This DoubleShot sponsored athlete is the principal clarinetist for the Tulsa Symphony and the Tulsa Opera Orchestra, and an adjunct professor of music at the University of Tulsa. His wife, Angela Brenton Carter, also plays in the Symphony—and the same instrument. “Yeah, I married a clarinet player. That was the pool.”
Carter is a native of Norfolk, Nebraska, home of Tonight Show legend Johnny Carson and Thurl Ravenscroft, longtime voice of Tony the Tiger, he of Frosted Flakes flame. From a family of runners, he’s been running since the age of 6. Four years ago, he switched to the triathlon, a move that had been in the back of his mind. “It’s a path that’s difficult for a lot of people, especially those who’ve only run most of their lives, like me.”
So when Tulsa made the shortlist for the Ironman competition, he told his friends to hold him to it. His 10:28.44 was good for a 14th-place finish in his age group (and 143rd overall). He also qualified for the world championship in Kona, which was canceled, but will likely use it as “a carrot” for next year’s race.
“I take it seriously and I enjoy it,” Carter said, “but I’m not trying to be a pro. I’m 46 now. But I’m still getting faster in all three disciplines. Running is my strongest of the three (his PRs are 2:56.32 in marathon and 1:23 in the half). Most of the miles in my legs are there."
In music as with fitness, Carter doesn’t box himself in. He played guitar in garage bands growing up, and will still gig on sax when the opportunity arises.
“Music and sports, I can’t separate the two. It definitely affects my teaching. There’s muscle control refinement. The training is similar. Athletes dig to depths you have to reach to make great art. It adds a layer of empathy.”
Carter once heard and now believes that fitness training should occur at an easy pace. Defining “easy” may take some doing. “They say you need to go harder than you think, and you need to go easier than you think.”
A longtime fan of the DoubleShot, his palate is gravitating toward fruity these days. He enjoys trying new varieties, and lately that’s the Worka Sakaro, an Ethiopian natural. “It’s taken over my pourovers at home. Very rarely do I not take the first drink and go, ‘Whoa.’ ”
Naturally, when we started looking for an athlete to sponsor, David rang all the bells.
“Coffee is part of my existence,” he said. “Not as fuel during races, but we should talk.”