In 2013, Justin began to raise money to support wounded veterans, in honor of his father who was severely wounded in 1967 while serving in Vietnam (USMC). Over the years, Justin has raised more than $50,000 for various disabled veteran advocacy groups including the Semper Fi Fund and the Wounded Warrior Project. In 2017, Justin also began donating a portion of all prize money earnings to non-profits, with a particular focus on local Humane Society animal shelters in his hometown as well as his training and racing locations (Boulder, Tucson, Houston, etc.).
Justin was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He was active as a child, however the only organized sport he enjoyed was little league baseball. By the age of 13, Justin’s athletic pursuits involved casual after-school pick-up games and snowboarding whenever possible. Justin moved to Crested Butte, Colorado in 1995 to attend a winter sports academy for his freshmen year of high school. He spent the year snowboarding and loving mountain life, but ultimately returned to Houston for the remainder of his high school years.
During Justin’s senior year of High School he was required to write weekly journals for his English class. One day he ran out of things to journal, so Justin jotted down a bucket list of things to try in his lifetime. The list included one day participating in an Ironman triathlon -- regardless of the fact that he had no prior experience in the sport, nor did he regularly swim, bike or run in any fashion.
Following his freshman year of college at Texas A&M, a friend asked Justin if he wanted to do an Olympic distance triathlon the following weekend and he replied: “Sure.” This began Justin's triathlon career with short, local races. One season later in 2001, during his sophomore year, he stepped up his personal challenge and decided to take on his first Iron-distance race at Ironman California. Like everyone else setting out on the course that day, his goal was simply to complete the race. He crossed the finish line in 12:55 with the high school bucket list goal accomplished and his endurance passion fueled for bigger and faster.
En route to his own athletic goals, Justin often found himself in the position of teaching fellow athletes. He started a triathlon program for beginners in college, helped in the founding of the Texas A&M Triathlon Team, and interned for a leading triathlon publication -- all before graduation in 2003. Following college, he obtained his triathlon coaching certification and began more formal coaching and mentoring of athletes.
In 2007, Justin moved to Boulder, Colorado full-time to intensify and focus on his training. He also began working with Endurance Corner LLC as a coach and events director and eventually became co-owner and manager.
Justin's modest beginnings in the sport of triathlon never included the intention of racing professionally, but over time he has risen from Ironman finisher to Ironman Champion. Additionally, Justin has 10 top-3 Ironman finishes throughout his career.
Justin spends his free time with his wife, Brooke, and his two cats, Lexi and Siggy. He also has a dream of being on Jeopardy one day and watches the show every night in preparation.