321 GO!

Eric Gilsenan: Industry Legend and Race Announcer Extraordinaire

October 11, 2023 Carissa Galloway and John Pelkey Season 1 Episode 16
321 GO!
Eric Gilsenan: Industry Legend and Race Announcer Extraordinaire
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Brace yourself for an enchanting conversation with our guest, the distinguished race announcer Eric Gilsenan. Eric will transport us through his extraordinary journey - from his naval family upbringing to his life-altering first triathlon experience. You'll be inspired by his remarkable transformation, losing 70 pounds and gaining a whole new perspective on life. Eric's experiences with Ironman, the LA Marathon, and his passion for endurance sports will undoubtedly leave you stirred and motivated.

Get ready to take a nostalgic stroll down memory lane as we celebrate the spirit of Halloween. We'll be reminiscing about our favorite costumes, those hilarious and creative ensembles our parents crafted for us, and the traditions we've passed down through generations. Who can forget the critical role of pirate night in our Halloween festivities or the uproarious story of Joe Skipper's awkward mid-interview handshake? 

We'll also be unlocking the secrets of race nutrition, the essence of a triumphant run. Learn from John's personal experiences and insights into what he consumed before his 5K. We'll be discussing the significance of carbohydrates, protein, and hydration, and diving into personal anecdotes about signing autographs and the thrill of recognition for our achievements. As we wrap up, we'll be answering a mailbag full of intriguing questions from our listeners abroad. So whether you're a runner, a Halloween enthusiast, or someone who appreciates a transformative story, this episode promises a memorable experience.

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...

Speaker 1:

Welcome to 321 Go the Podcast. I'm John Pelkey.

Speaker 2:

And I'm Karissa Galloway, and we're bringing you stories from start to finish to keep the everyday athlete motivated to keep moving towards the next finish.

Speaker 1:

Karissa. Today we have our first fellow announcer on the show. He's a legend in the endurance industry. Very excited to hear his take on race announcing and how he got involved in some of the most prestigious events in the world, like the escape from Alcatraz, triathlon and oh, by the way, the Boston Marathon. You've heard of it.

Speaker 2:

I'm always down to talk about the Boston Marathon. We're also going to talk about what you should be eating before you run. We're going to open the mailbag and learn a little bit about announcers race day nutrition. And we're going to hear from a listener abroad. And to all of you that are listening and have been listening, thank you. Please subscribe, rate us as podcast hosts, not as announcers. Leave a review and tell your friends let's do this.

Speaker 1:

All right, karissa. Hello, we're going to talk holiday stuff now, but not Christmas. Not Christmas, I'm sorry to tell you. I mean, we will get to that and I know you have fall decorations up Some reason.

Speaker 2:

I think you probably snuck some Christmas stuff in there, it's not in this room, but I can see a pumpkin and a pumpkin candle and a pumpkin behind in the bathroom. I think I do need to up the light game.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I do know no sort of seasonal decorations. We don't do anything. We do Christmas. That's the only tradition the wife and I have.

Speaker 2:

but we're not going to talk about.

Speaker 1:

Christmas we're going to talk about it. Just try. I know you are, I know you are. We'll do a whole Christmas episode where we do music. Maybe we can.

Speaker 2:

Don on from Jersey. He loves Christmas.

Speaker 1:

We can have people sing Christmas carols. Maybe we'll have some Christmas carolers stop by and do a number or something. As long as they're in the public domain and we don't have to pay the ASCAP BMI royalties, that sounds solid. I think yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

We're talking about Christmas.

Speaker 1:

All right, yes, we are. So we're going to stop that and we're going to talk a little about Halloween. Now, full disclosure. As a performer in Orlando, every day is sort of like Halloween. There's a lot of dress up in our jobs. We have a lot of friends who are dressing up in their jobs, this whole con thing Mega con, super mega con, little miss, baby, mega con, whatever they are, I don't know, I don't understand, but a lot of our friends I know a lot of my friends and sure yours too they do this whole sort of dress up, go to a con thing. So we're surrounded by Halloween a lot.

Speaker 2:

Maybe think of John. I actually feel like now I can't go to the park, or people don't go to the park without dressing up or like bounding Right, if you're just wearing a t-shirt or something, you're not doing it. So you bring up an interesting point.

Speaker 1:

To circle back to Christmas, no, no, stop it, stop it. The only way you can do that is if you have some sort of Christmas costume on Halloween. We have to stay on Halloween. Okay, now, I am not a full disclosure, not a huge Halloween guy Never really have been because I don't, as is mentioned on this podcast. I don't have a sweet tooth, I don't crave candy, so even as a kid, I'd get the candy and my mother would eat it all. The vast majority of it Is this where you started. Maybe, maybe. It would very well be, but I just don't have. You know, if someone, if I went up to like someone's home and they gave me sausage and peppers, then that would be like happy Halloween for me. It'd be odd, and carrying them in my bag I'd carry you about foodborne illness. Well, and my or my plastic pumpkin would get all smelly or whatever the heck I was getting my treats with. But let's dive into Halloween for a bit, and I do have some very fond memories, as a kid, of Halloween. Do you have any favorite Halloween costumes as a child?

Speaker 2:

So my mom made amazing costumes. So she always my mom's a wonderful seamstress, which I have. That on that thing that I say I think that I need to figure out how to do this. So she made really amazing costumes. So I have two that I really remember, one and it's from a photo. So my birthday is October 29th, my mom's is October 30th. So I like Halloween and I was talking about this with my hairstylist, Maddie, who was your hairstylist yesterday her birthdays on Halloween. So for us, october and the fall decorations is like birthday celebration kind of it, like triggers those same memories. So my point is that when I was one, my mom and dad entered a costume contest at a Binnegan's I believe. I was brought there at one. This is, this is another. This is right. Okay, just processing that. My dad was Captain Hook, my mom was Peter Pan and I was like a little tinkerbell.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

So there's a picture of that. So when Claire was one, she wore the same tinkerbell costume that my mom had worn, and I was Peter Pan Not maybe it was the same one my mom wore, so we wore those again.

Speaker 1:

That's pretty cool.

Speaker 2:

So that's a favorite. And the Captain Hook jacket that my dad wore that obviously he's no longer married to my mom we still have, and I wore that on the cruise for Pirate Night. It's very 80s with the puffy paint.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I know.

Speaker 2:

My mom does good work.

Speaker 1:

I was going to say because I used to do a little tailoring of clothing For part of my job. I worked in clothing sales and I can do a little bit of stuff. I used to be able to do a lot more. I'm impressed that a Halloween costume would hold up for that many years because I've had, you know, I had a Halloween costume that's made for me when I was a kid and some of them were quite amazing, but I don't think they'd have, you know, they'd have lasted past the three or four year mark. So I'm pretty impressed with your mom.

Speaker 2:

I mean, she'd bleach on a lot of things, but I don't think it's Halloween costume. My mom doesn't know how to listen to podcasts so I don't think she's listening. The other one is my mom, so creative, made me a spider. We did gymnastics costume party so I had a black leotard and then she made me these spider wings out of foam that when I move my arms, not spider wings spiders don't have wings. Spider legs that.

Speaker 1:

I bet they do in Australia, because that's where they have all those frightening insects. I bet they have flying spiders that spit fire. I'm convinced of it in Australia.

Speaker 2:

And you get to go next. But I have to tell you this like three nights ago, weston comes back in the bathroom. He's like I just had something scary happen and I'm like what? And he was taking out the trash and he closed the. He was like open or close in the garage door because we've a detached garage and he looked up and a bat flew his face and then the next night it did it again. Wow, I know. And then Ellie's like where's Mr Bat?

Speaker 1:

That's like get out.

Speaker 2:

This is my place, it's terrifying, though a bat flying at your face.

Speaker 1:

Now I will say this though I follow you know on the TikTok that the kids do, I do that a little bit of that and I follow some like bat rehabilitation stuff because I just love animals and they are actually sort of really cute. If you, I know well, flying anything flying at your face is probably not a great great thing.

Speaker 2:

So anyway, that's okay, your turn.

