Team ‘Tin Men’, an Iron Distance relay team, has one requirement to join. The heart you were born with, is no longer inside of your body. All members have had a heart transplant. (Okay, the second requirement is that you can make the Iron Distance cut-off times for your portion of the race, without whining.)

Meet ‘LA Tri Clubber Kyle Garlett, the cyclist for the 112 mile bike portion of the 2010 Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon Relay. Kyle was joined by ‘Tin Men’ team organizer and swimmer Brian Barndt from North Carolina, and Canadian runner/marathoner Mark Black.

Team 'Tin Men' facts: Brian, the ‘slacker’ of the group (only doing 2.4 miles of the 140.6) merely had a heart transplant. Mark upped the ante, by having a heart transplant AND two lungs replaced.

But for our Kyle, like any true LA Tri Clubber, Type-A, over-achieving triathlete, having just a basic heart transplant was not enough. Oh no. Just to get to the heart transplant, Kyle went through four bouts of cancer (Hodgkin’s and Leukemia), and chemo, in almost eleven years. Let me repeat: FOUR bouts with cancer and chemo/radiation in eleven years. The fourth series of chemo was so intense, that it damaged his heart permanently. Kyle needed a new heart, and waited five more years to get it.

Please join us in congratulating Team Tin Men as the first all heart-transplant team believed to have completed an Iron Distance Relay. Their Finishing Time was 14:34. and change. Kyle, who approved this email, can be reached through our club website.

More information at:

***** The team was named after the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz, who’s only wish was to have a heart.

Tim Bomba