by Jordan Brooks
Track coach Gerry Smith does it all. He coaches, teaches, and now he’s a sponsored athlete, a rare thing for a man the age of 50.
This Blue Raider has been competing in triathlons within his age group for quite some time, but just recently he got sponsored by Playtri, a sporting goods shop developed specifically for athletes like him.
“It’s pretty cool to be a sponsored athlete,” Smith said. “I try to be competitive within my age group.”
A triathalon is a multi-event race consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 12-14 mile bike, and a 5k run or marathon in that order.
Coach Smith lives and breathes dedication, swimming 110.23 miles, biking 2478.74 miles, and running 586.38 miles for a grand total of 3175.35 miles in the last year, more miles than it takes to get from California to New York. Smith spends 7 to 10 hours a week strength training, taking only Mondays off.
There are about five to six triathlons in a season that lasts from March to November, averaging about a race per six weeks.
Smith regularly does very well in each race, his best and worst place being second overall in his age group.
Triathlons “keep me in touch with the athletes and what they are doing, and make me more valid,” Smith said.
For those considering this kind of training, Smith’s advice is to “just do it and don’t be afraid.”