Tracy Cox: 10 Time LaToJa AthleteJanuary 5, 2017
At the time, Tracy was 60 lbs heavier and no one would have guessed that he would go on to accomplish one of the nation’s toughest premier amateur cycling races, LoToJa, not once but 10 times!
LoToJa, is a cycling race from Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. At 200+ miles, LoToJa is the longest one-day USAC-sanctioned bicycle race in the country. Cyclists must conquer three mountain passes as they pedal through the scenic terrain of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming en route to a finish line below the rugged Tetons at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
We sat down with Tracy to get an idea of what has kept him going all of these years.
Tell me alittle about your background and how you got into cycling?
I moved my young family to Logan from Kimberly Idaho, to be closer to medical services for our third child and to attend school at USU, that is when I joined ICON Health & Fitness. I started here in 1989 working on the warranty repair line. Working full-time and going to school part-time, I was able to move to the I.T. department a couple of years before I graduated.
I have been married for 33 years, have 4 kids, and 6 grandchildren.
How long have you been cycling and what got you started?
I’ve been riding for eleven years. I got started when my youngest son, Jedd was 16, he had completed a few triathlons the year before. Bob Larsen, the father of one of Jedd’s swim team members, invited him to do LoToJa with them the following year. I realized with all the years working full-time and going to school, I had spent a lot of time away from my children. This was a great opportunity for Jedd and I to do something together. Little did I know then where it would lead.
ICON also had a biggest loser contest that year. I lost most of my weight walking on the treadmill and watching the number of calories I ate. With the combo of exercising and the contest I lost 60 pounds! He did not win the contest, but did win a certificate for keeping the weight off.
I decided to get a bike and do some of the training rides with Jedd. I was Jedd’s support crew for his first LoToJa. I decided then, I would not be the support crew again, I was going to race LoToJa.
What motivates you?
I always say, “ I cycle so I can eat”. Cycling is a great form of therapy for me. Mostly, cycling is about family and great friends. The whole family is involved in one way or another. My sons, Kade (an electrical engineer at ICON) and Jedd, have both completed LoToJa 9 times. They only missed the race the years they served their LDS missions. This year my son-in-law, Jon, completed his 5th LoToJa as well. My daughter (Tally) and daughter-in-law (Lacey) have both participated in the race on relay teams. Although my wife (Karen) has never ridden, she and our son Ben have been the best support crew ever! I couldn’t have done it without her.
We have many friends and co-workers involved in cycling as well. Some co-workers I have trained with are: Greg Law, ICON’s VP of Research and Development; Jared Weston, Industrial Designer; Rob Lowe, Sales Analyst; Lamont Doney, Director of Purchasing; and Keith Taylor, Lead Engineer.
LoToJa is more about the journey than the actual ‘race’ for me. We spend months training together. We usually plan to keep the group together on race day, but it doesn’t always work out. I want to do my best, but also want to have my family and teammates finish together.
Typically, how many team members are there?
Normally between 3 to 9 members.
What is it about Lotoja that keeps you going back?
It’s all about the challenge, to do all of those miles in one day. To accomplish the goal, to do something special with my family, to see if I have prepared enough to do better than the year before.
Has working at ICON influenced your riding?
It certainly helps that we are in the health and fitness industry. When I first started my weight loss journey I walked and jogged on a treadmill which enabled me to be able to ride a bike. ICON is a great sponsor of the Logan Race Club. My crew here at ICON is very supportive, even if I leave before 5 (PM) to go for training rides.
Typical rides in the summer start at either 5:30 AM or 5:00 pm, and we ride 3-4 days a week. We start riding 100 miles a day on Saturdays in June. I try to do cross-fit and indoor cycling classes at the the FreeMotion Gym in the winter to stay in shape.
How many more LoToJa races do you think you’ll complete?
5 was my original goal because you get a special bike sprocket. They give sprockets at years 5, 10, and 15. They call them the LoToJa 1000, LoToJa 2000 and LoToJa 3000 awards.
I told everyone this was my last year, but I haven’t really decided yet. I’d like to ride with my sons when they complete their 10th