Earlier this month my wifey suggested that I apply to the Wattie Ink HitSquad. As a member of the team, athletes “Rock the W” as an ambassador to the brand with exposure to Professional Triathlete, Heather Jackson, the wife of Sean Watkins aka “Wattie”, founder of Wattie Ink; a company founded in 2009 in California that makes triathlon gear with much more personality than anything available. It wasn’t so long ago that Fiona and I didn’t even know what the “W” was all about. It was back in 2014 when we saw the “W” tattooed on Professional Triathletes crossing the finishing line at the IRONMAN World Championship. And by 2016, Sean appeared as a “People I may Know” on Facebook.
In the same year I started importing some of the gear from California to my home in Alice Springs, Australia. Since then, I have come to love the Wattie gear as I find it to be the best looking and most comfortable gear I have worn. Last year at IMAZ I wore the Camo Blue tri kit. But in 3 weeks time I plan on using the Camo Bottom and Wattie Running Top, or some HitSquad gear if I can get it in time!
Here was my application:
“Reading my blog at www.tucsonathlete.com you’ll see my Passion and Love of life through triathlon. A 12X Ironman finisher, my wife a 10X Ironman finisher, we did Challenge Atlantic City on our 8th day of marriage. My first words to my future wife back in September 2011 in Alice Springs, Australia were asking Fiona how she did in Ironman, as I noticed her MDot bag. As a self coached athlete using the books of Joe Friel, I coached my wife Fiona Coyle to a 9:59 at Ironman Western Australia helping her improve her time by more than an hour from her first ever IM. I also coached our 60 year old athlete and very close friend, Karen McPherson who not only finished her first ever Ironman but qualified alongside Fiona to compete in Kona 2016. I had to wait 7 months till Ironman Cairns when I secured my spot. Our triathlon community peaked while we were there. We Race Directed multiple events like women-only triathlons, created new events, and grew the club to more than 100 members all while being 1500miles away from the nearest major body of water. I’ve been a source of motivation and inspiration to friends, colleagues, and for my 60 year old mother who has just became a vegan runner and du-athlete this year. I was excited to move to Tucson in July 2017 after 7 years living in the Australian Outback. Knowing I was coming to a triathlon mecca surrounded by Pro’s like Heather and Ben was and is thrilling for me. I love the values of the sport and hoped to show that just the other day at the Las Vegas Long Course Triathlon. I woke up sick and felt awful. My 6hr18min time was long off of my PB at Oceanside of 4:29 but I finished it and got it done because we triathletes finish what we start. Lastly, it goes without saying I love your gear, otherwise I wouldn’t be applying for this opportunity. I have a whole drawer filled with shorts that I don’t use now because I prefer the Tri Shorts when running at the gym here in Sahuarita, AZ. Watching Kona 2014 I didn’t know what the W was, now I rock it as much as possible. Thank you for your consideration.”
With that being said, I set nearly a 9min PB up Mt Lemmon yesterday in 1:58 on my way to the Summit. Today I set my 3rd best All-Time Power of 297 watts up Madera Canyon taking 2 1/2 minutes off my times with my effort putting me between local Professional Triathletes Jon Shearon and Jesse Vondracek from Top Step Training who partners with other local Pro Triathlete Ben Hoffman.
As an IRONMAN athlete, I live in one of the best spots in the country, surrounded by some of the best in the sport of course including Heather Jackson. And now, I get to be a member of their team wearing the best gear available!
IMAZ, 21days to go!!!