Lymphoma to Heart Surgery to Wildflower Squared

Athlete Stories , Wildflower No Comments »

Derek Fitzgerald

Eleven years ago, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Chemotherapy saved my life but it damaged my heart, leaving me with heart failure. My heart progressively declined for the following seven years, and each day I wondered just how much punishment one body could endure before it gave out. Finally, four years ago, a generous soul chose to save my life by donating their heart when they no longer needed it.

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Facing Your Fear of the Triathlon Race Start

Training Tips , Wildflower No Comments »

Jesse Thomas

Lots of triathletes would agree that the start of a swim in a triathlon race can be the most daunting part for a lot of athletes, and can often be the cause of the most pre race nerves! The aim of this workout is designed to help you become more comfortable with what you are going to have to deal with in a triathlon race start, so that you are more confident heading into a race about how to handle things when the gun goes off! The best place to do this sort of workout is in the open water with a group of athletes, to best simulate what a real race start will be like. Practice getting close to each other, and get comfortable with having to get a bit ‘rough’ with the swimmers next to you – without things getting too aggressive!

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Jesse's Wildflower Training Playlist

Professional Triathlete's , Wildflower No Comments »

Jesse Thomas

If you're looking for some tunes for those last few weeks of Wildflower training, check out this playlist. Also, it's best if you get some Jaybird bluebuds to use for wireless listening of course! Here's a quick description of the songs. Let me know what you think or any other song ideas you have!

1. Carry On Phenomenon by Kishi Bashi - My current go to song. LOVE this band, and their new album is insane. Worth a listen to the whole thing.

2. Go Do by Jonsi - This Jonsi album is insane as well. This song got popular through a car commercial and is absolutely catchy for exercising, but check out the whole album also.

3. Instant Crush by Daft Punk - This song came out right around the time Jude was born, and I remember thinking "instant crush" when I met him.

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The Collegiate Experience at Wildflower

Athlete Stories , Wildflower No Comments »

Xterra SUP

I first competed in Wildflower in 2006 when I was 14 years old. It was my first Olympic distance triathlon, fueled by my training as a competitive swimmer. I guess you could say I had a good coach to give me the details on the course. He was the original Wildflower champion and repeat champion in 1986. Oh, and he is also my dad.

Now this year I will compete along with my UC Berkeley triathlon teammates and some of the best collegiate triathlon teams in the country. Wildflower is so unique; it’s not just a race, it is a festival. The weekend has been a large part of UC Berkeley triathlon’s race season for numerous years. Some of us will race long course, and some will race short course. But the thing we enjoy most is truly experiencing what the sport of triathlon is all about. As a 14-year-old kid at my first Wildflower triathlon, I can remember looking up at my dad and telling him something I noticed, “Everyone seems so happy here.” The atmosphere of triathlon is so special; everyone is truly there because they want to be. The same cannot be said for most other sports, and Wildflower embodies this ideal greatly.

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Memories of Wildflower

Athlete Stories , Wildflower 1 Comment »

Memories of Wildflower

My friend introduced Wildflower to me in 1991 and it was my first triathlon. Back then you could drive up Friday night and grab a campsite with no reservations or prepay and could park down by the starting point in the morning. I coughed up a bug from earlier in the race and I was hooked! I raced, I finished, I was pooped.

This year is my 20th race and was paid for by Terry Davis (Race Director), thanks Terry. It was always a goal of mine to get to 20.

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