The DECA – Fearless Exploration through 1,406 miles, New Book Highlights

Posted on 10 February 2016


The DECA Ironman more than any of the 300+ endurance races I have competed has a “mystical draw” again and again.  Finishing 4 DECA’s along with the Triple DECA (9,842 miles overall) has offered so many memories but more importantly, absolute cross-over benefits to my family, my business and helping others.

The DECA characteristics include: DECA mindfulness, peace, persistency, courage, improvisation, curiosity, patience, stamina and a bond very different than other events around the world (especially with the quirkiness with the multi loop course formats).

I want to give you fair warning, the DECA is extremely hard and for those who have finished it you know what I am talking about.    The race is suffering beyond, physically and mentally. For athletes that want to join in this very select and small group to finish the event, you will need to get through very deep troughs.  In most cases, you have never experienced this continuous up and down feeling in any other race 10 days or longer.


Many athletes come into the DECA time and again with grand expectations of not only finishing, but breaking world records, targeted goals, personal interests, and because of such a limited number of DECA’s –(normally only one held per year or every other year), it’s one and done for many athletes.    When I hear about a DECA being organized, it’s always on my radar – you getthe picture – this race is a personal passion!

My number one goal of this book as a DECA Authority (hopefully at this point) is to get you to the finish line. It’s that plain and simple – if there is ever a Wayne Kurtz legacy to leave about the sport of ultra-triathlon’s, it’s to inspire, educate (sorry I can’t motivate you) and make you accountable to do this amazing event.  I can promise you one thing, the race will change your life if you embrace everything that happens and capture the essence of DECA Grit and Grinding!   We will cover the aspects of the race that will always be in the memory bank forever and reflection of the Mindfulness sections of this race.

Even if you have done 50 Ironman’s, Double &Triple Iron’s, 100/200/500 mile running races, 10 day or longer running events, RAAM, that’s great, but guarantees nothing in this race to finish.   I will not compare events, which race is harder, the books focus is purely on the DECA and finishing – plain and simple.

I will take you on the journey of everything I have learned about the race, specific training plans of both continuous and 1per day DECA’s and why athletes continue to not finish again and again (amazing athletes – way better than I could ever be, don’t make it to the glory of the finish line).    This book will highlight a bit of the Deca history, but it’s purely from my experience of the event and watching the race unfold during the most amazing unexpected weather conditions: heat, wind, hurricanes, rain beyond, hypothermia, altitude, air quality, cold water and of course Hail storms!

As a coach, I have worked with athletes with different goals and objectives and ultimately more than anything it’s always clear –“not finishing is not an option mindset” is imperative. I have my own DECA language (I will define through out the book).

A point of clarification, the DECA is a race, not an adventure journey like other adventures.   There are athletes racing for places and athletes racing against themselves to see keep on grinding through continuous adversity.

Book Highlights:


  1.  Injuries – techniques for prevention and cures and the common DECA Shin, saddle sores.
  2.  How to guarantee a finish and how to guarantee not to finish
  3. Training plans in detail (both formats) – training for the specific loop course mentality
  4. Train the stomach to be able to handle anything.
  5. How to get through being sick – it happens to approximately 60% of the athletes (flu, cold, bronchitis,)
  6. Personal stories of racing these events – race mindset along with quirky things such as my best music playlist for the run.   The story of the one song I played over-and-over again for 4 a hour-push within the last 6 hours of running 262 miles when a great athlete was closing hard.
  7. The grocery lists and foods that are consumed during the entire events and what to try.
  8. Checklists of what to take, what types of bike, common bike problems.
  9. Details of why the 1 X 10 DECA is more difficult than the classic – continuous DECA.
  10. How to deal with the mindset of being present and breathing during the absolute worst times of the event.
  11. There are only a handful of qualified coaches who have actually done this event both formats and understand how to get an athlete to finish and it’s so much more than some standard spreadsheets of a training plan – I am here to coach you through the book.
  12. Top mistakes athletes make, shipping bikes, nutrition products, and “waste of energy mistakes”.
  13. Cost analysis – Budgets (with crew or without)
  14. Mental race strategies – yes not matter what everyone has a competitive gene and wants to push to the maximum against other fellow athletes.
  15. Cheaters – cutting courses.
  16. Crewing – The do’s and don’ts and stories of a lifetime watching crews while racing and crewing for others.   You can do the race without a crew.
  17. Why Suffering must be embraced in this event.
  18. The Final Lap -Stories of the final lap of the race – the emotions, memories and mental check in to capture it which will transform into future life, business, relationships and how to help others.
  19. What to expect to feel, look like when it’s over.
  20. A common theme of Beyond The Iron – “It’s all about the Run”.   Bottom line if you love to bike and your weakness is running – you better learn how to run long – it’s a simple as that – massive mistake time and again, the bike training should never compromise the pounding and mental fortitude required of running.
  21. The DECA Godfather and great friend to every ultra triathlete, Guy Rossi will provide thoughts about his favorite race and will include the personal learning lessons I have acquired from this legend of the Deca.
  22. So you want to break the world record – what times do you need?
  23. Time management(in training time and time management during the race) – Including social media posts, Twitter and you social media followers – outsource it or do prior to the race!
  24. The Roller Coaster of Emotions of how to embrace them not being a hindrance – how do you talk to yourself – my personal examples to spur ideas.
  25. Go Into the race with no expectations (almost blind) can lead to success.
  26. Dedicated team – Sincere gratitude stories to the 3 people who are my champions as they have been instrumental to my success in this race more than anything else:  Rick Freeman, Jan (my wife) and my mom.

The book is expected to be out in 2016!

Listen to the accompanying Audio recording here!

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