Speaker 1:

It's so funny because I was going to say one of the ones that I remember the most was my Peter Pan costume, that my, I think my aunt, my aunt Mimmy, who was like 95 and still hanging in there I'll see her in a few weeks. She was my aunt and uncle Mimmy, and Art didn't have any kids, so I was. They lived in our town. They were my only relatives who lived, my aunt and uncle relatives who lived in my town. They didn't have a kid, so I was sort of like their second kid. So she would make costumes for me with the help of my mom, and so I had a really great Peter Pan costume that I did, that I wore. I think I was able to wear that a couple of years in a row. You know, when you're young you grow so quickly. I never quite grew enough, so I could usually wear them back to back. But the one that I most remember was my award-winning costume when I was a kid and this is really going to age me and people aren't even going to know the reference perhaps, but I grew up across the street, my oldest friend that I met when we moved into our house. I was three years old and there was a little girl across the street who was a year older than me and she came over to meet me by day two and just became my closest friend, growing up into elementary school until we got older and broke off in our own groups and then she ended up going actually to a DW Burgess High School. We interviewed DW for a later podcast, hayfield Shout out to the Hayfield Hawks. That's two shows. They get a little bit of love. But for one Halloween we went as Raggedy Ann and Andy. Raggedy Andy and we had matching costumes and we won first place. I'm sure there was some sort of I don't know. It was the early 70s so they probably didn't have different age divisions. There were no participation trophies. It was probably like the five-year-olds are up against the 35-year-olds. It just doesn't matter. It's like a Lord of the Flies costume contest and we won with the Raggedy Ann and Andy and my mom still has pictures of it and you look back at it pretty darn good. The wigs were made out of mop heads and I think actually the next year I think the next year I was in a different costume, but I think Kelly actually went back to back with the Raggedy Ann costumes and got a lot of love.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, I will say you triggered some happy memories of adult costumes. Good group costumes like are fun, kind of like us on stage right when we are nailing it and we're like in these good vibes. So we went to House of Blues one like Halloween-ish because my birthday's right there and we were the cast of Zoolander. Oh good, I wasn't a title character. So there was Mugatu, there was Katinka, there was Kattinka, but I was there leaked. There was like four of us and so my costume was only newspaper duct tape and trash bags.

Speaker 1:

I'm trying to get a vision of this in my head and I'm going to need the top was like a.

Speaker 2:

I had a sports bra on, I think, and it was like a black trash bag that I duct taped kind of like around to give it color, and then I had little short shorts on and then we put duct tape and then newspaper was like the skirt, sticking out everywhere.

Speaker 1:

All right, that's pretty cool.

Speaker 2:

And my friend, my dear friend Angela. She was also a dare leaked model. You know Angela very well.

Speaker 1:

I do, absolutely yeah, and I was like I'm fine. Was it like a concert at House of Blues or was it just like the Halloween party?

Speaker 2:

The service industry night that they used to have.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah.

Speaker 2:

You know you would just dress up like whatever in Orlando every day's Halloween, but like the Friday usually, like before Halloween sometimes, or the Saturday. And then one year we went to Pleasure Island and I remember this another group costume. It was when the Kanye West song Gold Digger was big oh, yeah. Gold Diggers. So we like spray painted shovels, gold, lots of glitter, and then we had the lyrics on our shirts, like one of my friends who had done this said like bought these with his money and she had, you know.

Speaker 1:

See, now I don't ever have like really any great adult stories because I got really lazy Halloween wise as I got older, when I was in college in the 80s, and this one for the kids as well. You know, dr, scrubs were a big deal to have, like the scrubs, the pants and the shirt. It was just. It was something that we were way into, Not just doctors. No not just for doctors.

Speaker 2:

Well, bodyists.

Speaker 1:

Well you sure, sure, absolutely Anyone in the medical milieu.

Speaker 2:

Not a leadist or not only doctors.

Speaker 1:

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, nurses, you know scrubs, we just, we like to wear scrubs, which is interesting because I never watched the television show. That's going to be a binge when I'm have the flu someday, because I've watched episodes that look really funny. So, and in my best friend who went to the University of Virginia when I was a UF, he, he played football and then in the summer I guess the summer sessions he'd get a job and stay in Charlottesville as opposed to going home, because it was just cooler thing to do, you know, and he worked in the hospital at the University of Virginia and so he was able to get you know, because the normal scrubs were green and there were white scrubs that were for something, you know, something else. And then there were the newborn intensive care scrubs, which were light blue, and those were the most coveted scrubs for some reason at UVA and they had a little stamp on them property of UVA. So I'm going to tell tales out of school here, steve, he sent me some scrubs and sent me a stethoscope, and so I was a doctor at every Halloween party, because the scrubs I would have never gotten away with, but the fact that I had the stethoscope around my neck. Boom, I was in. I used that one for years until I wore the scrubs out and then I went to and this is my go-to Halloween costume, if you invite me to a party. Now is 80s Bruce Springsteen A pair of jeans, pair of work boots, white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up a little, sadly, my gun show not quite as good as Bruce's and then a red baseball cap tucked into your back pocket, a la the Born in the USA tour. However, I do up my game a little because I have a cheap fender telecaster ripoff. It's not a fender but it looks like a blonde telecaster, which is essentially the guitar that Springsteen plays, and so I take that with me, so kind of strapped around me like a leader led sort of gunslinger guitar, the strapping thing. So 80s Bruce Springsteen is what you're gonna get now if you invite me, and that's pretty much it. With my Halloween game there was a Mozart ear that I did. I was Mozart, but that's pretty much it, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I can think of more. It's fun. So if you guys have fun Halloween costumes, share them. We'll try to dig out some pictures of these and share it. All, right, john? Before we move on quickly. So Joe Skipper, he's a pro triathlete. If you saw the awkward handshake mid interview situation that I had earlier this year, that was Joe. They have podcasts called Triathlon Mockery, which they're British and they make fun of things. So I think it's right up your alley, john.

Speaker 1:

Love it.

Speaker 2:

But they do a segment called Highs and Lows, which we saw a live podcast recording of theirs in Nice. So, john, I'm gonna ask you this week for one high and one low.

Speaker 1:

Well, the low was certainly my back that I injured. It's much better now. I am actually full disclosure. I'm taking off to go host some races here. In about an hour I'll be heading over to Lakeland for the Florida Runners. It's a large cross country event which is a lot of fun over there for high school, high school and beyond. There are a bunch of different divisions.

Speaker 2:

Well, I guess that's college. I thought college would be on like after college is just life.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. Well, this is high school and then I think there's a few of college, mainly high school, and if this would have been last weekend, I don't know that I'd have been able to do it, because I just basically it was hard to get up and down. We did an interview when I and you could hear me making my dad's noises that he used to make getting out of my chair. You know you make your parents' noises when you're getting out of the chair. So that was definitely definitely a low for the week Was dealing with my back injury, and a high for the week would have been yesterday when I was actually able to get on the treadmill again and do a half an hour. I didn't push it, there was a very little running and a lot of walking, but I was finally able to get back at it. Because you know, for people out there, once you get to a certain age you're back. We don't take good care of them when we're younger, when you have like a really, really bad back incident, there's a mental thing getting back into any sort of movement or exercise. I feel for any athlete that's rehabilitating an injury after surgery, because just after I've thrown my back out and get it back into a working order. Mentally I basically I don't want to do anything, but I force myself. So there's my high for the week.

Speaker 2:

Well, good for you. And Jeff says you know, because Weston had some injury things training for some of the longer marathons. Even you, as you look into your 10K, if you walk that distance, no matter how long it takes, you're getting benefits from that. So say, your long runs only go up to four, but you've walked six, it's actually gonna give you benefits on race day. So not.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I definitely found. I definitely found that when I did, even when I was in the throes of my back bothering me, I would walk the dogs, Jenny and Jody, and I would go ahead and walk the dogs little shorter walk than they would normally get with my back, but I do know that the exercise itself made me feel better, but the pain in just getting up and getting ready to go tying my shoe excruciating. So yeah, so hi, hello, both with the back, the back's back, in working order, and thankfully I can head over to Lakeland for the big event today, because otherwise I would have been, I probably would have to take in a lawn chair to sit on the stage and I'm sure they would have allowed me to do that, but I think that would have started, maybe, the thoughts of maybe next year we need a younger, more athletic announcer.

Speaker 2:

You just see one of those really not nice lawn chairs, the ones with the fabric that's flat and pink and yellow but it's faded, also with the white armrests.

Speaker 1:

Oh, no, no, no, I've got these Lamborghini lawn chairs that have drink holders.

Speaker 2:

Lakeland in an old lawn chair with a microphone, and then their microphone doesn't work, so you're just like. Our next race is now beginning.

