The athlete formerly known as ...
Written by: Herbert Krabel
Date: Thu Mar 14 2013
Slowtwitch: Good to chat with you Tim.
Tim Waggoner: Nah man, the pleasure is all mine!
ST: How is life in the wilderness of Colorado?
Tim: Love it! We live on the edge of Arapaho National Forest at 8200ft altitude and have over a million acres to play in. Dirt roads, jeep roads and trails and total solitude. I do 5 hour rides sometimes where I won't see a single person (or car!) We aren't completely isolated though, my wife's commute in to work is only about 25:00. And the local school is just down the street and is small, which I like a lot. My son's kindergarten class has 12 kids.
ST: When did you move there?
Tim: In 2009 we sold our townhome outside of Boulder and found this home. The home prices were just bottomed out so we got a great deal. We had talked about moving up in to the mountains for a long time and this place just fell in our lap.
ST: How long of a bike ride is it going to Boulder?
Tim: I live close to Walker Ranch, which butts up to the backside of The Flatirons. So as the crow flies we're only ~7 miles. But biking the back way over Flaggstaff is 17 miles.
ST: You mentioned biking, and you obviously run a lot. Do you still swim, and if so, where?
Tim: Oh no no no. I'm a triathlete who doesn't swim! I worked crazy hard to swim 52:00 at Ironman and I never enjoyed a second of the pool. I hated it. People shouldn't be wet.
ST: But you like fishing, right?
Tim: Maybe more than anything I do! It's my 'escape' from the triathlon and running world. I coach full time and I train a ton, so I'm fully immersed in sport. When I have any free time I take my boys fishing. We live next to a couple of lakes and rivers and fishing has become one of my passions. I love it mostly because it's something I can do with my kids.
Tim: My mom remarried when I was 6 and changed my name to Luchinske. They got a divorce soon after. Then when my first son was born I wanted him to have my family name so we changed it back to Waggoner.
ST: You mostly do trail running these days - is that correct?
Tim: I'm still very much a triathlete at heart so I prefer to run on the smooth side. Jeep roads are OK. There are hundreds of miles of dirt roads where I live so I stick to them for a majority of the time. I'm training for The Mt Evans Ascent and it's a paved road. Colorado trails are pretty buffed and smooth so the dirt roads serve me well in training. Most of my really long runs will have a solid amount of trail though just to break it up. And most of my biking is on dirt roads with my trusty Merlin unless it's snowy or I feel like getting way up in to the forest and then I'll mountain bike. In 2011 I raced the Leadville 100 bike and then last year I did the Leadman, which is all of the Leadville races (marathon, 50 mile MTB, 100 mil MTB, 10k run, 100 run) which all happen in just 7 weeks. So although I'm a runner I'm still just as passionate about cycling.
ST: The Mount Evans Ascent sounds painful. How ready are you as we speak and what do you need to do to improve on your last outing?
Tim: I'm not too ready. My cycling is solid and my running is OK. For a 14.5mile uphill run to 14,000ft altitude the cycling aspect does come in to play I think. Last year I was heavy bike focused heading in to Mt Evans and placed 2nd behind a Kenyan. This year I'll hopefully be more run fit. I have ~14 weeks which is plenty of time to get ready.
Tim: They don't release the entry list until right before the race. But it doesn't really matter. All I can control is what I do. Preparing the best that I can, executing the race the best that I can, and then giving 100% on race day.
ST: When did you switch to mostly running and what was the impetus?
Tim: As a full time Ironman guy I was training a ton and was always fatigued so when my wife and I had our first son I hung it up. I can race well on 10-16 hours of running plus the racing is a lot less expensive and there are a ton of great races in Colorado. It was more about energy and time really. Now with my oldest in school I do have more time though.
ST: Does that mean you look at returning to triathlons?
Tim: Nah. I almost signed up for Ironman St George last year. I liked the challenge of the course and it was kind of close to home. If I do anything it will be Powerman Zofingen. I love duathlons and Zofingen has so much history and is a brutal event. Next year I might start off with American Zofingen and see how it goes.
ST: Talk about your personal favorite running event?
ST: Mt Evans is up there. It's really just a time trial. You against the grade and the altitude. If any event holds a place in my heart though it's still Kona. Nothing tops Kona.
Tim: The Leadville 100 for sure. It was my first try at running more than 50 miles and I placed 6th and had a really great day. I also like the race organization and it's history.
ST: How did you meet your wife?
Tim: Back in 1998 I was working nights as a janitor and training for Ironman during the day. I used to clean her office and she would work late some nights. I had a huge crush on her for months but it seemed creepy for a janitor to ask out an administrator. I eventually got up the nerve though and we were married 2 years later.
ST: When your wife tells folks about how you met, does it sound similar?
Tim: Ha! Not sure. We were working at Winter Park Resort and a lot of the janitors were the best and most serious snowboarders. I happened to be a serious triathlete. I think she probably respected the dedication.
ST: Do your boys like running?
Tim: Oliver is 3 and Ben is 6. They don't have a huge interest yet and I won't push them. I paid for college with running so that sounds like a pretty good deal to me! Really though I am only interested in them doing what makes them happy. As of right now it looks like Oliver is going to be Spiderman someday, which I don't think pays very well.
ST: You recently added a new family member named Shilo. Can you elaborate?
Tim: We had gone back home to Kansas to visit my mom and there was a dog tied to an old shed with a short line. He couldn't do anything but sleep in his own filth and neighbors had been feeding him. The owner had a couple of complaints for animal abuse against him. He's a super sweet and gentle dog and we've been wanting a dog for the boys (we have mountain lions and bears that wander through) as a companion for when they are outside.
ST: What did it take to get Shilo from the previous owners?
Tim: Not much. I didn't talk to the owner. I put Shilo (his new name) in my car and we drove home. You've never seen a happier dog! Or family. My boys adore him.
ST: Is there anything else we should know?
Tim: I keep a semi-updated blog at joghard.blogspot.com. There is years of training information in there. It's my journal of training and coaching information. I also do a weekly podcast for Endurance Planet where people write in and ask questions about triathlon and ultra running and I answer them.
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