Our newest East Nasty of the Week (ENOW) needs no introduction if you spent any time on Facebook yesterday as he not only finished his first Ironman, but did it in under 12 hours. Let’s get to know the machine that is Mike Tarrolly.
Mike was born in Beloit, WI, home of… Freeman Shoes, the company formerly known as Beloit Corp., and his uncle Butch. In high school, Mike was pretty much rock n roll, with a hint of funk. He worked at his uncle Butch’s putt putt course for two weeks. Until he got fired. He played baseball, basketball… and was great at playground marbles.
Mike went to UW-LaCrosse and describes his college experience as, “kind of hazy”. He does, however, remember playing baseball, lacrosse, and hockey. But that was mainly a diversion from the bars, though he did somehow manage to almost make honor roll. Once.
Mike moved to Nashville in 2003 and works as the Marketing Director for News 2. He started running in January of 2012 with the NRC Couch to 5K program. Mike learned about East Nasty via Jim Schwan. Prior to running with us, Mike actually used to be a “table saver” at 3 Crow on Wednesday nights.
Mike’s biggest accomplishment in running is finishing the Country Music Half Marathon four weeks after his first 5K. But, he says, “Hopefully that is now replaced with my first and only marathon at the end of Ironman Wisconsin”.
When it comes to East Nasty, Mike likes that it’s super-organized, yet incredibly low-key and democratic. And that such a large group of rebels do so many good things for the community. His most memorable East Nasty experience is this year’s post-CMM party. Or Christmas at Phil’s crib. It’s a toss-up.
P.S. If you’ve never read Mike’s satirical romp based on the East Nasty experience, do so now: If Running Clubs Were Gangs. An excerpt:
“Glancing at our Garmins, we turned down Eastland then crossed the dangerous 14th Street intersection before hearing the startling sound of clicking beer bottles emanate from a rundown hearse. We turned down our iPods and noticed the disturbing rattle was accompanied by a hipster vocal. “Nasties . . . come out and play . . .“
Mike is a man of many hobbies: triathlons, drumming, riding motorcycles, writing for Crushing Iron, making films, Wisconsin Badgers and, he adds, “long walks and romantic sunsets”.
In the event that you spent this weekend in a coma, Mike competed in Ironman Wisconsin yesterday. One year ago, Mike started a blog, Crushing Iron, to chronicle his year of Ironman training. Crushing Iron consists of The Fab Five: Mike, Daniel Hudgins, Jim Schwan, Kevin Gammon, and Mark Scrivner. Before they packed up their gear & headed to Wisconsin, I asked The Fab Five to say a few words about Mike. So without further ado….
Daniel Hudgins, “Mike has been a key supporter for Ironman as the “Fab Five” has been training. He is so much more than your average athlete, though. He is tenacious, and I think we’ll see him continue to improve throughout the years. When we first met last year, I remember him coming to a triathlon I was also doing to watch Jim. He was so interested and the best way I can describe his demeanor was quietly excited. As time went on, and he decided to do Ironman Wisconsin, we became closer and closer as friends. Mike and I battled for who would show up last for our morning workouts in January, and he often won. We joked that he’ll write a book “How To Sleep Your Way To an Ironman”, and it will probably be a New York Times Bestseller. After seeing his consistency, his success in racing, and his talented writing on his blog, it’s much less of a joke now. He’s one of the first people I called when I had a bad ride or something was bothering me. I’d also call him after a great workout or a successful race. I knew he would listen and want to talk about it in detail – and at the same time, he’d provide some comedy in the reality of all the craziness we were putting ourselves through. I’m so proud of him, and I know after this Ironman, he will continue to excel at whatever he pursues.”
Jim Schwan, “Tarrolly is truly an inspiration. Watching the transformation he has made from his first day at the couch to 5k program to his completion of an Ironman has been astounding. From the first day I met Tarrolly I knew he was someone I wanted to associate with. I mean, he was wearing cool shoes and seemed like he really had it going on. This was years before either of us attempted any kind of endurance sports. Little did I know we would one day end up training together for an Ironman. He is one of the most creative people I know. He has won film-making awards and authored several fantastic blogs. His chronicling of his training via Crushingiron.com, as well as the upcoming documentary, will cement his legend. If you don’t know, act like you know.”
Kevin Gammon, “I’ve had the pleasure of training with Mike for the past nine months. During those nine months, I’ve watched him change his entire life style and dedicate himself fully to reaching a goal. It has been one of the most profound changes I have seen in the three years I have participated in running and triathlons. He has become a strong athlete and person. I constantly seek out his advice because I have nothing but respect for him and what he has accomplished. I anticipate we will see some great things from Mike, both athletically and in other areas. I will also say I look forward to kicking him during the open water swim in Wisconsin.”
Ironman Mike Tarrolly, congrats on an awesome race yesterday & welcome to the ENOW club!