Introducing the Higgins

David and Brandi Higgins have been fixtures on the Whistler Triathlon scene for as long as I’ve known about the club.  Without their help and training, I surely would have drowned in my first Ironman.

Since meeting them on the pool deck in 2003, I’ve come to know them as good friends, racing partners and commiserating parents.

wetsuits pre-race

I’ll always remember one of my first “real” conversations with David, a few days before heading to Penticton for my race.  I didn’t know him well and was actually quite frightened of him (he had that Russian-style of coaching which I’ve now come to embrace: “you suck but whatever – try this.  It might help.  But probably not.  Just go faster”).  We sat down on the edge of the pool and he basically said: “So, you are racing this weekend.  Are you scared?  Ask me anything”.  I thought – and still do think – that was pretty cool and a really nice way to make a newbie feel welcome.

David World Champ Honolulu

Brandi has become a good friend, fellow shoe lover and fun race-seeker.  She’s a wealth of knowledge and has a commanding presence pool-side.  Everyone needs  a friend like Martini Brandi!  She also makes a mean sticky-toffee pudding (which I happen to lurve)… One of Brandi’s pet peeves when racing at the same event as her beloved is that the announcers always tend to point out that they are married and inevitably shift their focus to Dave’s race.  So, to that end, let’s lead with her interview, shall we?

Brandi Finish Ironman

1. What was your first tri – and why that one?

a. UBC…because it was there.

2. What was your most embarrassing race moment?

a. Realizing post-race that the suit I had worn was essentially see through when wet…don’t you just love neon!

3. Who is your biggest training/racing foe?

a. Me, myself, and I.

4. Bucket list race?

a. One that I am actually happy with the results.

b. It’ll never happen bucket list – Kona.

5. Best and worst part of training in Whistler/Vancouver?

a. The hills.

i. Best because once you’ve trained here pretty much no hill should bother you.

ii. Worst because it’s always uphill coming home!

Brandi on bike in Oliver

6. Fave post-race food

a. PRINGLES! And Coke. Always a coke!

7. Race superstition?

a. Don’t know if I have any. When I played basketball I had to keep my legs shaved, because I was sure on the day that I didn’t I would sprain my ankle. The doctor was cute. Do the math.

8. If you could train with one person for a day, who would it be and why?

a. Paula Newby-Fraser cause she was f…ing fast and ate pizza the night before IM.

i. Caveat…do I have to train with her, or can I just ride in a car and talk to her while she trains? ‘Cause we all know I wouldn’t survive 5 minutes riding with her!

9. What’s your weirdest racing or training habit?

a. Taking my espresso machine everywhere I go.

(Editor’s note: Another reason I like travelling to races with Brandi.)

10. Who’s your athletic hero? If you have one…

a. Unfortunately, my athletic heroes have taken a bit of a beating…Marion, Lance. Of course, I still think Lance should keep his titles…if he was juiced so was everyone else and he still beat them, and Lance and the Livestrong foundation did a whole lot more for the general public than any other racer and their (non-existent) foundation did.

11. What’s your favourite Whistler event/trail/race etc.

Event: KOS and the Lil Rippers run. And comfy numb when we were organizing it.

12. Describe your athletic style/career in one sentence.

Completer not competer. Or. I am a diesel truck: I am big, I am slow and I am in it for the long haul…and don’t you dare get in my way (hahaha).

13. Describe that nightmare you have before racing (i.e. I show up without pants)

The course runs through an amusement park on a cruise ship and I keep getting lost and realizing that everyone else is finished.

14. 3 words that describe you as a person

Loud. Caffeinated. Opinionated (aka know-it-all).

15. Dream sponsor?

Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo.
(Editor’s note: SEE??!  Fellow shoe-lover).

 David’s Turn:

1. What was your first tri – and why that one?

UBC, 1991.  I was going to school there and the swim was going to be easy.  Got a little more difficult after that. 

2. What was your most embarrassing race moment?

Any time Nicholas finished in front of me.  Fortunately it didn’t happen often.  Other than that nothing.  I seem to manage to keep my pants on in transition, haven’t fallen off my bike (yet) and not really hurt myself running (in the race). 

(Editor’s note: That would be Paul Nicholas.  You’ll be meeting him soon, if he ever finds 3 minutes to fill out my questionnaire!) 

3. Who is your biggest training/racing foe?

Kevin, Scott and Paul, pushed me real hard and getting me faster.   Went running with them when I started and the three of them killed me.  Oh look there’s a hill let’s go up it.  I needed to keep up with these bozos.  Still can’t keep up to Kevin, but I am working on it.  I don’t have a race foe I can think of – maybe Dave Kirk. 

(Editor’s note: Kevin Titus, Scott Pass, Paul Nicholas.  Whistler local’s one and all.) 

4. Bucket list race?

Wildflower would be fun. Waimea 10km just cause it’s in Hawaii. 

5. Best and worst part of training in Whistler/Vancouver?

Best part is the quality of people, you get some fast yahoos here who really just want to have fun.  Worst part is the snow, lasts far too long. 

Fall Classic 2012 option 2

6. Fave post-race food. 

Burger, big greasy Burger. 

7. Race superstition?

Need to eat a lot before a race.  Pasta for the morning. 

8. If you could train with one person for a day, who would it be and why? 

You know I found all the people I want to train with.  Though if I could make Brandi train with me all day, and she had to like it and not complain (that would be harder than getting anyone famous) – that would be fun too.

 (Editor’s note: Awwww.)

9. What’s your weirdest racing or training habit?

I get a training routine and then I have to stick to it.  Tues/Thurs/Sat Swim, Wed/Fri/Sun Bike, Mon/Wed/Sun Run.  A little OCD. 

10. Who’s your athletic hero? If you have one… 

Changes depending on the day, time and year. For example in 1991 it was Alex Popov

11. What’s your favourite Whistler event/trail/race etc. 

I used to really like the Whistler 10k

12. Describe your athletic style/career in one sentence. 

Gun goes off, I am in the race, no race I am all fun and games. 

13. Describe that nightmare you have before racing (i.e. I show up without pants).

I got nothing here. 

14. 3 words that describe you as a person.

Talkative, competitive, know-it-all. 

15. Dream sponsor?

Hershey’s Chipits, I like making chocolate chip cookies!

(Editor’s note: my children and I are thankful).

Thanks Higgi!  Stay tuned for more…

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Author: Christine Cogger

I am not a writer. I like my kids, coffee, running around and reading about you. I live in the most incredible part of the world and am lucky enough to live some pretty great adventures.

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