Rob Declercq

In 2008, at 32 years old I was first introduced to triathlons when a friend convinced me to sign up for a local sprint race (with my mountain bike).  I won the fat tire division series that year and have been competing in every distance since.  Any given year my event calendar is about as diverse as it can get.  Outside of triathlons, I race swimming (pool an open water), time trials, ultra relays, and all running events through the full marathon; and recently got into SwimRun.  Why?  The spirit of competition and the community. 

I don’t train or race without my TRISLIDE.  It’s just that simple – it’s my life blood. Why – it keeps me comfortable when I’m uncomfortable. 

How many bikes do you own? 

How many tri kits do you own?
I have a dresser drawer full of bike kits, and another dresser drawer dedicated to tri kits and swim suits

How many years have you been racing?

How many yards do you swim per week?
10,000 is the goal

What is the highest elevation you have been at (this does not include a plane or rocket):

Earliest memory:
One of my earliest memories is my distaste for spinach. It came out of a can and it smelled horrible! Fortunately I came to real spinach and it’s a staple in my diet!

Must humbling moment:
In any given triathlon I’m a top swimmer.  But at Ironman 70.3 World Championships, everyone is a top swimmer!  I came to realize this when I mistakenly and accidentally positioned front and center among the 450 age-groupers in my category for the swim start.  My chest started beating very rapidly and I had trouble breathing at 200 meters into the race.  I thought I might die.  I had to cautiously maneuver myself to the side and take a rest before continuing to finish the race.  I ended up having a pretty good swim despite that moment but it taught me to always race smart.

Proudest Moment:
There’s actually three. 
Qualifying for the Boston Marathon
Qualifying for Ironman 70.3 World Championships
Racing the ITU Long Course World Championship Triathlon.
Suffice to say, my proudest moments are realized when I put goals to action and never gave up!

Favorite Food
burritos, of course!  I’ll take anyone to competition in making the best burrito -morning, noon, or night!  

Do you work with a certain charity (who and why):
I’ve participated with the Dolphins Cancer Challenge for the third year now, where I was also a ride marshal this year. It’s a great event with one focus: tackle cancer. In addition, this year our masters swim team is participating in a swim-a-thon to support the family of a local swimmer who was murdered in the Stoneman Douglas HS mass shooting in Parkland, FL.

Do you prefer Flip Flops or Shoes:
I live in Florida where the official state shoe is flip flops!