Name: Andrew Starykowicz
Achievements: Rev3 Series Champion, Ironman Champion
Studies/Proffesion: Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University
I started swimming in high school and went from non swimmer to All American in 4 quick years at Stevenson High School (Lincolnshire, IL). At Purdue I studied Mechanical Engineering (BSME, 5/2004), played Water Polo, and got into cycling and triathlon.
After college I got a job at Caterpillar Inc and continued to improve in triathlons earning silver medals at Age Group World Championships in 2004 and 2005.
In 2006 I started racing at the professional level while maintaining my job at Caterpillar.
In 2008 I started to become a competitive in the biggest races in the country coming off the bike 1st at US Open triathlon and Half Ironman World Championships. This gave me the confidence to leave Caterpillar and chase the dream of succeeding as a professional triathlete.
2009 brought my first professional win, multiple podiums, and leading off the bike again at Half Ironman World Championships setting the fastest half Ironman bike split in history.
In 2010 and 2011 I continued to break out earning wins in each of the 3 major distances (Olympic, Half Ironman, and Ironman) and was crowned the Rev3 Series Champion in 2011.
2012 was not what I expected, while leading at Abu Dhabi Triathlon a volunteer ran across the road and collided with me sending both of us to the hospital. After being released from the hospital I was jailed in the Emirates for attempted manslaughter and was unable to return home for over a month while coping with the pain of misdiagnosed injuries. In May I had surgery with Dr Romeo to rebuild the labrum and within 5 months I was healthy enough to be back competing at the top level of triathlon.
In 2013 Andrew picked up where he left off in 2012 with wins at Jeep 70.3 San Juan, Affresh 70.3 Muncie, and Rev3 Florida. At Ironman Hawaii Andrew led off the bike with the 3rd fastest ever bike split in Kona on his way to a top 20 finish. Just three weeks later he followed his Hawaii performance with a monster 4:02:17 bike split at Ironman Florida finishing in 7:55 becoming the first and only sub-8 hour American Ironman finisher since the sports inception. Andrew continued to roll into 2014 repeating at 70.3 San Juan and winning 70.3 Eagleman in a nail biting sprint finish. He raced to 9 top 5 finishes in 11 races.
My first race back was Rev3 South Carolina which had a star studded field which I put miles behind me on the bike and came home with the win. I followed it up with a 2nd place at Rev3 Florida and a win at Ironman Florida posting the fastest Ironman bike split in history.
Main objectives 2013/2014:
Win big races
What is the best moment of your sports career?
Winning my comeback race from shoulder reconstruction at Rev3 South Carolina over a loaded field.
What do you think about before competition?
The race, the million little things that I need to do in order to have a successful day.
How do you get motivated before competition?
Knowing I have put the work in to beat the best.
Do you listen to music before a race?
A Challenge to overcome:
Unprepared aid stations, being the leader of the race many times the aid stations are not set up or underprepared.
Tell us about an anecdote during competition:
The difference in internal jubilation as I dismounted the bike between setting the half and ironman bike split records. As I entered T2 at 70.3 Clearwater I was caught up in the moment and the accomplishment and I focused more on the cramps in my legs rather than my form. To say the least I did not have a good run at all. When I got off the bike at Ironman Florida I knew I set the standard but I immediately put the bike behind me and really focused on not making the marathon a death march. To say the least I have matured mentally over the last few years.
Main objectives in your sport career:
Win big races.
Appart from triathlon, which are your other hobbies?
Skiing and Snowmobiling.
Your favourite book… For Swimmers 365 Main Sets
Your favourite film… Matrix
Which is the place that has amazed you the most in the world… Icefields Parkway
I swim with a local club team and at the YMCA, I ride with a few of the clubs on the north shore, and run with groups in Elmhurst and Lake Zurich. Beyond the sport I have published a book, have a patent (through Caterpillar), and volunteer for many local races around Chicagoland.
Here you will find my thoughts, insights, race reviews, recommendations…