To know Consultant Advisor Rich Heidal is to know he’s always on the go – training for an Ironman triathlon, rushing off on a “racecation” (vacation centered around a race or training for one) or talking (rapidly, of course) with a current prospect on the phone.
When he started running in 2008 just for exercise, Rich never knew that his hobby would turn into half-marathons, marathons, duathlons, triathlons and just last year, Ironman triathlons. These lengthy races, consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon (26.2-mile) run – all while remaining energetic at work – require an incredible amount of commitment and determination. Of course, it helps that his coworkers provide their entire team with a constant supply of in-office-made smoothies.
Q: How did you get to Run Consultants, and to the Atlanta area?
A: My mom was in the military, so I lived in Germany and Turkey as a child and went to high school and college in Oklahoma. I moved to Atlanta for a job 10 years ago and have been here ever since. Mom retired from the military and moved to Florida, so Atlanta is kind of in the middle of where I grew up and being close to family.
Q: What is your favorite company memory?
A: Instead of one company memory, I like the camaraderie here that happens every day. We’re all in cubes, kind of all equals, just grinding it out every day.
Q: Who would you most like to meet, in history or current?
A: It’d be cool to meet Michael Jordan because I grew up idolizing him.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
A: Triathlons. I’m currently training for my third Ironman, so my hobby has turned into a big part of my life because of the time commitment and dedication it takes to do these races. I spend a large portion of my non-work time training for these. When I competed in my first Ironman in 2013, I trained through the Team in Training organization and raised $5,000 [for blood cancer research] through them, so that was a personal goal accomplished.
Q: So you’ve done multiple Ironmans at this point. What’s your next race goal?
A: I’ll probably take a break from the long course triathlons and try to live a more balanced life. The more relaxed training will allow me to do more of the things I enjoy. I could hike more, enjoy more of vacations that aren’t centered around a race, also known as “racecations,” volunteer more, read more, enjoy my weekends more.
Q: What was your favorite TV show when you were little?
A: Alf. At the time that it came on, we had a bunch of cats, and it was funny to me that the dude hated cats.
Q: What’s your favorite food or favorite kind of food?
A: Pizza. I eat the Kosmic Karma pizza at Mellow Mushroom after races because I’m a creature of habit, but the more toppings, the merrier.
Q: Least favorite animal and why?
A: Cats. This kind of goes back to the Alf thing. We had a lot of cats growing up, and I always wanted a dog, so I kind of resented the cats. It wasn’t their fault we didn’t have a dog, though.
Q: What would you do or buy if you won the lottery?
A: I would initially hire an attorney, then financially take care of my immediate family, go on an extended vacation backpacking through Asia, then start thinking about business ideas and investments. Then I’d formulate a team that would take over the world [laughs].
Q: What gets you up in the morning?
A: Training. I get up at 5:15 a.m. and I usually do one of the three disciplines – running, biking or swimming – then proceed with my regular day of rushing off to work.
Q: What about you would surprise your coworkers?
A: I joke around a lot, but I can be pretty serious when necessary. I’m passionate about anything I’m involved in, but my coworkers probably already know that.