The Seventeen22 Foundation is proud to have some amazing athletes behind our brand and representing our organization while they are out there putting in the work.
I've never been much of an athlete, but something from my days running track and cross country in high school must have stuck with me since I've kept up with running into my adult life. For awhile I would just run a random 5k or 10k, but along the way I got into some farther distances through running for charity - specifically partnering through my church to raise funds for clean water in poor communities in Africa.
I ran my first marathon in January 2019 at Walt Disney World in Orlando. I hadn't planned on doing more than that, but once I saw some other people running what Disney calls the "Dopey Challenge" (5k, 10k, Half and Full - four days in a row), I knew I had to do that too. (I don't like leaving challenges uncompleted). I was all set to go with running the 2021 Dopey Challenge as part of Seventeen22's team when COVID forced those plans aside. So it is both my honor and privilege to have the chance to run that same race again in 2022 as a Seventeen22 ambassador.
Beyond all that, I spend most of my time being a husband and father of five amazing kids. I mostly enjoy spending time with them, watching movies or playing games. But I can also be found working my day job as a software developer, helping my wife work on her home business, or just lounging around playing video games.
Currently a professional triathlete, two-times IRONMAN champion and one of the top long distance triathletes in the World, I didn’t have an active childhood. I like to joke my sports career started in ’94 with the video game World Cup ’94 for Super Nintendo. While my high school cooper test (12-min run) might have be far from impressive, I was able to slowly overcome that non-athletic background and slowly grab Portugal’s triathlon leaders attention.
I started triathlon precisely because I was a sedentary child. In my teens my dad started to challenge me to do some races, I believe he wanted me to have something physically exciting and challenging so obesity wouldn’t struck later on life. It was the perfect master plan, as addicting as the sport is, I quickly become excited for new goals. However as everyone else I began with slow performances. Even after I decided this was what I want to do with my life, it took me years of persistency and work to move up the rankings. The biggest handicap was definitely the swim as it’s a very technical sport. At the end of the day, the lack of a sports background was a hurdle I had to overcome, but if you want achieve higher goals if you always have to be willing to make sacrifices and persevere.
I am a mechanical engineer by degree, but a person who has always been directly involved with the sport. In childhood, soccer and the bicycle were the favorite diversions, because they completed each other.
As a teenager, football was still present, but volleyball was the main sport at this stage, on the court and in the sand. The first contacts with athletics still appeared at the school, where he was a long jump athlete, triple jump and 4x100m relay.
Exactly 10 years ago I started my street racing trajectory in a relay marathon race. After that day, I didn't stop until I had six marathons, including Chicago, and two ultramarathons, one 45k trail run and one 82k on the beach. It was the most amazing moment because there I really found myself and met. And now, the time has come to rediscover me and try new things, new experiences. Getting started doing triathlons will motivate me even more, and it will certainly help encourage others to have a healthier and better way of life.
2020 will be an amazing year in every way, but mainly because being chosen as ambassador of the Seventeen22 Foundation and this cause makes me an even better and more proud person.
Since the age of 4, I’ve participated in athletics; but passionate for wellness. While working full-time in a hospital, I’ve spent my spare time becoming a certified Insanity Live instructor, a CrossFit – Level 1 Coach, and a Certified LEAP Therapist. Yearning to learn all I can about the fields of health and wellness, I began running in 2008 with Team in Training, and I took on my first half marathon in Nashville. Since that first race, I’ve completed about 26 other halfs and countless 5 and 10ks. In 2016, I decided to try my hand at triathlons and quickly increased from sprints to 70.3s. In 2017, I attempted my first full Ironman and, unfortunately, I crashed and was pulled from the race at mile 100. But I went back the next year to redeem myself! I promptly retired from triathlons that Sunday! In 2019, I set my sights on bigger and bolder - starting with the Dopey Challenge in Disney in Jaunary. For those that don’t know, that’s running a 5k, 10k, half, and full marathon over 4 days. I will definitely do that again! I also took on my first ultramarathon in April - the Badlands 50k in Mississippi. I will continue to push my body to see just what it is able to accomplish. 2020 will bring me to my first 50 miler as well as the 29029 Everesting event. I’m proud to do represent the Seventeen22 Foundation as an ambassador!