Interview with Triathlete Doug Powell
Q: Please tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Doug Powell, living in Falls Church, VA. I’m 64 years old, have been married almost 41 years, and have two grown children. As a young kid, I loved baseball, but never made the transition from softball to hard ball — probably because my eye disease was starting to show up, although we didn’t know about it at the time. I have an eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative disease that attacks the rods on my retina. Over time, I’ve lost virtually all of my peripheral vision, all of my color vision, and parts of my macular vision.
Q: What keeps you inspired to continue to train for and participate in triathlons?
I’ve always loved sports. This body I have was meant to enjoy moving and challenging itself. Just because I have lost most of my vision doesn’t mean I’ve lost my desire to play. I’m also a grazer. I don’t think I could stay interested in only one sport. Triathlon, with its 3 disciplines, has become the perfect solution.
Q: Do you think that your lifestyle has changed since you did your first triathlon? If so, in what ways?
Before I saw the Hawaii Ironman on TV in ’84, I was an occasional recreational weekend warrior. Swimming and biking were the main activities — nothing regular or disciplined. Since deciding that I had to do an Ironman, I’ve more or less been in training with very little breaks.
Q: What is your experience with the Luray Triathlon?
This year will be my 3rd or 4th Luray, either as an individual, or relay.
Q: What one piece of advice would you give any triathlete racing in their first Luray Triathlon race?
I always caution new triathletes to be patient. It’s very easy to spend a lot of energy in the open water swim, or on the “false flat” on the bike course, and have nothing left for the rolling run. A few minutes slower on the swim and bike may mean a much larger difference if you can run rather than walk the entire run course.
Doug, thank you for inspiring. Good luck this weekend!
Luray Triathlon Race Director