Monday, January 25, 2010


(WARNING: Much of what you're about to read in this "Going Off-Course" feature is just plain silly.)

We asked triathlete and unrepentant dork Tom Segar to recount the greatest day of his life. We incorrectly assumed that it would involve his wife or perhaps the birth of his children. Or that it had something to do with becoming a triathlete.

We were wrong. Very, very wrong. And when one assumes one makes an ass of u and me.

The disturbing truth is that the day he realized that here was no cheddar in cheesecake was his best day to date. He was 26 when he made this earth-shattering discovery and he immediately felt that he was "9,490 slices behind." He's remained committed to "catching up."

Here is some more stuff you probably don't know about the incredibly interesting, though somewhat spooky, Tom Segar:

Degrees? BS in Biology & Psychology, MS in Experimental Psychology. I spent a lot of time with rats in grad school. We had a rat named Fezzik who we taught to reverse slam-dunk a little basketball into a little hoop. He was a good friend, easy to talk to.

High School: Anoka Sr. High. One of my few brushes with athletic greatness was on the Anoka Cross Country Ski team with John & Bruce Bauer, both amazing athletes (John's an olymipian). Bill and Nancy Bauer taught me how to ski in 8th grade. In all seriousness, I owe a lot to the Bauer family. They started me down the endurance sports path.

DOB? Where?
07/19/1970. Fridley MN

Wife & kids? My wife Michelle is a Pharmacist working in the IT department at a local hospital (she's a total dork). Two relatively normal daughters, ages 13 & 9, both swimmers!

Occupation: I work in an analytics group at a marketing company. We do statistical data analysis for a number of clients. Technically I'm not an IT dork, I'm a numbers dork. I don't blame those who get them mixed up.

Q- Own a pocket protector?
A- Of course. I even pimped it out. (see photo)

Q- Ever put tape on your glasses? Scotch? Duct? Electrical? White?
A- No, I don't wear glasses. But I have Scotch tape holding my calculator together. Old school, TI-31 Solar Scientific, dark blue. I've had it since 11th grade.

Q- Do you play any instruments?
A- I played Tuba in high school. I was first chair and they used to call me "King of the DipSh*ts", a-la Farmer Ted in Sixteen Candles. But I wasn't great at it. As an acquaintance of mine who is a world-class Croquet player* once said to me, "the trick is to find a relatively obscure hobby, get pretty good at it, and you'll be awesome". (*Yes, I know a world-class croquet player. As I've said before, dorks tend to hang around with other dorks.)

Q- Have you ever been beaten up?
A- No, not actually beaten up. Pushed around, intimidated, made fun of, yeah. That's why I joined Cross Country running in High School. At a young age, I learned the importance of running away from the bullies. As long as you got a decent head start, distance was more important than speed.

Q-Geek heroes?
A- Real Human: I always thought Dr. Jose Delgado was awesome. He was a physiologist at Yale. To demonstrate he could manipulate behavior by implanting a radio transmitter into an animal's brain, he got into a ring with an adult bull which had the transmitter implanted. The bull charged but just before it reached Delgado, he pushed a remote control which stim
ulated the bull's brain and caused it to stop in its tracks. Cool, huh?
A- SuperHeros: I have a picture of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl hanging in my cube at work. Electra Woman is hot, hot, hot. I always wished I could be there for the Electra-Change.

Q- Are you a Trekkie?
A- Nope. Star Wars all the way.

Q- Can dorks who are triathletes be identified as such at races? How?
A- Sure, we smell like chlorine. We're so scarred from Junior High locker room towel-snaps that we rarely shower at the gym after swimming.

Q- Favorite Movies?
A- I don't understand the question. I thought it was a fact that cinema achieved perfection in 1977 with Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Q- TV Shows?
A- "Dexter", the ShowTime series. Coincidentally, we also liked the cartoon "Dexter's Lab" (about a little boy who's also a mad scientist) so much that we named our dog Dexter 11 years ago.

Q- Musicians?
A- Ben Folds (see photo) is awesome (he has described his music as 'Punk Rock for Sissies'), The Replacements changed everything for me when I was 15, and pretty much anything Maynard James Keenan touches is incredible (Tool, A Perfect Circle).

Q- Favorite Sweet?
A -Cheesecake. I didn't eat cheesecake for the first 26 years of my life because I took the name too literally and assumed it tasted like cheese. But once I tried it, I immediately fell in love. I eat it as much as I can- I have 26 years of no cheesecake to make up for.

Q- Alcoholic beverages?
A- Summit Pale Ale. It's so delicious. I'd brush my teeth with it if my wife would let me.

Q - Hottest female triathlete on the MN scene?
A- In 2007 I spent some time thinking about writing a song to honor the great female triathletes in MN. Working backwards, I got the last line finished but then found out Marlo got married and changed her last name to McGaver. I was crushed so I gave up on the song. But the last line was:

"Of all the triathletes I wish I could be, I wish I was Marlo Crosbeeeeeyyy!"

Q- Hottest male?
A- I suppose a few people know of my fondness for DKT. Brett Lovaas is another guy I really root for. I'm terrified of Dan Cohen - he's so intimidating. He looks like he could snap me in half, so I cheer really loudly for him hoping he won't hurt me. I'm afraid my 'running away from the bullies' thing won't work with Mr. Cohen.