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NSA Mid-South Triathlete to Compete in 2016 Memphis in May Triathlon

By Kini Kedigh Plumlee

MIM Triathlon 5-5Retired from Navy Installations Command, Dave Mitchell got into the sport of triathlon when he was 58 years old.
Now 70, he’s still going strong every chance he gets and on May 22, he’ll compete in the 34th Annual Memphis in May Triathlon and Sports Expo at Orgill Park in Millington on May 20-22.
The event, produced by P.R. Event Management, is presented by the Peddler Bike Shop and is expected to draw nearly 1,500 local, regional and national athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
The triathlon offers an Amateur Challenge with a $5,000 prize purse paid to the top 15 male and female athletes who participate in both events. The Challenge consists of the lowest total combined time in both the Sprint Triathlon on Saturday and the Olympic Distance Triathlon on Sunday.
An Active Duty Military and Reserves Division is open to members of any branch of military service. This exclusive division includes awards for male and female age group, masters, relays, wheel chair and para-athlete categories.
The public is welcome to attend the Sports Expo on Saturday, May 21 from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on site near Casper Lake and to cheer on the athletes as they compete on Saturday at 8 a.m. and Sunday at 7 a.m.
This will be Mitchell’s eighth time to participate in the Memphis in May Triathlon and will add to his more than 50 completed triathlons in which he’s competed.
That’s a lot of swimming, biking and running for someone who only took up the sport 12 years ago because, as he puts it, “my knees started hurting.”
“A good friend, Donald Golden, told me that biking would help my knees and it did,” Mitchell said, “only after numerous crashes and everything else a novice cyclist would endure.”
That same friend also told him swimming would also help. “I couldn’t swim, yet after numerous years of swimming classes and coaching by some very well-known swim coaches − Jeff Fejfar, Leslie Brainerd, Danny Fadgen, Mike Brown and Jim Campbell to name a few − I finally learned how to swim and perfect my form.”
Prior to this, Mitchell was running 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and marathons, lifting weights, attending Pilates classes and boot camp at Bartlett Recreation Center and exercising at Duggar Fitness Center at NSA Mid-South. With the addition of bike and swim training to his exercise regime, it was a natural move for him to compete in the sports of duathlon, triathlon and Ironman.
Mitchell trains 10 to 15 hours a week for spring and Olympic triathlons and 18 to 24 hours weekly when he’s preparing for Ironmans.
“Training for competition keeps me sharp with precision and keeps the weight off as I get older,” Mitchell said. “It also gives me mental stability and I feel younger.”
Although he officially “retired” from the Army in 2006 as a Chief Warrant Officer Four and as a Navy civilian in 2009, Mitchell currently works for Naval Support Activity Mid-South as an HR Management Analyst contractor for CNIC. With more than 30 years of civilian government service including the U.S. Army and Army Reserves (27-plus years of service including seven years active duty with tours in Viet Nam) and from the Department of the Navy, Commander Navy Installation Command, Fleet and Family Readiness Division, Mitchell has still found time to keep fit and pursue the sports which he says has offered him “camaraderie with other athletes” and has given him “lifelong friends.” The thrill of beating younger competitors also brings him great joy. “It’s great passing the 20, 30 and 40-somethings in a race,” he said.
So far this year, Mitchell has participated in the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World (four races in four days including a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon); the Mississippi River Half Marathon; the Germantown Half Marathon; the Rebel Man Sprint Triathlon in Oxford, Miss., where he finished first in his age group; Los Locos Duathlon in Germantown, placing second in his age group, and Thunder in the Forest Sprint Triathlon at Meeman-Shelby Forest Park where he placed first in his age group.
He is planning on competing in several Ironman competitions before year’s end, including a possible roll-down try for the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
For information on sponsorships, to be a Sports Expo vendor or to volunteer for the Memphis in May Triathlon, visit pr-eventmanagement.net or contact Pam Routh at (901) 550-2114 or pamrunsraces@gmail.com.

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