We are thrilled to welcome Marshall Reeves to our RAAM 2016 crew! This June, Marshall will be biking all the way from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland to raise money for brain cancer research. We thought you might like to get to know our fearless rider, so we asked some questions, and he gave some answers:
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself, Marshall.
A. I have a patient wife, Madge, of 35 years. She has a masters in counseling, which comes in handy when dealing with me. Two grown kids, Jesse and Molly. Jesse is a Full Sail graduate living in Portland, Oregon. He’s currently working on a film project with a classmate. Molly is in Philadelphia. She is applying for a graduate program at U-Penn in psych/counseling. We also have two emotionally challenged dogs: Rocky and Clementine (both inherited from Molly). I was born in Rhode Island, but grew up in South Carolina. Went to school there at USC. Majored in physics, and was in NROTC. Graduated and went to Navy flight school. 6 1/2 years in the Navy then on with Delta Air Line. Still there, flying as an international captain. Also part owner of Infinity Bike Shop. Make money flying, lose it with the bike shop.
Q. How did you get into cycling?
A. I played soccer at USC, so needed an athletic outlet after. I already ran, swam and cycled a little, so triathlon was a natural choice. Dozens of races later, including 11 ironman distance races, I realized that my affinity was cycling. I started doing endurance races where I met, and became friends with RAAM legend, Rob Kish. We did a two man European version of RAAM, called Le Tour Ultime, and the RAAM seed was sown.
Q. Do you have any lucky charms you plan to take with you?
A. I don’t have any lucky charms. I’m a little OCD, so try hard to avoid it. If I didn’t, every aspect would be riddled with obsessive routine!
Q. What have you been doing to train for the big event?
A. Training comes easily. I like to ride, and my job keeps me off the bike for days at a time, so I am always anxious to ride, but not worried about taking days off. I live in Florida, and have a place in North Carolina. I can train year round, and have a place with hills. I get by with fewer miles, so it works out, and fitness has never been an issue. I also enter endurance events leading up to RAAM to test my fitness.
Q. Let’s hear a fun fact about yourself.
A. Some don’t think it’s fun, but my mind is always thinking of puns. Most I keep to myself, but occasionally, I torture people with them. My son is the same, and during last RAAM, we had a running pun-fest that lasted for hours. Kept us awake.
Q. What is your most defining personal trait?
A. I would like to think my defining trait is integrity. I have a strong moral compass, and make decisions based on that. Tenacity would be a close second. I guess three attempts at RAAM would demonstrate that…..or is that stubbornness?
Q. What words of hope would you offer to someone affected, either directly or indirectly, by brain cancer?
A. Hope is tough with such a devastating diagnosis. One thing I always think of is the longer you fight, the greater the chance of a cure being discovered. Even if there is only a limited time left, think about the best equivalent time span in your life, and match that. Whether it’s 10 years, one year, or a month.
Q. What keeps you going when times get tough?
A. Honestly, and this charity comes into play here, when times get tough, I don’t have to look very far to find someone with an even tougher situation. It makes my problems seem trivial.
Q. Can you give us your favorite personal anecdote?
A. When you’re this old, there too many anecdotes to relate. I guess one good one is when, during an ironman, I couldn’t figure out why the bike leg was so uncomfortable until I was done and realized I had put my bike shorts on backwards in transition.
Q. What/who is your biggest source of motivation?
A. I feel as though I have been given the gifts of talent and opportunity, so my motivation is not to waste it. I know there are a lot of people who have dreams, and are unable to chase them because of circumstances.
Q. So you’ve attempted RAAM twice before…is third time the charm?
A. I hope the third time is a charm! We’ve learned much from the first two tries, and will implement that into this year’s effort. The biggest obstacle for me is sleep deprivation, so this year I am going to try to get on a regular schedule. I have the tendency to go too long, and wind up behind the power curve. Luck is also an important factor, so with our prior experience, we hope to minimize the risk. Injury was a factor the first time, and fatigue the second. My secret weapon this year is that I will be 60, so they give me more time. The downside is that I will be 60 this year.
Be on the lookout for more personal snippets from Marshall as we get closer to the big event! In the meantime, please consider making a donation to support our cause.