John Raheb

John Raheb has been an athlete since his teenage years. Today, he is a built like a linebacker, 5’10”, 185 pounds of muscle, telephone-pole thighs, a pure sprinter… but unbelievably he was the shortest kid in his early high school years – and skinny, too! He remembers wrestling 91-101 lbs as a freshman in high school… He may have been small, but the football coach put him at middle linebacker, typically the most aggressive position – you have to be strong and fast and a little crazy to play well there, but John never let his size hold him back.

Although a dedicated athlete, John can remember cutting class numerous times with his best friend (with whom he met in a fistfight!), riding around on their road bikes. John has fond memories of cruising on his rig, a Schwinn Super Le Tour with a ton of Campy upgrades, paid for on his own. One day they were zipping the streets and a police officer stopped them, asked them to come back to the police station… Somehow, John and his friend convinced the cop to NOT put their bikes in the trunk, agreeing to follow the cop to the station. Well, lo and behold at the first red light John and his friend take off like rocketships, sprinting for their lives! John Raheb the sprinter was born…

Now in his 40s, John has a ton of respect for endurance athletes. As a jock in high school, he thought you only ran track if you were too soft for football or wrestling. What can be further from the truth! He loves every aspect of the sport. A natural sprinter, in early 2007 John came to Elite Endurance looking to excel in long, hilly road races – not his strength, but he wanted to improve.

And improve he did, taking 4th at the arduous Rocky Hill Classic in June, then racking up a stack of top-tens throughout the summer, by far his strongest and most consistent racing campaign. Not bad for a pure sprinter who is a rookie at hilly road races…

John gets huge motivation from racing, especially when everyone is on the brink of cracking. He feels this can bring out his best. And of course, being the adrenaline junkie he is, he loves seeing the 200m sprint mark… Unlike running, the strongest man does not always win, so perhaps this is why he keeps coming back for more. “Sprinting is an art,” John says, “just one facet of a dynamic sport I am proud to be associated with. But I do love proving that my legs have more horsepower than yours.”

John runs the thriving local Smart Shopper magazine, an enterprise he began in 1992. He had put himself through the Universtiy of California while working two jobs and after graduation, he bounced around various sales positions at sizeable corporations. He knew he wanted to do his own thing, so in the early 90s, with $300 to his name, a beat Ford Escort wagon, and a burning enthusiasm, he hit the ground running and today John is a thriving, successful businessman. Some of his original clients are with him to this day…

John’s goals in 2008 are to pick up where he left off in 2007, working hard to transform himself into a climber, staying near the top of the Master’s class in New England road racing and hopefully garnering an upgrade to Category 2. But John is still an adrenaline junkie…

Coming Attractions: look for Mr. Raheb and his sledgehammer sprint to be near the front of local field sprints coming to a course near you!

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 185 pounds

Birthplace, Location: 9-27-62 in New York, NY

Childhood Heroes: “Muhammed Ali.”

Hobbies and Interests: “Photography, scuba diving, and travel.”

Favorite Movies: Lord of the Rings, The Deer Hunter, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.”

Musical Tastes: “Everything from Vivaldi to Biggie Smalls.”

Favorite TV Shows:The Sopranos, Planet Earth. And the NFL!”

Favorite Meal: “Steak and spinach.”

Favorite Cereal: “Bacon.”

Favorite Pre-Race Meal: “Power Shakes.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Green Tea Ice Cream.”

Childhood Dream: “To be a martial artist.”

First Car: “Old beat-up Chevy wagon.”

First Job: “Paper route.”

Favorite Vacation Spot: “Hawaii, Moab, Italy. Tough to pick just one.”

Pre-Race Feeling: “Anxious to get the party started.”

Early Racing Memory: “First race was Park Ridge. I had never even climbed that hill before. I got pulled after two or three laps. Very upset about that.”

Funny Racing Memory: “I lose my sense of humor when the bell goes off. Is that wrong?”

Greatest Racing Moment: “Winning an obscure race at High Point, New Jersey last year. I have won other races and placed in much tougher ones as well, but there was something about looking down on New Jersey after the race from the top of High Point and being able to see in all directions. Kind of like The Lion King lol.”

Most Painful Moment in Life: “Losing my Dad to cancer when I was 18.”

Worst Injury from Racing: “I have Kevlar skin… I have hit the deck many times, but my body refuses to break!”

Closest Racing Friends: “Hmmm…where did all my friends go? Lol. Okay, Walter Quesada, Epsen Kateraas.”

Funniest Racer: “The clown who thinks he is gonna outsprint me this season!”

Favorite Race: “Harriman – even though the only time I raced there I got dropped on the first lap.”

Embarrassing Racing Memory: “Harriman!”

Toughest Competitors: “Ray Diaz, Wilson Vazquez. Roger and Troy. That Russian Dude.”

Favorite Athletes to Watch: “Lance Armstrong, mixed martial artists, boxers, and the NFL.”

Qualities You Most Admire in People: “Mental toughness, genuineness, and people with a great sense of humor.”

What You Love Most About Riding Your Bicycle: “Too much to list! I love the intensity of racing. Pack fiding feels like running with wolves. Long solo rides to the top of Perkins are very cathartic, mentally and emotionally. I dare say some of my epic mountain bike trips to Moab and Peru were downright spiritual!”