Photo: Grant Wiggins, recent grad from Villanova and pro triathlete
Aloha! Welcome to Hawaii Blue’s blog. Select articles are written by Dana Maccorquodale for Endurance Magazine.
To see him run is like watching poetry in motion. He is nimble and graceful, his strides long and sure. His feet deftly graze the ground as he picks off his competition one by one seemingly without effort. He stalks them like an African cat after his prey. They are at his mercy and fall away until he is in the lead, a familiar place for this young, talented and driven athlete.
Grant Wiggins for Hawaii Blue Racing
Grant Wiggins is about to take the road less traveled as he makes a bid to become a professional triathlete. He has the drive, talent and support to make his dreams a reality. And he is putting off his chosen career to follow his dream of representing the USA in the ITU Triathlon circuit. In my humble opinion, the triathlon world should take notice. It is a choice not made lightly. It is a decision that many simply will not make because of the risk. Putting your life on hold for the fleeting chance at athletic greatness is not something 99.9% of people on this planet will do. Nearly everyone will do what is easy. They will do what is comfortable, what is safe. Most people will do what is expected of them. Wiggins is breaking the mold. To win big, sometimes you have to take big risks.
A Hampton Roads Athlete
It all started here! He grew up swimming, running and playing soccer in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has excelled in every sport he ever put his mind to. A National level runner from the age of 7 years old, Grant still holds nearly all of the middle distance and long distance school records at Norfolk Academy. He is a youth All American and 6 time VISAA state champion in track and cross country. He swam for TIDE Swimming through middle school and although he calls himself a second tier swimmer, he is good, I mean really good. And he has a penchant for the open water which should not be underplayed. This guy is FAST, like crazy fast. And he is humble, that is not a combination that many people can muster.
The Essence of a Star Athlete
What makes him so good? He is a recent graduate of Villanova where he ran track and cross country for 3 years and trained with the swim team to hone his skills, improve his stroke and fitness in the water. Wiggins trains with ferocity and has never been one to shy away from the hard work of training. I had the pleasure of coaching him for a few months last summer. He is willing to push and gives 100%. Wiggins takes direction well and does exactly what he is asked to do. He is always eager to get out of his comfort zone. I never heard a complaint from him, ever. Not even when asked to do a 1500M for time followed by 3×200 IMs and 20×25 Hypoxic (no breathing, or without oxygen). It is indeed a sign of pending greatness when an athlete asks for more work and listens to their coach. Wiggins doesn’t push past injury but shows clarity well beyond his years in treating his body like the fine tuned machine it is. He trains smart and that is the key to having a long and successful athletic career.
An All-Around Athlete
Crazy fast & humble? Yes! When asked which sport is his best he says it would have to be running. However, he really enjoys riding the bike. And his swim is fast enough to keep him in striking distance of his competition. There are simply not many athletes that are really good at each of the 3 events. They are a rarity. Everyone has a weak sport. Wiggins does not appear to have a weakness. That makes his blistering run times all the more dangerous. He has the kick of a track runner. And in ITU races, it often comes down to a sprint. These races are short (in comparison to Ironman), they are technically challenging and they are FAST.
Wiggins has won the Allen Stone Run/Swim/Run the past 2 years in a row. And he has slowly been adding more triathlons to his racing roster. He competed in an Elite Development Race in Florida this past March. He had a mechanical on the bike in the first race. But in the second race, Wiggins was on point. He had a strong swim, a great bike and a fast run. He told me that the water was murky, dark and alligators are known to be in that lake. Only a triathlete will comment on how terrible a mechanical failure is but make light of swimming in a lake where there are known to be alligators. Just sayin’. They are truly a rare breed.
Hawaii Blue Racing is Proud of You, Grant!
What’s next for Wiggins? It is my honor to announce that Grant Wiggins is the first athlete to be sponsored by Hawaii Blue Medical Aesthetics for Hawaii Blue Racing. We are proud to have him represent us and be a part of our team! He will make everyone in Hampton Roads proud as he begins his journey to be the very best. I am even willing to go out on a limb and say that Paris in 2024 could be a very good year…