Member Spotlight: Zac Radke

28 Sep 2016 9:15 PM | Deleted user

At nearly 215 pounds and with diabetes lurking, a doctor’s visit and a chronically injured hamstring led Zac Radke in need of a new hobby he could be passionate about.  He started going to a gym primarily with a focus on building muscle and cardiovascular fitness.  This soon turned in to weight loss.  After a year, Zac progressed from barely getting through a ¼ mile run to racing 5K’s.

Prior to this, Zac was a self described “couch potato” who played video games and did computer programming all day.  He notes he had no athleticism or physical ability.  However, with hard work and dedication, he was soon running competitively.

After suffering some injury related setbacks and boredom, he decided to take up cycling to maintain his fitness.  At this point, triathlon seemed a natural progression.  Zac swam recreationally as a child, but never competitively.  He admits he was in for quite a surprise when it came to competitive, open water swimming.  Zac notes that he never really found his place in team sports and he enjoys the singularity of triathlon.

In March of 2012, Zac took part in his first triathlon, the HITS Ocala SuperSprint.  He finished 6th overall and won his age group.  The following month he would finish his first sprint race at the Child of the Sun Triathlon in Lakeland.  In September of 2012, he completed his first Olympic distance race at the Hammerhead Triathlon in Camp Blanding in 3:02:19.

Zac lists St. Anthony’s Triathlon as his favorite triathlon as he loves the course, expo, and the atmosphere.  He also enjoys going to the kids triathlon (Meek & Mighty) the day before the race as he finds the children inspiring to watch.

His favorite race finish to date is the 2013 Hammerhead Aquabike in which he was the overall winner by a single second thanks to a well-rehearsed flying dismount.  He is also proud of his 2015 Hammerhead Olympic Triathlon as this was the first time he broke 2:30 (2:29:13).  His fastest race to date is the Jacksonville Olympic Series #1 in June of 2016 at 2:20:22.  He loved seeing his fellow G3er’s on the course cheering each other on during this race.

Zac lists persistence as his greatest accomplishement in the sport thus far.  Starting, finishing, or placing in a triathlon doesn’t happen overnight.  He is proud of the steady improvement he has seen over the last 4 years due to persistence and discipline.

Over these years, he has some nutrition-based superstitions that he has adapted such as not eating sushi weeks before a race.  He also has noted that with time, he takes up much less space in transition.

Zac has been fortunate and has never had a DNF or major injury during a race and he is very thankful for that.

For new triathletes, he would advise them to practice the small stuff and to be sure to focus on nutrition and physical recovery.  Practicing race-day fueling is essential.  He also believes in practicing transitions so that there are no surprises on race-day.

Zac joined G3 in early 2013.  He joined to be surrounded by like-minded people and for the wetsuit discount!  He is thrilled with all of the member involvement and is glad to be a part of it.

Zac is 30 and is the Information Technology Director for Santa Fe Senior Living.  Now that Zac feels comfortable with Olympic distance racing, he has a goal of completing a 70.3 distance race and is planning on aiming his focus there.





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