2018 Lifetime achievement -

Jim Donaldson

He has tirelessly promoted the sport of triathlon locally and world-wide. Jim created Team Toledo in 1985, with about 10 other members. From there Jim asked Tam-o- Shanter if he could put on a new kind of triathlon at Olander. After much persuasion of the local community, he created the Sylvania triathlon in 1986. He brought in a race company from California to help him, he solicited Bud Light as a sponsor, and apparently even Spuds McKenzie was a token
mascot for a few years. Along the way, Jim and his wife Joyce created Elite Endeavors and never looked back.


Jim has mentored many young men and women in athletics, especially triathlon, and also spearheaded Triathlon for “ SuperKids” in 1987. Physically challenged kids were able to come and do the tri, as well as in 1998, World Championships for the Physically Challenged was held here at the Sylvania Tri, with 17 Para Triathletes competing from six different countries. Jim has given back to the sport as well, and is a TRUE AMBASSADOR, giving many hours of volunteer time to help steer the sport in a good direction. He has given advice to all who have asked and is a wealth of knowledge.

 

He was in the trenches in the 1980’s when the ITU was working hard to get the Triathlon into the Olympic stage. He was a founding member of the MIDEAST Region, held the office of President for many years, learning much about the sport,
and bringing programs here to our region, such as the Mideast Club series which Team Toledo has won many times. Jim also was a part of the USAT Race Directors Commission in the early 90’s, Jim has served on the USAT NATIONAL BOARD of DIRECTORS FOR SIX YEARS, is presently on the Hall of Fame Committee for Nominations, and he has been nominated to be Chosen for the year 2017. ( Lets all send positive vibes for his success!)

 

Jim was one of the first USAT coaches, working with Troy Jacobson, who was the Coaches Instructor. Jim is Race Course Director for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure of Northwest Ohio presently, and for MANY years, managed the Track and Field Athletics for Special Olympics. Jim is a member of the Maumee Valley Wheelmen, where he is lovingly referred to as the “ANCIENT TRIATHLETE” He is a member of Toledo Road Runners, he has run many races for TRRC, and has served on the GLASS CITY MARATHON Race committee for four years now. Additionally he is an excellent athlete who has represented Team Toledo over the years. He competed in his first triathlon in 1981. He has been quoted as saying: “I take pride in the fact that over and over and over again people tell me that I’m an inspiration,”. “I hope I’m inspiring them to not do what I do but maybe get physically fit. I try to be a role model and inspiration to
younger athletes.”


He went to ITU worlds, in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2014, and 2015, traveling to Switzerland, Australia, Portugal and Germany just to name a few. In 2015 and 2016 he traveled to Havana to compete in La Habana Triathlon. In 2015 the group was proud to raise the American Flag there, which had not been raised for 50  years. He has raced at Kona three times, the most recent being in 2016. He has missed only one season, that being, 2017, due to a fractured Fibula that would not heal. It would take a groundbreaking surgery (Dr. Matt Reiner) to repair it with Bone Grafts, Stem Cell, Kevlar wires, pins, rods, plates and a brace now to be able to run and bike again. Jim was recently back at it running his first 5K since the surgery last week.


His friend and training partner, Russ Hudson, shared his favorite Jim Donaldson story for us to share here. Russ recalls that he had not been a member of Team Toledo for long, when Jim came to him and said “guess who is coming in for a week and training and staying at my house?” The answer was Dave Scott who was the only triathlete to win Kona 6 times and the first triathlete named to the Ironman Hall of Fame. He trained with Team Toledo members and stayed at Jim’s house. Russ says this was a special memory that he will never forget. When asked about Jim being granted this honor, his wife Joyce said there is no one more deserving. Russ Hudson said “if anyone deserves a lifetime achievement award, it is Jim.” He added that he wished he could be here but, in typical Russ form, said, he “did not want to freeze
his ass off, even for Jim.” Since we are all here freezing for him, please help me congratulate JIM DONALDSON our
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.

1981 First Triathlon VIC TANNEY TRIATHLON Sylvania, Ohio
*** Wore helmet on backwards…lost the picture 
1982 VIC TANNEY TRIATHLON,
1993 Numerous others such as Mark Mellon, Columbia, Maryland National Champs, qualifying him for
1994 ITU World Champs in Wellington, New Zealand.
1994: ITU Worlds Standard distance Wellington, New Zealand
1996: ITU Worlds Standard distance Cleveland, Ohio
1996: ITU Worlds LONG COURSE (half iron distance) Muncie, Indiana
1998: ITU Worlds Standard distance Lausanne, Switzerland
2000: ITU Worlds Standard distance Perth, Australia
2001: ITU Worlds Standard distance Edmonton, Alberta Canada
2002: ITU Worlds Standard distance Cancun, Mexico
2003: ITU Worlds Standard distance Queenstown, New Zealand
2004: ITU Worlds Standard distance Maderia, Portugal
2005: ITU Worlds Standard distance Honolulu, Hawaii
2005: XTERRA Worlds 1.5k swim, 32k bike, 10k run Maui, Hawaii
2007: ITU Worlds Standard distance Hamburg, Germany
2010: ITU Worlds Standard distance Budapest, Hungary
2014: ITU Worlds Standard distance Edmonton, Alberta Canada
2015: ITU Worlds Standard distance Chicago, Illinois, USA
** All of the above events, Jim had to qualify for at National Championships USA
IM 70.3 EVENTS:
2012 Mt. Tremblant Quebec, Canada
2013 Muskoka Ontario, Canada
2014 St. Croix Triathlon St. Croix, Virgin Islands USA
2014 Mt. Tremblant WORLD 70.3 CHAMPS Quebec, Canada
2015 Chattanooga, TN USA ** Qualified for HAWAII IRONMAN 2016
2016 Delaware, Ohio USA
IRONMAN EVENTS
1992 KONA, HAWAII IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1998 LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK IRONMAN LAKE PLACID
1999 KONA, HAWAII IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
2004 LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK IRONMAN LAKE PLACID
2008 WISCONSIN IRONMAN, MADISON WISCONSIN
2009 IRONMAN FLORIDA PANAMA CITY USA
2015 MUSKOKA, ONTARIO CANADA IRONMAN MUSKOKA
2016 KONA, HAWAII IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
ITU San Diego Triathlon, Island Lake Triathlon, USAT Mideast Champs Triathlon, Chicago Triathlon,
USAT NATIONAL CHAMPS X MANY, Maumee Bay Triathlon, Three Rivers Triathlon, Racine
Wisconsin, Triathlon, Columbus Triathlon, Defiance Triathlon, Findlay Kewpee Tri, over 250 events.

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