Darius Mark Birthplace? Chugiak, AK Your current home town? Frederick, Maryland Profession? State Farm Agent How did you first get into endurance sports? I ran cross country in high school, started Olympic distance triathlons and mountain bike racing in my late 20’s,and began road racing in my mid-30’s, progressing to Cat 3 level. What forms of cycling do you participate in now? Endurance road and gravel cycling events, fondos, distance open water swimming. Why do you ride now? Cycling is a great way to maintain fitness while minimizing the chance of injury, strong social network, and getting outdoors for fresh air and scenery helps maintain sanity. What advice would you have offer to those just getting in to endurance sports? Join a group. Real life, virtual (social media), or both – other athletes will provide invaluable knowledge, motivation, and support as you begin training, and later, if/when you are ready to compete. What have been some of your positive personal experiences from participating in endurance sports? What are some of your challenges? Going to events for training and/or competition has exposed me to new parts of the country, new people, and gives meaning to the occasional mundane days of training. What single piece of encouragement would you offer to a young person experiencing homelessness? Know that you’re not alone, there are many people facing similar situations right now. There are also people around you who have also successfully navigated very difficult times in their own lives – believe that things will get better, accept help when it’s needed, and work hard to make things better when you can.