The Sibling Advantage

  • By Ragan Sutterfield
  • Published Jun 18, 2013
  • Updated Jul 15, 2015 at 4:04 PM UTC
Jim and Paul Linck.

The Linck Twins

Identical twins Jim and Paul Linck had always talked about doing a marathon together. After a weekend together, Jim got an email from Paul that read, “I signed us up.” That’s how their entrance into triathlon went as well. After Paul, a business owner in Atlanta, spent a season in the sport alone, he signed up his twin to race Ironman Louisville with him. That was 2009, and since then the twins have been competing together in triathlons every season. “It’s a way for us to spend time together,” says Jim, a finance professor at Southern Methodist University.

Sometimes that time together doesn’t come in the way they planned. One year as they were both racing in the Great Floridian Ultra Triathlon, Jim crashed his bike at mile 109. As the medics picked him up off the pavement, he told them, “Please don’t tell my brother. I don’t want him to stop the race.” The medic replied, “Don’t worry, your brother is already in the hospital.” Paul had crashed earlier in the day. Like Jim, he told the medics not to tell his brother. Nevertheless, the two ended up in the same hospital room a few hours later.

Like the Raelerts and Wassners, the Linck twins have found the greatest advantage of training and racing with a sibling to be the mix of challenge and support. Paul is the more serious of the two, having qualified for Kona several times. With Jim having missed a slot by a few minutes on several occasions, Paul says he doesn’t care about returning to Kona. “My only goal left is for Jim to get there because it is such a great experience,” he says.

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