Campbell County native Joey Hicks recently received “The EDDIE” Award from the Knoxville Elite Triathlon Team. The award is to acknowledge a team athlete who not only had a great competitive year, but who has also shown leadership skills, as well as given back to the community.
By Charlotte Underwood
KNOXVILLE, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County native Joey Hicks recently received “The EDDIE” Award from the Knoxville Elite Triathlon Team.
The award is to acknowledge a team athlete who not only had a great competitive year, but who has also shown leadership skills, as well as given back to the community.
Hicks is a member of the prestigious triathlon team that consists of only about 20 athletes.
Each year, triathlon athletes have to re-apply “to make the cut” and get on the team.
The EDDIE Award is named after Eddie Raymond, who is the owner of Eddie’s Health Shop in Knoxville. Raymond started the Knoxville Elite Triathlon Team 11 years ago. According to Hicks, Raymond does a lot for the athletic community in and around Knoxville, which is why the team award is named after him.
Highlights that led to Hicks receiving The EDDIE, include “a great competitive year” as well as a new leadership role as a board member of the Knoxville Elite Triathlon Team. Hicks also spent an active year giving back to his community by supporting the Kids Triathlon series in the Knoxville area both financially and by attending all the events.
His own competitive season started in March in Puerto Rico with an IronMan competition. He also qualified and made it to the IronMan World Championship in Finland this year.
Another competition highlight for him this year was a race in California called “Escape from Alcatraz.” He had to get in the race by lottery and didn’t know if he would get to compete. The race took place in June and as part of it, he had to swim across the San Francisco Bay.
According to Hicks, “it was one of the hardest swims” he’s ever had to endure.
Hicks began competing in IronMan triathlon competitions nearly ten years ago at the age of 45. He’s now 54.
To date, he has competed all across the United States including California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Maryland, Indiana, and more. But he has also traveled overseas to compete in Puerto Rico, Finland, St. Lucia, Spain, and several summers ago he competed in Germany which is where he qualified for the world championship.
In 2018, he traveled to South Africa to compete in the half-IronMan World Championship.
In 2019, Hicks competed and finished in the Ironman World championship in Hawaii.
His new goal is to make it to this year’s IronMan World Championship which will take place in December in New Zealand.
Prior to that, Hicks heads to a half IronMan competition in Chattanooga this coming spring, and after that, he has an IronMan California competition in Sacramento.
In the meantime, he is continuing his rigorous two times a day training sessions to prepare for those upcoming IronMan competitions.
A full Ironman competition consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run (140.6 total miles). A half-Ironman cuts the distance of each portion in half.
Hicks graduated from Campbell County High School in 1987, and he has always been an athlete, playing basketball and running track in high school. After his residency in orthodontics, he began racing bikes and did that for 15 years.
He competed in his first triathlon in 2014, coming in third overall. Wanting to step up the challenge, he decided to compete in “the hardest triathlon,” the IronMan competitions.
In October 2015, he competed in his first IronMan competition, and now it is a yearly challenge he trains for daily. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/29/2023-6AM)