You never know who are might see at our local running (or bicycle) races.
33-year old Tyler Farrar is a Wenatchee-born bike racer who ascended to the highest levels of the sport. His accomplishments include stage wins at the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Tour de France, Three Days of De Panne, and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. He wore the yellow jersey during stage three of the 2008 Tour of California. Tyler most recently rode for MTN–Qhubeka. He retired last fall after a 13-year career.
While I was setting up our tent at Saturday’s Lake Sammamish Half Marathon I did a double-take when I realized he was working the medical tent. Tyler is in the process of becoming a firefighter and was at the race to render first aid. He says “firefighting is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid, but this bicycle racing thing kinda fell into my lap.” He hasn’t been on a bike since he retired and it’s not a priority at the moment. Instead, a recent adventure was climbing the technically challenging Liberty Ridge on Mt. Rainier.
Meanwhile, my neighbors at the finish area were ultra athletes Richard Kresser and Maudie Jordan. When I mentioned to Maudie that we had a Tour de France stage winner in our presence she just about peed her pants with excitement. Tyler graciously joined us for a meet and greet and took genuine interest in Richard’s ultra projects. Coincidentally, Richard is about to embark on a similar career, and Maudie also works in health care at the organ and tissue donation service LifeCenter Northwest.
Keep your eyes open at our local races, you never know who you might see!