Each month, an athlete is selected to be the monthly newsletter's Athlete Highlight.
Hey, I'm Nick Holland! I'm 33 and I was born, raised, and currently live in Wildwood Crest and a member of the Wild Harbor Tri Club. My triathlon career started in 2017 when I participated in a relay for Tri the Wildwoods as a runner and after that race it all changed, and I have never looked back. I've run several marathons, half marathons, and raced several triathlon distances. Yes, this is an addicting sport/hobby! But hey it's a healthy addiction!
1. What is your favorite DelMoSports event to race and why?
Without a doubt Tri the Wildwoods! Living on the island nothing beats biking to the start line avoiding traffic and parking. Plus, the course - we train the course all year so we know the ins, the outs, and the sand! Nothing beats watching that sunrise over your hometown.
2. What is your favorite workout song?
Can I have two? Well, I do! The first one is "Machine" by Imagine Dragons. IM70.3AC 2021 I was rushing around the night before the race searching the local stores for Uncrustables and this song popped up on a random playlist I was listening to. Driving and listening I replayed it and it stuck. I listen to it before every race, sometimes two or three times. I've shared it with training partners, other athletes and coaches and they all agree it’s a perfect pump-up blood flowing song! My second song is "Give Heaven Some Hell" by Hardy. This song holds a special place in my heart as I lost my sister this year and shortly after her passing a friend shared it with me. I've added it to my daily playlist and race morning songs as a reminder how short life can be and to give it your all.
3. Favorite pre-race meal?
The day before the race Pizza; Plain or Pepperoni. Race morning is a unique one and my friends are mind blown - either a bagel or english muffin with some butter or cream cheese and a large glass or two of chocolate milk.
4. What is your race mantra?
My race mantra has always been “never take anything for granted and give it your all because you never know when it's your time. This year this race mantra hit close to home for me after a life changing event occurred. As I continue to use this mantra I will add "do it for those who can't or and for those who left this life too soon, leave it all on the course and give heaven some hell."
5. What is your favorite memory from a DelMoSports event?
My favorite memory is from this year’s IM70.3AC. The night before the race my parents asked about the finish line and I said, "I finish on the boardwalk in front of Boardwalk Hall". Sent them my tracking information and started racing. Coming down to the finish line blasting Bruce Springsteen I see some familiar faces of friends, spectators and two smiling parents cheering me on! They surprised me and I will always remember it.
6. What does your training look like right now?
Right now, I'm in a relaxed training pattern. After finishing IM70.3AC, I took some time off and enjoyed the company of friends and family. I haven't completely shut it down and continue to train but at a much more relaxed schedule. That will all change over the next few months as I build my 2024 Season Race Schedule.
7. What is your goal for the 2024 event season?
For 2024 I'm heading back to IRONMAN Lake Placid for a third time. I would like to destroy my time from 2022 (12:41:43).
8. Tell us three things we should know about you.
- Six years ago I said I would never do a triathlon (now look at me heading back to IMLP for #3 - yeah, I'm hooked).
- For a few years my friends tried getting me to go to yoga class and I always joked "Namaste away." Well January 2023 I started and yeah, I'm hooked - it forces me to stretch and workout different muscles. (never say never!!)
- Something major happened to me this year and if it wasn't for a few people, I would have walked away from this race season and called it quits.
As I mentioned throughout the interview something major happened to my family and I this year. My younger sister Amanda passed away on May 9th, 2023 after suffering a brain aneurysm. The average meaning of "support crew" now has changed. My support crew grew not only for me but for my family during this time. I would like to take time and thank the huge support crew I have had over the last few months.
My training crew James, Mitch and Mike kept me moving - we swam, we biked, we ran, we worked out. They made sure I wasn't taking the easy out of training and if it wasn't for them Lake Placid wasn't happening this year and I would've deferred the race till 2024. My coach Phil who kept the workouts coming and continued checking in on me when he hadn't seen any training peak uploads. These guys held me accountable and made sure the work was put in. Thank you, guys!
The Wild Harbor Tri Club! For those who raced Tri the Wildwoods this year may have noticed sunflowers being carried around the awards area. The sunflower was one of my sisters favorite flowers and Valerie (The Club Boss) asked me if she could do something special and honor my sister during the hometown race. The club collected donations throughout race weekend from club members, random racers, and spectators and in exchange received sunflowers or a sunflower tattoo. The donations went towards Amanda's Foundation that is in the process of being established and once established will be called "Amanda's Wish." Amanda's Wish will help fund, support, and donate to local youth organizations, day camps, extra school activities and scholarships for those who will continue education in the education field. Thank you, Val, my family, and I truly appreciate the support you have shown over the past few months.
I wanted to share this life changing event that happened to me because another athlete could be in my shoes now, or one day will be in my shoes. I wanted share it to tell you not to give up, keep training and keep putting the work in. Don't sit back and look for the easier way out. I wanted to share it because you are doing this to make someone smiling down on you proud and finishing the race. You are doing this for those who can't.