Colin is an athlete, a coach, an entrepreneur, a dad, and an all-around badass. By day he is a technical account manager for a cyber security company. By every other possible hour you can fit in a day, you can find him training for Iron Mans, coaching triathletes through his coaching business, Peak Triathlon Coaching, running his wellness center, Peak Recovery and Health Center, or helping his wife chase after four kids, all under the age of 10.
On top of all that, he’s also the leader of Northeast Multisport, an all-ages, all-levels community of triathletes in Greater Nashua, New Hampshire. Unlike many of the other groups you can find on Heylo, Northeast Multisport operates primarily remotely. The members all meet on Zoom two to three times each week to cycle on Zwift.
“We’re not in a big city,” Colin explains. “We're in Southern New Hampshire and Northern Mass. You could probably do a three-hour drive between our Southernmost member and our Northernmost member. So we need the virtual aspect of it.
Despite the drawbacks of virtual interactions, they can also be fantastic and provide community for people who might not otherwise get it.” Despite his collection of medals and records (he currently holds the IronMan age group record for the 40 to 44 age category), Colin didn’t start his athletic career in endurance sports. Hockey was his passion as a kid, and he went on to eventually play at the college level with dreams of playing in the NHL. “Hockey was my life growing up, but even by the end of high school drugs and alcohol became kind of my higher priority,” he says. When his goal of playing hockey at the professional level didn’t pan out, Colin felt lost. He no longer had the structure of daily practices, so after graduation, he continued to live his party lifestyle.
Ultimately, it was one drunken, drug-infused bet that changed the course of his life forever. At about three o’clock on a Saturday morning in 2008, Colin announced to his friends that he would run the Boston Marathon that year. “They all laughed at me and said, yeah, sure Colin. Why don't you have another one [drink] here?”
To their surprise, Colin ran the Marathon as promised one year later in three hours and 54 minutes.
Founder, Northeast Multisport
He discovered triathlons later that year and was instantly hooked. “I got totally ingrained,” he says. “I just absolutely fell in love with the sport and everything that it brings to the table.” Since then, he’s taken more than an hour off of his marathon time, running under three hours at the end of an IronMan.
Training for triathlons gave Colin back the purpose and direction he had lost after his hockey career came to a close. Having previously enjoyed doing some coaching during his hockey days, this new sport also provided him with an opportunity to give back and help others.
“I was a goalie in hockey and I used to work at goalie camps and things like that, which is kind of a technical position,” he says. “I just always really enjoyed helping people, so even in my first year of triathlon, I was already thinking about coaching.”
Founder, Northeast Multisport
By his second year doing triathlons, Colin started to coach other athletes. He noticed there was a lack of group training opportunities in the area, so he decided to start Northeast Multisport. “There was nothing of the kind in the greater Nashua - New Hampshire area,” he says. “There were some online forums that I knew about, but that was it. So I thought ‘we should put a club together’, and I ran with that.”
Their first meeting was in 2010 at a local library, with only 10 or 12 attendees. Since then, the group has grown to more than 100 members from all across the region, with some members joining the virtual meetups from out-of-state. With such a large and far-reaching group, Heylo has been instrumental in organizing the club and keeping members connected with one another. “Whether it's scheduling meetups, impromptu messages from members saying ‘hey, I’m going to do this open-water swim - anyone want to join?’, just [using the app] to inspire and motivate each other, or people helping each other get through hard times or struggles - it’s been a game-changer for the club.”
Colin admits that leading NorthEast Multisport can occasionally become overwhelming when pitted against his laundry list of conflicting priorities, but the impact he sees it having in the lives of its members motivates him to keep it going. One athlete, in particular, came to him recently to express the impact his coaching and the club have had on her life. “She said ‘I've lived more in these last five years than I ever thought was possible’ and she thanked me,” he says, “and I think the club is a big part of her saying that. It's cheesy, but I just can't express how proud and happy that makes me feel to know that it’s having that much impact on people's lives in a positive way.”
The group meets two to three times per week on Zoom for swift rides, and anyone who wants to get involved can find them on Heylo, or head over to their Instagram @northeastmultisport.