There does not exist in the world of endurance sports, a better organization than Timex. Once again, I had the pleasure of traveling to the Timex Performance Center with 50 of my closest friends from all over the world. Before I begin, a thanks bigger than words can express goes out to Tristan Brown, Tom Schuler and Grace Labinski of Team Sports as well as Keith Meyer, Dave Schultz, Jason Tillinghast, Paul Bernstein, Brigg Thorp, Brian Daniels, Adrianna Espinosa and Maura Williams of Timex. Mac, Peter and Brad from Q-R, Ryan and Ryan from Shimano and Blue Seventy, Megan from Catalyst, Larry Rosa photographer extraordinairre. I also want to thank the incredible staff from the Kory Stringer Institute for their efforts with our testing as well as the performance research presented. It was an amazing experience to see the Timex reps that work so hard to promote the brand. I did not get to meet as many as I would have liked, but my appreciation is huge!
We kicked off the camp with a team dinner at the NY Giants training facility. Once again, we were treated to a tour of the facility and a world class meal prepared by the chef and kitchen staff. I’m telling you what, that NEVER gets old!! It was great to reunite with my teammates in the lobby and try to fit in as many hugs and quick conversations as possible! After dinner, we moved into the auditorium and had the pleasure of hearing from various members of the Timex organization. The room was packed with athletes and sales reps as the theme for this year’s camp was all about collaboration. We were introduced to the marketing campaign with a series of videos featuring several Timex athletes and employees alike. I was overwhelmed with the attention to detail as these videos were truly remarkable. After the new marketing campaign was introduced we were all greeted with our brand new Timex Run Trainer 2.0 watches. THESE BABIES ARE BEAUTIFUL!!! Paul Bernstein came out with watches draped over his arms and we all cheered loudly for what our eyes were seeing. The first night came to a close with a standing ovation and we all filed out of the auditorium anxiously awaiting the next 3 days!
Friday morning met us with a swim at the Lyndhurst High School pool not far from our hotel. This year our team swim was especially exciting as there were must have been more than 50 people in the 8 lane pool. I guess the fact that a full camera crew was set up inches from the water, made things a little extra electrifying! We swam 25x100s before finishing the workout with a 4 lane relay making full use of the staring blocks. I don’t know what it is, but there is something exciting about diving off the blocks and making sure goggles stay on the face! We finished our swim and headed back to the Performance Center. I had scheduled my lactate threshold test first thing. I made my way to the Giants weight room and was greeted warmly by the 10 person Korey Stringer staff. I was told that I would be completing a 30 minutes treadmill test consisting of 3 minute intervals and 1 minute blood evaluation. I was led to a training table and was met by a staff member who would draw an IV. I don’t know if my skin was just too cold from the swim but the doctor tried 6 times to draw blood, and each time came up empty! Finally, the director made the call that I would complete the test with finger sticks at each interval in the test. The test was brutal, running 3 minute intervals and stopping in order to get a blood sample. In the end, it was all well worth the trouble as I know have a very accurate measure of my L.T.!
The first day of camp we heard from Paul Bernstein again, who taught us how to use our new Timex Run Trainer 2.0s. We also spoke with Timex advertising executives about image and brand positioning. Around the lunch hour we were “surprised” with a locker room presentation complete with our new Timex 2013 apparel. This is always one of the best parts of camp, as we literally get to occupy a Giants locker during the time slot given to us by Keith and Tristan!
Our next event of the day was 1980s style 5K Team “Race!” We were instructed ahead of time to prepare by showing up in our best 1980s gear. My wife and I had a blast shopping at the Goodwill store to prepare for this event. One of my good friends, who was an authentic 1980s hair band rockstar even gave me a wig to complete the wardrobe. We all lined up and there were more colors than a retro rainbow! The gun sounded and we were off, and let me just say that it was not too easy running in a wig, leopard skin jacket and hammer pants that were 2 sizes too big. We were running and the pace was pretty intense for a themed “fun run.” I think I crossed the finish line with a time of 18:30 or 18:45…anyway pretty hard for what I had expected!!
Friday night was our team dinner and we were treated like VIPs no doubt. We had our dinner in the suites of the New York Giants stadium and had the pleasure of being led by Mike “the voice of ironman” Reilly as the official MC! We were inspired with the story of “Fireman Rob” and that incredible efforts he has put forth since September 11, 2001. We heard from Keith, and Dave and Tristan and got to see many of the Timex sales reps recognized for the incredible efforts. The awards were given out to well-deserving teammates: Victor took male pro of the year, Christine, female pro. C.T. took male age group honors and Cindi, female. My very good friend Barry Siff and Brian Schanning were elected into the Timex Hall of Fame! My new friend Jennifer was honored as the 2012 rookie of the year. Man, I AM SUCH A FAN OF MY TEAMMATES!!
Saturday and Sunday were pretty much the same song with a different verse. I don’t know how much more I can say about the organization that I represent and the triathlon team that I call my own. I continue to marvel at the accomplishments and work ethic of my teammates. 2013 will be another year for the record books. The Timex Multisport Team will do what it does best every year…race hard, fast and strong and smile while doing it all!!