Archive for the ‘Member of the Month’ Category

Steve Tibbits

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Steve Tibbits 
Tell us about yourself.
Born and raised in Utica. Moved to Guilderland, N.Y. in 1988 and returned to New Hartford in 2001. Currently 55 years old and happily married for 34 years to my wife Lorrie.

How long have you been involved in triathlon and what made you take it up? Became involved in triathlon in 2012. I joined ATC Endurance swim sessions in New Hartford, I was already a cyclist and thought tris would be fun.

Who is your hero? My father.

What is your athletic background? High school football and track. A few years bike racing and local running races.

What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses?My strongest element is the bike. I can swim distances, but at a slow pace. So that is my weakness. I am working on that, though!!

What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? Delta Lake Triathon in 2012 with ATC Endurance. I most remember freaking out in the water–it was my first experience with so many people swimming near me so I sat up until they were all away from me! I am over that now.

What is your favorite race and why? 2014 Lake Placid Ironman. I trained for seven months and loved it. A fantastic venue and amazing sense of accomplishment.

What was your worst race and why? I loved them all! But the first was my worst because I was a beginner and didn’t know what to expect. Like taking 3 minutes in transition to put on my socks.

What races are on y

our race calendar for 2014? I focused on Ironman 2014 and did the Old Forge Tri in August.

What are your goals for 2015? I signed up for Ironman Lake Placid, and will do the ATC Endurance tris in Cooperstown and Old Forge, and hopefully Ironman Florida in November. I hope to take 45 minutes off my IMLP time. I was 18th in my age group and want to be in the top 10. I placed third in my age group at Old Forge and would like to take first this year.

In five years you hope to... Qualify for Ironman Kona.

Something most people don’t know about you. I am an open book, but if I had to choose something..I wish I had finished college.

What triathlon has taught you: To believe in myself, and live every day.

 

Donna Boots

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Donna Boots 

Tell us about yourself. I turned 55 this year. I have lived in Central New York my entire life, now living only three miles from the farm where I grew up. My little slice of heaven on earth is on Gates Road, west of Baldwinsville, where my husband and I live and work. We own and operate Merritt Seed Company and just recently started Merritt Apple Orchard, which is now producing apples. Being self-employed is hard work. I guess you could call me a bit of a workaholic. I believe in working hard and playing harder. Besides my love for triathlon, I love participating in mud run obstacle courses like Tough Mudder and Spartan races. I love mountain biking and trail running. I love to travel and I have been very fortunate to have traveled all over the world. My favorite sayings are:Dream It…Do It…I Did….and continue to…Life is Good! and Have Passport, Will Travel!

How long have you been involved in triathlon and what made you take it up? My husband was an avid sheep hunter and I used to go along with him on all his hunts. Sheep live high in the mountains so hunting them involved a lot of hiking and climbing. When his knees went bad he stopped mountain hunting and I needed another outlet to focus my energy on. With a seasonal business, in 2006 we I started going to Florida for a couple of months to escape the winter and there I had time to swim and bike to my heart’s content. One day I thought if I took up running I could do a triathlon. So I started running. I did my first triathlon in 2008.

 

Who is your hero?

My big sister Pat. She is a true big sister that I look up to and admire. She is my best friend and biggest cheerleader. No matter what is going on in my life she is supports me 100%. She always has my back.

What is your athletic background?

I was very athletic growing up in the country as a middle child with three brothers and two sisters. In high school I was a diver on the swim team, competed all around in gymnastics, played field hockey, ran hurdles and did the shot put in track. I was voted Most Athletic my senior year in high school. After high school I really didn’t participate in any sports. Over the years I kept pretty active with work and did a lot of hiking and non-technical mountain climbing.

 

What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses? I think my biggest strengths are my strong will, mental determination and a never-quit attitude no matter how hard the going gets. My weakness is that sometimes I underestimate my ability and don’t push as hard as I could.

 

What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? It was a sprint: Tri-America in Brewerton in 2008. I remember feeling like I could take on the world after crossing the finish line.

 

What is your favorite race and why?

How do you pick a favorite race…so hard to do…so many stand out for different reasons. I suppose my favorit

e races are the ones for which I have trained properly, executed properly and the stars align to make it feel like a perfect race. If I had to pick just one I would have to say it was the Cape Argus Cycle Race in Capetown, South Africa in 2013. The 67.5-mile mountainous route circumnavigated the Cape Peninsula on completely closed roads and offered beautiful cliffside ocean views while riding. With over 31,000 riders completing the course it is one of the largest single day cycling events in the world.

