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mark-braithwaiteGrowing up the closest I got to any type of endurance sport was the few laps we ran around the mat at wrestling practice. In college I played rugby for Virginia Commonwealth University, which entailed a little more running but was usually cut short by a tackle or ruck. I’ve always been somewhat of a “hefty” fellow and after college it didn’t get any better. It was not till I tipped the scales of 240+ that I decided something had to be done. I started out walking on a treadmill and watching my meal portion size. Walking lead to running, mountain biking, and a few 5k and 10k races. In May of 2010, after dropping 40 lbs, I decided to give an Xterra Sprint a try. It was after that race I knew I was hooked. I did four more triathlons that year; another Xterra, two Sprints and one Olympic. During that time I decided I wanted to do an Ironman in 2012. In 2011 I raced my first 70.3, the Orlando Half Ironman. Leading up to that race I competed in a Duathlon and won my age group and finished in 16th overall. I placed 5th in my age group in the EX2 Xterra in Flintstone, MD. The pinnacle of last year was the OBX Half Iron distance in which I won my age group and was the 14th overall male finisher. With that finish I qualified for the 2012 USAT Age Group National Championship in Burlington, VT. Currently I am preparing for Ironman St. George in May. Three years ago I thought that an Ironman was something I could never even fathom of doing. Now, with two Half Ironman races and several other triathlons in the bag, I’m well on my way. My brother has also jumped on the tri wagon, has lost over 40 lbs, and plans to do his first Half Iron race this year. In pursuit of my goals I hope to motivate and help as many people as I can to reach theirs!
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