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Paul Putnam

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.
I am originally from Boston, MA and moved to Nashville in Sept, 1998. I met my wife (Karen) in 2004 and we got married in 2005. We have 1 dog and 2 cats. I currently work as a Staff Accountant for the General Council on Finance & Administration (an arm of the United Methodist Church). My wife and I are actively involved in our church (Cornerstone Church in Madison, TN). We love to travel to do races, as we usually plan our vacations around out of town races. Our favorite vacation was a “running cruise” in Alaska with John Bingham & Jenny Hadfield, where we ran a race in every port (including a half marathon in Juneau)

2) What is one fun fact about you?
I’ve came in last place in three triathlons and certain there will be more! I think it’s fun to volunteer as the designated last place finisher in some of the local sprint and kids triathlons.

3) How did you get interested in triathlons / endurance sports? When did you start training for triathlons / endurance sports? Which race was your first triathlon or endurance event and where was it?
Believe it or not, I actually did one season of cross country running in Junior High School (must have been 1975 or 1976) and I HATED it…but stuck it out for the season. Fast forward to 2006, and that’s when my wife picked up running. I saw how her weight was dropping so I decided to try my hand at it, and haven’t stopped since. My first half marathon was the Tom King Classic in March, 2007 (and I have run it every year since then). It was in 2010, while my wife was recovering from an injury that her doctor suggested she take up swimming. She then decided why not get a bike and do a triathlon. Again, following her lead, I decided to try a triathlon too. My first triathlon was the Cedars of Lebanon in August, 2010.

4) Which of the following is your strongest and weakest discipline and why: swimming, biking or running?

Paul_BikeI’d have to say that my strongest discipline is biking. It’s probably my strongest, because it’s my favorite…I just love to get out on the open road and ride (riding on the trainer gets old quick). Well, they say that the fourth discipline of triathlons is nutrition/eating…so I’d have to say that is my weakest. I love to eat, and it’s really hard for me to watch my intake of junk foods

5) What obstacles, if any, have you overcome in order to train for and race in triathlons or endurance events?
The biggest obstacle I can think of came when I was doing the Iron Nugget Sprint Triathlon in May of 2012. I was on mile 15 of 17 of the bike course and my rear derailleur broke and got stuck in my rear wheel. Needless to say I couldn’t ride or roll my bike, so I had to carry it the last two miles (over hills no less and in bike shoes) to transition. I then ran the 3.1 miles to finish the race….and I didn’t even come in last. I didn’t want a DNF.

6) What is your most memorable/favorite race and why?
My most memorable/favorite race has to be Ironman Louisville in 2013. It was my first Ironman triathlon, and it was on my 50th birthday. What a way to celebrate, huh?

7) What races are you planning for/training for in 2014?
I have one more half marathon & one full marathon before tri season starts.   I am going to do 3 or 4 triathlons not including my big race…Ironman Chattanooga in September.

8) What’s one piece of equipment/gear that you can’t live without?
Sunglasses…I’ve got a pair with “readers” built into them. That way I can read my Garmin (that’s why I’ll usually wear them at night or when it’s raining).

9) How long have you been a BEAT member? Why did you join BEAT and what is your favorite thing about the club?
My wife and I have been members of BEAT since 2011. We joined to be around other liked-minded endurance athletes. My favorite thing about the club is the USAT challenge.Paul_Karen

10) If you could give one piece of advice to a beginner triathlete or endurance athlete, what would it be?
Karen and I are currently mentoring/training a newbie triathlete (her first triathlon will be Cedar of Lebanon in May 2014). So my biggest piece of advice would be to find someone to help you “learn the ropes” and give you guidance. I think one of the best ways to do that would be to join a tri club where they can gain valuable advice and knowledge.

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