What was your worst race and why? I can’t say as I have ever had a worst race. I have, however, had one really scary race moment. During Ragnar Key West in February on my very first leg of the relay I set off at too fast a pace on a 7.5-mile leg in the dark on an unfamiliar course with no fluids or nutrition. I barely remember rounding my last turn at mile 7.2, seeing the lights of the exchange in the distance. I made it to the exchange, stumbling in on auto pilot using dogged determination. Tara, our team’s next runner, had to grab the slap bracelet off my wrist because I was out of it, I was within a hair’s width of heat stroke. I thought my quest to reach Key West was over without making it out of Miami; it took well over an hour to start feeling normal again. I learned a very important lesson about proper hydration and nutrition in humid conditions and to never, ever, no matter how fit, trained or prepared I think I am, go out on a long run, ride or swim without proper supplies.

 

What races are on your calendar for 2014? This year has been pretty full. I did the Green Lakes YMCA Tri, Tinman Tupper Lake 70.3, Iron Girl, Xterra Off Road Tri at Green Lakes, Skinnyman and most recently back-to-back 70.3s at Incredoubleman in Sackets Harbor in September (photo at top). In addition to triathlons, I mixed things up with Ragnar Key West, Tough Mudder Buffalo, Point to Pint Century Ride and I’m All That! I have one race left on my calendar: Ironman Western Australia, December 7.

 

What are this year’s goals? This year’s A goal is to complete my first Ironman distance tri, Ironman Western Australia. When I first signed up, my goal was to merely finish even if it meant crawling across the finish line in 16:59:59. I enlisted Karen Allen-Turner to coach me knowing with my busy schedule I would not be able to train properly on my own. I would need someone to make me accountable. As part of my training she suggested I sign up for Incredoubleman in Sackets Harbor this year. Completing back to back 70.3s on consecutive days would be a good test of stamina as well as a confidence builder for Ironman. I was able to put together two consistent races: 6:17:56 on Saturday followed by a 6:17:54 on Sunday and was the first overall woman finisher for the two-day combined time. Now I am actually setting a goal time, no longer competing to finish but actually competing to race. It’s a neat feeling to see how proper training has changed my perspective on the race.

 

In five years you hope to: Still be Dreaming It and Doing It! And enjoying life to the fullest.

 

Something most people don’t know about you. I bungee jumped off the Victoria Falls Bridge in Zambia, over 300 feet, with Victoria Falls roaring behind me and the Zambezi River flowing below. I felt like an eagle soaring! OK, so now you know I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie, within reason, or maybe not. Zip line, anyone?

 

What triathlon has taught you. It has taught me how strong a person I am. It has also taught me not to judge a book by its cover and that everyone has a story. I see so many different types of athletes in all shapes and sizes and ability and fitness levels that compete in and complete triathlons. I am in awe of each and every one who gets out and just “tri’s.” I hope they all know just how strong they are or can be. Being a member of the CNY Tri Club and taking part in the sport of triathlon has given me so many opportunities to learn and grow not only as a triathlete but as a person.

 

The postings I have been putting on Facebook offering Apples for Athletes at discounted prices to members of the CNY Tri Club is my little way of giving something back to a sport which has given me so much.

Joslyn MacDougall

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Joslyn MacDougall

 

Tell us about yourself. I am 36 years old, a wife to a great guy and mom of two amazing kids who are 9 and 11. Originally from Long Island, I came to Oswego for college where I met Kevin (my husband). We moved to Boston for a short time and when it was time to raise a family we moved back to Central New York. I teach water fitness part time at the North Area Family YMCA and occasionally yoga there as well. I also teach yoga at Tai Kai BJJ and Mixed Martial Arts in Liverpool, and a few other places locally.

Who is your hero? Honestly this is not something I have put much thought into. There are many people I look up to in many ways because they invoke in me a feeling of inspiration and WOW. When I see someone doing something they never thought they could do, that they did what they set their mind to do–that is to me what makes a hero.

What is your athletic background? Ha! Athletic background! Me! NOT! I was one of the least athletic people ever growing up. I have been trying to remember my best mile running time in high school, and I honestly believe it was over 19 minutes. I can almost guarantee that I didn’t run the entire thing; I walked most of it. I was a theater/music girl in school.

What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses? I feel my strongest event in triathlon is the swim. While I may not be the fastest swimmer, I am confident in the water and I just keep pulling. Now if I could only swim straighter. As for weakness, the run. I hated running! Never, never, never thought I would do a triathlon because of that. But once I began running with a good friend (Maria Bradshaw, you know it’s you), I realized that it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought. Though it is something I still mentally struggle with (as my coach and husband will attest to when it comes to certain run workouts, I get the look or get lectured for whining….which I really try not to do…but…).

