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Neil Knickerbocker

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Neil Knickerbocker

2014 BEAT Vice President

1. Give us some background information.  Where are you from?  Tell us about your family.  Tell us about your profession/work.  Share your hobbies/passions/interests.
Born in Biloxi Miss. Raised in Central Arkansas.  My mom still lives outside Little Rock, Arkansas. Married to Jennifer and we have 5 Boys. Josh 19 a freshman at Belmont Univ., Sam 17 a junior at Ravenwood HS, Ben 14 a freshman at Ravenwood HS, Jacob 12 in the eighth grade at Woodland MS, and Eli 4 at the YMCA preschool. I worked for 10 years as a recreational therapist in adolescent psychiatry. Have been a stay at home dad for 17 years. Have been a triathlete for 20+ years, and really enjoy all distances. Spent a few years doing adventure races, but enjoyed triathlon more. Love watch my kids play sports. They enjoy soccer, cross country, lacrosse, and triathlon. Love listening to live music, and traveling with my family.

2.  What is one fun fact about you?
I was a cheerleader for a couple of years in college after giving up on basketball. Grew up riding anything on wheels as a child. Love bikes, unicycles, motorcycles.

3. How did you get interested in triathlons?  When did you start training for triathlons? Which race was your first triathlon and where was it? 
I started cycling when I was a sophomore in high school, and became fascinated by the Tour De France. The first time I saw the Ironman televised as a teenager I knew it was something I wanted to do. I did my first sprint triathlon in 1992, and knew I was hooked. It was the Mighty Mite Triathlon in Forest City, Arkansas.

4. Which of the following is your strongest and weakest disciplin and why: swimming, biking or running?
Cycling came very easy to me as a teenager, but it was hard to find opportunities to compete at that time. So I became a decent runner, and would race 5Ks and 10ks all over the state. This was in addition to playing football and basketball.

5. What obstacles, if any, have you overcome in order to train for and race in triathlons?
In 1995 and had my first serious cycling accident while competing in a duathlon in Arkansas. Flipped over the handlebars at 35 mph., and broke my back. Then in 1998 I ruptured the ACL in my left knee. Both have been very difficult to overcome, and have limited my ability to train and race the way I would like to.

6. What is your most memorable/favorite race and why? (Doesn’t have to be a triathlon)
My first Ironman finish in 2003 was a great race. It was in Madison Wisconsin, and the fans were amazing. I would really like to go back and do it again someday.

7. What races are you planning for/training for in 2014?
I’m planning to do half Ironman Puerto Rico, Augusta, Georgia, and Ironman Florida.

8. What’s one piece of equipment/gear that you can’t live without?
Body Glide, and nipple guards.

9. How long have you been a BEAT member?  Why did you join BEAT and what is your favorite thing about the club?
2 years. I joined because I was looking for someone to ride with in this area. When we moved here it was difficult to learn the area, and where it was safe to ride. The fellowship, and laid back feel. It’s not overly competitive like some of the DC area clubs.

10. If you could give one piece of advice to a beginner triathlete, what would it be?
Triathlon is about the journey not the destination.  If you place great expectations on your race day you may end up disappointed. Enjoy your training and fellowship with others.

11. Any last words for us?
Always take time to thank those who support our sport. Spectators, volunteers, race directors, and traffic control officers. Welcome newcomers despite how hard it is to get into races.

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