Fred Kass


We came to Santa Barbara in 1990 when a job opened up at the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara where I have been a medical oncologist and research/wellness director ever since.  Our son, who was 3 at the time just graduated from UC Berkeley (where is was a 6’5” setter for the volleyball team) and my daughter, who was born at Cottage Hospital shortly after we moved here runs X-country and track at Tufts (and this summer has been my running coach).   My first exposure to SB athletics was at Los Baños, and that led to my first SB Tri entry (sprint) in 1995.  I am lucky to be married to a great cyclist – Sarah and I have twice done the long course as a two person relay.  I swam, we did the bike course on a tandem and then Sarah did the run. Going up Toro on a tandem was truly memorable – I didn’t think you could go that slowly and still stay upright. (But, with all of that aerodynamic weight, we really flew down East Valley.)
The highlight of working at the Cancer Center was working with Julie Main.  She motivated everyone in the research and wellness departments.  She developed innovative programs that continue to touch the lives of countless patients in our community. Her courage was extraordinary.

The Tri Club has been an absolutely wonderful source of encouragement, support and motivation.  This last January, I found myself the proud owner of a new expensive piece of titanium – I had planned for a bike, but it turned out to be a coronary artery stent.   It came as a pretty big surprise (Tokie relayed the story at a Tri Club meeting.) But, since then, with Jack Bianchi’s help, I have been able to compete at UCSB, Wildflower, Breath of Life and Vineman – I have been truly blessed.

But, mostly, I am grateful to my wife Sarah, who tolerates my obsession with training schedules, diet, body fat %, anaerobic threshold, Nite Moves, time trials, bricks, track workouts, masters swim, and all the other wonderful craziness that makes up triathlon training.

So, why do we do it?   When I try to answer that question, I think about Woody Allen in the movie Annie Hall.  He told the story about a crazy friend of his who thought that he was a chicken.  “So, why are you still friends with him if he’s that crazy?” Woody was asked.  “Because,” Woody replied, “I need the eggs.”