Ironman

Get to Know a Kona Age Grouper: John Joseph McGowan

"This is my life now. Some go to Narcotics Anonymous, some go to Alcoholics Anonymous. I go to Ironman triathlons.”

As you inevitably become gripped with Kona fever, you may be wondering what you can do to nab a spot at triathlon’s crown jewel. Every day leading up to the 2017 Ironman World Championship, we’re profiling age group athletes who’ve earned a ticket to the sport’s grandest stage so you can read about their journey, race plans, personality, gear—everything it took to make these athletes Kona material. Read their stories here and then get ready to cheer for them on race day.

Name: John Joseph McGowan
Age: 55
Location: New York City
Occupation: Musician and writer
Race bike: Felt IA2 in black and silver
Bib number: 466
Sponsors/supporters:Team Clean Machine – racing clean on organic, vegan, non-GMO supplements”
How I qualified: “I’m racing for the Children’s Tumor Foundation”

On what has inspired him to get to Kona… 
“PMA – Positive Mental Attitude. I spent my entire childhood in orphanages and abusive foster homes. I was on NYC’s streets in 1977, homeless, selling drugs, and addicted to them. I was locked up for two years in the worst places in the city and upstate. I was addicted to crack from 1988 to 1990. Ironman and triathlon helped me to finally get sober, because if you’re not coming at it with a positive mindset every day, you will take the sport up for a few years then go bye-bye. This is my life now. Some go to Narcotics Anonymous, some go to Alcoholics Anonymous. I go to Ironman triathlons.”

Managing the balance of life and Ironman… 
“I feed the homeless veggie meals, speak at correctional facilities to incarcerated youth as well as mentor at risk inner-city kids in high schools. I tour with my band ‘Cro-Mags’ year round and just signed as an ambassador to Lululemon’s men’s line. I also just finished my third book and I’m writing a movie. Signed with ICM. So yes … I’m busy!”

His Kona goal…
“Break 12 hours”

His Kona nutrition plan…
“I race on Infinit nutrition—all vegan. Some gels on the run (if needed) and Base Performance Salts.”