Speaker 1:

Well, I'm stage trained so I can be heard at the back of the house, so I could pull that off. How about?

Speaker 2:

you highs, and lows. Yeah, I think for a high little new work announcement, that I finally found out that I will be part of the announcing team for the US Olympic marathon team trials which is gonna be here in Orlando. That's awesome, that's great. So Tell me that. No, well, yeah, no, I don't know exactly what I'm doing, but I have been told you're there, what shirt size do you want? So I know that they bring in people and I'll probably be there dealing with the athletes, but also kind of bringing in that type level, if you will, or hoping to get somebody that we know that plays music involved. He has two initials a lot of people call him by, and then there's a community run on Sunday here that I'll be doing as well. So if you're in Orlando, definitely make sure you come down and check it out and check out that community run as well. In terms of the lows, I think yeah, it's health related too. We just had the crud. I was pretty sick, so luckily it was, and Elliot and Weston were away. We found out I was sick. They stayed away, so kind of helped prevent. Knock on wood, so far no one's gotten what I had. But then Claire separately got some gastrointestinal issue and dealing with that with kids just is so hard Up down and it's just such. If any parent will know it's just like, and for parents that are caregivers of kids that need attention all the time, I can't imagine what you guys go through. But you're always in a heightened level of stress of every movement, everything. I'm waking up in the night hearing the noise. Was she sick? Blah, blah, blah. So she's supposed to have a gymnastics week meet this weekend. Again, you guys will hear this on Wednesday, so we'll see if she's feeling better. She's kind of after you've been getting you to eat. It's hard and adults, you just are not hungry. So we're dealing with that. But hopefully everyone will be on the mend soon and everybody out there listening. There are germs a plenty. Go on a season. I know so. Take care of yourself, especially before wine and dine. And when you're coming down to wine and dine, take care of yourself. Remember the sanitizing, the wiping, all that good stuff.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think we've gotten a little bit better at that, because I don't know if you remember back when we started. I always remember like the first few days after a race I would almost always come down with some sort of a cold or something and I think it was just my. You know, because of the lack of sleep and everything that you're doing probably not eating as well as you should your immune system's down. So I'll say a hi for me yearly. Now is I don't think that's happened in a while Knock on my microphone here the desk is not wood, but yeah, that's a really great to anybody who's coming down taking part in their first Disney race or even if you've done multiple. Really take care of yourself in that way too. Make sure you sanitize. You know you're around a lot of people. We mentioned it last year. Sadly, kree Kelly, our compatriot announcer for Marathon Weekend, came down with COVID and then I got COVID and you know. So just be careful because that's still going around too folks.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, take care of yourself so that you can keep getting in those long runs. And I'm gonna say one more thing about it if you are not feeling well, that's not the week to push for your long run, because in those long runs you drop your immunity from the long run. So take the Jeff Gallow advice we just gave walk, don't push yourself and get sick and then lose even more time. But if you are traveling to Disney or elsewhere outside of the Disney realm, john, we got someone to thank and someone who can help you.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, and someone we should thank, and that's our sponsor, travelmation. Follow Katie on Instagram at TravelMation and get inspired for your next trip. When you're ready to book, reach out to Katie and I know you're a big fan of someone to book all of your travel. You want a travel agent, you want someone to do that for you, and Katie's a perfect person.

Speaker 2:

Knows what to do so I don't make mistakes and waste my vacation time. That's what Katie has. So even just if you're not ready to plan today, go on Instagram, give her some 321. Go Love at TravelMation.

Speaker 1:

Okay, civilians, it's time for the goods let's get on to the interview.

Speaker 2:

So our guest today. I know him as an amazing race announcer, Not just for Ironman but the escape from Alcatraz, Triathlon, the LA Marathon, the Boston Marathon. He has not just a passion for endurance sports, but I'm always amazed at the amazing amount of knowledge he has just about the sports in general. His personal journey is just as amazing as his announcing resume and we are excited for our listeners to get to know a man we call EG. Welcome to 321 Go, Eric Gilson and Eric, how are you?

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much. Thank you, thank you. I'm great. You know I'm 58, going on 15 and yeah, I just I'm doing all right here in San Diego. Oh, I like that. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 1:

I like that, eric, because I'm 59 going on 87, but emotionally I'm about 19. So you know, I think we're sort of in the same place a little bit. All right now this listen. Karissa gave us some of your bio and she knows you obviously quite well. I this is my first time having an opportunity to talk to you, though she's talked about you quite a bit and I'm assume a lot of our listeners don't know you very well either. So give us the elevator pitch on Eric. Tell us your story a little bit before we get started with our questions.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely child of the 60s, born in 64, two naval officer parents, which meant a little bit of a rigid upbringing, but they meant well and they loved me and it was great. And we grew up on Cape Cod and that was really a nice place to grow up, you know Golf courses, having a sailboat as a kid, sort of luxuries that definitely do not take for granted now, nor did I that. I went to spring break in Daytona Beach in 83 for a week, Nice, and I liked it and I liked it so much I stayed four years. When the bus went back to New England, to Cape Cod Community College. There were 59 students on the bus. There were 67 days earlier heading south.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 3:

Heading north there was one left seat. It was a seat open and it was mine. I stayed Daytona and I just loved to party and it caught up with me and I joined the Coast Guard and I thought that would help and it did and I was good at it so I could go on boardings and you know that would mean Russian vessels and Japanese vessels up in Alaska and that was really cool. I was always out in the first one, asked to be on the team but, given liberty, I was a nightmare and it caught up with me and I just stopped drinking when I was 24 and then I started to do triathlon. So I was about 250 pounds and I just started to work out at a gym. And then the people at the gym asked me to work at the gym. They were like we've seen you go from 250 to 180. You know, a lot of people were asking me during my journey of weight loss how do you do it? And then I ended up going to work at the gym and then one thing led to another and ended up working with Power Bar and Reebok, just part-time stuff with the gym and physical therapy clinics in the 90. And just kept doing. Boston Marathon Did the escape from Alcatraz in 89,. My first triathlon Did Boston in 1990, my first marathon. I got a sponsor's exemption number from John Hancock and well, not John himself, he's a.

Speaker 2:

I mean, you have impressive, impressive resume, eric. You know who knows? I was gonna say if you have that signature.

Speaker 1:

still, from what I understand, it's worth something.

Speaker 2:

So if you have that on your contract, Well, eric, I wanna go back for a second, cause you said something that I know is a really important milestone in your life. You talked about I think it was in 1989, your first triathlon, and I've heard you say to other people that that race saved your life. So can we talk about that?

Speaker 3:

Sure, yeah, you know 89,. A buddy of mine told me about this triathlon where you jumped into 55 degree shark infested waters off a perfectly good boat and it seemed like a perfect idea because that's what I used to do in the Coast Guard and I knew my parents would hate it. So it just seemed like a perfect thing to do and so, yeah, I swam on Wednesday about 15 minutes in Alameda, you know, over off the coast to Oakland, and that was my 15 minutes of training for the 1989 eighth annual escape from Alcatraz triathlon. And 89 did the race. There were 200 of us and that was only 8% women, you know, and you know how we are really, you and I working on increasing women in endurance athletics, and Karen Singh, an old school triathlete, she was one of the 16 women that did that race that year and there were only 200 of us and I ended up 102nd out of 200. And I loved it and I had no business doing the swim, but I did it. I tightened up my goggles just a little bit extra, just to have a little extra tightness in my goggle, and all of a sudden pop, the rubber broke. I'm out there in 89. I don't have an extra pair of goggles. Now, 30 years later, we provide goggles for the athletes out on the boat, thanks to Aquasphere. But, you know they didn't have extra goggles then. So the first time I did my Alcatraz swim in 89, no goggles, so my eyes were burning 50 minutes later get out of the water, rode over to Mill Valley, did the double dip seat. It was the first year it was on NBC, then it went to 300 people because of the TV commercialism the next year and then it just kept growing and growing to over 2000. Now, 30 plus years later. But yeah, that race absolutely changed my life because I found a group that accepted me that said come back, we want you back. I felt comfortable in my own skin around these people and I knew I fit in. It was like a family and it still to this day is.

