Athlete of the Month, May 2011 – Dan Bradfield
Athlete of the Month
Can you tell us a little bit about your sports background? Which sports did you do as a kid and as you got older?
I played a lot of sports and different times growing up- soccer, baseball, tennis- but my main sport was wrestling through middle school and high school. I ran track in middle school but dropped it in high school and picked it up cross country my junior year of high school. In college I was on the Air Force Academy‚Äôs parachute team which precluded me from most of the sports teams but I joined the triathlon team there my junior year and did 5 or 6 races with them.
What is your current job and what do you do?
I‚Äôm currently an officer in the Air Force.
Where do you currently live and how is the training in the area?
I currently live in North Pole, Alaska- just outside of Fairbanks. The training here is challenging during the winter and incredible during the summer. I spent the fall and winter in Kabul, Afghanistan and was limited to mostly indoor training. We had a 1k paved path around our camp that I could run on, a few spin bikes for bike workouts, and no pool so it was challenging to get in good training. My coach, Curt Chesney, was great at coming up with creative workouts that kept me from getting bored with the same thing over and over. Now that I‚Äôm back in Alaska, we‚Äôve just gotten all of the snow melted and I was able to do my first outside bike yesterday! The sun is already out until about 11:30 PM so I can literally train at any time of the day or night which is wonderful given my often hectic schedule!
What was your motivation to get started in triathlon?
I‚Äôve always enjoyed pushing myself to try new things and this was no different. I talked to a few friends that were on the tri team at the Academy and thought it would be great fun to try. My first race may or may not have involved a challenge and possibly a bet over a beer late one night.
What is your best triathlon moment?
I‚Äôm still pretty new to triathlon but I think it was probably competing in the Service Academy Championship held in conjunction with the Annapolis Triathlon in 2007. It was so great to be able to represent the Air Force and Air Force Academy in such a great race!
What‚Äôs in your race future?
The race schedule is Alaska is pretty light and I‚Äôm moving at the end of the summer but my upcoming races are the Midnight Sun Run (a 10k that starts at 10PM on the weekend of the solstice), the Sourdough 1/2 IM, the Tour of Fairbanks bike stage race, and Atomic Man 1/2 IM.
What is your favorite of the three sports?
What are your long term goals in triathlon?
My goal is just to be the best that I can. I would like to be a competitive age grouper at some point but know that my military career definitely puts a lot of limitations on me right now so I just want to be in the best shape that I can and race the best that I can!
If you could spend a day training with anyone, who would it be?
My fianc√©. She is also in the military and is currently deployed to Iraq. We are both really active people and love spending time together outside. I‚Äôd love to get in a good run with her and our dog!
What are your hobbies other than triathlon?
I love the outdoors! I love backpacking and even just day hikes. The best part of living in interior Alaska is that I can be in the middle of the wilderness in a half hour. There is more hiking, climbing, and back country skiing than I could ever ask for- and it is all incredibly beautiful!
What is the single hardest workout you‚Äôve ever done?
I went to a special forces tryout last spring and it was basically a 5 day never ending workout. We spent time in the pool, running, and just generally pushing ourselves to our physical and mental limits.
How do you reward yourself after a hard day of training?
Two words: ice cream.
Tell us something interesting about you.
I‚Äôve spent more time in foreign countries than in the US over the last two years and by the end of this year I will have lived in seven states and two foreign countries for at least two months in the last three years.