Provide a little background info about yourself.
Born in a small town in Turkey. Dad was a physics teacher and mom is a retired primary school teacher. Youngest of 3 kids and my sisters are 7 years older than me (twins). I had glaucoma on my left eye almost since birth. I had tens of surgeries until I started high school, managed to succeed in school, and that experience has helped me learn how to go beyond excuses.
I played soccer while growing up and had a BMX bike I was biking everywhere with. That’s my short sports background :-)
Triathlon journey started in 2015. I decided to run a half-marathon for my dad’s memory. But I never tried long distance running or biking or swimming before. My first run I was wasted after less than a quarter mile. I coached myself and successfully finished my first half-marathon on March 2016. After that, me being me as I like competing with myself, I kept asking the question whether I can ever finish an Ironman and wanted to try Ironman 70.3 to begin with.
How long have you been affiliated with SBR?
This is my second year. When I decided to go for 70.3 distance, I was literally swimming like a frog and had about 4 months to train for Racine 70.3. At that point, getting in touch with SBR was the best thing I could have ever done. I joined SBR in May 2016 after my first half-marathon following a convincing meeting with Bill to join some SBR group training as well as have Coach Mali coach me for my first 70.3. Thanks to getting coached by SBR and Mali, my Ironman 70.3 story also went well and I finished two 70.3 races on my first season. And I cut off over an hour on 70.3 distance in the following season.
Why did you join SBR? Why have you stayed?
I have a friend who is a veteran/retired Ironman. He had been a little worried about me and my (little too aggressive) training plans. He has strongly suggested that I checkout SBR at least for group training options.
One reason I’ve stayed is the coaches. First, I saw improvements beyond my expectations. I am so grateful for all SBR coaches for making that possible. Second, I believe the future can be better (stronger and faster) and SBR coaches can help me get there. I believe in the expertise SBR coaches bring to the table.
I also love the upbeat and friendly SBR athlete crowd. I always feel comfortable around them and conversation is enjoyable. I also feel happy hearing about their successes. The support we provide each other is also pretty amazing.
What is your favorite class, service, or event with SBR?
Cycling classes (PBC). A ride that is cleverly designed, fun, engaging and challenging. PBC also provides a good environment for chatting w/ fellow athletes, which is an additional fun.
I have also heard a lot of good things about the winter 24-hour ride challenge as well as the winter triathlon SBR organizes. I am planning on giving them a shot soon too.
What sport do you primarily participate in?
I would like to think that I am a runner at core, but my A races have been triathlons, and I love the 70.3 distance. It provides a great challenge and manageable time commitment to train for and there is always something you can improve on. It keeps a hyperactive guy like me still interested, as there is always something else I could be doing better.
What is your favorite part about training with SBR?
Personal attention from coaches tops the list. Group classes are also designed according to each athlete’s ability and current level of fitness. Coaches pay close attention to each athlete’s needs and progress. I also really like the SBR athlete crowd and the amazing peer support, as I have stated before.
What are your training and/or racing goals for 2018?
I am planning on working hard to take a shot at getting even faster at my annual March half-marathon and at 70.3 distance. Next year is also going to be a big year for me, as I will be taking on the challenge of finishing my first full Ironman in Madison.
What is something interesting about yourself that people might not know?
I am from a different country but have only been in 2 countries (Turkey and USA) up until last year.
I love computers, math and numbers. They not only help me in my career at Epic, but also once helped me find Bill’s mistake on total yardage calculation in a swimming workout ;-)