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Fri 26th Apr 2019
Instant Interview: Dan Empfield
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Friday 15th June 2007

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Welcome to our regular Friday lunchtime feature: the Instant Interview. A little something lighthearted to make the work week end just that little bit quicker.

Triathlon isn’t just about the triathletes. There’s a whole army of people in the background from volunteers, organisers, officials, shop owners, facility managers and the whole sports infrastructure as well. We thought it would be fun to mix them in with famous, and some not so famous, athletes and get them to answer our 21 Question Instant Interview.

This week’s interviewee is Dan Empfield, a man whose opinions we hold in high regard, as readers of these pages may well be aware. Dan founded triathlon specialists Quintana Roo and is, in many ways, the father of lots of stuff that we take for granted in the sport like decent wetsuits, steep seat angles and consistent, triathlon-oriented bike fitting through his FIST system. His opinion is sought, and freely given on pretty much anything to do with the sport through the legendary Slowtwitch website where you can read about subjects as diverse as the latest trends in bike design, rule aberrations and how to install an endless pool in your backyard. Dan is also not averse to pointing out the failings in things; be they national governing bodies, an race organisers selection of a venue or a manufacturers choice of a component on a bike. However, unlike many of his imitators, you know that his reasons will be properly founded and almost invariably correct. Enjoy!


Dan Empfield

Do you have a nickname?

Call me anything except late for the carbo load.

What’s your favourite/most enjoyable race?

It used to be the Nice Triathlon. I’m hunting for a new favourite race.

What race/goal/personal achievement would you most like to win/attain?

Fully funding my retirement sometime before I no longer need it funded.

What achievement would you most like to be remembered for?

Something I haven’t done yet. I don’t know what it is.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

It’s a much longer story than can be recounted here.

Are you a member of any club?

No. To my chagrin I just became eligible for the AARP. But I’ve resisted membership.
[Ed: AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons...]

What’s your favourite racing distance?

They don’t have it yet, officially, but half-old-Nice distance is what I’m holding out for.

Who is your sporting or cultural inspiration?

Historically the triathlete whose style I most admired is Scott Molina.

Within the sport, who would you most like to meet?

When you’ve been a triathlete for 27 years you’ve come across everyone at one time or another.

What book/magazine/comic are you reading at the moment?

I’ve always got something on early American history going.

What’s currently playing most on your stereo/radio/iPod?

Everything late 60s to mid 70s.

What is your favourite training session?

Up a long forested climb, on-road if it’s cycling, off-road if it’s running.

What is your favourite food or drink?

Narrowing it down means excluding some real favourites. Oh, the horror.

What’s your favourite animal?

The domestic dog. I have quite a collection of them, or they have me.

Tyres or tubulars?

For racing? Tubies, no doubt.

Tattoos or transfers?

Body painting is for Queequeg, and his ilk.

Shave or wax?

I had one leg waxed once. It hurt so much, I just shaved for three weeks until the other caught up.

Trisuit or two-piece?

Neither. This sport is so gay.

Talc or Vaseline?

Old-school it, I say. Lube is for pussies.

Shades or hat?

You aren’t getting my drift. No hat. No shades. No fuel belt. No M-dot tat. And really, no shaving. Close-cropped leg mowing. That’s it.


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