Sebastian graduate has Olympic-sized goals
By Jessica Tuggle
Buddy Verderber comes from a family used to championships and he hopes to continue that pattern in the future.
The former Sebastian River High School and Indian River State College graduate and triathlete is setting his eyes on the prize and is raising funds to compete at an elite amateur event, The World Championships in Hyde Park, London, later this year.
Mr. Verderber has qualified as a member of the USA triathlon team to compete in the race, which is expected to draw 3,000 international racers from 40 countries. Although he has made the team, he is still expected to pay for all of his expenses, so his family has organized a local fundraiser to help propel him to his goal.
The fundraiser will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. April 13 at Tiki Bar and Grill on 1130 Indian River Drive in Sebastian.
The event will include a silent auction, door prize drawing and a cornhole tournament.
"It all started with competitive swimming in high school and I just wanted to prove everyone that anything is possible," Mr. Verderber said.
In his high school career at Sebastian River High School, Mr. Verderber challenged himself with swimming and dabbled in running. He continued swimming at the collegiate level but added running and biking to round out his triathlon training after suggestions from friends.
One source of inspiration for him however, is his father, Bud Verderber.
"My dad mentioned to me that he had completed everything on his bucket list except an Ironman," Mr. Verderber said.
An Ironman is a long distance race organized by the World Triathlon Corporation.
He then began watching the Ironman competitions on television and he knew it was a challenge he wanted to accomplish for himself.
Since then, he has completed several Ironman competitions and marathons, dozens of 5k races and has set his overarching goal to be competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.
Winning at the World Championships in Hyde Park will put him that much closer to his goal, he said.
"I think I have the edge for it and I'm going to keep going with it and see if I can do it," Mr. Verderber said. "I'm looking forward to coming back and seeing people who I haven't seen in a while and I hope they come out and support me."
Since his son has transitioned to triathlon training, Mr. Bud Verderber said he has seen an exponential amount of dedication and determination bring put forth.
"I have never seen someone so dedicated to his sport like this," said Mr. Verderber, who was a professional kickboxer.
His son's drive and passion has led him to change his eating habits to a nearly vegetarian diet, study the best ways to challenge and train his body and pursue a different career path as a personal trainer.
His son has been approached by coaches who want to work with him, but for now, he has opted to train on his own, but does look to his father for some advice now and then.
"I did train with him when he first started, but now it's not even fun. I'd be running, he'd take off and next thing I know, he's lapped me," Mr. Verderber said with a laugh.
For more information about Mr. Verderber's upcoming trip and his races, visit www.buddyverderber.com.