Running and triathlon is certainly a lifestyle for many in south Lake County.  Kevin Grogan is one of these folks.  Running competitively since the age of 16, Grogan has never really stopped.  He is the man ‘in the know’ of just about everything triathlon related in South Lake.  If there is a training workout or a practice race, he knows about it.  The South Lake Tablet spoke to the Clermont Triathlete this week.

Tablet: What was your athletic background growing up?

Grogan: Very active to say the least.  I played lots of team sports growing up in Fairfax, Virginia.  Mostly basketball and soccer with swim season in the summer.  I rode my bike just about everywhere in Northern Va.  I later got into running when my high school basketball coach made the whole squad run cross country. After college (about 20 years ago), I entered my first triathlon and have been racing since.

Tablet: What brought you to Clermont?

Grogan: During a very chilly winter (what I thought was chilly) in Birmingham, Alabama, I saw an advertisement in the USA Triathlon magazine for a Triathlon Olympic Development Team based in Clermont.  I was too old to apply for myself by one year.  So, I applied my wife Kimberly and she made it.  That next month we moved to here.

Tablet: Tell us about your typical day?

Grogan:  Kimberly and I have owned Gear for Multisport at the National Training Center for 12 years. I usually spend my days talking running and triathlon with a great group of customers that I am proud to call my friends.  When I am not at the store, I fill the rest of my day doing dad things with my kids: Gavin (12) and Nora Rose (9). Typically, I get about an hour of running or biking as well.

Tablet: A unique story how you met your wife Kimberly. Can you share?

Grogan: Kimberly & I met at Panama City Beach at the 2003 Gulf Coast Triathlon.  I saw her on the beach and told my buddy John Kling that I was going to marry this girl. This was before ever speaking to Kimberly. Long story short, I spoke to her briefly right before the race and tried to impress her a bit with my previous triathlon results but then never saw her again that weekend.  This was of course before Facebook times, so I emailed my friend Shelley (who was the race director) and asked her if she could forward my email to Kimberly. The next day I was shocked that Kimberly emailed me back!

Tablet: Who would you say your biggest influence was growing up?

My dad Michael.  He always coached my brother (Mike Jr.) and me as we grew up.  Everything always centered around practices and traveling to youth sports.  He was also a phenomenal FBI agent for 30+ years and looking back, it is amazing to me how much he did for our family.  Obviously, my mom was an outstanding mother too but I always wanted to be as athletic as my Dad and I think this drove me in sports and life.

Tablet: You swim as much as you can in Lake Minneola. In fact, you cross it solo! Talk about this.

Grogan:  Once a year, I swim across Lake Minneola by myself.  I have done this five times.  The last few years, I have made it a Christmas morning ritual while the Lake is empty.  This may have been my last year since Kimberly isn’t too fired up about me being out in the middle of the Lake.

Tablet: What one thing do you love most about south Lake County?

Lake Minneola without a doubt.  I love swimming the Waterfront Poles, the sunsets over the Hiawatha bridge, or floating on my pontoon boat with my kids & Kimberly.  All things that bring me happiness, center around Lake Minneola.

Tablet:   You’ve met so many famous people in the last 12 years. What meeting sticks out most?

Grogan:  Clermont always surprises me as far as the different professional athletes that come through. But I think I will remember my trip to the London Olympics in 2012.  Kimberly & I were lucky enough to be guests in the Adidas Athlete Lounge. Getting to hang out with many of the medalists, sometimes minutes after they won a gold medal, will be something I will always remember.

Tablet: What would you tell a customer that came into your store looking for motivation for a more active lifestyle?

Grogan: The hardest part is starting the routine.  But once the ball starts rolling, it gets easier and is a blast.  “Don’t wait another minute; today is the day!”