5 QUESTIONS WITH LLOYD SAMPSON: Savoring success at a duathlon world championship

August 19, 2013 

ROBIN TRIMARCHI/rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.comRetired dermatologist Lloyd Sampson placed third in his age group in the 2013 International Triathlon Union Duathlon World Championships in Ottawa, Canada.


You recently placed third among males in your age group (70-74) at the ITU Duathlon World Championships in Canada. What does the accomplishment mean to you?

Winning a medal in Ottawa was rather special to me because it marks the first time I have finished among the top three in my age group in the standard distance at a duathlon world championship, where the competition is the very best. I once won a national age group title, but this was more satisfying and exciting because of the added level of competition. I was also pleased to confirm that, at my age, I can still give a total effort without an injury.

What does your typical training schedule include?

My training schedule is pretty simple and rarely varies. When I am in town, I go to the YMCA six mornings a week and ride the stationary bike, on average, for an hour and a half.

On Sundays, I train outdoors, either running (10-11 miles) or cycling (35-40 miles). I spend two to three months a year in California, where my training schedule is very similar. Even when we travel, I make a point of working out nearly every day.

What's your advice for someone who's new to the local running community?

My advice to someone new to the local running community is to first check in with the Big Dog Running Company to get all the information on the local running scene (or at Ride On Bikes for the cyclists). I also would recommend utilizing the RiverWalk and the YMCA.

I recommend that people who are starting an exercise program later in life first have a complete check-up with a doctor, preferably one who is interested in sports medicine.

The next step is to decide that an exercise program is a lifetime proposition and not a passing fancy. Then, armed with that commitment, the individual should start slowly and gradually increase the effort as the tolerance level allows.

This progress should not stop until the person can do at least 30 minutes of sustained, aerobic exercise at least five times a week. The real key is to make this program a part of the individual's lifestyle, something to embrace and look forward to, and not to dread.

I feel that anyone (whose underlying health allows it) that follows this routine is taking a large step toward the quality of life that all of us desire to have.

Are there any competitions and/or athletic accomplishments that remain on your "to-do" list?

I feel that I have now essentially accomplished all of my running/multisport goals. In addition to the above mentioned duathlon achievements, I have also done well in marathons.

My best result in a marathon with a large field was a first place finish in my age group in the Houston Marathon 19 years ago. My main goal now is to do as well as I can for as long as I can in all races, no matter what the level of competition is.

What's the best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?

I feel that a best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley is the Chattahoochee RiverWalk. It is scenic, free of automobile traffic, and an ideal place for exercise and fresh air for everyone from leisure walkers to seriously training runners and cyclists.

Another almost equally well-kept secret is the downtown Columbus YMCA. It is a state-of-the-art facility, with a full range of equipment and fitness instructors for people of all levels. Also provided are classes of wide variety, such as BodyPump, yoga, and ballroom dancing (which my wife and I teach).


Name: Lloyd Sampson

Age: 70

Occupation: Dermatologist -- retired

Hometown: Houston

Current home: Columbus

Family: Wife, Gloria

Education: B.A., degree, Tulane University; M.D. degree, University of Texas at Galveston; Dermatology residency training, Stanford Medical School

Favorite book: Any biography of a famous American

Favorite movie: "Lincoln"

Favorite restaurant: Chef Lee's

Favorite quote: "The main goal in life is to achieve happiness." -- Robert Green Ingersoll

Best concert attended: I have not attended any concerts for many years.

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