Meet this month's Athlete Spotlight -- Peter Donbavand! Peter is a life-long athlete who has been swimming and running since he was young. Peter let his fitness go for a whole decade after college though before resetting his life and his goals. Read on to see how this guy has now raced almost a score of marathons and nearly ten 140.6 or 70.3 races!
Occupation: Real Estate Dabbler
How long have you been swimming, cycling, running, and/or doing triathlons / racing?
I started swimming at a young age and continued all the way through high school. I also ran cross country and track 7-10th grade until I moved to SA, and my swim coach wouldn’t let me do both. After high school I played water polo on a club team at Baylor. After college, I did not exercise again for a DECADE until I finally decided I needed to make a change. I did my first triathlon in 2012 which was an indoor tri at Life Time Fitness. I quickly caught the bug and have done multiple races a year ever since. Now I’ve done: 3 X 140.6, 6 X 70.3, and 19 X 26.2.
What aspects of triathlon / racing / training do you enjoy most?
I definitely like running the best. I love the simplicity of it and that it is a fun way to explore new areas.
What has been your favorite training or racing event, and why?
Narrowing down my favorite event is challenging given the number of cool races I've done. Escape from Alcatraz stands out, with its unforgettable swim across the bay which was a true once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Dopey Challenge at Disney was an intense endurance feat for me, racing four consecutive days with very little sleep followed by full days of intensive park hopping left me utterly exhausted. But getting to run the Boston Marathon was a dream realized, especially after the disappointment of the 2020 cancellation. Finally getting to tackle heartbreak hill and make that final right on Hereford and left on Boylston this year, surrounded by so many elite runners, made the journey worth every effort. I highly recommend these races, and many others, because racing is so much fun.
What is your favorite post-workout or race meal?
I will usually have a protein shake but after some of my longer WOs I will treat myself with a Dr Pepper.
What is one recent accomplishment you are proud of? (race, academic, life goal completed, etc)
I was really proud to win my AG at the RNR Half last year and to also finish in the top 1.5% at the NYC Marathon a few weeks before that. All of Mark’s coaching has really paid dividends!
What do you want to be when you grow up? (We're all growing up still!)
I don’t know, this is a hard one. I have truly been blessed with a fantastic family and life is pretty great right now. I would like to keep improving in life and become a better husband, father, son, brother, friend and a much better cyclist.
What is something no one knows about you?
Over the past decade, I have been trying to finally get faster than one of my brothers. With each improvement, he matched my efforts. It wasn't until joining Paragon and completing my first Ironman that I was finally able to beat him. Luckily, there are a lot of great athletes on Paragon that I get to chase after now.
Why do you race/train?
I race and train because it's a great stress reliever, helps me stay in shape, provides a sense of accomplishment, and I have found that setting goals to qualify for races, beat friends, or compete a new distance adds an extra motivating challenge to the experience.