Lots of kids like to follow in their father’s footsteps. Will James’ father participates in triathlons, so there are a lot of footsteps to follow.
James, 15, recently took part in the 2010 USA Triathlon Junior Triathlon festival in San Diego, Calif. and was a national champion in Boys 13-15 with a time of 30:04. The triathlon consisted of a 200 meter swim, a 10 km bike ride and a 2 km run.
James has been competing in triathlons for close to eight years, starting out in his own backyard in the annual Peachtree City Youth Triathlon.
“I placed fourth that first year, but won my age group six years in a row,” James said. James runs with the Peachtree City Flash and swims with the HighGrove Hurricanes swim team and thanks coaches Don Livingston, Jeff Bilsky and Ann Chrzanowski for their help in those areas. James’ father, John, helps him with the biking and James considers him a great inspiration.
“Without him, I couldn’t have done any of this,” James said. He added that his mother, brother and sister have been supportive as well.
James is a member of the Peachtree City Triathlon Club, which meets every Wednesday evening from April to October at Drake Field for a bike, swim or run. He is aslo a member of the High Performance Southeast Region Triathlon Team, based out of Nashville, Tenn., which is a feeder program in the USA Triathlon network. James’ coach is Kathleen Johnston, a Level II elite coach with USA Triathlon and a former competitive age group athlete on the national and world level.
James’ goal is to run either Ironman or Olympic distance triathlons, but states that even if he goes for Olympic distance (1.5K swim, 40K bike ride, 10K run), he will one day compete in an Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run) event like his Dad.
Although he mostly competes in adult sprint triathlons now (he placed 35th overall in the 2010 Sprint Peachtree City Triathlon a few weeks ago) James is looking forward to the IronKids triathlon in Alpharetta this weekend. The event features a 300 yard swim, an eight mile bike ride and a two mile run. It is the last year James will be eligible to compete. He placed second to one of his teammates from the High Performance team last year.
James, a student at The Campus in Peachtree City, is quick to hand out praise and thanks to everyone around them for their help, adding that Bicycles Unlimited had helped him out numerous times over the years with his bike.
James has many goals ahead of him, one of which is to become a stronger swimmer, but he has the support around him and the right attitude that makes one believe he’ll reach them.