Speaker 1:

Well, this is also very, very interesting to me because, yeah, you've said to start with 200 people when you started and now it's around 2000. And from what I understand, it's sort of capped there. You probably could have more folks if you had the ability to do that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the Escape from Alcatraz is its standalone event, owned by IMG, who puts on the football combines for the NFL and assists with all the Olympics throughout the world. And IMG has had a variety of different triathlons, but the Escape from Alcatraz is the one that really is their crown jewel of triathlons and, yeah, we've got quite a website with videos. It's a very swim-centric triathlon. Some other triathlons are more cycling oriented or the hardest part of this event is the bike or the run, but the escape from Alcatraz getting through that swim really is critical.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, let's talk about that swim because it sounds cool. Escape from Alcatraz, alcatraz the rock, let's do this. My husband Weston, as you know, eric, he's done it twice. I mean he was swimming one time and citing to what he was supposed to be citing to and he looks up and all he sees are white caps. He doesn't even see another of the 2000 athletes. He had gone a little bit off. Talk about how intimidating that swim is and your part at the start of the race there, that you now have transitioned from middle middle of the pack in 1989 to a staple of the event every year since then.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the navigating is key to that race and you've got five million gallons per second going underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. So, as we always have the race during an outgoing tide, it always is exiting the water, is exiting the bay at five million gallons per second, so that's a lot of water going underneath that bridge. So, if you can imagine a one mile long bridge and it's about a hundred feet wide, and that's five million gallons per second going underneath that mass. And so you've got to swim across the river. You cannot intellectualize this swim. You have to get across and swim as southerly as you can, because the water is gonna take you westerly and your target is in the southwest portion of the San Francisco waterfront. So definitely watch the videos. After giving years and years and years of clinics, I said to my bosses hey, we gotta make clinic, we gotta make videos, we gotta make videos Cause I keep saying the same thing over and, over and over again. And now we've got this thing called the internet. I think it's gonna work and that's utilized. So we did, and about 10, 15 years ago we started with these sloppy videos and now we've tooled them up to a decent level. But yeah, you definitely need to. We go out of our way at IMG to make sure everyone finishes and if we need to reposition you in the water, we do that. If we need to reposition you off the bike course, we do that. We want to see all athletes cross the finish line finish line and bring this all together and that people talk about at Thanksgiving or winter holidays or birthdays. Hey, mom, remember when you did that race and they called you across the line. And we get to do that. We get to enhance people's lives. We get to help people. We get to have children see their parents as heroes instead of homework tyrants, and that's a wonderful thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I definitely can identify with that comparison of being a hero versus a homework tyrant. But you have announced that Alcatraz for many, many years. But when did you get into race announcing? How did you kind of end up there?

Speaker 3:

I did some high school radio stuff just as a class and I liked it. And I actually would listen to Casey Kasem on Sundays after church and I would record on my cassette recorder the music of the top 40. And during the ads for the regular radio show I would dub in my own stupid ads. Now I wish I still had those tapes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, me too so.

Speaker 3:

I could hear them, just so I could laugh and cry and hear it. But I don't. But yeah, I got into it like that. And then one of the gyms that I worked at in Alameda, the Harbor Bay Club, had a little triathlon called the TriFest and it was like 200 yard swim, six mile bike, two mile run it was the smallest triathlon around and I helped put that on and I had a little disposable camera. I had a little old timing device that I'd hit the button every time someone would cross the line and we'd tear their bib tag away and then I'd have a megaphone so I was able to take pictures, time and announce all at once and I brought the value and the just different little entities that I experienced at Boston and Alcatraz and other races to this little event so that at the end of it all they'd have a picture of themselves finishing, they'd have their name announced and they'd have a time at the event and some awards. And so I got caught up in that. And then I did San Jose International Triathlon, which was hot in the 90s, the Bud Light series, and I would help the race announcers at the awards. I would do the awards. So Jimmy Hunter and Brad Kearns. Brad Kearns, the next pro triathlete who actually showed up to the Desert Princess Duathlon in a cathedral city back in I think it was 88 or 89, with these things called aero bars. And they changed the world from then on. But yeah, brad and Jimmy were the announcers at San Jose International and then I would jump in and do the awards with them because they were vaporit after announcing over 2,000 athletes very rapidly. And then one thing led to another and Brad actually referred me to John Monsoir in 1999 at the California International Marathon and he said can you announce this marathon? And I was way over my head but I was like Chipotle are you in my class today? Yes, I am.

Speaker 1:

Can you announce this marathon.

Speaker 3:

Yes, I can, I was way over my head, but I pulled it off. I not only pulled it off, but I noticed, as you and I we dig on our research when we get ready for awards, I noticed the guy that won the race. It was his birthday that day and at the time I happened to be married and I was given a couple of pieces of cake on the way out the door and I happened to actually have an extra piece of cake with me and I got a candle from the restaurant at the place we were having the awards ceremony. And after I gave him his check and his silver platter, I said but hold on, sir, is it true? Is today your birthday? And he was like yes, in fact it is. So I lit the candle, gave him the candle, the cake, I'll lit up and I said hey, everybody, let's sing this birthday. And John Montsour was in the back of the hall just laughing and I had the job for 17 years, so that worked out pretty well.

Speaker 1:

That's not actually. That's not surprising to me, because that's it. Thinking on your feet. Doing something like that it's going to make you stand out, so not surprised that that worked for you.

Speaker 3:

Well, it was good cake and I know he liked it, especially after running the marathon. I mean, I know you're not married anymore, but a woman that sends you out the door with cake.

Speaker 2:

You know that's. I don't send Wes in out the door with cake. I'm like did you get your fruit? Where's your oatmeal? You?

Speaker 3:

know we're good friends still to this day and I still get cake and cookies once in a while when I'm good.

Speaker 2:

When you're good, when you're good oh my.

Speaker 3:

Well, one thing led to another with announcing, and I met Dave McGilvery years ago and I said, dave, if you ever need anybody, someone that's West Coast, someone who knows how to pronounce West Coast's name, someone that's got some different perspective, let me know. And so he hired me about eight years ago and then after that I ran with him and then I'm jumping ahead, but then I couldn't make it to this year's Boston and then I was able to get you, of course, into the race as a race announcer. So that was awesome. But it's one of those things that you can't keep it unless you give it away. That's the whole thing with announcing. It's the whole thing with announcing athletes, the whole thing with helping other athletes. You've got to share your mojo, you've got to share your secret sauce and if you do that, the dividends on your investment is huge. A lot of people won't give that secret away because then, oh, they'll beat you, and I don't want that. But the mojo and the karma that comes with helping others is for sure. And we have the ability to do that, not only just as people in the industry, ourselves speaking for living, but also the athletes listening to this podcast. What can I do. I can raise money for challenged athletes. I can raise money for team and training. Team and training about 40 plumbers out of Ohio who got together for the New York City marathon back in the late 80s and 30-plus years later they've raised over a billion dollars. The purple posse, and then Jeffrey Estacow, bob Babbot and Rick Koslowski, starting challenge athletes Think about that the Paralympics three-quarters of all the Paralympians who've ever competed in the Paralympics have gotten a grant from challenged athletes here in San Diego. That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we got some of that to talk about. I've got some questions for you. We're going to dive deeper into a little bit of the inclusion and all the things. It's like you've read my mind. Our announcers were on. We're on the same wavelength. You know all the things that are so important to what we get to do.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Now let me ask you Now this is I'm not asking this question because I know the best or I want to know what your favorite event you get to announce. For whatever reason, the breakfast in the morning is great. You love the view. There's cake. Perhaps we never get cake. We never get cake. But do you have a favorite? Just one that just is the most enjoyable for you?

Speaker 3:

Yes, I am in Hawaii. World championship, it's the Holy Grail. Just because we're trying to expand, just because we're trying to make sure we give everyone their moment in the sun, even though we're having different world championship locations, which is great, we can make it, we can handle it. The Olympics do it, other sports do. The British Alpen, the Alpen they go to different golf courses. But I am in Hawaii, without a doubt, working for Diana Birch, working over there to honor the privilege of being on island, having the etiquette of knowing where you're at, on the lava, how special it is, honor the people that were there before you and make sure the people that are coming over new understand how special the race Ironman Hawaii is. And granted, if you look back in September 25, 1974, when the San Diego track club had their first recorded triathlon in America even though the French will tell you they did one back in 72. But in 74, when they did that and it was a bike-run swim in that order, and then they figured out, eh, we've got to get that swim done first, and then it just wasn't working. Third leg but when they did that triathlon in 74, yeah, they'd say that that was the first one. But hey, what commander and Judy Collins did. Judy and John Collins, because Judy had just as much to do with putting on that Ironman as John did. And Sally Edwards, who started Fleet Feed. And Sally Bailey, who was the woman in charge of escape from Alcatraz. Valerie Silk and what Paulinebue Frazier has done and what Diana Birch has done. A lot of people here were having our first year of all women's race in Kona, but a lot of people don't even know how important the women have been in our sport. And Sally Edwards, who started Fleet Feed, and Valerie Silk made sure the prize purses were always equal, so we've never had any disparity. There are other sports that had to ratchet it up once they figured it out and gotten lightened, but triathlons always been inclusive. We've always taken anybody, no matter what you are, no matter who you are, no matter what you look like. If you just want to swim, bike run and have fun, we want you.

