Curtin's call a good one
Man attempting 100 triathlons in 100 days
By Tully Corcoran
Published Sunday, June 15, 2008
It's sick, it's perverse, it's masochistic.
It's John Curtin's way of helping abused children. Curtin, a 41-year-old chiropractic physician from St. Louis, intends to compete in 100 triathlons in 100 days, in the process setting a Guinness World Record and raising money to support sexually abused children.
The Topeka Tinman Triathlon on Saturday was Curtin's 15th triathlon in 15 days.
"Your sick athletes are the ones that do the best," he said.
Curtin isn't just sick. He's crazy. Really.
"I have a psychologist that's been helping me out, a sports psychologist, and she says I'm crazy," he said. "It's certifiable. I'm crazy, yes. She happens to be my wife."
Today, Curtin is competing in Lawrence, the 16th stop on a punishing tour across the eight states surrounding Missouri, plus Oregon, Arizona and Michigan. Fans can track his progress via his Web site, p3triathlon.com.
Though the Guinness record is a desirable achievement, Curtin says his endeavor is really about the kids.
"I decided to set the record for most consecutive triathlons in one year, and I decided to do it in 100 days," he said. "At the same time, to raise money and awareness for sexually abused children. They're kind of silent victims in our nation that don't get recognized. Money isn't given to them, enough to help them and their families during crisis."
Curtin weighed 207 pounds at the outset and in 15 days has dropped to 188. He said his body feels fine, in large part because he takes extra care to maintain a specific heart rate that maximizes his endurance. With the help of endurance coach Joe Friel, he has been building up to this summer for a year.
He isn't so much concerned with what he does during the triathlons — he finished 14th Saturday in his age division, completing the Tinman's short course in 1:02:50.67 — as what he does between them.
"Mostly I worry about getting enough sleep and drinking a lot of water," he said. "I also get adjusted by a chiropractor on a regular basis. That helps keep me going."
Triathlons have been a longtime passion for Curtin, who competed in his first one at age 13 and was doing half Ironman triathlons a year later.
Curtin thinks anybody could do it.
"I think everybody's cut out for it," he said, "as long as you have the motivation, the desire and the training behind you."
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