Colorado Athletes in Kona: Mark Cardinale


My local Colorado Triathlon Club is Altitude Multisport.  I race as part of the Colorado Triathlon Company’s Triathlon Team.   I have been coached through Endurance Nation for the past 4 years.


My family and I moved into our current home about 10 years ago and in those early years on the 2nd Sunday in September I would always see these people running in spandex with numbers written on their bodies.  I eventually discovered these people were competing in the Fall Frenzy – a sprint triathlon run by the Parker Rec Center.  In 2011, on a whim, I decided to sign up and experience my first triathlon.  That summer I taught myself how to swim and I remember being nervous about whether or not I would make it through the 500yd swim before the cutoff.  I ended up making it through the swim and went on to have a great introduction to the sport of triathlon.  From that point forward I was hooked.  The distances started getting longer and I signed on with Endurance Nation for coaching and have been with them ever since.  I saw my training progress and I discovered that I really liked putting together all the jigsaw pieces that are long course triathlon.  In 2013,  I signed up for my first Ironman in Coeur D’Alene.  That went really well and the next year at Ironman Boulder I unexpectedly qualified for Kona.  It was the experience of a lifetime getting to race on the big island.  This year I was fortunate enough to again qualify at Ironman Texas and I’m looking forward to another opportunity to race in the Ironman World Championship.  My goals this time around are simply to enjoy the experience, stay in the moment and if all goes well, improve upon my previous performance.


When I think about why I do this all consuming sport, I think for me it really comes down to the challenge of finding a way to keep moving forward despite what’s happening around me or how I may be feeling at any given time.  There are a lot of parallel between this sport and life in general and I like to think this sport has made me a stronger and more resilient human being.  I also have 2 wonderful children (and an amazingly understanding wife!) who are very excited to be going back to Kona and hopefully they are seeing a real life example that anything is possible through hard work and dedication.   


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