We are excited to introduce you to our first of two Athletes of the Year for 2016!  Meet Dennis Law, husband, father of four, and dedicated member of the Tri 4 Schools family.  Let’s learn a bit about Dennis, who will be participating in Ironman Wisconsin on September 11.  You can follow his journey all year long using the hashtag #IMforT4S.

Hello! I want to start by thanking each of you for taking time out of your day to learn a little about me and the exciting journey I have chosen to participate in this year.

My name is Dennis and although I currently live in Columbus, I grew up in McFarland. I am Dad to four wonderful kids, an 8-year-old son, Eli, a 5-year-old daughter, Tatum and twin 3-year-old boys, Oliver and Dane.  A common question I find myself being asked is how can someone with four kids train for, compete in and successfully finish an Ironman? The truth is it would not be possible without the support of my wife, Jen. I am currently employed by the Trek Co. and naturally find this provides me the opportunity to stay current on my love of bicycles and cycling.

My history in triathlon

I have been participating in triathlons for four years. I have completed several local sprint triathlons, two 70.3s and am proud to say I was a finisher at Ironman WI in 2014. It isn’t clear why I decided to enter the world of triathlons, however, it seemed like a natural transition from playing rugby with the Wisconsin Rugby Club for most of my twenties on into my early thirties. Many of my former teammates have made the transition from rugby to endurance sports and in an attempt to remain active and continue to be engaged in a family-oriented sport; I thought I would give it a try.

Why I signed up for Ironman

After completing Ironman in 2014, I immediately knew it would not be my last time. My plan was to take one year off and come back in 2016. That being said, here I am, excited to start this amazing adventure towards being a finisher at IM WI, 2016. Even though Ironman WI is the focus of my training, it is in my plans to compete in a couple of other races during the course of the year ahead. I haven’t decided what they will all be just yet, but keep checking back to find out!

Why I chose to partner with Tri 4 Schools for this journey

My kids have been participating in Tri 4 Schools events since they started. My wife and I have seen these events as an opportunity to encourage personal growth and physical health while providing a source of individual accomplishment for our children, starting at an early age. We love that Tri 4 Schools events are a way to encourage self-fulfillment and community involvement at the same time. It is a great honor to be selected as Athlete of the Year for 2016 and represent such a wonderful movement!

My biggest challenges…and what I’m looking forward to most

With four children, the most obvious challenge I face will be successfully balancing training time and family time. Generally, this means very early mornings and very late nights, a lesson I learned from my experience in 2014. As my children get older, this also means incorporating the two together and that is very exciting!

I am most looking forward to race morning; it truly is a wonderful feeling. If you have not been a spectator at Ironman WI, there are 2 places that you need to be, swim start at the Monona Terrance and the finish line. I find myself getting excited just thinking about it! I look forward to seeing you all.