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Rob Barel - Olympian, Ironman, Triathlete, Coach, Tour guide

Rob Barel - Olympian, Ironman, Triathlete, Coach, Tour guide

Episode 148: Rob Barel - - Olympian, Ironman, Triathlete, Coach, Tour guide

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"The Greg Bennett Show"

In this episode of The Greg Bennett Show, Greg is joined by an absolute Triathlon legend.

Rob Barel has a triathlon career spanning 18 years, including six Dutch National Championship titles, seven European Championship titles, the Nice Long-distance World Championship title in 1994 at the age of 40, four top five finishes at the Olympic-distance World Championship and two fourth place finishes at the Hawaii Ironman. Of the 245 triathlons competed, he has raced in 31 countries around the world and has won 113. Rob’s final competition was at the Netherlands 2000 Summer Olympics, securing forty third place, before taking retirement at the end of the Games at age 42.

Rob is now working as a marketing consultant, coaching in various capacities and to no surprise, still racing and training, albeit in a more low-key fashion.

We raced each other several times in the late 90s and I can honestly say that to have him join me on the show is just such a privilege and an honor.


2:23 - Interview starts

4:06 - After 40 years in the sport of triathlon, Rob is still very fit and still races, albeit as an ametuer in the senior categories. Greg and Rob discuss how his age group colleagues think about an ex-pro athlete competing against them as an amatuer.

8:02 - This is the mountain bike tours Rob mentions in this episode.

9:15 - Greg and Rob discuss the 2000 Sydney Olympics and his appearance as a 42 year old.

... You didnt know what you had started when you went into the sport back in 1982 ...

14:03 - 40 years ago, September 4th, 1982, Rob claims to be the day that his life changed forever. He discusses how he found the sport and how his passion developed in those early days. A true legend of Triathlon.

22:44 - Rob shares the 'highs' throughout his career. An amazing insight into the early mechanics, the early growth of the sport of triathlon. Rob's story around the boycott of Ironman Kona and how they went and raced in Nice instead as a show of support for professional athletes is a timely reminder of how the pioneers of the sport encouraged the prize money that we see today.

27:18 - Rob's top 3 career highlights include his first win in Nice in 1988. Nice again in 1994. Rob recounts a hilarious story mid race against Lother Leder from Germany.

32:49 - Rob & Greg chat about Ironman Muskoka.

35:26 - Rob discusses the 'lows' of his career and reflects on how many times he has raced other people rather than focus on racing himself. Competing against his best ... something he never mastered until he became an 'age-grouper'.

Too many times I've been racing other guys, instead of racing my personal best ...

38:50 - Rob reflects on how the sport has changed over the past 40 years. From the events, to the athletes, to the technology, to the training, to the safety within the event. Rob and Greg discuss the entry fee changes between the 80's ... to current day.

46:59 - Rob abd Greg discuss the changes in equipment and nutrition. From the first spaghetti bars on bikes, to the current aero dynamic helmets, wetsuits, and running shoe enhancements.

51:05 - Rob gives us his Greatest of All Time Women's, and Men's athlete in the sport of Triathlon.

54:41 - Greg and Rob discuss thei predictions for the Men's and Women's races in Kona 2022. You'll be able to compare their views on the actual results from last weekend.

59:43 - Rob still competes and is about to head to Kona, and also coaches a variety of athletes across different sporting disciplines, while also taking people on mountain bike tours.

1:02:08 - Conclusion


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With a combined 50 years of racing as professional athletes, 30 years as coaches, and 30 years as athlete managers, Bennett Endurance has the knowledge, experience, and professionalism for intimate one-to-one, small group consultations, and mastermind groups. Helping you thrive and to live your high-performance life. Find out more >


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