Bobby Flanagan

Born: Upstate NY,
Love: Chapel Hill since ’92

My Favorite…
My loves are pretty simple- Teaching, training, family time. That is about all my time.
… love movies. I teach and study how the media works and spend a gross amount of time watching movies and all the talking heads on TV.
…My training is a very personal area of my life and it directly connects me to my relationship with God.
…Family time is my time to travel, eat out, and have fun.

How I got into Triathlons
I had been training for a marathon when I met up (can’t even remember now) some guys who were into riding bikes. Hmmm, need a bike. So off to eBay and found a bike. Then on a ride I started talking to Jay Crooker who was a tri coach and pretty good athlete. I went home talked to my wife and decided to give a tri a try. Much the same as other folks- I was hooked and have not looked back in the four years I have been racing.

Best Race…So Far!
I would have to say Ironman Lake Placid. I met some really amazing people and took part in something that was so clearly larger than me. I was in awe of the day, the race, the volunteers, and my family (who spent the entire 15-hours) out there rooting for me, and getting my broken body and gear back to the hotel. When I think back to the start of that day—2700 athletes, at least 5000 more people cheering! What a rush. And then hearing my name and being called an Ironman. A true honor to be there and get across the line that day.

Best Tri Experience
My first open water triathlon- After consulting with my coach, we agreed that White Lake would be the best place for me to get past my anxiety of the open water swim (when I started triathlons I was a TERRIBLE swimmer). I could barely swim 100 meters without stopping for air. Just horrible. So White Lake it was! The morning comes with heavy winds, white cap waves on the water. Oh no! I went in and made it…Same could not be said for the 50-plus people that were pulled out or simply did not try the swim.

Craziest Race Moment
1)      Biking up hill at Ironman Lake Placid and there was a true hillbilly on the side of the road with two humongous goats as if they were dogs. I still laugh when I think of that moment and that man smiling with missing teeth.
2) Cary Duathon two years ago. About a mile to go there was a drink stop and they were handing out water and sports drink “x” (don’t want to offend a possible sponsor). I had never tried this drink before, but I didn’t care. I needed a drink. Grabbed a cup…down in one gulp. “Oh, my gosh, what was that?” …The finish photo crossing the line is me totally evacuating the drink in a frothy geyser with everyone standing there clapping and smiling.

Goals for the season- I have some secret goals. But, for the most part my goal is to get back to the roots of where I started. I feel like the last couple years I have been such a volume junkie that I lost track of keeping focused on having fun. No long races this year. I am sticking to Olympic and going to travel to Connecticut in June to see what a Nationals Qualifying race looks like. Hoping to put my best racing flat forward.