Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Behind every Ironman is a great support team, one that pushes, drives, and encourages an
athlete to achieve his goal of completing a grueling 140.6 mile test of endurance.

I couldn't have asked for a better one than my family, whom I got to share a very special
experience with on July 27, 2014. They were a huge part of my journey and a big reason why
I crossed the finish line in the iconic Lake Placid Ironman.

The two biggest cogs in the Team Devlin machine, were my sister, Kara, and my mother, who
have seemingly morphed into the same type of person over the years: thoughtful, unselfish, and incredibly generous.

During the last six months of training, I often felt Kara, who was a driven and an intense elite
swimmer, was more excited about the race than I was. She was always encouraging and
motivating me with inspirational stories of athletes who overcame great obstacles to finish an Ironman.

It seemed like every day I'd open up my e-mail to articles, pictures, and quotes from famous
athletes that would fire me up for the  big race. This was something my father used to do
when I was growing up and I guess Kara picked up the torch after his passing six years ago.

Kara also set me up with an energy and nutritional plan that helped me tremendously during
the race. I didn't drink alcohol in the 18 months leading up to the event and I have always been
pretty good about my diet (when I'm training), but her plan got me focused me on what I needed
to do for an endurance event and that was get leaner.

To be honest, I wasn't keen on doing a nutritional plan with a million and one supplements. I
wasn't looking to win the event, just finish. She pestered me so many times to get on the program,
I finally relented just so she would leave me alone. 

I got on the program which helped tremendously. I did drop some weight and my energy was
strong throughout the race. Thank you, Kara.

Mom, as always, was there, too. About a month before the race, she purchased a 3-day Ironman
camp in Lake Placid for me to attend. And again, I wasn't tremendously fired up for the race at
the time, I was just consumed with the training to get there,and mom, like Kara, became a huge
cheerleader. Mom felt if I learned "just one thing" from the camp, it'd be worth it.

So, of course, the day before I was going to leave for Lake Placid and the camp, mom slipped
and fell in New York City, fracturing a bone in her shoulder in the process.  I couldn't leave now,
but she said, "Get the heck out of here, I'll be OK." I did miss the first day of camp to care for
her, but my brother, Patrick stepped in to help out.

My sister's husband, Chad, also helped out tremendously in my training for the Ironman. He
treats Kara like gold and the rest of our family just the same. About three years ago, Chad bought
a summer home about 25 minutes outside of Lake Placid and he always said, "Whenever you
want to come up to train, feel free to stay here."

A lot of people say things like that, but as soon as you ask to come up, they respond, "Oh, that's
a bad weekend. The house is jammed-pack. Not a good idea."

Not Chad. He always opened the door and rolled out the red carpet for me no matter
the time, day, week, or month. He never said no. Truly awesome.

My niece, Sophie, and nephews Patrick and Christian also showed up to support me, which
put the cherry on top of a beautiful day. The Ironman event is amazing in and of itself, but
it can be a long, long day where supporters only get to see their family members who are
competing for a few brief moments until it is all over.

However, there was nothing better than crossing the finish line of a race that covered 140.6
miles and lasted just over 12 hours and seeing Team Devlin with huge smiles on their faces.
It was a spine-tingling moment.

This event is truly about the journey and not the destination. It's about the blood, sweat, tears,
and dedication to achieve. It was also a total team effort by Team Devlin.

To celebrate the Ironman with my family, the one who supported me every step of the way
was truly special and something I will never forget.


Lake Placid,  NY. July 27, 2014. First Ironman: 12:12:36 

2.4  mile swim    1:02
112 mile bike      6:30
26.2 mile run      4:23

Saturday, June 7, 2014


"It ain't over til it's over."

The incredible life of the man who coined that phrase is over. Yogi Berra, a baseball legend
and national treasure, died early Wednesday morning at the age of 90.

Berra was a hero to millions for his amazing accomplishments in Yankee pinstripes, but
to me, he's held in a much higher regard for a reason few people even know about.

I once thought he was one of the greatest baseball players the game had ever seen. A
3-time MVP, 10-time World Series champion and Hall of Famer, Berra had accomplished
things most players can only dream of.

It means nothing to me anymore. Nothing.

While scouring the Internet for inspirational stories on 70th anniversary of D-Day and the
Normandy invasion, I came across an article about Berra being honored for his participation
in one of the most significant and greatest events in our world history.

I said to myself, "Are you kidding me? Yogi Berra fought for our country that day? How
the hell did I miss that?"

As a baseball junkie growing up,  I was obsessed with playing the game and the history of it.
I memorized stats on the back of bubble gum cards and spent more a lot of time learning about
the great ones by studying the Baseball Encyclopedia. Every Saturday, I was glued to the
television for NBC's 'Game of the Week.'

