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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Men of MenScience: Paul Lundgren, Champion of the Body and the Environment

As a coach, wetsuit manufacturer and former triathlete, Paul Lundgren has taken his love of nature and the thrill of the race to craft a life unlike any other. It's Paul's commitment to health and the environment that makes him our newest addition to the Men of MenScience.

Paul became interested in triathlon training as a college student in 1985 after reading accounts of triathletes, and was so impressed that he dropped out of school, bought a bike and set out for San Diego, California. Paul won several smaller races, competed in the Hawaii Ironman competition, and trained with some of the best athletes of the time.

Because the sport was still in its early stages, Paul says that no one was quite sure where it would go or how it would ultimately affect athletes' bodies. "Now, 20 years and several hospital beds of friends and loved ones later I know the answer. Triathlon can be good for you and it can also be very harmful," he says. Paul admits that one of greatest dangers is nutritional demands on the body, and recommends new triathletes find a professional coach to provide guidance and experience on the long and rigorous journey ahead.

Paul has also been coaching for almost as long as he's been swimming. His finest coaching achievement came when he was asked by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to co-coach and help design their first triathlon team for the Team in Training Program. Along with three other coaches, they coached a team of 98 athletes for the Wildflower Triathlon in 1998. The TNT Triathlon program that's in place today is the same as the one they designed, and triathlon has become one of the most successful fundraising programs for TNT. Since then, Paul has coached hundreds of athletes from beginners to experts.

Love of swimming and triathlons also put Paul in contact with the industry of wetsuit manufacturing. After working for a time at the largest dealer to triathlon wetsuit manufacturers, Paul collaborated with another wetsuit distributor and in 2006 created Fit2Race, Inc. (F2R), a leading manufacturer of quality Triathlon wetsuits, and seller of running, swimming and cycling accessories.

Paul says of Fit2Race, Inc., "An added bonus that gets me really excited is seeing our product winning races. Maybe I never won the World Championships, but you just might see an F2R wetsuit win."

Throughout his careers of training, coaching and manufacturing, a connection to nature has always played a large role in Paul's life. He says, "When I feel most at home is when I am outside in the wild. I think I am lucky because I can find that feeling just about anywhere." In 1995, he and four friends swam 465 miles of the Salmon and Snake Rivers to highlight the plight of the rapidly-dwindling Sockeye Salmon population. Paul also supports Fit2Live, a non-profit foundation that seeks to preserve and restore native wild fish species by protecting streams and rivers. A portion of sales from each F2R product goes to Fit2Live.

"I hope to spark a fire that will ignite and fuel change towards a better human-to-nature relationship," he says. "I'm certainly not a rocket scientist or famous athlete for that matter, just a guy that would like to leave behind a little more than what he took."

Although no longer tied to a demanding training schedule, Paul continues to have his hands full with Fit2Race, Inc. and Fit2Live, as well as raising his two sons in California. "Today I am happy spending time with my boys watching them develop and discover the wild," he says.

To discover more about Paul, visit our blog and his website at
www.f2r.com.

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