What’s Your Why?
I am a physicist, triathlete, author* married to Karen. We live adjacent to Smith Rocks Park, Terrebonne, OR. I have done over 70 Ironman races, including 25 at Kona. Finished Hawaii at 80 in 15 hours and 48 minutes. Finished Florida at 70 in 12 hours and 58 min. Also finished Florida at 84 years old. I qualified for Kona at 85, finished the swim and the bike ok but could not run fast enough to make the 16:50 time limit.
What are some of your favorite race memories?
Three weeks after Ironman Kona, I got a call from Suzie claiming to be calling on behalf of his Royal Highness Sheik Nasser of Bahrain. I said of course you are and was about to hang up. She said his highness wants to invite me to come to Bahrain in December and do the 70.3 Ironman. So I had a magic carpet ride, Emirates Air, and Royal court car for 10 days and race day I was driven past all the athletes carrying wet suits, bikes and usual stuff past the parking lots to the bike transition area. They ask my number and then drove me to my slot. That is service. I finished and three weeks later Suzie calls again say his Royal Highness wants to invite you back to do the half IM in Dubai, UAE. I said same deal she said yes. I did the race. At 87 the BBC came from London to film me which included doing the Escape from Alcatraz tri. That was my 6th time at that race.
Local races I have done Pacific Crest 18 times and PDX 7 times (most recent being 2020 at 90 years old). But the last three years have been the best and happiest years of my life thanks to meeting and marrying Karen. I believe my best years are still ahead.
I bet everyone would love to hear about what you do to keep your body in such great shape. What’s your secret?
Everyone asks what I take so here is my morning drink.
My morning mix is mainly based on AIM* (see below) products which provide most of the nutrients needed daily plus a number of other things. I mix a 10 day supply then take it daily. I use pomegranate and aloe juice.
AIM Barley Life powder sprouts covers a lot of bases 1 tbs
AIM CalciAIM most useful form of calcium and magnesium 1 tsp
AIM Propeas 1 tsp
Lecithin Granules it is solvent 1 tsp
L Arginine an amino acid which also raises your nitric oxide levels 1 tsp
Tumeric with curumin complex 1 tsp
Maca powder reported to improve your sex life. 1 tsp
Vitamin C 1 tsp about 5 grams
Protein powder (Combat) one scoop.
Then I also take B-12 subliminal 1 tbs and A mix of glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM. From Costco, Plus about 900 mg of Co Q-10 plus the usual B complex, D-3, Vit E with Selenium, resveratrol, Vit E (be sure to get the tocotrienol complex)
What advice would you give to all athletes that are hoping to have a long triathlon career like yourself?
I would say go anaerobic, everyday. Push yourself until you can’t go any further, but don’t pass out. You use it or lose it.
To learn more about Lew, you can also visit his Wikipedia page.
Update July 2022: Lew’s biography, “Use it or Lose It: Pathways to Healthy Living,” written by Dana Burnett, is now available on Amazon and several other websites.