 

What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? My first triathlon was a Y not Tri put on by the North Area Family YMCA over at the Cato Recreation Center in the summer of 2010. I had run my first 5K a few months before and had a friend who was participating in sprints and I thought, well if she could do it and I can swim and she has a difficult time in the water, then I can at least try this triathlon thing. It was a 400-yard pool swim and a nine-mile hilly ride and 1.5-mile track run. There are two things I remember most about this event–having the other participants and coaches and family members cheering everyone on! After I had finished and was talking with my family and friends I saw the last few people out there and the gal who got me into triathlon and running has gotten it into my head we are much like the Marines, NEVER leave anyone out there alone. So, with Maria in my head, I went out there and ran along the wonderful woman I now know to be Mary Moore to keep her moving forward to finish her first triathlon too!

What is your favorite race and why? Hands down my favorite race is mini-Musselman. I have participated in the sprint since 2011 and the past two years have volunteered in the water during the half ironman distance the following day. It is well organized. The support from the local community and the racers is outstanding and the Finger Lakes area is just so beautiful. This was my first sprint race and so it holds a special place in my heart because I felt so supported and welcomed by all the athletes in my age group and the volunteers and just everyone I encountered there. This is my go-to race every year. One day I will do the Double Mussel.

What was your worst race and why? Worst race would probably have to be Cayuga Lake Olympic Tri last year (2013). Not for the race itself, because it is a beautiful course and very well run, but for bad fueling and mechanical errors. There is a good size climb right out of T-1 so you don’t really have any momentum to get up the hill with much speed. Not to mention that I had not really been training on hills and wasn’t very proficient in where my gears should be. I dropped my chain about five miles into the 25-mile ride. It wasn’t just dropped, but I jammed it in the crank. So I was off my bike, “attempting” to get it out with a stick, when the neutral support truck came up and got me set. They even held my saddle and gave me a push back onto the course. After grumbling through and trying to get a decent ride in, I had a great T2 and pushed too hard on the first loop of the run. As I came back in toward transition my husband was there cheering me on and just as I hear him my quads start to cramp! The kind of cramp that you can barely walk let alone run. Regained some composure, but was not happy with how I felt the rest of the race. So my takeaway from that race was to train some more hills, gain confidence climbing and better pacing on longer runs. And how to fuel properly!

What races are on your race calendar for 2014? Syracuse Half Marathon (pictured at left), Green Lakes Tri, Syracuse 70.3 (my first 70.3), Mini Musselman, Cayuga Lake Olympic, Corporate Triathlon, Dave Parcells Madison Triathlon (Conn., an ocean water sprint triathlon), Wineglass Marathon (my first 26.2).

What are this year’s goals? Finish strong at Syracuse 70.3 was goal No. 1. (This was achieved and exceeded!) Have no issues at Cayuga Lake. (This too was accomplished! Huge PR even if I subtract my estimated time off the bike from the previous year). Finish my first full marathon (currently questioning my sanity with this training).

 

In five years you hope to … Just be happy and healthy. Not setting too many long-term goals right now. Just trying to be the best me I can be.

Something most people don’t know about you. I was a zookeeper. I worked at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston for a few years before moving back to Central New York.

What triathlon has taught you. To endure. Physical pain, mental struggles, they will always be there. It is how you face and push through them that make the outcome better or worse. Keeping positive through that struggle to endure and strive and survive. My motto this year has been Suffer, Sweat, Smile, Succeed! In life and in triathlon.

Ruth Ripley

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Ruth Ripley

Tell us about yourself. I am 67 years old and have resided in Pennellville my whole life except while I was in Massachusetts obtaining my nursing degree. For 43 years I worked nights (7 p.m.-7 a.m.) in the Emergency Department at Crouse Hospital as the Permanent Charge Nurse. Last June I retired but continue to work per diem in the department. I have been married for 46 years to my husband Larry and have two children, Matthew and Amy, and four grandchildren.
How long have you been involved in triathlon and what made you take it up? This is my fifth year of competing. One of my good friends at work, Diane Goode, was doing triathlons and having so much fun that she talked me into entering the triathlon world even though I could not swim. One quiet night at work I gave her my credit card to order what I would need to do triathlons and the UPS man was making daily deliveries. There was just no turning back at that point.

Who is your hero? I have many heroes but I will tell you my top two. First, my husband Larry, who has given me his unconditional support first in all the running that I have done and now in the triathlons. He is continually checking my equipment and traveling with me to the triathlons. Of course, he likes some of the benefits such as the wonderful buffet at the Keuka Lake Tri and encourages me to do this race each year. My second hero is Jill Walsh, who never ceases to amaze me in all she does despite her multiple sclerosis. One of her recent adventures was Escape from Alcatraz and she is now training with the American Paralympic bike team for the world finals. Go Jill!!

