kept doing it and setting targets as I went. I'm goal driven, and I knew if I didn't set another bigger target after each one then I'd be in trouble and fall back into bad habits. Read an article about Ironman which said if you could do a marathon, that was the hardest part of an Ironman, and you could probably do one.
Downloaded the free 12-week program. Joined Altitude, hoping the social aspects of it would make the exercise more enjoyable, and it has when I take advantage of group activities.
Bought a custom sized bike for 7' person and started swimming for the first time in my life last February. So, started the 5-month Marathon to Ironman program. I was so afraid of the swim, or it would have been shorter.
Amazing how weight control became easier when exercising 10-15 hours a week. I lost the final 50 lbs. since starting the running and now sit around 190lbs compared to 320lbs.
How long have you been doing triathlons?
7 Months. Boulder Sunrise June 2017, Ironman Santa Rosa July, Ironman Coeur d' Alene in August. I was told by multiple people in the club, take it slow and work up to it over a couple years, and that only made me want it more. In my mind it was a formula. Do the workouts, you can do the race.
What made you decide to jump right into an Ironman?
I wanted to hear those words "Brent Safer, You Are an Ironman!". Something no one in my family history has ever done. It sounds horribly shallow but it's what I wanted. My motto for life has been I can do anything by reading, with enough self-push, and a "Don't quit" attitude. Throughout the training, I kept thinking I want to show my kids this "Don't ever give up and you can do anything". You can even be an Ironman if you want it bad enough.
What is your favorite distance?
Can't answer. I seem to like racing, surprise! Even shorter races, tons of fun, and neat people.
What is your favorite race so far?
IM Santa Rosa was beautiful Course.
Why do you tri?
Keep the weight off and be happy with myself.
Which is your favorite? Swim, bike or run?
What is your A race this year?
You can only accomplish what your body God gave you will allow depending on how you treat it. I was fortunate last year, but this year am being hampered towards my next goal of increasing speed due to injury. Only thing I've signed up for is Evergreen Sprint.
What do you do when you are not training?
Working (App development), family, and vacation travel.
How do you balance triathlon and family?
My kids are all grown, and my job is super flexible. I think anyone that can accomplish all this with full time job, kids at home and is able to balance it, is truly an amazing person!
What advice would you give to someone just starting this sport?
Don't let people tell you what you can or can't do. Know yourself, go do it, and have fun!
What skill or experience would no one guess you have?
I play classical piano and keyboards/guitar and have played in bars, weddings, you name it over the years, but mostly play in church now.
Race preference: Small and Local or Big and National
Big and National
Gus, drink mix or real food?
Coffee, beer or wine?