Speaker 2:

That's it, eg. Swim bike run. Have fun. I've taught my kids to say that now, and it's an honor for me to get to be at the World Championships with you. As you mentioned, last year was my first year there, and this year you and I will be back there with another host of talented announcers Paul Kaye, joanne Murphy both of them Not US-based Paul's from South Africa, jo's from Ireland but being there celebrating the women on the beautiful island is a top, top race, and it's one that athletes work their whole lives to get to. For me, though, my top race announcing running is the Boston Marathon, so I want to know, eg, what is it like to run the race with Dave McGilvery, after everybody, because he's just the icon of race directing. So what he does with the race, what he does for the community, what is that like?

Speaker 3:

It is like running with Zeus.

Speaker 1:

It's like going up to Olympus and saying hello, hi Zeus, how you doing, hey Thor, how you doing.

Speaker 3:

How you guys doing. How are you girls doing Wonder Woman? I love Diana. So yeah, running with Dave is. It's indescribable to work on Friday, saturday, sunday. Once they found out I could drive a forklift what's Boston Marathon in Ironman? Hawaii found out I could drive a forklift. It's over. They put me in the forklift. I learned early on as a kid, picking cranberries at the cranberry ocean spray on the Cape and then living in Napa for a while when they needed someone extra in the forklifts during picking and what they'd call crush Anyhow. But yeah, I was on Friday, saturday, sunday build out the athlete village Monday morning announce, release the athletes to the start line, as you did for me this last year in April, and then in the afternoon, after we pick up clothing and trash, to then assemble around two or three at the common and run with Dave with a state police escort. We've done it with seven, eight, 12 people and last year there was another group. And to run with Dave is just very special because he's done it. When I was doing it with him it was like his 45th time through about his 50th, and the police escort. We're doing it at three in the afternoon. We're the last runners after thousands, thousands of run that morning. We're the last few and it's police escort. And the thing is, people are still partying. It's New England, it's Boston, you know, it's Patriots Day and they're still partying hard there in all the way from Hoppington through Medford, through all the way in downtown, and people recognize you because you've got the police escort. They're like, hey, what's up with this, why are the police? And then they see this little guy, dave 5556, and then his entourage, and I'm one of those entourage and we're running with them and the police stop the traffic at intersections and people stop to get out of their cars and they start screaming and cheering. That's the best. And then going into Boston proper go past Fenway Park at mile 25 and we stop and along the line of mile 22 is Dave's grandfather's. He's where he's buried. So we always stop and reflect on his grandfather and Dave's influence from his grandfather.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing.

Speaker 3:

So there's a lot of special things that happen out there and Dave talks to all of us. He goes around and makes sure he talks to all of us and then he'll bounce around a second time and, yeah, it's eight five Ks. We stop every three miles. We have a car with Gatorade and another car with clothing and the police and it's pretty cool.

Speaker 1:

That's so cool. I'm talking to my wife's from Southern New Hampshire, so you sounded like all my in-laws there for a bit oh yeah. She's just from about me hey, hey, nice job out there, Tommy boy.

Speaker 3:

Hey, well done, Paulie. Hey it's great.

Speaker 1:

It's such a great town. So you weren't in Boston in 2013 when the bombing happened, but you were there the next year. Is there anyone or anything that stands out for you about that year?

Speaker 3:

You know, the cool thing is, challenge athletes introduced me to Roseanne Sedoya and Roseanne Sedoya was at the wrong place at the wrong time, watching her friends cross the finish line, and she had her leg blown off. And the first person that helped Roseanne was a tough medical student he took off his belt. The second first responder was a policewoman from Boston and then the third responder was this six foot six, 300 pound machine, mike Materia from Boylston Street station one he's retired army and he picked her up, put her on a gurney and threw her into the meat wagon, the ambulance, and then they went away. She went away, roseanne, and he wondered well, I wonder how she did, I wonder what happened to her. So we went and visited her in the hospital while they fell in love and got married as a book called Perfect Strangers that Roseanne wrote, I got to know them. She asked me will you walk, will you run a 5k with me? And so I went and worked the runner's world uh, half marathon, heartbreak hill, half marathon in Boston college for Dave McGilvery. And she said, hey, I'm going to do the 5k, will you walk with me? So I did. I said, yeah, sure, I thought that'd be like 20 of us walking with her. It was just Mike, sarah Rhinerson and myself. And we walked 5k and we had two legs and we had to switch your leg halfway through like a NASCAR team. We were laughing about it. It was great, but to be able to help them.

Speaker 1:

Helping people seems to be part of your DNA, which is a fabulous quality to have. Earlier, you were talking about a young lady that you had helped and how the power of sport and training can be something that can transform lives and families. Can you talk a little about that?

Speaker 3:

My son's a swimmer and as a kid he just always wanted to swim every day. So my wife and I and my son would go to the pool and uh, we, uh, we met this couple of twins, and my wife at the time was a twin. And when you married to a twin and you get to know twins, you know that it's a special bond. And so these two girls, lindsay and Lacy well, lindsay wanted to do a senior class project of home economics or something and she was the pool manager. But the lifeguard, um twin, uh, she wanted to do a triathlon for her senior class project and the mother hated the idea. She said why can't you be like your sister and do a home economics class project for your senior class project? I want to do this. So she did the escape from Alcatraz with me and at the time Karen and I would bring uh Lacy bike riding and running. I didn't have to worry about the swimming. Well, lo and behold, she does her uh, senior class project. Race day comes. She does the escape from Alcatraz, she finishes the race, her mother turns to her and says I do approve of this. I think this is tremendous. I can't believe you did this. And then the mother got so fired up. Over the last few years she's lost 50 to 60 pounds. I see her sometimes and you know, big hug, and how are you? She loves me now. And then the twin sister came up to me a month after the race and said Eric, can you teach me to do a triathlon so I can have a relationship with my mother like my sister now does? Oh, my goodness, that is what it's all about.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it is what Dave says.

Speaker 3:

It's a marathon. It's more than just a marathon.

Speaker 1:

It is.

Speaker 3:

The escape from Alcatraz triathlon. It's more than just a triathlon. It's an event that brought a mother and daughter together, so much so that the sister, the twin, wants it, wants it as well.

Speaker 2:

Wow, yeah, I mean, and that's what you know, part of that. That's kind of why we started this podcast is us seeing that on the run Disney side as well. You know that the people, they see each other, they get to know each other, they become a family, they support each other through other things. Things happen in the corrals. You know you cross a finish line, no matter the distance. You feel a sense of pride and achievement and I think there's a party that wants to share that with others and bring others into that, and that's something that I think you do, not only bringing people in, Eric, but, as you've just heard, you know all the ways that you just never stop giving out energy to help people. So I have an answer for this next question, but I want to hear your answer. What makes you a great race announcer? Passion? Yeah, I think that's true.

Speaker 3:

I'm not doing it for the money, I'm not doing it for the money. I'm not doing it for this ego or prestige at this point. There are strokes that you get from being in that position with the microphone in hand, but it's passion. It's what Riley taught me, it's what Mike Riley taught me. I've served over a hundred Ironman races with him and he told me that in Arizona in November when he was signing off at midnight that night, after he was over 200 Ironmans, his final American Ironman. And it's passion and it's telling stories and making people feel good and that's it. You know, it's as simple as it is. It is not about me. If I hear a race announcer talking about themselves, I don't want to hear it, and I mentioned it to him. Hey, this is not about you. This is about this woman, this is about this young man, this is about this underserved person that's getting a moment in the sun they so duly have always been ready to accept, and now it's their time. So make it their time.

