We’re highlighting these amazing Weekend Warriors because of their exceptional dedication to training and racing.  In addition to full-time jobs and family responsibilities, they manage to find the time to make it all work.

These athletes inspire us, and we’re proud to help fuel their passion.

As our featured Weekend Warrior, we’re sending Ron a goodie bag packed with tons of our product.  If you’d like to be featured, send us your story.

Roy Payne, a First Endurance customer, has come a long way as a triathlete in a short period of time. He went from finishing last in his first triathlon to achieving a world record in his age group.

Roy Payne 1

In 1989, Payne applied for a law enforcement job with the Florida Marine Patrol and was told he had to pass a physical fitness test that included a 1.5 mile run, a 300-yard swim and various other activities like bench press, sit ups and push ups within a specific time. Failing miserably, he decided to embark upon an overall physical fitness and weight loss program that resulted in dramatic changes to his physical appearance and overall general well being. The following year he reapplied and was accepted into the State Police Academy.

By 1998, Payne decided to compete in his first triathlon, a sprint distance race held at a local community college in Key West. Thinking he was in great shape, he was quickly humbled by a near last-place finish.

Turning It All Around

Instead of giving up, he decided to learn as much about triathlon racing as he could. Spending hours researching articles on the web, he developed his own training program that fit his busy schedule and the following year he entered the same local triathlon that had sparked his interest, only this time he won his age group.

“I have now completed twenty IRONMANS and two dozen half IRONMAN distance events.”

From that point on Payne really went for it. “I was hooked and triathlon became a lifestyle for me. I loved that there were increasingly longer distance races to challenge myself. Over the years since that first sprint tri, I have now completed twenty IRONMANS and two dozen half IRONMAN distance events. I made USAT All-American several years and All World Athlete Silver several times as well. My wife Angie, who is also an accomplished triathlete and coach, has completed 15 IRONMANS with me – including one on our honeymoon in New Zealand in 2009. I love that the sport gives us a chance to travel and compete all over the world and make many great friends through the sport.”
Roy Payne 2As Payne’s passion for training and competing grew, he not only competed in IRONMAN distances but took on training for Ultra triathlons, a triathlon that is defined as any triathlon that is of greater distance than IRONMAN distance (although most commonly known as a double IRONMAN distance it can be any distance longer than an Ironman and is most often split up and raced over 3 days).

A New Challenge

This undertaking brought a new challenge for Payne – finding the time required for training in conjunction with his day to day responsibilities of life.

Payne works full time as a lieutenant with Florida Fish and Wildlife, his employer for the past 27 years.  He is also married to an accomplished IRONMAN distance triathlete and Ultra Marathon runner, and has two teenage boys who compete in track and cross country running.

Payne explains “The key to fitting in all the training is where I live. I live on an island called Sugarloaf Key about 17 miles from Key West City. The Island is a residential community with clean salt water canals and a main road that is freshly paved with a bike path. I save hours a week by being able to swim, bike and run in my back yard. I prefer to train early in the morning.”

“I usually have three hours a day to train on work days and all day on my two days off per week. I typically take a few weeks off a year for training and during that time I usually put in my big 30-hour training weeks then.”

Addressing Nutrition Issues

Payne had to address his nutritional issues following a very disappointing Ironman finish in 2012. “I was using too many different products at once and developed severe GI issues during the day. I vowed never to allow that to happen again.  After extensive research, I came upon a YouTube video about First Endurance EFS. It was exactly what I was looking for. One product to supply all of my electrolyte and carbohydrate needs. No more mixing brands, solids and gels, etc.”

Bouncing Back From Surgery

In the summer of 2015, when he was training for Ironman Copenhagen, Payne hit a dog while on the bike.  He needed two surgeries to repair a shattered collarbone, leaving him no choice but to pull out of the race.  Roy still traveled with his wife to be her Sherpa as she competed.

“I came back and started training again in October then went on to race Ironman Florida in November and HITS full IRONMAN distance in Naples in January 2016 where I placed second overall.”

A New World Record

Following his success in Naples, Payne was chosen to compete in the invitation-only Ultraman Florida (6.2 mile swim, 263 mile bike 52.4 mile run) in late February.  “I was honored to have been selected. My goal was simply to just finish and make the time cutoffs each stage. I was very surprised to finish sixth place overall on day three. I remember my friends, family and support crew congratulating me at the finish line telling me that I set a new world record for male 50 and over. I was totally undone by the news! My total race time was 26 hours and 23 minutes.”
Roy Payne 3Since setting the new age group world record, Payne has enjoyed a month of easy recovery rides while looking forward to his next race. With a focus on Ironman Arizona in November, Payne plans to fill the gaps with several shorter distance triathlons and even some road races.

He is also considering entering IRONMAN Coeur D’Alene in August having learned of the recently added 25 qualifying slots for the 2016 IRONMAN World Championships in October.  With a full plate of racing on his schedule this season, the Ultraman World Championships will be a feat Payne hopes to tackle in 2017.