Ironman legend, Mark Allen once called him, “The quiet man with a loud name.” Although at times shying away from the center stage of publicity, Tim DeBoom has left an indelible impression on both his competitors and in the sport.DeBoom broke through in 1999 at Ironman New Zealand with a noteworthy win over an impressive field that included late-charging Kiwi favorite, Cameron Brown. “It was a confidence builder, I won it on the run,” DeBoom said in 2000 regarding his win in New Zealand, “and that had been my weak point over here (Hawaii-World Championships) for years. I feel very strong about my run now. I look forward to it, not every race you’re going to have a strong run, but now I feel like it is a strength instead of a hindrance.”DeBoom’s blue-collar-workhorse-ascension at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii included a 3rd place in 1999, 2nd place in 2000 and a culminating win in 2001. “You look at someone like Mark Allen,” said DeBoom in an NBC interview, “who it took 7 tries to win it and numerous failures. I’ve definitely taken the Mark Allen approach with highs and lows.” At 2002’s Hawaii Ironman, DeBoom confirmed his World Champion status with a back-to-back win. As in 2001, DeBoom relied on his marathon speed and broke away from a pack during the run that included both World Champion Peter Reid and perennial top 3 finisher, Cam Brown.In 2003, as 1.5 million people logged onto the largest streamed event over the internet with www.ironmanlive.com ’s live web-cast of the World Championship, many watched in bewilderment and concern as DeBoom began staggering across the road as a medical van followed him. As he signaled for attention and medical personnel rushed to his aid - he collapsed. A few days afterwards, DeBoom confirmed that he had passed a kidney stone. Peter Reid, in an interview prior to this years World Championship with Roch Frey and Paul Huddle commented, “I still think of him as Ironman Champion, he didn’t get to defend his race last year, he had some physical problems. Tim is like me, he puts the whole year in one race.”Unique to the sport, Tim is not the only DeBoom. His brother, Tony, is a professional triathlete also ( www.tonydeboom.com ). Tim’s wife, Nicole, has emerged into her own spotlight with most recently, a win at Ironman Wisconsin. Like Tim, Nicole was a competitive age-group swimmer. However, swimming similarities end there. Nicole was an elite swimmer throughout high school and qualified for the 1988 Olympic Trials followed by a career at Yale University.In 1999, Nicole made her debut in triathlon followed by her first Ironman with an impressive 3rd place finish at Ironman California. Nicole competed at the Ironman distance for the next two years with great results but she, however, decided to return to short-course racing to include more races into her schedule with the assistance of coach Roch Frey. Caught by the Ironman bug once again, Nicole competed in Ironman Wisconsin 2004 and blitzed a strong field with a stellar run performance. Her run strength, now widely known by her competitors, paved the way for the fastest run splits in almost all of her races this past year.Nicole, now President of www.skirtsports.com, is looking forward to her triathlon career, new business ventures, and living life to the fullest with her husband Tim and their dog.I recently had the opportunity to interview both Nicole and her husband, Tim. Many thanks to the both of them - Lu.
Heather Fuhr - “Continues to amaze me. Good friend. Great person. Always ready to laugh. She makes me feel funny!”Norman Staddler - “He's a mystery to me, I don't know him well.”Natascha Baddman -“Does she really have an 18 year old daughter?”Heather Gollnick - “Starting to prove herself.”Q12 - Do you have a coach?“Roch Frey from Multisports helped me jump up another level. Now I go to him for guidance, not strict schedules.”Q13 - Do you train solo?“I swim with Tim. All my key workouts are solo. Occasional rides/runs with friends, rarely fellow pros.”Q14 - What do you do when you're not training?“Right now, Skirt Sports stuff. Otherwise, play with friends, play with Annie my dog, cook, read, movies, coffee shop dates and normal people stuff!”Q15 - What is it like in the elite women world of Ironman? Is everyone great friends and friendly rivals or is their friction at times?“There are a few people who I always want to kick their asses. Otherwise, may the best woman win and we can all celebrate together afterward.”Q16 - Iron distance triathlons allow women to compete into their forties on an elite level. Do you plan on continuing your career for as long as you're able to?“Last year I would have said no. This year, I’m not sure. Lately I've been thinking about the '08 Olympics. I'd be 36, it could be perfect.”Q17 - Nicole, you live the life many women dream of. Your professional career is what many women do in their spare time outside of their career, children, etc. With what you know now with hindsight in training, what advice do you have for the working mom/woman?“Balance. As soon as you focus on one thing only, it doesn't work. Women, in general, are amazing multi-taskers. We function better when we have structure. Not all women, but many. I found that when all I did was race, I was unfulfilled and I didn't race as well as I had hoped. Too much pressure maybe. When I added other activities/jobs, things just rolled right along!”Q18 - Next month, you will be recognized with your induction into your high school's Hall of Fame. As a graduating high school senior, did you think your life would be as fun and interesting as it is?“Yes. I knew I would never settle for boring!”Q19 - What's in store for the DeBooms in the next few years?“We're doing it. New business ventures. New goals in triathlon. You name it!”Q20 - Any advice for the beginner triathlete making the jump into Ironman triathlons?“Practice your race protocol before you actually get to the race! Patience.” Q21 - Nicole, what is one nugget of wisdom from your experiences in Ironman racing that you're willing to share?“If you get crabby or bitchy or negative, eat!”Q22 - Anything you would like to say to all of your fans reading this?“Set goals and then go get them. But remember, it's about the journey, not the destination. So enjoy every moment!”
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