Speaker 2:

That's kind of the irony about being a race announcer. To be a race announcer, your personality needs to be somewhat outgoing, somewhat extroverted, but to be a good race announcer you have to be not narcissistic in the point where it's not about you, you're just doing what you happen to be good at to allow other people to have their moment to shine, do you agree?

Speaker 3:

Oh, without a doubt. And then, once you see that once you give, you get back and you can't keep it unless you give it away, and then you see the byproduct of your efforts of helping others. And you see, just, I know this for a fact, I sometimes do good stings in two weeks later, like when I got the call from Boston Marathon and said, hey, eric, this is Joe Robertson from the Boston Marathon. You know your boy, joe, that was your boss.

Speaker 2:

Oh, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

And he called me and he says hey, dave McGillvery called me and told me to get you over here to race announce. And I was like oh my God, and I knew I had done something a few weeks prior. It just it works out. If you do things tit for tat, it's never going to work out. If you do things systematically, it never works out. But if you do things unconditionally and do it with the right heart, with passion and giving, it's like okay, now I dare you to. You know, karma come and come back at me, you know, and it's going to come back at you a hundred fold. You know. You just don't plan on it, you don't. You know it's not conditional, it's unconditional.

Speaker 1:

That's such a great way to put it, and your empathy for others doesn't just stop when you're done announcing it's finish line. We see all these amazing people crossing the finish line. We're lucky enough to learn some of their stories, but a lot of times we're just there wondering what it would be like to be in some of these people's shoes. Now you unexpectedly got that type of experience recently. Can you tell our listeners about it?

Speaker 3:

It was really good surf January. No, december 30th, here in San Diego I went surfing. I went down the D street stairs in Encinitas and halfway down the stairs was this girl. She was 20 years old. She had all her clothing strewn out, her bedding strewn out, two trader Joe's bag. She was homeless, he was writing in her journal she had impeccable penmanship Two guys surfing with ahead of me. They were walking down the stairs. They didn't even say anything to her and I was like that's not nice. So I said hello, good morning. I said two things Hello, to get her attention, and good morning to get her attention. And she looked up and I'm like, good, I got her attention, I gave her respect, I gave her a little love. I went out and surf for an hour and then I came back and there was a sheriff, a woman sheriff, and she already had her in cuffs and they're talking and like shoot. And so another cop was coming down the stairs and I said hey, give that girl a chance. Doesn't look like she's been given much of a chance. Anyhow, the next morning I'm like why is the third unit coming? Anyways, the next morning I go back down surfing because it's good, good swell, and so it's New Year's Eve and I go down the stairs and there's all her stuff still out there video game, diary, cosmetics, food, backpacks, bedding so I go surfing. So then I go up the stairs an hour later and it's still there, and I go up to my car and I put my board away and I put a hoodie on and I'm like I'm going back down there and I'm going to collect her stuff and I'm going to get it back to her. So I go back down there and let's check this out this is my point and I was on my knees on the stairs gathering all her stuff. I had a hoodie, a black hoodie on, and a black hat, and I was in a wet suit and black sandals and I was gathering all this stuff on my knees and I'm on, you know, these stairs and this couple of people walked down the stairs. This person looked at me like I was the homeless person. They looked at me with such disdain and disgust and I got the stink eye, as old Kramer would say. I got the stink eye and I was like, oh my God, it hit me. Eric, this person thinks you're the homeless person. I was like, oh my God, it was so powerful, it was so humiliating, it was so awesome to feel that feeling, knowing that I was very much, thank God, far from homeless. But to feel that experience and to be to think about that person, thinking, wow, that person didn't even give me a chance, they just gave me this stink eye and looked at me. And I'm thinking to myself, eric, don't you ever let yourself be that other person. You always give people dignity. You always give people respect and love.

Speaker 2:

That's powerful, yeah, just helping others.

Speaker 1:

Empathy. You know, sadly, empathy is in short supply these days and it is really such a great story to illustrate to people when you try to put yourself in someone else's shoes for a moment and at least attempt to, before you make a judgment about who they are and what they are, because everybody is a person of worth and should be treated that way. So, bravo, bravo. I really appreciate and respect that a lot. Now, one of the things, eric, that we like to talk about on this show is motivation for people. You're an athlete, you're an announcer, your self-motivated guide is very obvious, but we often, training in the middle of an event, we run into something, a roadblock, at least mentally, that makes it difficult to keep going. What do you do to motivate yourself, whether you be training, announcing, doing anything in your life where it's like, well, I just I can't take that next step, I can't do that next thing. How do you self-motivate yourself? What can you tell people that can help them when they run into that problem?

Speaker 3:

You know, I went into the hospital in March for a normal checkup because I wasn't feeling too well and I was well spitting up blood. That wasn't a good sign. I ended up being in the hospital for 18 days and I had open heart surgery and I had two valves replaced in my heart the aorta and the mitral valve and so I've got two bovine cow heart pieces in my heart now. And I look at that as my 3.0. My birth was 1.0. My recovery from alcoholism was my 2.0 rebirth and then my third was my third chance in life and that was open heart surgery. You know, having gone through that, the last few months have been quite interesting in the mind and soul searching that I've been going through, because I'm really able to value what matters. You know effort, money, travel, prestige, ego, pride, all those different things that get in the way I think about when I'm going through tough times on a daily basis or when I was doing things physically or I still do try in my recovery from the heart surgery. I think about others that have it worse than me. You know one arm woolly steward, my buddy, my brother from Challenge Athletes. He and I did Boston Alcatraz and Ironman Hawaii in 02 and he beat me in all three and I loved it and we talk about it still to this day. You know here's a guy who had his arm taken off as an elevator repair man when he was 18 years old, college student, summer job, and you know he's out there doing it. There's Sarah Reinerson that's out there doing it, doing Ironman Hawaii. There's other people that have it much worse than me. And if I get on the pity pod, you know pour me, pour me, pour me, another drink. You know I'm about 30 years, sober, thank God I'm not going to drink again. But you know, it's like when I get on that pity pod and think, oh yeah, pour me no.

Speaker 1:

Yes, putting yourself in somebody else's shoes. Now you seem to do a lot of that in the best possible way. In fact, Carissa has talked about how welcoming and mentoring you and the team were for her. Can you talk a little about helping others coming up?

Speaker 3:

When I saw Carissa come in at Ironman, it's just like any of the other young people I see come in at Ironman. I open up my Rolodex, I open up my world, I give them as much information as I can because inevitably they're going to help me. And when I had the opportunity, when Lulu Lemon needed an announcer and I couldn't do it and Carissa did boom, she did it in Atlanta and then I couldn't announce in Boston and she ended up filling my shoes for me and I hope to have her back this year. We're both in Boston working this year. That's my goal. So you know, it's about working with others, giving it away and it's just amazing what happens. And if people doubt it, if it's all about no, I'm just going to keep my pot of gold and I'm not going to give it away and I'm going to afford it. That's cool but it's lonely. The other route to render, to win is the way to go.

Speaker 2:

Well, you would be a terrible leprechaun then, Eric, if you were always giving away your pot of gold. Now, as we talk about a lot in the podcast, John and I.

Speaker 3:

I would like a good leprechaun, though, because I'd give it away.

Speaker 2:

But you got to find okay, I guess maybe you're a good leprechaun finding it and then giving it away to your fellow leprechauns we have a front row seat to the finish line of an endurance event, and maybe it's not even the finish line where this happens, but it's going to be hard, I think, for you to pinpoint one area. But do you have one inspiring thing that you've seen at a race that stands out, that changed you, that will forever be with you?

Speaker 3:

Oh man, I think Roderick Sewell finishing Kona in 2018. Here's a kid who was afraid to swim, african American man with no lower legs. His mother went homeless to put him through a private school. He ends up in the Paralympics. He ends up doing 16 and a half hours in Hawaii. That's one that jumps out at me. There's so many, though it's just people that have had the guts to sign up, show up, start and finish what they started.

