Through the Lens #37
It was an honor for members of the Airborne Tri Team to race in memory of Steve Tarpinian at the 2017 Mighty Hamptons Triathlon
The Stewart family goes way back with Steve and I. Mike Sr. and I graduated Seaford High School in 1971. His wife Ramona also went to Seaford. We lost touch until many years later when by chance, Steve connected with Mike Sr. and Ramona at a local triathlon (Michael Jr. was already starting his involvement in the triathlon world by spectating from his carriage as his Dad raced). Michael Jr. was coached by Steve and he also contributed Chapter 3 "Through the Eyes of a Student" of Slipped Away. The Stewart family lived around the block in Wantagh from Steve and I for many years and Mike Sr. and Michael Jr. both joined and trained with Team Total Training. After Steve passed, Mike Sr. was such a good neighbor and friend, always ready to shovel my snow or do some heavy lifting for me.The recent group photo was taken at the 2017 Mighty Man Montauk triathlon. The three guys raced and all sported vintage Team Total Training clothing in honor of Steve. Matthew (a fine athlete himself) placed third in his age group and both Mike Sr. and Michael Jr. had good races, more importantly (as Steve would have wanted it), they all had a fun time that day as a family!
After Steve passed, I gave his paddleboard to Shawn, one of his swim coaches. Steve used the board mainly to coach swimming in open water as it gave him a good vantage point from a safety perspective. Being the skilled lifeguard he was, he always was a firm believer in safety first for the Team Total Training swimmers he coached.
Shawn recently shared with me a photo of how he memorialized the board. I was so touched. Even though Steve has been gone for over two years, his legacy continues with his swim coaches. Thank you Shawn for continuing to remember Steve.
2017 Mighty Hamptons
That was then, this is now...
The Tobay Triathlon was, one of Steve's favorites since so many members of Team Total Training (TTT) participated. As such, I reflected on how my view into the triathlon world has changed since Steve has passed.
Over the years, Steve was usually present at all the local Long Island triathlons, either as the creator of the event, as a participant or there to cheer on the members of TTT. As much as I hated getting up so early, I would usually drag myself out of bed to be by his side at all these races. These days, I get to roll over and go back to sleep on race day. LOL.
Steve brought balance into many people's lives, including my own. Now, I try to pay that forward by supporting our veterans (Project9line and Airborne Tri Team) in whatever way I can in Steve's name with the hopes that these veterans can find balance in their lives
In a previous post, I announced that Steve had won the 2016 USAT Lifetime Achievement award. The bottom left photo shows what Steve won.
I only wish Steve was alive to see the governing body of his sport recognize his contributions as an event creator/director and coach but I am pleased that even though he is no longer with us, he is still honored and remembered.Steve and I used to joke that I was always riding off his coat tails, whether I was tagging along on one of his business trips to a beautiful location, or getting better discounts than him from sponsors. Once again, even though Steve is no longer here, I still am riding off his coat tails as I got to order the jersey in my size and I can use the Garmin watch. LOL
We are all
Relay: Team Steve
USAT award, cont'd