It’s time to meet another member of the Asheville Triathlon Club! This time Ben Rickert, our super awesome Social Co-coordinator is our lucky guy. Ben’s only been doing triathlon for a couple of years, but he knows how to train and race in style (and in a fashion that is totally wife-approved). If you haven’t yet had a chat with Ben, you’ll want to after reading his answers to our questions…
1. Why triathlon?
I get a rush from race day. There’s something about that first moment of anticipation where you are waiting to start, and then the gun goes off. I’m not nervous, but I’m not relaxed either, and then suddenly it’s “go” time. Plus, my wife Susan and I pursue the sport together, which gives us a challenge to take on together and keeps us in good physical condition for the other active things we like to do, like mountain biking, hiking and kayaking. Sometimes, date night is a long run or hitting the pool together.
2. What’s your favorite thing about the sport?
So far, it’s seeing my capability improve over time. I’m newer to the sport and did my first tri back in 2012. In that particular race, I placed 99th overall, and this year in the same race I placed 24th!
3. Tell us about your first race.
My first actual race was a 5k a number of years ago. I had no idea what I was doing. As soon as I heard the gun go off, I just started sprinting and had pretty much burned myself out in the first half mile. It felt terrible, but I still ran the whole thing. I was not running regularly and was about 15-20lbs heavier – I didn’t warm up beforehand or stretch afterwards, and my legs hurt so badly the next morning, I had to walk down the stairs backwards. But I was hooked. At this point, I realized there had to be a better way to do this…
4. If triathlon could have a 4th leg, it would be __________
If we could work some flag football or snowboarding into the mix, I would be thrilled. Or possibly brewing beer during transitions? (“From Asheville, NC, #32 is now tossing the finishing hops.”) A man can dream, right?
5. Beer, wine, or coffee.
Always coffee. Often beer. Sometimes wine.
6. One food you can’t live without.
Cereal. The grainy kind with nuts, oats, and berries. Sometimes I mix several kinds of cereal into a bowl at once and then add too much milk. Perfection.
7. One food you wish would disappear from the planet.
It is rare that I meet a food I won’t eat. Here’s one: cold shrimp. I even LIKE shrimp, with butter and sauces: served HOT. Cold shrimp makes me feel like I’m scavenging dead seafood from the seashore and shoveling it into my mouth. It just isn’t right.
8. If time, money, and gear were no object, which sporting event (triathlon or otherwise) would you want to participate in?
Any college or professional football game. Deep inside, I feel I missed my calling as a quarterback or wide receiver. Backyards and guys holding freshly-grilled bratwurst fear my moves.
9. Were you athletic as a little kid?
I had a lot of energy, for sure, but I wasn’t focused enough to be very good at any particular sport. Later, when I was a teenager, I competed in martial arts tournaments, but relied on speed more than strength. I wasn’t able to build much muscle on my body until I was around 21.
10. Your thoughts on bacon.
Je t’aime, mon amour.
11. Top 3 songs on your playlist.
For running, these three songs do it every time:
- Paper Thin Hymn – Anberlin
- Gold Guns Girls – Metric
- Already Over – Red
12. What’s in the door of your freezer right now?
Berries… Waffles… Frozen paintbrush wrapped in plastic… and…WHERE’D THE ICE CREAM GO?! (Not cool, Susan….)
13. Next race on your calendar. Any goals?
Asheville “Du the Du” Duathlon and a half marathon in October.
14. Best piece of training advice you’ve received.
“You are kicking your legs too much when you swim.”
15. If you were a superhero, what would your name be? And what would your super power be?
BenjaMAN! …Able to instantly turn mundane objects into musical instruments!