Meeting Craig “Crowie” Alexander

Last night, I rubbed elbows and swapped training tips with Craig “Crowie” Alexander, a two-time Ironman 70.3 and three-time Ironman World Champion.

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Although, to be honest, Crowie did most of the swapping.

Originally slated to start at 7 p.m. at JackRabbit Sports Union Square, the event featured a book signing and a chance to take pictures and ask questions.  However, the start time was bumped up to 6:30 p.m. (thank you, Twitter!) because Crowie’s appearance at another New York City triathlon shop was canceled. (There was a shooting near the store, so police shutdown the entire block.) Anyway, I arrived shortly before 6 p.m.

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I bought my copy of As the Crow Flies: My Journey to Ironman World Champion, and around 6:15 p.m., store associates said Crowie would arrive around 6:45 p.m.; they had us form a line that snaked through the store and ended outside.

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Not a great picture, but there were easily 100 people in attendance. (This was taken around 6:20 p.m., and more people continued to arrive.) While waiting for Crowie to come—who walked to the store, surprised?  Ha!—I talked to other triathletes.  A lot of people did the NYC Triathlon, so I picked their brains, and I relayed information about the Musselman to another athlete, which will be his first 70.3.  There’s nothing better than some trichat!

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At 6:45 p.m. on the dot, Crowie arrived.  Immediately, he struck me as being soft-spoken, low-maintenance, and very down-to-earth; he simply walked in the store, grinned from ear to ear when he saw the turnout, and made his way to the designed book signing area in the back.  He didn’t have an entourage, he didn’t have a bodyguard, and he didn’t have any outrageous demands.  It’s one thing to read how Crowie defines humbleness, but it’s completely difference to witness it firsthand.

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With only 10 people in front of me, I had to wait only 15 minutes or so.  After introducing myself and shaking Crowie’s hand, we made small talk as he signed my book and an autograph card.

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Then, I asked the question:  “I started triathloning this summer, so I’m new to the sport—do you have any tips or advice?”

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This is when Crowie became Crowie.  He paused, took a breath, and entered this place of knowledge and extreme intensity.

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He was in the zone, and he took me there with me.  His voice became even quieter like he was sharing his closely guarded secret to triathlon success.

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And his signature stoic gaze?

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Holy cow.  Among his words of wisdom, he told me to train consistently and keep my goal races in mind.  “And stick with it!” he added.

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Yessir, Mr. Ironman Champion!

29 responses to “Meeting Craig “Crowie” Alexander

  1. That’s so cool, Carrie! I love going to book signings, and what an opportunity to get advice from such a great source!

  2. That’s so awesome! He looks like he was genuinely interested in giving you advice! It’s awesome to meet someone and see them like that and not let you down.

  3. Neat experience. Ummm…he’s gorgeous!

  4. If I were you, I’d never wash my right hand again. ZOMG.

  5. Wow what an amazing experience! No a hottie to boot! 🙂

  6. very awesome, i see nyc continues to treat you well

  7. Such a cool experience!! That’s awesome that you were able to ask for his advice too…I bet he could’ve gone on and on, but it looks like he left you with some great motivation 🙂

    • Oh, Crowie is definitely a talker. I watched coverage of both the 70.3 and Ironman World Championships online, and I forget after which race commentators interviewed him, but Crowie talked for literally five minutes straight. He’s so soften spoken, yet has so much to say.

  8. He is so cool in person. He was here in Atlanta just this weekend, ironically I asked the exact same question as I am starting next year and he was awesome. He even commented on my choice of jewelry (my road id) I was wearing. Great pictures and post. My picture and super brief write up is here http://chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/i-get-to-meet-a-3-time-iron-man/. They ran out of books though. Great experience.

    • Thanks for sharing the link! He cleaned up very nicely for that appearance. 🙂 One guy I met in line told me he bought a Road ID because of Crowie; I feel like getting one would be a wise investment.

      • As All3sports is one of his sponsors, he had an hour question and answer session afterwards. It was super cool and they were auctioning some of his signed shoes and even had his white tri-suite on display.
        I recommend getting one, especially for biking and running. I wear mine everywhere though and feel awkward when I do not have it on and I leave the house (its the orange thing on my wrist). Get one, you should have one on when going out.

        He is such a cool guy. Wish I could have gone to the fun run with him the next day, but injury kept me down.

        • Fun run with Crowie?! So, so cool! His sponsor this time around was TYR, which probably affected the setup–no talk or Q&A session, but it was still awesome to meet him.

  9. That’s great! i love that you asked him a question and especially how he answered you.

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  11. Soooo cool, Carrie!! I think this is better than swimming next to Vince Vaughn. 😉 What an epic day!!

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  13. Crowie! I’m jealous and Mike is even more jealous, and he knew that Crowie was in NYC when I told him you met him, ha!

    • Aw, poor Mike! Apparently, Chrissie Wellington visited in February; the store tries to bring pro triathletes twice a year. I can’t wait to see who comes next! 🙂

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