Max Fennell is aspiring to be the first African American pro triathlete. Having been diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, Max took to competitive sports as a way of actively expressing himself and focusing his attention. After two years of playing college soccer, Max made the decision to pursue his dream of becoming a professional soccer player. Two weeks before tryouts for a semi-professional team, Max sprained his MCL in a pick-up soccer game. The sprain proved to be a career ending injury that crushed all hopes of ever playing soccer competitively.
In 2011, while working at a local coffee shop in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Max met a man by the name of Brian Sullivan. Brian suggested he compete in a local Triathlon, the PHLY Tri, and lent him his old triathlon bike made by Elite Bicycles. Under the guidance and support of Brian, Max ended up placing 7th in his age group in the race. Max made it to the podium in 4 of his 6 races and ended his first season with an age group win.
In his second season, Max placed 2nd in his age group at the New Jersey State Triathlon, qualified for Team USA to compete at the 2013 age group Sprint World Triathlon Championships and ended his season with a 4th overall at the 2nd AC International triathlon.
Going into his 3rd season, Max is striving to receive his Pro card, which would make him the first African American pro triathlete. Ultimately, he hopes to inspire young people that through hard work, passion, and clear vision of their goals and dreams, anyone can achieve what they desire.
When I’m not training or competing, I love to: take a yoga class, play my guitar
Something that very few people know about me is: I always wanted to study to be an orthopedic surgeon
A good title for my autobiography would be: United Tri of a Wandering Yogi
What first inspired you to push your potential? The opportunity to be the first African American Pro Triathlete and to inspire others to do and be bigger than themselves!
My favorite athletic moment or achievement to date is: Competing in my first triathlon, The Philly Tri. It marked that I had overcome an injury and opened a door to new possibilities and the chance to compete again.
The worst moment I’ve ever experienced in a race is: Believing I would win my first race of my 2nd season and everything went wrong, I felt sick during the swim, dropped my nutrition on the bike and cramped, and saw guys in my age group running to the finish line when I was starting the run. Broke me down in every way.
One thing I hope to achieve this year is: Receive my pro card and compete in the pro division this season!
The event on my bucket list is: Ironman Kona
My pre-race superstition is: A 10 minute yoga practice
Nathan helps me run stronger and run longer by: Allowing my hydration needs to be met at ease and convenience