Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved the sport of triathlon. I did my first race when I was 4 and a half years old and I was hooked! My Mom says I whistled through the entire bike portion of the race. Even though I liked triathlon, my first professional sports aspiration was to be a pro golfer. I went as Tiger Woods for Halloween one year – my sister Erika was my caddie and got to carry my bag of clubs and all the candy we got! I took my sister with me to my first golf lessons and now she is a college golfer!
I started swimming competitively when I was 5 and a half. My favorite stroke has always been the breaststroke, but I have grown to love open water and pool distance swims, too. I live on a small lake in Indianapolis where a lap of the perimeter is about 500 yards.
When I was in second grade, my sister took me with her to middle school cross country practice and I was hooked. The coach let me run with the team, and it was a lot of fun being the little kid on the team.
In Indianapolis, there is a kids’ triathlon series which has about 6 races each summer. When I was 7, I started racing in those races and did them until I was 13. A few of the folks who have raced in those races are my tri buddies from Indy – Zach Wilson and Gillian Cridge.
My Dad has done triathlons for almost 30 years. He’s qualified for the World Championships at every distance from sprint up to Ironman. He is the one who got me into the sport and I would expect we will be racing together for many years!
Here are some of the things I like about triathlon:
- Meeting new people and making friends from all across the country (and around the world!)
- The excitement when I hear, “Gentlemen, you are in the hands of the starter!”
- A challenging swim course with a little bit of wind and chop, but no wetsuits.
- Geeking out with my bike. I enjoy tinkering with all its parts to make the bike ready to be ridden really fast!
- The feeling of freewheeling during the run when it all seems to fall into place.
- Group selfies on the podium
Things I don’t like about triathlon:
- Cold water
- The heartbeat music they play at all ITU races at the starting line. My suggestion is that at big age group races where waves start by age, the music they play for each group is from when they were teenagers.
- Swims that are wetsuit legal.
- When the announcer tells everyone on the podium to link hands and lift them overhead. No one ever wanted to see a picture of a bunch of teenagers’ armpits!