Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Feature: A Competitor’s First Ironman

With six months of training under his belt and along with a lifetime long competitive streak, Scott Nemeth, one of Sambazon’s own, embarked on a path few of us will ever race down. But to Scotty, that ominous word, the Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26 mile marathon), has always been inspiring, ever since he saw the race on TV as a little boy.

A Sambazon employee since the very early days, Scott has traveled to Brazil many times for work and pleasure. He even found the love of his life in a small town called Florianopolis. So it was no surprise when Scott registered for Ironman Brazil with the goal of giving back to a community and a country that has given him so much.

Scott is entirely a self trained triathlete, and although he has surfed his whole life, he only started swimming in an actual pool late last year. Initially, Scott started training for triathlons as a rehab tool – in his highschool and college football career, Scott managed to have one surgery on each knee, one on his right shoulder, and not one… not two, but four on his left. But, at the end of the day, he admits, “I wanted to see if the Ironman was really possible.”

After the first few months of light training, Scott raced in his first Olympic distance triathlon, and then embarked on a ridged online based training program from customized by heart rate, and a diet of organic, whole food. Throughout the day, he ate sometimes simple, sometimes elaborate creations that his wife, a natural foodie, would tailor to his fitness goals. Working in the natural food industry, Scott already had a healthy head start on the not-so nutritious bar eating and sugary sports drink chugging population.

Physically prepared for what lie ahead, Scott left the office nearly two weeks prior to his Ironman to work with Professional Trials Mountain Biker and Sambazon Ambassador Hans Rey’s Wheels4Life – a non-profit charity that provides free bicycles for people in need of transportation in developing countries.

In Florianopolis, Scott connected with the local triathlon federation and the local newspaper to select the individuals most in need of a bike. Many people selected were students in local schools that volunteered in the Ironman preparations and the rest were nominated by the local community. Thanks to sponsors Power Balance, Manitoba Harvest, Sambazon, Houston Bikes, Dr. Bronner’s, Coco Hydro, and Sol Raiz, Scott was able to donate 25 bikes to the local community and tell the story throughout Brazil and the US.

Skip forward to race day. Starting before the sun rose, Scott jumped in the water as ambitious as the 1600 competitors beside him. While it was nearly impossible for him to train with fellow triathletes, Scott soon learned that the comraderie each competitor had towards each other on race day was unfathomable. “The guy that finished first had the same amount of respect for the guy that finished last as the guy that finished last had for the guy that finished first. It’s an incredible community and that’s why people keep doing it,” says Scott.

Not satisfied with one Ironman, Scott already has goals of qualifying for Kona. Kona is to the Triathlon community as the World Cup is to soccer. The best of the best in the world compete all year just to reach a qualifying time that keeps getting faster and faster. To qualify, Scott will have to drop his race time by at least 2 hours, something he hopes to do within the next year or two.

Scott’s not worried, nor is anyone else. He’s going to make it, his competitive spirit and his drive for the greater good won’t let it be any other way.

For more information about Scott’s journey and his work with Wheels4Life, visit his Ironman blog or

1 comment:

Raw Revolution said...

Congratulations Scott from everyone at Raw Revolution. What a fantastic thing to do with precious little spare time. See you soon.