Any participant at the Rev3 Knoxville race will no doubt spot pro Matt Reed—he stands above the rest of the pros at 6’5”. Originally from New Zealand, Reed now lives and trains in Colo. and has kept his pronounced accent and tanned skin. Known as Boom Boom and Big Matty, Reed maintains his laid-back vibe typically found from those Down Under. But when the gun goes off, Reed’s competitive drive shines.

He’s a former Olympian who now races on the professional triathlon circuit. Next you’ll find him at Rev3’s Knoxville triathlon where he is looking to defend his title for the third time—but faces tough competition from top pro Cameron Dye. He’ll also be toeing the start line at the Quassy locale in Middlebury, Conn. in June.

We chatted with Reed about his expectations for Knoxville, advice for age groupers and why he loves his vertical challenge.

Rev3: You are going for the three peat at the Rev3 in Knoxville. What do you like about the Knoxville course? It seems to really suit you.

Reed: I like variation of the course, the rolling bike. I like the run as I really get a feel for the race there and it is a fast, hard run.

Rev3: Do you have any advice you could give age groupers for success on the course, especially with your experience?

Reed: They will be doing a longer race than the pros, so pace yourself. The bike is a strong-man bike and you need to have energy for the way back home.

Rev3: Are you doing anything different in your training this year?

Reed: Focusing on going fast. I am not doing an Ironman distance this is year so really, for me, it has been about going hard and fast again.

Rev3: We will also see you in Quassy. Do you bring your family along to the Rev3 events? If so, what do they enjoy about the family atmosphere?

Reed: I will be bringing my family to Quassy. I love the environment of the Rev3 events. There is something just plain fun about them.

Rev3: What nutritional products do you take in during a race and how many calories would you take in during an Olympic distance?

Reed: I drink Cytomax on the bike and have a packet of Cyto Energy Drops. I will add some Cyto Carb in my bottles for Quassy.

Rev3: What is your favorite racing distance and why?

Reed: I like the non-drafting Olympic distance. You go as hard as you can and can race lots. That is what I grew up doing and what I love. I love the half distance as well. I like the challenge and how you have to rely on strength.

Rev3: What are the benefits of being a tall triathlete?

Reed: I get to see over everyone. I can wade farther in for beach starts. And strength. Big men have a lot of power—getting the power-to-weight ratio right makes for a really strong man. Also, it ain’t easy running stride for stride with a 6’5” guy like me. I can kind of throw off your rhythm a bit. 😉

By Jennifer Purdie