Speaker 2:

And it's the courage of someone like him putting that online going, I might not make this goal. Chris Nitchick, we've seen team Liza, people who put that goal of an Iron man out there. It's daunting and that clock doesn't forgive. To see him complete that. I remember watching it on TV was just amazing. I probably cried a lot at that one. No, I mean, there's so many inspiring things. I'm grateful for the mentorship that you and everyone at Iron man has really given me Coming over to that team, being new, being a woman, you guys kind of opened. Like you said, your Rolodex is everything to me and I'm very grateful for it. So, as we wrap up, eric, I want to put John on the spot and I'm going to have John. I have a pop quiz for John. Oh goodness, and I don't know if he's going to get this right. It's very simple, john. Who do you think has a better marathon PR? My husband, son of Olympian, jeff Galloway, weston Galloway or Eric, the gentleman you've been speaking with.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to go with Eric for the win. Final question Don't need to phone anyone.

Speaker 2:

Hi Eric.

Speaker 3:

Marathon PR was 253.13.

Speaker 2:

And Weston clocks in right around 258. So I'm just putting that out there, because a lot of our listeners know Weston. They think Weston is so fast and he is. But Eric, that's very, very impressive a 253.

Speaker 3:

Sure is Back in the day, back in 93. But you know you've got a good husband there, you've got a good man. He's a good dad I know I see the way he looks at you and the kids and his father, jeff. I sponsored Jeff with goo back in the 90s and we had breakfast at Fat Apples on MLK in Berkeley and I was like we got to get Jeff. We got to get Jeff and he was. I met him through a guy named Dr Gary Moran who worked for Nike from 71 to 82. And he now works at Shriners Hospital in San Francisco. And you know it's just the people you meet along the way how amazing it is to be on a podcast with you and your husband is who he is and his father is who he is. And I've had a friendship with Jeff and I met Jeff through Dr Moran, who you know is a doctor of exercise physiology and biomechanics and he works with young kids in Shriners Hospital and you know it's just the connection and it's like people like Mike Riley, people like Diana Birch, people like Andrew Massak, who's on his way out as CEO, people don't know how hard he's worked in the 12 years he was there and I've seen every minute of it because I was there and I've always supported him. But it's the people along the way Judy and John Collins, dave McGilvery, all the people that you meet along the way that is just as important as any metal t-shirt or finish line. Experience those people and the relationships and the friendships and you find out who your friends are when you're sitting in the hospital.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, you're right, it's a new cousin visits you. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Riley visited me almost every day. I was in the hospital for 18 days. Wow, mark Allen came by, scott Tindley came by, but Riley every day he could, he came, he updated us.

Speaker 2:

let me tell you he updated us every day, Even on the days that those updates were hard to read. There you know, Eric, he has a lot to celebrate coming back from that.

Speaker 1:

It is a remarkable community, Eric, and you're a big part of it. So two-part question, First part what's next on your race calendar? Where can people see you and if they want to follow you, do you have any social media where people can follow you?

Speaker 3:

Oh, I'm just on Facebook and Instagram. My next event depends on just my recovery from heart surgery, but I'll be in Kona. I'm unfortunately not going to make it to Finland or Nice. I just have to make sure all this infection is out of my system and that my heart's good. But I'll be in Kona and then I'll be at Pasadena for the Rose Bowl half marathon and then LA marathon in March and then Boston marathon in April and then onward from there.

Speaker 2:

Well, eric, I am honored to be able to call you a friend and a mentor, and I will be seeing you at our Women's Ironman World Championships in Kona in October. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us on 321GO.

Speaker 3:

Oh, my pleasure. You guys are doing great, great podcasts so far with Tim Madonna and all the rest of them so far, so I can't wait to hear what is in the future for you guys. It is an honor and a privilege to be where I'm at and work with you guys. Thank you so much for having me.

Speaker 2:

All right, athletes, here's the drill Time to shape up your diet. Karissa, give them the goods. Thank you, sarge. Like we said today, we're going to talk a little race nutrition, and a commonly asked question I get all the time as a dietitian is what should I eat before a run? So, before I tell you what you should do, john, what do you eat before a run?

Speaker 1:

Well, it really depends on what time I work out for like a workout run For my 5K that, famously, I ran back in the spring. I know it's one of the great moments in running 2023.

Speaker 2:

We're waiting for the Espeys for that season to come out.

Speaker 1:

I think we would all agree Never give up, don't ever give up. I had my normal breakfast on a race day, which is yogurt with fruit, and then usually there's some snack stuff in the trailer and I think I had maybe a kind bar before and I think that was it. I think it was yogurt with fruit with chia seeds, which I always have, and a kind bar or two. I can't Doing anything really full is difficult for me, so that's what I kept it to. Probably should have had something a little more closer to the race, but I don't know. I was busy doing something else prior to that.

Speaker 2:

You were a little busy. All right readers, listeners at home. What was John missing in his breakfast? A carbohydrate. So, yogurt is going to give you a little bit, because milk is the sugar. I would add in some more carbohydrates as your distance grows longer.

Speaker 1:

Well, I did have 46 cups of coffee, as is normal, and I have a little cream in that, so there's probably about a quarter. Still dairy?

Speaker 2:

Okay, still not good, but what you did do is what is the number one role of a race? Nutrition is you have to do what you can tolerate, so hopefully you practice it. You know that something your body can tolerate. So a mix of carbs, maybe a little protein, depending on what you can tolerate, depending on how long you're exercising for. You also want some liquids, and then how much you need to eat depends on how long again that you're going to be exercising for. And when you do get that combination and you eat the right foods before a run, it's going to give you the energy and the nutrients to perform well and also avoid any discomfort. So the timing is important Eat meal or snack about one to two hours before you run, which you did. Carbohydrates so carbohydrates are your body's primary source for energy for exercise, so you want some that digest easily. So things like oatmeal, cereal, whole wheat toast, a bagel, graham crackers, bananas, sweet potatoes, fruit so you did have the berries.

Speaker 1:

I did, and I think I had a gutsy too. I forgot to mention that I have these things that are like gogo squeezes, but it's.

Speaker 2:

From Aldi to.

Speaker 3:

There's like kale and Less expensive.

Speaker 1:

No, I think you can get them More expensive. I think they're public so they're more expensive, but I think my wife really really likes those and they generally have a fruit in them and then they have some sort of vegetables, so there's kale along with like green apple.

Speaker 2:

John's just trying to convince me that he didn't like to get good job, so I think I had that as well. Okay, well, that was good Well.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to question your understanding of time and space, because you go, well, you know, an hour or two before the race you had a snack. No, no, no, I had that. When I got up that morning at 1 am, I didn't run into like five you were standing next to me the hour or two before your race.

Speaker 2:

It's probably an ultimate terror, thinking about what you actually had to do, yet also do your job. But that's a conversation for another day.

Speaker 1:

Just go say next time you should roll out some sort of breakfast cart for me when I'm going to run and explain to everyone what I'm eating and why.

Speaker 2:

John. You know we only Actually, john, we only get the breakfast cart on half marathon and marathon day. I'm not running that far, okay. So the carbohydrates are for the energy Protein. A little bit of that is going to support muscle maintenance and repair. Also boosts the tidy, meaning you won't get hangry. I can't just have bread. I need a peanut butter on it and avocado on it to kind of help me feel full. And then hydration. So you have the coffee which they used to say don't have coffee before a run, since dehydrating. Now it's okay, it's not going to super negatively affect you, but maybe a little bit of water in there before to make sure you're hydrated, but don't overdo it because that could cause one bathroom stops and two, a little bit more cramping. So fiber and fat we don't want those before a pre-run meal because what happens is your body takes energy to digest those and it takes the energy away from the rest of your body and then again your digestive system different than mine. So you want to make sure you're practicing that pre-race nutrition just like you would practice a long run, because if you mess that up and you're in a port-a-potty at mile three for 20 minutes, you could have trained as hard as you wanted for six months, but you didn't train the nutrition, the part that actually gives you the fuel to get there. So I really encourage people to practice this pre-run nutrition. Different ideas would be, like I said, whole wheat toast with almond butter whatever butter you like in a banana yogurt and berries, maybe some granola. Could we think about granola next time?

Speaker 1:

I should have had granola. My wife makes homemade granola.

Speaker 2:

You would have beat Claire had you had granola.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Speaker 2:

A oatmeal with the chia seeds and then it can be a wrap. It can be a turkey avocado wrap, it can be a sandwich, it can be old spaghetti if you wanted. So think outside the breakfast box also, depending on when you're doing the exercise. But we do talk a lot about sports nutrition and healthier you, because a lot of people they're training for something and the nutrition, when you dial it in right, can really improve your performance, because the flip side, it can really damage your performance. So if you want to join healthier you, we are always signing up. You want to use the code podcast, you'll get $150 off and you can go to gallowaycoursecom to sign up or send me a message on Instagram and I'll tell you all about it. Well, announcer three is not opening the mail bag today. Sarge, it's me, because this is a personal one for me. It is from Don. He has been doing.

