My name is Daniel Flahiff. I'm a typical 46-year-old husband, father and small business owner who happened to sign up for the Aquathlon (swimming & running) Nationals on Mercer Island this year and qualified to compete for Team USA at the Aquathlon World Championships in Auckland New Zealand!
I really never expected to qualify for something like this!
My event will be part of the week long Barefoot & Thompson World Triathlon Grand Final Auckland in October. Here is the website link: http://auckland.triathlon.org/
I would absolutely love to represent my country in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as a member of Team USA!
Of course a spur-of-the-moment trip to New Zealand was not in the family budget, so I'm reaching out to friends, family and anyone really who might have it in their heart to help make this dream come true.
As a child I played soccer and swam on the local swim team and took home my first hardware at the age of 9 (3rd place, backstroke). I played competitive sports (football/track & field) in high school and in college I raced road, track and cyclocross in the fledgling National Collegiate Cycling Association. And of course like every sporty kid, no matter how average, I dreamt of competing for my home country one day.
But by 2010, after sitting at a desk for ten hours a day everyday, eating poorly and not exercising, I tipped the scales at just over 230 lbs. with a BMI of 32"”officially obese. I was at increased risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and a host of other ailments. It was time for a change.
I decided to take on the 200-mile Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic (STP). On my first training ride, I barely managed 8 miles of dead-flat cycling. But after five months of training and eating right, I comfortably finished the 2-day ride on my trusty mountain bike. I soon added swimming and running into the mix and was bitten by the multisport bug.
Today at 178 lbs. I'm in the best shape of my life. I've become a passionate cyclist, runner and triathlete who occasionally sneaks onto the podium in my age group. I am committed to sharing my passion for endurance sports with anyone who will listen.
Going to Worlds as a member of Team USA will be the fulfillment of a childhood dream and the culmination of a two-year journey from fat to fit.
My hope is that it might inspire others to begin their own journey toward a healthier, happier lifestyle.
If I can do it, anyone can!
This amazing opportunity came up out of the blue and there is just no way I can do it without your help! I have already paid for things like registration ($150), Team USA uniform ($120), and because I blew out the seams of my wetsuit at Nationals I needed to get a new one (discounted by 40% thanks to my team, Vo2 Multisport: $270.)
I also plan on saving up to pay for food, transfers and incidentals myself ($600ish), so all that's keeping me from going is airfare and hotel costs. The good news is that the exchange rate is hovering around 1 USD to 1.25 NZD! Here is the breakdown:
- Airfare ($2300): This is by far the largest item in the budget and the biggest barrier to competing.
- Hotel ($1600): Grand Final Auckland, the official organizer of the event, has put together a list of discounted hotels within walking distance of the starting line in Auckland.
HOW IT WORKS
Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated! Really, even a dollar gets me one step closer. But if you donate at one of the specified levels you get some really cool stuff in addition to helping me make my dream come true.
This website is fully secure, keeps no records of your sensitive information, and has helped thousands of people raise millions of dollars. I wouldn't ask you to use this service if I didn't think it was 100% safe.
Thanks again for your help and your interest!