Wildflower, On a Dare…
Wildflower Blog

Wildflower, On a Dare…

Lee Szromba

Los Angeles, CA

My Wildflower experience started back in 1985… on a dare, from my cousin.  We decided to take a crack at this new sport called triathlon. He had seen an advertisement in a magazine about the event. Me being only a team sports guy was both intrigued and frightened at what was in store for us. Not only that but that first race was 2 weeks before my wedding, needless to say, my wife was very nervous. We pulled it off along with a handful of friends that year. Every succeeding year we steadily built our crew with both friends, family, and acquaintances. I have done the race every year since up until it was canceled last year.

Wildflower was an annual pilgrimage for us, in the hay day we had upwards of 100 plus people in our crew. I even got my dad into the sport, he was in his 60’s in his first race and did quite well. My kids are now 30 and 28 and have been coming since they were born.  We have had so many memorable experiences at “The Flower”. That would be the calling card once race registration opened, everyone referred to it as “The Flower”.

 Not many people know but the race used to be an Ironman qualifier. When they took that away people were saying that the race would die. Well were they wrong, it got even stronger and better as the years progressed. My best year at the Long course was 1999, I turned 40 that year and it was kind of my mid-life crisis thing. The big number to beat in those days was the 5-hour mark and I worked like hell to get there. I came up a bit short, 5:12 but was so happy even thru all of the suffering.

This year I am really looking forward to starting the tradition back up.  There are several newbies coming from our local triathlon club and I expect they will look to us regulars for guidance.  Both of my kids (& their guys) are coming along with several cousins, friends etc.  It’s going to be another great weekend. Having these kids keep up the tradition is what it is all about!

 When people ask me today what I am training for I tell them “Life”. Triathlon is more than a sport it is a lifestyle that one either chooses or not. I chose to go that direction and will forever be thankful to Terry Davis and his team for putting on such a stellar event.

 

 

 

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May 1-3, 2020

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