Speaker 1:

I'll be over here if you need me.

Speaker 2:

No, you're coming in. I just don't appreciate that I took this question.

Speaker 1:

If you had Tuesday, august 10th, when we're taping this, as the day, carissa removes me from the podcast.

Speaker 2:

I just wanted this question.

Speaker 1:

You win.

Speaker 2:

Well, I have to get through part of this question so that you can understand why I took it. Don's been doing run Disney since 2007. So he is a true coast to coast OG. Don did not know how to listen to podcasts, but he overcame that to listen to our podcast. He has been enjoying it and Don is the original inspiration behind the playing of the Christmas song at both wine and nine and marathon, and I'm afraid if I tell you that you won't want to hear his song or his question. Don, like me, loves Christmas. He surfs up Don and he wants to know. On a run Disney weekend, how often do we get asked for photos or autographs while in the park or resorts, when with your family, and then also when we're not, you know, in run Disney mode. So, john, how often I can't even say this is the straight face Are you asked for photos or autographs?

Speaker 1:

As far as in the parks with family and friends. Now, normally we over the last couple of years have gone the Monday after the race, you and I, luckily with our friend Cree Kelly, who's a lovely fiance, renee gets a VIP guide, so we get to, we get to do that and that's a lot of fun and we are recognized in those situations. And I think a couple of people have asked for photos, but I don't really go to the parks outside of that. Very often you have relatives in town and most of the time I'm not, I'm not recognized. I do not believe that anyone has ever asked me for an autograph.

Speaker 2:

For any reason.

Speaker 1:

No people have asked me for an autograph, but generally it's because you know I played some character roles over at the Universalized Beetlejuice.

Speaker 2:

So you was, a, so you was a so you was a, so you was a, so you was a, so you was a, so you was a, so you was a, so you was a no.

Speaker 1:

That's as Beetlejuice is dehydrated to the point of.

Speaker 2:

Beetlejuice should not go for a long run.

Speaker 1:

Really shouldn't, really shouldn't. I have been asked in other roles that I've done places every, every now and again people will recognize me from horror makeup at Universal or, but normally most of my signing of autographs was some character I played Louis Tully at Ghostbusters or Beetlejuice or something in that order.

Speaker 2:

Men in black.

Speaker 1:

So not a lot of announcer. Three pictures, you know pictures here and there. Yeah, pictures, and you don't be. I don't really care for pictures, so do you, do you oblige?

Speaker 2:

Of course I do.

Speaker 1:

I oblige. I think it's really sweet when people want it. I don't understand why anyone won't picture or my autograph or my presence in any way, but apparently they do Well they do yes, and I get asked.

Speaker 2:

I think not a lot. I mean the parks more than you. More often I'll see someone like do the looking thing where they're trying to figure, like, is that that's who it is? And a lot of times people let's say on Instagram like oh, I saw you, I didn't want to interrupt you with your family, which is a very kind thing to do. That real people who are actually celebrities appreciate. But if you see me, like we think we said before, come say hi, but I've never asked to sign autograph. I did sign autographs as friends with other people, but I can't say any more than that. But no one ever asked for me to sign anything as Carissa.

Speaker 1:

Now very, because I think I'm a little less your taller than I am and you're sort of tall for a woman, that's not it. But so I think people just sort of see you in a crowd more than me. I'm sort of a short, dumpy guy.

Speaker 2:

You know, people say a lot. They see Weston, oh OK. And then they see me, ok.

Speaker 1:

Because I get if they hear me, I get that from time to time People are like I thought I recognized you and that happened. I think I mentioned on another episode where I was on a plane.

Speaker 2:

Yes, you were on a plane and somebody recognized you and you're so excited about it I got extra snacks.

Speaker 1:

I got extra snacks, I got more snacks. But normally for me it's if people hear my voice. Yeah it's that's more recognizable than actually me, and a lot of times too, if you think about what we're dressed as and things on stage and you know again, you're generally the princess, the hero of everything and I'm whatever character disappears early in the film and often hats hats are involved and people don't recognize you.

Speaker 2:

Don, I have to talk about something. We're going to skip Pam's question. I'm sorry, Pam.

Speaker 1:

Pam, we'll ask your question next.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah springtime surprise medals.

Speaker 1:

Can I get a?

Speaker 2:

can I know where this is going? I?

Speaker 1:

absolutely know where this is going. The springtime surprise themes have been announced and the medals are out there. And you, you now have a huge desire to see me as a character, a specific character.

Speaker 2:

Yes, come on, don't you want to be Pumba? I can be Timon.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's fine. Yeah, if you're, if. I'm Timon if you're Timon, because I again look, dress me as anything you want, but normally the dressing me up is for the comic. What about comedy?

Speaker 2:

Whatever you want to dress me.

Speaker 1:

No, no, no, no no.

Speaker 2:

Riley's going to be scar.

Speaker 1:

I think so probably.

Speaker 2:

Maybe you could be Rafiki, like the wise old monkey. That's I got. I got one.

Speaker 1:

I got one of those things that work into my favor. The old part. I find some wisdom by then.

Speaker 2:

But we will have to wait until April to find out.

Speaker 1:

I was kind of hoping, because the challenge metal is stitch. I was kind of hoping stitch so I could just go through the place like just ripping stuff apart and tearing things down. That would be good to you know.

Speaker 2:

But then you have. You have two days to be stitched because, if people have noticed, usually there's one or two of us that is the challenge metal on each of the days of the challenge and then the other of us are the metal of that day. So your odds of being stitch or higher and then I think Riley is going to be the guy in the suit is the agent bubbles. Is that accurate at all? This may be a no way accurate. You, could you even see Lilo and stitch and along.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I haven't seen it since.

Speaker 2:

I saw in the theater. Yeah, but I think the name that would know I wouldn't, I wouldn't be able to get the name I want to call him agent bubbles, please.

Speaker 1:

Lilo and stitch one of my favorites, by the way, it's good it's on the theater. When he builds the model of the city and when you see Elvis and all the kids come up in the name. So cool. It's a lot of emotions there. It is great, Great Again wait till April. We'll rehash all the people, people are very excited about this because it was like two days later than it was last year. I was monitoring social media as I do, as I want to do, and people were just up in arms that went when they going to tell us, when they going to tell us what it is. And I know people that start on their costumes now. They won't start on their training for months. The costumes got to start that right now. Get on it, people.

Speaker 2:

All right, enough about YouTube. Let's talk about somebody else, all right.

Speaker 1:

We got a very, very nice message from a lovely person somewhere else on the globe. I'm very excited. International feedback here it is. I'm Valeria from Argentina. That's very.

Speaker 2:

I'm very excited.

Speaker 1:

I absolutely loved episode four. I instantly started following Michael. His Instagram is so much fun. The podcast is great and I must say every time I hear the words three, two, one go at the beginning and end of each episode, my mind immediately goes to the starting line and I'm filled with joy. Thank you for all you're doing to keep us inspired during training. See you next November, valeria, so looking forward to it.

Speaker 2:

And thank you for the international feedback I'm very excited about that and I hope you bring a flag, because our South Americans they bring the flags to the finish and I would know the Argentinian flag.

Speaker 1:

As would I.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and still a high for Argentina from the World Cup. But again, that's neither here nor there.

Speaker 1:

I have a feeling we'll see some of those jerseys still. Yeah, a little bit.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you guys so much for listening. We want your tip. We're going to be putting together some creative episodes to give people tips. So if you have tips for someone doing their first dopey or their first run Disney event, email them to us. We may feature you and have a little round table discussion about your tip. So email those to us at 321. Go podcast at gmailcom. Thank you guys for listening. We'll see you. We'll see you.

Speaker 3:

Bye, bye everybody, the End.

Race Announcing and Halloween Memories
Fun Halloween Costumes and Memories
Interview With Triathlon Announcer Eric Gilson
Triathlon Announcing and Helping Others
Inclusion in Boston and Hawaii Races
Inspiring Stories of Transformation and Giving
Inspiring Conversations and Endurance Events
Race Nutrition
Autographs, Characters, and Springtime Surprises
First Dopey/Run Disney Event Tips