A commentary by Jen DeSalvo
The title of this post is the title of the Reddit thread started on Tuesday morning about a local man who entered and successfully completed the Chicago Sprint Triathlon while wearing a suit. It had made the rounds on social media over the past few days, but I saw the picture shortly after the original post. It was Rishan Mohideen, or as I know him, Fish.
In this article from Fleet Feet Chicago, a popular multisport retailer, they had been amazed by the performance.
To be honest, we’re not even sure how we stumbled upon this story and these amazing images but we did end up tracing it back to the r/Chicago subreddit. We don’t know many details but we’ll tell you what information we were able to pick from the comments and the images.
In addition to his choice of clothing, he gave himself quite the disadvantage over seasoned triathletes by using a three-speed, 40-pound Divvy bike. Though he didn’t have to dock it and re-pay every half hour as the typical method of renting a Divvy bicycle. The use of a Divvy bike was part of the entry fee to the Chicago Sprint Triathlon to encourage participation from those who don’t own a bike.
Hours after the blog post from Fleet Feet Chicago, Live Grit, another multisport retailer in Chicago had responded.
In the blog post, Live Grit explains:
Having a Divvy station just a block away from our store in the West Loop, we see a rush of these “professional commuters” every evening. A few weeks before the Chicago Triathlon we remarked at one particularly quick commuter and wondered if he was getting his evening workout in on his commute home.
Because of this, Rishan thought that any of these “professional commuters” could become “professional athletes,” and the idea to compete in a suit was hatched.
“The barriers to most endurance sports are not as big as they may seem,” Fish explained to me. “We (Live Grit) help people overcome these obstacles to reach their goals all while having fun.”
I met Fish in 2008, which was my first year as a participant in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training endurance program. The way it works is that the average Joe (or in this case, average Jen) sign up for five months of coaching to finish a marathon, triathlon or century cycle ride while raising funds to fight blood cancers.
For more that nine years, Fish has been a part of that organization raising money for cancer research with the LLS. This however wasn’t the first time that he has dressed up for an event.
In 2011, neither of us had really had much time put into training for the Chicago Marathon. We dressed up like cheerleaders (him, unintentionally), and did kicks and jumps along the course while accepting donuts from random spectators as sustenance.
Then there was the time that I ran a 50k ultramarathon (31.1 miles), and Fish kept me company part of the time dressed as Scooby Doo on his skateboard.
About his triathlon-in-a-suit experience, Fish said, “I did this to have fun and show that you can do anything, you don’t need fancy gear to have fun!”
Well, Fish, you have proven that you can have impassible amounts of fun while doing some pretty epic things.