Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tim DeBoom: Discovering New Places

by: Tim DeBoom

“I’ve traveled every road in this here land.”

When Johnny Cash’s legendary baritone sings these words from “I’ve Been Everywhere,” I’m reminded of my own life on the road these past 17 years.

Travel is definitely one of the perks of being a professional triathlete. Other sports allow athletes to train and compete around the world, but almost all the marquee events in our sport are held in places that are also considered vacation destinations. I can honestly say that I have visited almost all my dream vacation spots through racing. I have also discovered some places that I never would have considered visiting but are now possibly my favorites on this planet.

In 2000, I had been injured and sick early in the year, so my season got a late start. I needed a race in which I could find my rhythm before Kona. The great guys at Klagenfurt, Austria-based Triangle Sports invited me torace the Ironman there. I had never thought of going to Austria and did not know much about the country, except from the movie “The Sound of Music.” (My mother forced us boys to watch that movie when we were young. She claimed it would give us some culture.)

When flying into Austria, all I could see was green. The whole countryside appeared to be a manicured golf course. My wife and I stayed at an incredible bed and breakfast and immediately became part of the family there. It was a challenge to continue my taper because all I wanted to do was explore the surrounding areas. The lake water was so clean that I thought of actually hydrating during the swim. Of course, this excludes the warmer waters that plague the beginning of every swim. The bike course was a fast, challenging loop around the lake with a tiered climb that was once used in the Giro d’Italia. The run went through a beautiful park and quaint cobbled town that was fast and filled with fans the entire way.

The race itself went fine. I came in second to a blazing Jurgen Zack by about a minute. The real memory of the race, however, was my introduction to the European crowds. This was my first European Ironman, and I felt like I was in a stage of the Tour de France. The crowds would part at the last minute, leaving just enough space to let me through, and cowbells rang in my ears for days afterward. It sure makes it tough to bonk with all that fan support out there.

After the race, we stayed a little longer and enjoyed some more of the country, driving into the mountains and then down to Venice, Italy, for a day trip. As touristy as Venice can be, I was amazed by the history of the city and became addicted to the espresso. Like most people go to a bar and have a couple of beers, the Italians have bars where they drink shot after shot of espresso with spoonfuls of sugar in every one. That is probably why I came home and had to buy a thousand-dollar coffee maker. The other thing I remember clearly about Venice is the abundance of stairs in that city. Wendy Ingraham and I were doing the post-Ironman modified crab-walk for much of the day. Keep this in mind if you visit after the race.

As a mountain man at heart, I think Ironman Austria sets the benchmark for races that have it all. However, there are several races that deserve an honorable mention. In Pucon, Chile, a smoking volcano glowed red outside my bedroom window at night. In Laguna Phuket, Thailand, I swam with elephants in the surf before the race and got chased by a wild pig during the run. Yes, I ran fast that day! If you want to stay close to the U.S., take a day trip from Phoenix down to Rocky Point, Mexico, for the Las Palomas Triathlon and the best post-race beach party around.

The sport of triathlon offers a bounty of exotic locales just waiting to be discovered, not only for the incredible scenery and beauty, but for the people you’ll meet as well. The hospitality in some of these places is beyond what I have experienced here in the States. In most foreign countries triathlon is a spectator sport that draws huge crowds and a festival-type atmosphere. The triathletes who never venture outside their comfort zones are missing out on some incredible adventures. Whether you are new to the sport or a veteran who has finished 100 races, I highly recommend doing a destination race in the near future.

I started my adventures by driving around the country to races with my dad and brother, and I gradually ventured beyond U.S. borders and traveled the world. Interestingly, I wrote this column while traveling in Australia for another race. I’m happy to report that I just discovered a new favorite spot to add to my list (or the lyrics of my own little ditty). Byron Bay, I will be back.


tom said...

Play Roulette and Roulette also Casino finest Casinos games Slots U can play Slot experience Slots play Slot most advanced Slots card games Texas Holdem Poker and Poker Online and Online Poker and Poker and Poker world's leading Blackjack and Blackjack selection of Casinos Online sites Casinos Stop searching Online Casinos go Play Casino Online safe & secure Casino Onlinelive 24/7 Casinos sites Online Casino generous deposit bonus Blackjack join the No Deposit Casino most trusted Play Casino real money Casino Online fantastic atmosphere Online Casino feel the buzz of a live Casino Las Vegas Casino Huge jackpots Casino attractive Casinos most professional Casinos o multiplayer Casino quick cash outs Casino play 21 Blackjack all limits Slots largest tournament Casino Online sit-n-go Online Casino bet Casino Free and Play Poker also Holdem Poker and Poker Games and Casino Poker and Online Roulette and Play Roulette and Slot Machine and Free Slots and Black Jack and Black Jack and Online Blackjack also Free Poker & Play Poker Online and Poker Bonus and Casino Games and more

tom said...

I started to use Viagra I tried Cialis. I got in to a pharmacy to Buy Viagra and Buy Cialis, I intended to Buy Cialis or maybe Cheap Viagra I decided to Buy Levitra at Cheap Levitra site. I got to an online pharmacy to Buy Lipitor drug that lowers the cholesterol Hydrocodone medications as Cheap Vicodin and its related Cheap Hydrocodone I will continue Buy Hydrocodone I went to the doctor to Buy Oxycodone I in a online pharmacy to Oxycodone I'll try to Vicodin it cost much less Buy Valium I think it as the same effect as Buy Vicodin it is easy to Buy Hydrocodone I can also Hydrocodone my doctor advise me Vicodin I started a diet, and going to Phentermine and Buy Phentermine I also Buy Acomplia and Buy Vicodin I went in for a physical the doctor told me I can soma and Buy Ultram pain medication Buy Oxycontin is a derivative of opium as Buy Valium I also have sleeping problems I tried Xanax It is better to use online pharmacy to Xanax and Buy Xanax I'll try to Buy Ambien I originally take Ambien, since I used internet to Ambien I recommend some sites Buy Percocet pain reliever as well as Buy Xenical also
Buy Adipex and Buy Zolpidem. also Viagra and Cialis and Levitra and Cialis last Viagra and Buy Viagra and Buy Viagra good health!