For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
Two-time XTERRA world champion Lesley Paterson talks about her Braveheart Racing team.
In 2011 pro triathlete Lesley Paterson started her own triathlon team, Braveheart Racing, with her husband, Dr. Simon Marshall, a sports psychologist.
They developed the Braveheart team with a twist, though: If you want to join Paterson and her husband’s world-class SoCal team, you have to also mentor an athlete from lesser means. That meant some of the best triathletes in the world had to pair up with impoverished city kids who had never done a triathlon.
“This team was about creating a family for one another, and then we were motivated to pay it forward by mentoring someone else to do the same,” Paterson tells Espnw.com.
“Because triathlon is a sport of privilege, I really wanted to find mentees who wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to triathlon. In 2012, I ran a week-long triathlon camp for young adults (ages 17-23) who had all come from challenging backgrounds, whether it be homelessness, poverty, disability, violence. They all were willing to face their fears. Not long after, our local paper, The San Diego Reader, had a cover story about one young man in our camp, Theo Tucker. Here’s a kid raised by his grandparents in a gang-riddled neighborhood, an incredibly talented athlete in high school who lost everything because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time on one night.”
Read more: Espnw.com