Longtime fans of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” may recall the season 6 winner, Roberto Martinez, who swept bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky off her feet. Martinez, who lives in San Diego and owns his own insurance agency, has recently followed more athletic, rather than romantic, pursuits. A former minor league baseball player, he recently ran his first half-marathon (Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Pete) and raced in his first triathlon (TriRock Clearwater). As he gears up for his second triathlon, TriRock Colorado on July 13, we caught up with him to hear more about his active lifestyle, why he likes triathlon and his tri-related goals.
Triathlete.com: With your work in the insurance business, what does that mean for your work schedule?
Martinez: Luckily enough, I’m my own boss, so I pretty much make the hours, but because I’m still growing, I work pretty hard and I tend to work long hours. But I usually find a way to fit my training in either in the morning or lunch time.
Triathlete.com: You come from an athletic background—what do you attribute that to?
Martinez: My dad used to run marathons when he lived in Puerto Rico, and then he was always very, very active. And then he was an Army Ranger with the U.S. military. … And I just kind of grew up in that active lifestyle and culture, [with the mind-set to] keep yourself physically fit. That’s just the way my dad was. I played baseball, and that had a lot to do with that. I was drafted by the Rockies and the Twins, but I just loved to do sports in general. I grew up doing literally everything from wakeboarding to snowboarding, baseball to football. My dad tried to expose us to as many sports as he could. When I was growing up, I wasn’t much into the running thing, only because they made us do it in baseball. I kind of swore it off in college—when I get done playing ball, I’m never going to run again. And somewhere along the way, I said on my bucket list was to do a triathlon. So somewhere along the way in training for that, I just kind of picked it up again—and I just started liking it. Obviously, now I’ve incorporated the swimming and the biking into it, but yeah, it’s a lot of fun.
Triathlete.com: How did running get you to triathlon?
Martinez: I did a half-marathon. I started with a sprint triathlon. I should say I started biking because I just like biking. Here in San Diego there’s just a lot of cool places to just jump on your bike and ride. So I did the biking leg of the Challenged Athletes Foundation Triathlon [San Diego Triathlon Challenge] in San Diego. I did 44 miles with a pulled hamstring that I pulled playing football the day before. And I just kind of started from there.
Triathlete.com: What did you think of TriRock Clearwater?
Martinez: Oh it was awesome. It’s such a cool concept. As if triathlons weren’t cool enough, incorporating music and rock ‘n’ roll into. And it’s just a really cool vibe, cool energy to that whole race.
Triathlete.com: When you trained for your first triathlon, did you work with a coach or a tri team?
Martinez: I kind of learned by trial and error. I knew the three components that I needed to do, and I knew the distance I needed to get to, so I just trained a little bit more than what was in the race and hoping at race time that I could put it all together. Mainly I just wanted to expand my lungs to make sure that my cardio was up and that I wouldn’t get too tired, and that I could kind of train my muscles to do those different things. The weird thing was when I jumped in the water in Clearwater, the water was a lot colder than I expected, and I didn’t have a triathlon wetsuit. So I brought my surfing wetsuit, my 3/2. And man, that thing was such a pain to swim in. I thought I was going to drown. But I got through it and finished the race, and it was fun.
Triathlete.com: What’s your favorite thing about racing triathlon?
Martinez: I think my favorite thing about triathlon is the challenge to yourself. I think when somebody thinks of a triathlon or thinks of a marathon or a half-marathon or any kind of challenge like that, it kind of seems like an impossible feat when you first think of it, and you kind of mentally gear yourself up and find a way to train for it. And it’s extremely rewarding when you cross the finish line.
Triathlete.com: Do you have any triathlon goals?
Martinez: Yeah, I’ve got my eyes on Ironman. That’s kind of the long-term goal. And I’m trying to find a way to work it out in stages, but I’ve definitely got my eyes on it and I’d like to do it. I’ve got to train quite a bit more to get there, but I think I’m definitely capable of it.
Triathlete.com: Why are you looking forward to racing TriRock Colorado?
Martinez: It’s just cool. You know, the country’s got a lot of really cool places to visit, but Aurora, and Colorado in general, looks beautiful. … But Colorado’s just a beautiful place, it’s nice this time of year, it’s a good place to challenge myself. I may get there a couple days early just to get acclimated to the altitude, but it’ll be fun.
Registration for the 2013 TriRock Colorado triathlon (July 13) is still open. Visit TriRockseries.com/Aurora to learn more.
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