How did you first get interested in multisport?
I think that I can trace it back to two things: a love of all things outdoor adventure and my friend, Daniel. I have been a runner for years, ever since my junior high school days, and went through a marathon phase, but after a few years in DC, I felt the pull of the great outdoors and decided to try adventure racing. I bought a mountain bike and convinced my brother to come out for EX2 Adventure’s Greenhorn Adventure Race in Maryland. We weren’t all that fast, but we had fun, and then upped the ante by roping in my other brother and his wife to do this crazy 18-hour adventure race in Wisconsin. There were some dark times in the pre-dawn hours, but we survived, and I was hooked on the diversity of multi-sport events. Enter my friend, Daniel. He finally convinced me that I might like triathlon, too, and a group of us signed up for the Dewey Beach Sprint. It was a rough swim that year (thanks, Hurricane Igor), and I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I had a great time - and have been doing it ever since!
Which sport do you enjoy the most?
This has become a tougher question to answer over the years. I enjoy the swim far more than I used to, but the top contenders are biking and running. One of the reasons that I started with adventure racing instead of triathlon is that I thought road riding would be boring. I haven’t gotten into suuuper long rides (yet!), but so far, that has proven not to be the case, and I have come to really enjoy biking. But in the end, my heart still belongs to my first love: running! There’s nothing like the simplicity and freedom of lacing up and stepping out the door.
Any embarrassing stories you'd like to share?
Nothing remarkable comes to mind, but it does occur to me that most of my triathlon gaffes are bike related. I once toppled over sideways on my TT bike during a group ride at HP when I reached for a water bottle in my rear cages – while holding only my aerobars. Balance, what? I assure you that it was more comical than it probably sounds. My riding partners and I had a good laugh over it, and even now, years later, it occasionally gets brought up again. Because my ride buddies are super sweet like that. 😉
What is your most triumphant moment during a multisport event?
Crossing the finish line of my first half ironman. Two years after my first triathlon, Daniel and I signed up for our first half, Augusta 70.3. I still was relatively new to the sport. I didn’t have a coach, or a team, and Daniel lived in New York, so my training was solo and largely based on things that I read on the internet. As you can imagine, though I was in decent shape, I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I am for races today, and it was HARD. I was practically wheezing coming down the final stretch, but when I crossed that blessed finish line, I felt something that I’ll describe as part relief and part satisfaction – relief that I was done, but also satisfaction that I had done something challenging, something that I had not been entirely sure that I could do. I look forward to experiencing that feeling again in a few months when I cross the finish line at IMLP!
Tell us something that most people don't know about you.
I can shear a sheep. Although not that speed shearing business where you plop the sheep on its butt and zoom the clippers down its back a few times. I’m talking a more time-consuming effort to make the sheep look all clean cut and fancy. Which is what you do before you don your jeans and boots to parade your sheep around a ring so that it can be judged on its meaty qualities, or so that you can be judged on your skills in exhibiting the sheep. This may sound strange, but it’s a common activity in 4-H and FFA programs in rural Nebraska, and something that I did for many years, so I got really, really good at it. 😊