United States Ambassador Scott Brown, long known as a rock ’n’ roll and fitness buff, could be headed to Switzerland next summer to test his chops as a triathlete on the world stage.
Brown, 59, a former Republican senator from Massachusetts, shared the news in a weekend Twitter post from New Zealand.
“In #Tauranga for the Olympic Distance Triathlon National Championships,” Brown tweeted. “Crazy weather, tons of bike issues, but finished 2nd. Yippee. Qualified for worlds in Switzerland. Can u say Swiss vaca...”
The ITU World Triathlon Grand Final is scheduled to run from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1 in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to the event’s official website.
Olalla Cernuda, a spokesperson for the Grand Final confirmed via e-mail that Brown has qualified for the “Lausanne 2019 Age Group World Championships [not the elite ones].”
Cernuda said the Age Group championships are “for non professional athletes and [run] on year brackets, so they all race together but then we crown every year the men 30-34 years old world champion, the 35-39 years old, the 40-44… and so on, up until 85-59 years old currently, and same for women. ... Each national federation establishes the eligibility criteria for qualifying to the world championships, usually based in results on qualifying races that are organised every year in most countries, or continental championships, but all in the Age Group category.”
While Brown may not be joining the elite triathlon tier in Switzerland, he has rubbed elbows with at least one champion endurance athlete.
In 2011, he and then-Senator John Kerry rode with cycling legend Lance Armstrong in the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge to raise money for cancer research. The trio cycled 111 miles from Sturbridge to Bourne.
Brown was training for his first triathlon at the time and told the Globe, “Every water stop, we spent a good 10, 15 minutes at each one.” Brown said he was riding in the Pan-Mass. Challenge for the late Salem District Court Judge Samuel Zoll, who had succumbed to cancer earlier that year.
In an e-mail message Wednesday, Brown said he was still sore from the race last weekend in Tauranga.
“Getting old. Ha,” Brown wrote. Asked if he’ll represent his home country or his adopted one in Lausanne, the ambassador replied, “Cmon USA of course.”