The Road To Nationals with Grant Crist

Black and gold until you are cold and old

  • Hometown: Downers Grove, IL (aka "The Dirty 630")
  • Sport / Competition:  Triathlon
  • Facebook/dirtbikefreak797
  • RM:  How many years have you been competing?
    I began stochastically running XC in Middle School because I did not know what other sport to do during the school year. During the summers, I always played in-town and all-star baseball, in addition to riding motocross with my Dad and best friend, Nick Waszak. Since then, I ran in high school-both track and cross country-much more seriously. I was a member of 3 state-qualifying teams-2 in XC and one in the 4x800m relay. Then I really wanted to find my niche, with adventure, engineering, and mountains. CU was that place with a Triathlon Team that worked to get me to join, so I aptly said YES, and here we are 5 years, 5 National Championships, and a lifetime of stellar memories later!!!
  • RM:  What fuels your competitiveness? What color do you feel the fastest in?
    -I feel the fastest in black and gold. "Black and gold until you are cold and old," as they say.

  • -I would say that the innate desire to find out the limits of my human body is one facet of my competitiveness. The other quote that I like the truth behind is "If you're second, you're the first loser." That motivates me to make fitness happen, to get it done in the classroom, and elsewhere as well.
  • RM:  How has your approach changed from the beginning of the season to the end to make you a better at each stage as you head to nationals?
    -My approach last year was flawed in that I began doing speed work far too early and too hard in the early season. This year, I have just started to do speed work in the past few weeks on the track, but kept tempo workouts and some speed always in the mix, just not Z4 or Z5 training until late February.
  • RM:  What is your goal as you head to nationals? First out of the water? Top 10? Best split?
    -Goal of Top 50 Overall, but more to show improvement. Continuous improvement is the ultimate name of the game. My ideal race would be sub-2 hours, which is obviously course and condition dependent. My other goal is to maintain form swimming cycling and running, where I absolutely go into another dimension the final 5k of the run, to be able to say "there is nothing left in the tank," when I cross the finish line.



  • RM:  How are you feeling? Did you have any injuries you had to over come? Are you peaking at the right time?
    -I had a few little setbacks with some sickness, and a few minor knees flare-ups, and one silly cycling accident. I was wearing my helmet. I always wear my helmet, and advise other to do so as well, especially after my TBI and near-death cycling crash in NSW, Australia.
  • RM:  What is your long view? Where do you see yourself in a few years? Still competing? Working professionals?
    I never want to get "old." I will always be active. Collegiate triathlon at CU Boulder has been one of the best decisions of my life-I wouldn't change it for anything. I am planning to continue racing, as well as working professionally to pay for things.

  • I am graduating in two weeks from undergrad, so I am not sure where I will end up. Given the opportunities and how much I like it out West, I would like to begin my career as a Professional Engineer out in Colorado or similar. It is a great active environment that challenges conventional thinking, and advances with cutting edge technology and ideas are made here. I have a summer position lined up, as well as a few interviews for full-time positions after I return and graduate in two weeks. I will be headed up to Glenwood Springs to interview with SGM Environmental, Red Feather Lakes to interview with the USFS, as well as do some sweet hiking while there :)

  • As for racing, this Summer I will be racing a couple 70.3s (my first ones), this Fall I will be running the Chicago marathon with a Goal Time of 2:40:00, and hopefully an Ironman in the next couple years.
  • RM:  What equipment changes have you made through the year and most importantly as you head to Nationals?
    -New aerobars, as many SHIV aerobars were recalled this past year due to faulty mounting mechanisms. This allowed me to slam my stem further. I also have gone through 4 pairs of shoes since September, and been trying to run on trails more often.
  • RM:  Training secrets? Care to share? Favorite quote?
    -Protein and Chocolate milk daily while elevating the legs :)

  • -The CU Triathlon Team and Colorado as a whole are pretty darn solid training training grounds, although Tucson, AZ surprised me as a nice place to train upon our Spring training camp!

  • -Connecting with nature, and not training with music, except on long solo runs or rides. This is also partly a safety concern, so music only in little to no traffic, and only in one ear.

  • -One quote that gets me fired up every time to work hard and get it done, even when the conditions are not good..."If not me, who? If not now, when?"
  • RM:  What do you geek out on besides Triathlon?
    -Blackhawks Hockey..."black and red till we are cold and dead," as they say.

  • -I am passionate about geology, hiking, and adventuring outdoors. My majors for the past 5 years have been Geology and Environmental Engineering, so that fits I guess. A fun, long weekend for me would be heading out to Aspen or Telluride to climb a couple 14ers (peaks over 14,000ft elevation), and do some epic cycling, while camping with my girlfriend, Sherena.

  • -I am a big fanatic of learning something every day, related to racing, sport, academics, world events, or other. I then call this the "trivia fact of the day" to any and all who talk to me for a few minutes and get to try to guess the answer(s). I love Trivia in general, including any and all gameshows (Family Feud, 1 vs 100, The Chase, etc).
  • RM:  Do you have a dream race you want to create?
    I would like to complete the Chicago Marathon in 2:40:00, and to trail run Nolan's 14 in the allotted time ((14) 14ers and 35,000 vertical feet of gain in 60 hours over 100 miles of trail running...if you orienteer correctly).
  • Training Tracks: Favorite songs to train/race to?
    Born to Run-Springsteen
    Red Hot Chili Peppers-
    Learn to Fly-Foo Fighters
    Sirius-Alan Parsons Project (pump up song before every race, just like the Chicago Bulls use to announce their starting lineup before every game)
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