This is especially true for newbie professionals who have very little if any funding or sponsorship money.
For this reason I'm adopting a pro who is just starting out his career and I'd like you help please.
Meet Lance "Gutti" Panigutti. He's a struggling pro who coaches swimming, works at a bike shop, and baby sits to make ends meet. As a Newbie professional you not only have to pay race entry fees, but also all of the cost associated with the needed travel to get to your world wide races.
For this reason I'm adopting Gutti to help him achieve his lifetime goal of making it as a professional triathlete.
Gutti wants to race the 24-hours of triathlon (this coming labor day weekend) and he needs some help with the $240.00 entry fee. If you can, or want to help, just click on the donate tab below. Any amount will be greatly appreciated and we won't go over the entry fee, if and when, you guys are that generous.
In exchange for your race entry donations Gutti and I will chronicle his 24-hour race as either a podcast or perhaps a reality video. That way you'll be at the race with Gutti.
You'll be able to follow along with him as he soars or crashes on his journey to make his dream come true for an incredible 24-hours of racing. You'll be at the race with him as he swims, runs, and bikes for 24-hours straight. Think of it as American Idol without Simon and a multi-billion dollar budget.
Thanks for your generosity and let's help Lance with his dream.
Here's a short bio of Gutti's career to date:
"Gutti" grew up in the rural Connecticut town of Newtown. Even though he is only 25 Lance has been racing triathlon at the national/international level since 1996. At the age of 14 he broke out in the swimming world winning a state championship and earning All-Connecticut honors. Being so fast at such an early age came with expectations, but Lance quickly sought a new challenge – triathlon. Over the next 5 seasons Gutti would go on to race in 2 ITU World Championships in the 16-19 age division, with a high placing of 25.
Suddenly in 2001 he disappeared from the sport. During the fall of 2001 his mom was involved in a bike crash that left her paralyzed from the waste down. The injury of the C7 vertebrae was not complete, but doctors offered little hope that she'd ever walk again. According to Gutti, "Racing was the last thing I wanted to even think about. When I came home from college in the summer time I was able to help with her pt. As far as I was concerned my days in the sport were behind me and I didn't have any regrets." During his 5 years on an academic scholarship at CU he found different avenues to keep busy. In 2003 as the mascot "CHIP" for the cheerleading team he earned All-American status, you might remember seeing CHIP on the All-American Capital One commercials. When he wasn't helping in his mom's rehab program he competed as an ocean lifeguard for Compo Beach (Westport, CT), dominating the North East rescue board and Ironguard competitions.
Upon graduating in the spring of 2005 with honors in classics and history Lance was ready to move on to Pepperdine Law School. However, he never lost the passion for his sport and decided to put grad school off until 2012. Gutti's focus is completely on ITU draft-legal racing with his focus on Olympic Trials in 2012. "It's more of a head-to-head aggressive style of racing. Does it take the bike out? – Hell no, it makes the swim important again and creates way more action out on the rode - Rubbing is racing!" He credits his success since his return to his family, coach Grant Holicky, training partners Cam Dye and the RACE Swim Team.
Currently when he is not training or working at Colorado MultiSport, you can find him coaching at RallySport Health and Fitness Club. Lance runs the summer league swim program at Rally, along with being the head Masters Swim Coach.
Feel free to e-mail Gutti anytime for private swim lessons, triathlon coaching (Without Limits Performance inc), or any triathlon related questions.