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NFE Athlete Spotlight: Mitch Zelman

In October 2016, Mitch Zelman will compete in the Ironman Kona World Championships. He will complete a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run. As a member of the NF Endurance team, he will also partner with an NF Hero for motivation and inspiration; Mitch has committed to raising $40,000 this year to support NF research. The experiences Mitch has had with the NF Endurance team have “changed my life in so many ways,” and we asked him to share how.

What was your favorite part of the competition?
Not sure I can pick a favorite part. Most people would say it’s when they finish and the feeling of accomplishment. While that is true, I enjoy each aspect of the competition, from the starting line, to fellow athletes cheering each other on, to the mental challenge when you don’t think you can go on. It is all a challenge and one that I embrace on behalf of the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

What kept you going during the toughest moments?
Knowing that I am able to complete these challenges while others are not. When I don’t think I can go on any longer, I think about those that really can’t run or bike or swim but would love to be able to do so. I remember how lucky I am to be healthy.

What was preparation and training like?
Tough. There’s no other way to put it. There are obviously good training days when you feel like you could go on forever and then there are those days when you don’t even want to get out of bed but you do because preparation and training is key.

Do you have any advice for other NF Endurance athletes?
Do not skip any part of your training: that includes rest days, a good night’s sleep and proper nutrition.

How does it feel knowing you raised so much money for CTF and NF research?
It is a great feeling of accomplishment knowing that I have raised so much money for this great organization. I truly hope that it will help speed up the race for the cure.

What is your favorite song to train to?
I don’t really have one. Sometimes I listen to books on tape and other times, music.

Anything else you want to mention?
Getting involved with CTF was my first true experience of being a part of a charitable organization and it has changed my life for the better in so many ways. I really feel that I am the blessed one.

For information on joining the NF Endurance team and a list of upcoming events, please visit