Athlete Story: David Harter

Every athlete has a story and we love to share them with you. This week we are excited to share Dave’s story with you:

My Triathlon story,

dave harterIn 2009, my lovely wife told me she wanted to join this group the “Kitsap TriBabes”. It’s a group of women that train for the Danskin Women’s Triathlon held in Seattle (now called Iron Girl). I have always supported my wife, so I said whatever you need I will help. They would meet every Saturday to bike and run, I would help direct traffic, pump up tires and be a safety guard, whatever was needed.

Triathletes are a very special group of people. And they would show up and just keep trying.

In 2012 I said hey I will try this. After watching and helping these ladies for a while, I looked at myself and at 6’3”, 290 lbs I said I think I can. I know I have type 2 diabetes, neuropathy and several other medical problems, but I have seen these ladies do this.

So in 2012 with only biking a little and swimming a little, and no running I did my first sprint Triathlon, the Tri Turtle Tri in Kitsap County, run by the leader of the Kitsap TriBabes. I came in last, but I finished.

Boy this was harder than it looked. But I was determined to do better. So in 2013 I entered two Sprint triathlons. The Wild hare Triathlon run by the Westsound Triathlon club that I had recently joined and the Tri Turtle Tri again. Still not much on training but a little more. I completed the Wild Hare last in 3 hours on the button. And I took 40 minutes off my Tri Turtle Tri time.

I still felt that I wasn’t putting my mind to this and was just going through the motions.

Life changing moment came Labor Day weekend on 2013. I was driving back from Spokane and traffic was bad, but I was having trouble seeing the road, couldn’t focus and it really worse after I got home. I went to the eye doctor and found out that my Diabetes had attacked my eyes and the cataracts were making me blind.

I thought to myself I want to be able to see my wife and watch my grandchildren grow up. So in October, 2013 I had eye surgery. My right eye was 20/200 and my left eye was 20/175. By November, both eyes were 20/20.

I needed to do something. A friend we had met through the Westsound Triathlon Club was holding a new event. She called it the Winterman. You swam in the pool, did the spin bike and ran and would tell her what you did each week. It lasted for 8 weeks and you would get a medal for each Ironman triathlon distance (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 run) you completed. With this motivation, I completed 5 times the distance and got the highest medal they gave.

I will retire from the federal government on June 1 of this year; I have a triathlon trainer and work out 6 days a week. I tell people it’s not killing yourself it’s doing a little more each day. The small victories, The first time I ran a mile without stopping to walk, the first time a swam ½ mile in open water without stopping, the first time I rode over 50 miles on my bike.

I am now 250 pounds and have entered 4 events, my first half marathon, two sprint distance triathlons and with the encouragement of my new friend, Dana Anderson-Barkdull, my first Half Ironman distance at Ocean Shores. I am still a beginner, but feel I can keep trying and be there for other new members of the Tri world.

I still think Triathletes are special people and everyone I meet has a great story and is inspiring.

Thank you David Harter

RainMan LaCamas Donation and Giveaway Opportunity!

We are excited to announce a giveaway and an opportunity to help a great local oragnization for the LaCamas RainMan Indoor Triathlon. We will be partnering with Share Vancouver to provide food and backpack supplies to those in need. In return we have some really great items to giveaway for athletes and volunteers who participate.Continue Reading