Friday, April 1, 2011

The "Manatee" Makes his way to Daily Trainings!

DT has a guest writer today, a good friend and training partner of mine. This guy is a beast when it comes to training and racing. He is always up for a S/B/R . His family can often be seen at any number of races on the weekend volunteering if they are not racing.

An Iron Man Adventure by David Barczak

This past November, like many others, I joined the dubious ranks of the unemployed. Thankfully, I had a reasonable rainy day fund set aside for such "unforeseen circumstances". Although I will need to find gainful employment in the not too distant future, I have decided to use this unscheduled vacation time to tick a monumental item off of my bucket list and in the process raise funds for the Memphis Child Advocacy Center (MCAC). My goal is to train this summer and attempt to complete an iron man distance triathlon and in doing so I hope to raise $14,060 for MCAC...that's $100 for each of the 140.6 miles I will traverse during my iron distance triathlon adventure.

An iron man distance triathlon is an event in which one swims 2.4 miles, bikes 112 miles, and then runs 26.2 miles….all in a row….all in one day. It is estimated that only about 1 in 75,000 people in the United States ever complete an iron distance event. The most famous of these is the Hawaii Iron Man. Like the Boston marathon one must qualify to get into the Hawaii Iron Man race by placing high in the standings in a qualifying iron distance event. The iron distance event that I will be attempting to complete is the Beach to Battleship 140.6 (B2B) to be held in Wilmington NC on October 29, 2011. That gives me about 7 more months to train and raise funds. After that, I'll be working hard to find a new job.

To successfully complete the task I will be training a good bit these next 7 months. I am currently training about 10 hours a week. Starting in June I will be ramping up to 14 - 18 hours a week which will include swimming 5 - 7 miles, biking 125 -175 miles, and running 20 - 35 miles each and every week. I generally train 5 days a week taking Monday's & Friday's off to let my old body recover a bit. I'll also be entering several running races and triathlons along the way just to keep my competitive juices flowing and to gauge my progress in both speed and endurance.

A little about the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. In their words…."The mission of the MCAC is to serve children who are victims of sexual and sever physical abuse through prevention, education and intervention. Our vision is a community where children are safe, families are strong and victims become children again".

In my words…it is an amazing place, a collaboration of government and non-profit, that successfully works together to help victims in many ways and to get the perpetrators off the streets. Please go to their web site to learn more (

How can you help? Thanks for asking. There are a several ways. First and most important…pray for all victims of child abuse and pray that I can obtain the strength, endurance, will power, and courage needed to complete my iron man journey. Secondly, if able, a donation would be greatly appreciated. I know times are rough and that you are constantly bombarded with donation requests from a variety of sources. So, if you are unable to donate that is fine. Just send me an email of encouragement....that would be great ( If you are able to make a donation, no matter how small (as little as $5) as it only takes a few small ones to make a big difference, that would be wonderful. Just send a check made out to the Memphis Child Advocacy Center to me at 3999 Lighthouse Cove, Lakeland TN 38002. I will make sure the check gets to the MCAC and make sure that you get a thank you note. And thirdly, pass this email message on to folks and family members that know me or that you think would like to help the cause or like to follow me on this adventure.

Now, a little more about me. I am 51 years old, which I used to think was ancient but now realize is actually more like middle aged; however my kids still think it's ancient. I have been happily married to the same beautiful wife for 30 years. We have 4 children…1 daughter who is a Junior in college and 3 sons ages 18, 13, & 11. The 18 year old will be college bound this fall so we will be left with only 2 at home. I did my first triathlon in 1989. It was the Memphis in May Olympic distance triathlon (roughly a 1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.2 mile run). Since then I have completed another 30 - 35 triathlons of varying distances. The longest distance I have ever done is a half iron man race. I completed the Racine Half Ironman 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) last summer in 5 hours and 31 minutes. My triathlon nickname is "the manatee". My running training partner is my loyal mutt dog Gibson. We rescued Gibson from the shelter a couple of years ago and he has been running at my side ever since. Thanks for taking the time to read my story.

David "the manatee" Barczak

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