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Countdown to RAAM 2016: Q&A with Rob DeCou

by Caroline Jennings on April 8, 2016 Comments Off on Countdown to RAAM 2016: Q&A with Rob DeCou

This summer, Rob will be racing nonstop all the way from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland to raise money for brain cancer research.  We hope this little Q&A will give you an idea of why we’re so excited to have him on our team…

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself, Rob.

A. Grew up in Port Angeles Washington just outside the Olympic National Park in the Olympic Peninsulas.  Went to undergraduate at Pacific University where I studied business and philosophy.  Completed my graduate school work in Education, Business, and Leadership through Grand Canyon University.  Married in June of 2014 and planning on having kids in the next year or two.  I was a former business, marketing and entrepreneurship instructor and recently started my own company with my friend Nick Lerum.  We have been building up and Animation Studio here in Los Angeles – Lux Virtual the past few years.

Q. How did you get into cycling?

A. Started as an ultra endurance runner and in 2006 I had the opportunity to do my first cross country tour with my high school youth pastor.  We covered about 3,200 miles in 40 days from Port Angeles Washington to Bar Harbor Maine.

Q. What inspired you to take on RAAM?

It has been a habit of mine to try to take on something tougher than I have ever done before about every 2 years.  After finishing the Leadville Trail 100, and the qualifying race for RAAM in Oregon a few years ago it was a race big enough to excite and scare me a little, which makes it all the more fun.

Q. Do you have any lucky charms you plan to take with you?

Nope, just a lot of prayer, and gathering close friends and community around me.

Q. What have you been doing to train for the big event?

A. Lots of cycling… 🙂  I started my training last December and planned it out for an 18 month build up.  I do long rides on the weekends, hills and speed during the week with a few sessions on the trainer in our apartment during the week while watching Netflix and Amazon movies on our projector.  I run once or twice a week and do a morning routine of pushups, squats, planks and squeeze in other workouts from time to time.

Q. Let’s hear a fun fact about yourself.

A. First crazy ultra endurance event I completed was at age 16.  I was a Rotary exchange student in India and completed 50 hours of non-stop aerobics with 15 other people for a World Record.

Q. What is your most defining personal philosophy?

A. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5)

Q. What words of hope would you offer to someone affected–either directly or indirectly–by brain cancer?

A. Take courage, and know that you are loved.  Reach out to those around you for support in this time and choose to live life abundantly in spite of the current situation.

Q. What keeps you going when times get tough?

A. My ability to be present, to pray, and to take each moment at a time.  I don’t make decisions when I feel miserable.  I may slow down, and perhaps take a short recovery break but wait to make a decision until I am in a good headspace… The funny thing is we don’t tend to quit or stop when we are feeling good so it tends to work out well.

Q. Can you give us your favorite personal anecdote?

A. My first time running the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim I took my sister Christina and niece Madisyn along with me.  Madisyn was about 2 at the time.  It was a habit even at that age for Madisyn to run with me, and so we took a nice long run across the parking lot near Flagstaff Arizona.  About half way across the lot Madisyn stops and you could see her little chest pounding as she tried to catch her breath.  Between breaths she muttered, need to sit down, with this confused look on her face… It took me a minute to realize what was going on, but as many of us know it is very tough to run at about 8,000 feet and she learned it very quickly.

Rob with his niece and fellow adventurer, Madisyn.

Q. What/who is your biggest source of motivation?

A. My motivation stems primarily from my faith in God.  I yearn to be a good stuart to the gifts that he’s given me.


Be on the lookout for more updates from Rob as we get closer to the starting line!  In the meantime, please consider making a donation to support our cause.

Caroline JenningsCountdown to RAAM 2016: Q&A with Rob DeCou