A champion muscle-man now presides over California. Jesse “The Body” Ventura once governed Minnesota. Barry Siff, multi-sport athlete and Eco-Challenge competitor, had hoped to join a short list of sportspersons turned politicians.
But Tuesday’s Boulder City Council election results had Suzy Ageton, Matthew Appelbaum, KC Becker, Macon Cowles, and George Karakehian joining the starting line-up, leaving Siff standing on the sidelines.
Losing is something new for the professional competitor. He’s raced in numerous marathons, triathlons, and Iron Man Challenges, and he took on the 300 miles of rugged Eco-Challenge terrain as a professional adventure racer between 1998 and 2003.
“In athletic events, when you win or do really well, you’ve accomplished something… you’ve celebrated, and then it’s on to the next thing,” Siff said. “In this situation (winning) is just a start.”
Siff had apt credentials for a spot on Council. He’s an entrepreneur—he started two businesses; author—he wrote Fit and Fun for Life and co-authored Adventure Racing: The Ultimate Guide; and avid environmentalist—under his leadership, 5430 Sports received the 2007 “Zero Waste Community Event Award” from the Executive Director of Eco-Cycle. Siff also acted as Vice President, Human Resources, for a $7 billion division of ConAgra Foods.
Siff had hoped his past attention to environmental issues and green efforts would be appreciated by Boulder’s environmentally-minded community.
If he was elected, he promised to instate “some smaller, more concrete, visible programs that (would) get people engaged in the sustainable movement, (like) making the Hill a zero-waste zone.”
“Barry Siff is an incredibly astute, innovative businessman who is serious about economic issues,” said YS Editor Andra Coberly in an e-mail.
Having succeeded in environmentalism, business, and athletics, Siff was ready to tackle a new monster: local government.
“We feel like Siff would bring a new, economically-motivated mindset to Council,” Coberly said. “He is solutions-driven, and he talked with me a lot about revving tourism as an economic engine, which is incredibly smart (as it’s) one of the ‘cleanest’ industries.”
Siff compared his preparation for the Council election to participating in an Eco-Challenge.
Both have “the ideas of setting really high, lofty goals.”