Colorado Athletes in Kona: Tom Bogan

With Kona IRONMAN World Championships just a few weeks away, 303Triathlon will begin highlighting the athletes who will be representing Colorado at this amazing race and event.
This year there are 54 Colorado athletes headed to the Big Island.  In addition to these folks, we are hoping to include the athletes that were awarded slots through IRONMAN’s Colorado to Kona program.

Today’s athlete is Tog Bogan, enjoy!
I am tremendously honored to be selected to participate in the 2017 Kona Ironman World Championship race. It is an incredible opportunity to be one of the athletes representing the Boulder Triathlon scene! If there is one thing I have learned- it is that consistent dedication has allowed me to attain far more than any innate athletic ability. A fierce determination and burning desire to pour out your best effort will open doors, bring new levels of achievement, and incredible results!
It has been my honor to cross paths with several very high end triathletes living and working in Boulder. They have all been very inspirational and encouraging to consider “being one” of them. I actually started my pursuit of triathlon at the coaxing of my first trainer Stephan Swanson at 24 Hour Fitness. In early 2012 I went in to work with a trainer and change the direction of my life. This time I was stepping over the line and NEVER going back! A few months in, and seeing that I was in it to stay, Stephan brought up the idea of entering and completing a triathlon as part of my training. There was just one little problem—I had always been unable to swim, and quite fearful of the idea!! It never thought that I could ever swim out into a lake and survive the attempt! After a few months of prodding, I agreed to TRY to learn to swim. This journey pursuing the most difficult thing I have ever attempted had begun.

Over the winter with the tremendous help of Meghan Williams and the Longmont Masters swim program, I very slowly began to learn how to not drown. Many days of attempting to swim followed. Nothing came easily. Breathing was difficult and I sank like a kettle bell. Over the winter I slowly saw things improve but still had lingering doubts. This was just a pool-just stand up and you’re OK. A lake, …well………..
The following spring I completed my first triathlon- a watershed moment if there ever was- at the Summer Open Sprint triathlon at my home track at Union Reservoir in Longmont. May 18, 2013 I had done something I NEVER thought was possible and conquered one of the biggest fears in my life! I was a TRIATHLETE! ME! Everything that has happened since then has built on this. My continuing participation in triathlon events are a celebration of what I am now capable of doing. I look back over the swim course at each event now and think—-look what you have just accomplished! You swam way out there and came back alive!
I am now in my 5th year of triathlon competition. Becoming an Ironman was so far from ever being a reality, but it happened to me on August 2, 2015 at the Boulder Ironman based at the Boulder High School that I graduated from in 1978. Ironically-same year Ironman competition started! Little did I know! Racing the Ironman distance is now my favorite though I enjoy all of them. I have completed 3 Boulder Ironman 140.6 events now. I tend to avoid Olympic distances since it is so swim distance weighted. Being a slow swimmer, I tend to get faster as the race goes on, so having time to bike and run down those fast swimmers is really exhilarating! It has been my great honor to have placed very well in a number of Sprint, Olympic, Ironman 70.3 and Ironman140.6. 3 Ironman 140.6 events completed over the last 5 years……………..
And……….. now I have been invited to THE BIG SHOW in Kona, Hawaii! Dave Christen came into my office last December to announce to me and the whole world that I had a Kona World Championship race invitation. I was not ready for the instant celebrity attention that this has generated! As Dave inquired how I felt about this incredible opportunity to go to THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, in front of several thousand live Facebook followers, several thoughts raced through my head: Michael Kloostermans heartfelt Kona acceptance last August at Roll-down-to keep believing that you can get there! Am I anywhere near ready to do this? This is the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!! How the hell am I going to swim in the ocean-and WITHOUT my wetsuit!? Will I be able to survive this swim?? Can I even float in the ocean?? How do I even start to prepare to go to Hawaii? Where is Kona? What about my bike? What do I do now!?? Looks like I have several new challenges to face!! HELL YEAH-I’m going to KONA!!!
The 2017 season now turns to the Kona coast in Hawaii. I will be accompanied by my wonderful wife Lori and children Wesley and Savannah. I am also blessed by having a number of good friends traveling to Kona just to be there too. Along with a myriad of family, friends, competitors, patients and colleagues that will be following on the Ironman live coverage, I’m in good hands and will be drawing on ALL their energy for this one!!!

Auspiciously, I have set a number of new PR’s at local triathlon and running events this year. An incredible focus on what is ahead for Kona has kept my vigorous training with coach Tim Tracy on track. I keenly realize that I must step up BIG for this event and expect to bring my best game when I get there in October! Coffee boat swim, Welcoming Ceremony, Underpants Run, Pro Panel and being one of the championship competitors are all on my agenda for Kona. I look forward to a strong finish. I may not be up near the sharp end of this race-and that is quite alright- it will be my very best effort. Everything. 100%. The honor of going to the Ironman World Championship race is incredible and very surreal at times. An incredibly important day in my life dawns and I intend to immerse myself fully in this experience to come out a changed person. We’re again about to get some tremendous validation that “Anything Is Possible”! Aloha and Cheers!!

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