Tuesday, October 26, 2010

May Magic on Market Street #4: Charles Ash, Spring

One thing is common in every profile:  Everyone started somewhere.  Certainly an understatement, but significant because they are so many places to jump off from.

As Spring's Charles Ash shares with us below, he ran marathons to begin with and was in Carol Steele's Team In Training group - a program that brings many into the adult-onset athletic world for the first time - that included fellow Team Strive member Scott Farrand.
Proudly wearing his Steelhead 70.3 shirt from this summer, Charles Ash pushes it in at October's Ten For Texas
The other thing that is turning up is the number of individuals that did their first triathlon at The Woodlands' own CB&I sprint triathlon. 

As we work through all of the individuals from Montgomery County and Spring, it will be interesting to see just how many people got their introduction to the sport like Charles did at that single race.

Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas will be Charles' debut Ironman, but he has four half Ironmans under his race belt and will add a fifth iron distance race soon at Iron Star on Sunday, November 7.

His four have come at two different races, two different times and both times, he walked away making improvements on both courses. 

At Ironman 70.3 Austin, Charles took his time from 6:45:55 in 2007 down to 5:52:29 in 2008.  And then he followed it with a time reduction the following two summers at Steelhead 70.3 in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  He completed the course in 6:02:10 a year ago before belting out a career best 5:37:15 this July 31.

2010 USAT age? -- 48.

Birthplace? -- Ridgewood, New Jersey.

You've been identified as registering for Ironman Texas. What motivated you to sign up? -- It has been a goal of mine for about three years when I started doing triathlons.  I was looking at Arizona or Florida until this opportunity came up to race in my back yard!

Will this be your first attempt at an Ironman? -- Yes.  First Ironman!

If not, how many IMs have you completed? -- I have completed four 70.3 races.

Will you/did you get an MDot tattoo after your first Ironman? -- Undecided.

What triathlon/running/cycling clubs do you belong to? -- Lonestar Multisport and Kim Hager's Strive Group.

Do you train with anyone (i.e. training group)? -- Usually ride with friends and run with my Chocolate Lab, Buddy! (We might both get tatoos!)

Are you coached by anyone? -- Kim Hager will be coaching me.

How many hours a week do you spend training (overall and at each discipline)? -- 13 to 18 overall.  Each discipline varies.

When was your first triathlon? -- 4 years ago -- CB&I in the Woodlands.

How did you do? -- I survived the swim is all I remember!  (Editor's note:  Charles went 1:29:15 for his debut and brought it down to 1:28:09 and 1:21:42 in 2008 and 2009.)

Why did you get into the sport? -- I had been doing marathons for several years and wanted some variety.

What have you learned about yourself while pursuing triathlon/Ironman? -- Anything is possible!  Limitations are self perceived.

Which of the three disciplines is your strongest? -- Cycling.

What's your favorite triathlon distance? -- 70.3.

Favorite race? -- Steelhead 70.3 - Loved the swim in Lake Michigan!

What's your bucket list race? -- Kona.  Without a doubt!

One piece of gear or gadget that you can't do without? -- Glide!

What's your favorite training routine? -- Swim/Cycle brick.

What are some of your favorite routes (biking or running)? -- Cycling - Montgomery route; Running - Trails in Spring near my house and the White Pine Trail in Michigan (especially in the summer!)

What foods are most critical in your training? -- Oatmeal, Peanut Butter and Infinit.

Who or what gets you out of bed to train on bad days/freezing rain/100 degree heat? -- My dog Buddy.  He lives to run and deosn't care about the weather!  He is ready to go at 5 a.m. or anytime for that matter.

What has had the greatest impact on your progress as an athlete? -- My friends and family.  Since getting involved in endurance sports, both running and triathlon, I have met the most amazing people and consider myself extremely fortunate.  My family is incredibly supportive.

How has triathlon changed your life? -- I have learned to be a better planner and to make the most of every day!

Favorite website(s)? -- Favorite triathlon sites are probably Slowtwitch and Ironman.com.

If you were the God of triathlons for one day, what change would you make? -- All swims would be held in crystal clear 68 degree water with a white sand bottom!  (Seems like Charles has been collaborating with Jim Harrington.)  All cars would be prohibited from riding on bike routes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  (Bike routes are everywhere!)

Favorite triathlete? -- Chrissie Wellington.

Favorite athlete to watch in another sport? -- Lance, Tiger, MJ .... and my son!

Favorite city to visit? -- San Francisco.

Bucket list (1 to 5 things) --
1.)  Kona.  2.)  Boston Marathon.  3.)  Western States.  4.)  African Safari.  5.)  Tour de France.

Favorite quote or motto? -- "Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever." -- Lance Armstrong

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