Yogi Berra always intrigued me. He was a small man who put up some incredible numbers.
During my career covering baseball for various television stations and networks, I'd often
see him on the field and wondered to myself, "How the hell did this little, funny-looking guy dominate the game?"

Turns out, that wasn't the question I should've been asking. I should have been wondering
how anyone could fit so much courage into a 5-foot, 8-inch body.

Berra was in Normandy on June 6, 1944, right there in the midst of a bloodbath when
American troops stormed the beaches of Normandy. 2, 500 U.S.soldiers lost their lives
that day,  many of them cut down almost as soon as the front portion of their boats were
dropped down for the rush to fight the Germans.

Berra was just a 19-year old kid that day. 19-years-old. Think about that. What were you
doing at that age? Partying in college? Spending spring break in Daytona? Just chilling
out with your friends?

Berra was in a 36-foot boat with five other men launching bombs at the Germans to
provide cover for the troops rushing the beach among heavy gunfire.

Can you imagine the things Berra saw that day? Can you imagine what was going through
his mind when saw the ocean turn into the Red Sea from all the blood that was shed just
yards away from him? Can you imagine how frightened Berra was as a 19-year old kid.


Our country sure loses perspective when it comes to sports. We idolize players because
they appear to be super human freaks who can run, jump, and throw better than 99.9
percent of the population. We think they are super heroes because they are on TV every
night mastering a kids game.

Broadcasters talk about players having courage because they take a big hit going over
the middle to catch a football. David Ortiz compares a baseball game with a heated
rival as "war".  Good, grief.

Yogi Berra was once a baseball legend to me. Not anymore. He's a true American hero now.
After discovering Berra fought the courageous fight in Normandy, I will never look at him
the same. Ever

I admire Yogi Berra far more today than I ever did. All the baseball stuff is meaningless.
What he did for our country means everything.

Who knew? Now, I do. Thank you, Yogi Berra.


Sunday, June 1, 2014


Mark Rearick is a New Canaan institution, as much a part of the bucolic Connecticut town
as Gates, God's Acre, and the great little station that trains Wall Street sharks, blue chip
CEO's, and corporate lawyers to and from New York City every day.

But in late June, Rearick, who is known to everybody in town as  "2-5-0",  a name given to
him when he tipped the scales at that number as a senior in high school, will head to North
Carolina with his wonderful wife, Diane, and put New Canaan in his rearview mirror. He
is retiring to the Tar Heel state for the next chapter of his wonderful life.

While the footprints he makes on the beaches of Wilmington will be swept away by the
waves of the Atlantic almost as soon as he makes them, the impact 2-5-0 made on
the people and the entire town of New Canaan will never be rinsed out. Ever.

2-5-0 is 'old school' New Canaan through and through and if  he had a food label pasted on
him it would read, "100 percent all-natural, no artificial ingredients added." He's as genuine
of a person as they come and a refreshingly unselfish character in a world often filled with
selfie-obsessed, self-absorbed people whose first question  seems to be, "what's in it
for me?"

2-5-0 not only graduated from the high school in town, but worked and coached there for
42 years. He was hired by the late, great athletic director Joe Sikorski in 1972 to operate the scoreboard during the basketball season and never left, helping countless students and athletes
through the often trying years of high school.

During his career at New Canaan High School,  2-5-0 coached a lot of different sports and
ruled the cafeteria. He wasn't the in-your-face, spray Red Man tobacco juice on your shirt-
type of guy Bo Hickey, another character and coach is, but 2-5-0 always told it like it was
and few people dared to cross his line.

I transferred into New Canaan High School as a sophomore and like so many students and
athletes, I gravitated toward the mountain of a man who put the "barrel" in barrel chest. He
reminded me of Merlin Olsen, the former NFL Hall of Fame lineman and broadcaster, in size,
intelligence, and towering presence. And yes, he even sported the heavy beard like good
ole Merlin that became one of his trademarks.

2-5-0 seemed to coach everything and New Canaan High School, but baseball was his
true passion and sport. He lived it, breathed it, and knew as much about the game as
anybody not named LaRussa, Torre, or Bobby Cox.

He started  the Babe Ruth program and probably coached, in some way, every kid who picked
up a a baseball in town. 2-5-0 is, was, and always will be New Canaan baseball. His impact
on the sport was that big.

And yes, there was "Chicken Street", a softball team in town he founded that was the New
York Yankees of the softball leagues in the area. It was a dynasty. Heck, I don't know how
many championships we won, but I'm certain we had more fun than 99 percent of the beer
leagues in the enitre country. If 2-5-0 asked you to play for "Chicken Street", it was considered
a pretty special honor.

