You may have seen John Young racing at Rev3 Quassy in 2012 or 2013 and you will see him racing again in 2016 at Rev3 Maine. John was born with achondroplasia, the most common form of disproportionate short-stature. In simple terms, he is a dwarf or little-person (LP). After watching a video of Dick and Rick Hoyt completing an Ironman triathlon and seeing their example of “YES YOU CAN”, John decided to train. He completed his first triathlon in 2009 (a sprint distance race in Lowell, MA).
Several years earlier John had been was dealing with some major health issues related to being diagnosed with severe sleep-apnea. When things started looking better and he began to lose some considerable body weight, he decided to try to live a healthier lifestyle. While getting back to swimming, he also started doing a little bit of cycling and then came triathlon.
“The amazing people I meet at each race are what brings me back to triathlon each and every time. Except for the elites who are racing for a living, everyone out there cheers on each other and we all celebrate our successes together, being happy whenever we see someone have a great race.” These are the things that John enjoys about triathlon.
He also loves the fact that he can set personal goals and try to improve. Though PRs are what he strives for, he understands there are many other successes, even if your finish goal time has not been achieved on a particular day.
When he first started racing back in 2009, John was the only person with dwarfism who raced triathlon. The obvious challenges are his shorter limbs and therefore a smaller bike, but he doesn’t really view it as a challenge as he has been this way his entire life.
When asked what he likes about Rev3, John says “I have to say I am extremely impressed with Eric Opdyke and all of the staff and volunteers, especially those on course in 2012. When I struggled in the water, the lifeguards were quick to come in and take care of me. I also love the fact that Rev3 cares for all athletes, from the fastest elite/pro all the way to the last person to cross the finish line. The finisher medals are also AMAZING!!”
When not racing, John teaches high school math and coaches swimming at Pingree School, a small prep school north of Boston. He is married to wife Sue and they have a 13 year old son named Owen.
He has qualified twice for the Boston Marathon, finished the NYC Marathon twice and completed 7 Half-Iron distance triathlons.
You will see John racing with Rev3 in 2016 in Maine and he has signed up to complete his first full-Ironman race in October of 2016.
We are proud to have John race with us in 2016, be sure to say hello to him when you see him on course!