Suffer Stories is an ongoing series where we spotlight members of our community to learn more about how and why they suffer. We honor those who work hard and endure the sufferfest to reach their finish line.
| Suf-fer-fest | Noun :An activity whereby all participants ache, agonize, ail, be at a disadvantage, be racked, deteriorate, endure, grieve, languish, and/or writhe.. but by co-misery, yet cohesiveness, will have experienced a grand time.
Randy Becker embodies what it means to earn your beer. Randy exemplifies incredible perseverance in the pursuit of following his passion: Triathlon. Check out his story!
Randy has been teaching and coaching tennis full time since 1993 (check out tennis coaching services here!). Years ago, Randy watched an Ironman race on TV and said to himself “that’s bad ass!” At that moment, he added Finishing an Ironman to the top of his bucket list.
Shortly thereafter, Randy started working with a coach to help him achieve his new goal. He did not learn how to swim, bike, or run correctly until age 42 when he started training with Meredith Kessler, a female Ironman World Champion at both full and half distances. She became a key mentor and coach, helping Randy train and prepare for his first Ironman.
Reaching a big goal involves creating a path and following it. For many of us, following the path of a goal while balancing the commitments of life becomes the real sufferfest. After outlining a plan, Randy dug into his training. Randy’s alarm sounds at 4:00am, 5 days a week. Randy will typically get a 45-90 minute run, swim, or bike in and be on the court ready to teach by 7:00am.
On May 13, Randy raced his 13th Half Ironman at the 2017 Vineman Santa Rosa. (Quick reminder: A Half Ironman 70.3 refers to the total number of miles covered in the race. First, a 1.2-mile swim, then a 56-mile bike ride, followed by a final 13.1-mile run. Multiply this by two for a Full Ironman!)
This is a special race for Randy given that his coach Meredith Kessler has taken 1st place at Vineman four years in a row from 2012-2015. After this sufferfest, Randy definitely earned his beer (and his favorite is the Epic!). Randy’s drive to attack a goal and finish reminds us that life can taste even better when you earn it.
Since 2012 when Randy began Ironman training, he has dropped over 35lbs. In 2016, the 46 year old version of Randy crushed the 42 year old version of Randy on the same race course at Ironman Arizona 140.6 by over 80 minutes! Randy says, “Age is just a number” and looks forward to racing AZ again in 2020 and beating his 2016 race time!
Triathlon is a passion for Randy but it is not his life. Randy is a father of two, teaches tennis 40 hours a week, trains for Ironmans, and finds time to enjoy a Sufferfest beer when his day is done.
The real takeaway from Randy’s story is balance. Randy has identified what he values most in life and has gone all in on what he loves. Family, tennis, challenging his personal fitness, training for Ironmans, inspiring those around him and celebrating well-earned efforts.
– Randy surfing with his son Jack and celebrating college acceptance with his daughter Olivia.
Great job Randy and thanks for sharing your story with us. You can follow Randy’s training and story on Instagram @beckerrandy.
If you want to shine a light on someone who’s been earning it, or if YOU sweat for your beer, please share your story with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.