Several years ago, 2-5-0 was honored for all he did for New Canaan baseball. People came
from all over the state to pay tribute to 2-5-0. I don't remember how many games and
championships they said 2-5-0 won and it didn't matter.  The love, admiration, and respect all
his former players, opposing coaches, administrators, and umpires showed 2-5-0 with was
enough to give you chills. The man is truly, truly loved by so many people.

And that's what it's all about. Nobody remembers the wins, trophies, or final records. It's the
impact you make on others and few people in the history of New Canaan High School have
touched as many lives as 2-5-0.

There will never be another 2-5-0, that's for sure.

New Canaan today is far different than the one many of us grew up in. It has become
extraordinarily wealthy and  now home to celebrities like Harry Connick, Jr. Paul Simon,
 NBC's Brian Williams, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, and high-powered CEO's like General
Electric's Jeff Immelt and ESPN's George Bodenheimer.

2-5-0 is "our" celebrity, a New Canaan original who has, in a small way, connected so
many people to the town's past. He is a walking history book who knows just about
everybody who has passed through the tony town of 19, 000 and all the events and things
that helped make it a very special place.

I recently took a picture of 2-5-0 at the New Canaan High School and posted it on Facebook.
The response I received was swift and plentiful, many people chipping in with their thoughts
on 2-5
    • Stacey Smith Great man!

    • Vikki Stone Corliss Congrats to him!

    • Tina Swallow Gaines Wow! A true nchs legend!

    • Holly Nichols LOVE HIM

    • Perry Seelert Wow, the Fiver was a legend, who I vividly remember playing for in Freshman baseball and basketball......the belt was the "indicator" for any baseball signal!

    • Heather Bowler Now there is a name I haven't thought of in decades ! Best of luck to 2-5-0. !

    • Whitney LeGard Williams I see him regularly at the HS. He's still so cheerful, loves to chat about the good old days, and loves the kids. It's incredible to me that he could still be there, and yet, I won't be able to imagine it without him…I hope he retires somewhere that has a great baseball team!

    • Jason E. Green My freshman basketball coach, thank you for everything. We only lost one game that year, a great man!!!

    • Paul Karl Fiver - all the best to a true original and more importantly to a caring and compassionate coach and educator that "made a difference".

    • Samantha Loomis He is the best! Hope you can somehow share these great comments with him, he deserves to see them!

    • Laura Celaya Wilson A truly wonderful man! I am sad that my freshman son won't get to see him all 4 years at NCHS!

    • Billy Jalbert Wow...what a run. Congratulations 2-5-0...and enjoy your retirement.             

      Many of us will never achieve great wealth, but those with New Canaan ties
      are far richer for having met and known a person like 2-5-0.

      2-5-0, you are the best! You will be missed.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


I am proud.

My kid sister turns 40-something today and I've never be more proud of her and the person
she has become than I am right now.

No, Kara is not the CEO of a Fortune 500 company,  a movie star, or anybody famous, for
that matter. She is much more than that.

Kara is a mother who has raised four incredible children, all unique in their own way. She is
the loving wife of Chad who has given her the great life she richly deserves.

And she is my sister. An incredible one.

Kara has  always been there for me through the trying times, and there have been many of
them over the last several years. She has been my Dr. Phil, the one to  make a call, drop a
note of encouragement or kick me in the ass when I needed it.

That's my sister, Kara, who when growing up, was so much like my father: tough, driven,
resilient, but with a huge heart and a great sense of humor to match. It was that drive and
mental  toughness that helped her become a world-class swimmer and an All-American at
both Florida and USC.

But a funny thing happened to Kara almost as soon as she hung up her goggles and retired
from the sport. She morphed into my mother. Kara became so unselfish, thoughtful, and
giving. She put everybody else before herself. Never asked for anything and would not only
give you the shirt off her back, but the sweater, coat and scarf, as well.

Oh, she didn't lose my father's toughness or drive, it just became camouflaged by her
kindness,  thoughtfulness, and spirit. And that sense of humor passed on from my father
hasn't gone anywhere. It just seems to have gotten stronger. Kara is one helluva funny girl.
She is also a fitness junkie, who after four kids, has a six-pack and has the body fat of
welterweight fighter.

Kara is not perfect. She sometimes talks like she knocked off a case of Red Bull for
breakfast. When she's on the phone, the words often come out so fast, I have to get
a translator from the United Nations to figure out what the hell she is saying.

Other than that, Kara is truly amazing.  An amazing mother, wife, and friend. She is my
sister and I admire her so much.

Happy Birthday, Kara, you are the best!