"For each distance, triathlons are hard, challenging and rewarding. And because of that, I find them personally gratifying. No challenge, no change."
Sean Walsh, president of the Cincinnati Triathlon Club, started doing triathlons the way many of us do - as a way to get back into shape. After a couple years he registered for IMLOU in 2016 to raise money for a children’s cancer charity after a family member passed. “For each distance, triathlons are hard, challenging, rewarding and because of that, I find them personally gratifying. No challenge, no change,” he said. Sean believes people matter and it’s the people that make the sport of triathlon special. He believes he is fortunate to have met several great people through this sport. Many of which have become good friends, several are in the Cincy Tri Club.
Sean considers that first Ironman experience in Louisville to be his biggest endurance sport accomplishment. “To this day I still get choked up with pride talking about it,” he said.
Sean says Ironman Florida in 2019 was by far his toughest race. He went in well trained and prepared to fight for a PR. The swim went fine, but within the first 5 miles on the bike he wrecked and got a flat. He fixed the flat, but fought a mechanical issue with the chain rings and front derailleur for the rest of the bike course that added at least an hour to his bike time. For the first time he was confronted with the potential of a DNF which only fueled his determination. Once off the bike, he ran the entire marathon fueled by his Irish temper and ability to grind. It was the first time he ran a full marathon nonstop.
“I finished and got to hear Mike Riley call Sean Walsh, You Are an Ironman! Challenging race for sure and also one of my proudest moments” he said.
“Like a lot of us, my plans for this year are in flux,” Shawn said. He is supposed to sherpa for his sister at Ironman Ireland that has been rescheduled for August.. He is currently registered for 70.3 Memphis and will run the Flying Pig in October. He's considering going back to IMFL again in November.
Sean’s wife and 5 daughters are the motivation that drives everything he does. This is especially true with his triathlon journey. “They are what fuels me on tough days and keep me humble and appreciate the good days. The love and support they provide allow me to pursue my triathlon goals,” he said.
He also enjoys seeing others accomplish their goals. “There is a point in every race where someone starts to believe in and becomes proud of themselves. To be able to see someone in that moment is priceless” he added.
His advice for new people is to make your training and racing as much fun as possible. He says smiling, especially in the hard times, makes a huge difference. Sean suggests surrounding yourself with people that you want to succeed and they want the same for you. He also says don’t be afraid to ask for help. “Most importantly, enjoy the ride. Without knowing it, you are an inspiration to any number of people to whom your effort is both inspirational and motivating."
Tri Club - Cincinnati Triathlon Club
Favorite Race - IMLOU
Favorite Gear - Bike - Cervello P3 - named "Twerk"
Favorite Nutrition -SIS products for nutrition. Oh and Snickers and cold Coke.
2020 tri goal - TBD
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