What is your athletic background? My athletic career did not start until I was 40 years old. I started running and have never stopped. This is truly my favorite sport. After five years of running I tried my first marathon in Washington, D.C. I trained very hard and finally qualified for the 100th running of the Boston Marathon in 1996. I read about running a marathon in all 50 states and thought I would give it a try. I was in the middle of my 50 states when cancer struck, but I remained determined to complete my dream despite the advanced stage of the cancer and the surgery and chemotherapy. It forced me to take five months off but I quickly returned to my marathon dream. I ran a marathon in all 50 states and the nation’s capital, the second woman from New York State to accomplish this. I could not believe that I was still alive, so I ran another 50 marathons for a total of 100, and then said “100 is enough.”
What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses? Of course, running is my greatest strength with all of the marathons I have run over the years. My severe weakness is swimming. I have come a long way, however. I couldn’t even swim half the length of the pool when I started. Last year I signed up for Escape from the Judge in Skaneateles, which is a mile swim, and placed first in my age group. But I’m still working very hard on the swimming with continuous lessons. My biking has improved since the purchase of my new bike and riding longer miles.

What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? My first completed triathlon was the Iron Girl in 2010. Everyone was so very nice and so very supportive. This is such a wonderful triathlon to have as your very first. Even though I had only just started triathlon, I finished third in my age group but only because of running.

What was your worst race and why? My first triathlon attempt was at Green Lakes in 2010 and was my very worst. The swimming did not go well, as hard as I tried, and I went to the kayak and asked to be taken to shore because I could not stop hyperventilating. I knew all of the medics in the tent and did not want them to cut off my brand new wetsuit and then have them take me to the Crouse Emergency Department where everyone would have laughed. This is when I decided I really needed expert help with the swimming.

What is your favorite race and why? My favorite race was the second Iron Girl triathlon in 2011. My swimming had improved along with my biking. There were 25 in my age group for this event. I had no real aspirations for the race and just wanted to do the very best that I could. To my surprise, I placed first in my age group and was just elated. This only happened because I passed my competition, who up until that point had been the leader in the age group, in the last half mile of the run.

What races are on your race calendar for 2014? I really enjoy the sprint distance and will continue to race it. So this year I signed up for seven sprint triathlons. I have completed the Green Lakes Triathlon, Tri Oswego, Henderson Harbor, Delta and Cayuga, with Old Forge and Skinnyman left on the calendar.

What are this year’s goals? My goal is always to the do the very best I can in all the triathlons and just have fun.

In five years I hope to. . . Still be able to enjoy this sport and encourage others to stay active and treasure each day of life as much as I do.

Something most people don’t know about you. I was raised on a dairy farm. My father and brother would go back out into the fields in the evening and leave me to milk the cows. I had my own calves that I raised and would show at the local fair and also the State Fair.
What triathlon has taught me. I have learned that you cannot become a triathlete overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and you have to be very patient to build the skills needed to complete a race. I also have learned to not only accept the support others give you, but to always give encouragement and support back. Some of the nicest people you will ever meet are runners and triathletes. I have made many wonderful, long-lasting friendships during my athletic career. But above all, just have fun.

Jude Burke

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Jude Burke

Tell us about yourself. I am 47 years old and married to Karen Burke. We have two kids, 11-year-old Casey and 8-year-old Sierra. I grew up in Auburn and went to school at CBA, Le Moyne College and the University of Michigan School of Dentistry where I received my

Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. I am in general private practice in Baldwinsville and have a special sedation permit, which allows me to treat highly fearful patients. My professional interests include computer-guided implant surgery and adult cosmetic orthodontics.

IMLP finisher.

 

How long have you been in triathlon, and what made you take it up? I have been involved in triathlon since 2004. I was a licensed amateur bike racer for almost 15 years before I became a triathlete. After “retiring ” for a year I got tired of just mowing the lawn and decided to gi

ve triathlons a try. I have probably done about 250 bike races and about 30 triathlons. In bike racing you race almost every weekend from March until October.

Who is your hero? I really no longer have any sports heroes. I respect them, but I took down my Lance Armstrong poster a couple of years ago. I would now say my heroes are the veterans of the Iraq an Afghanistan wars.

What is your athletic background? I ran cross country at CBA, but was nothing special. I did the Great Race in Auburn a few years as the runner. One year I lost a coin flip and had to be the biker. I passed a lot of women and children in the race and found my new sport :-). While at the University of Michigan, I joined the cycling team at age 23. I was team captain by my senior year of dental school. I was definitely the only dental student traveling around the Midwest doing bike races every weekend when I should have been studying. It’s a miracle I graduated! I kept bike racing and eventually became a licensed Cat. 3 rider, which allowed me to do a lot of Pro-Am racing where I was the “Am.” On occasion, I got to race against U.S. domestic teams like Saturn and Motorola. I even did some one-week stage racing like the Tour of West Virginia and Super Week in Wisconsin. One day back in 1994 Frankie Andraeu rode in 60 miles from his home in Detroit, kicked everyone’s ass in a 50-mile race and then rode back home. I won some local smaller races like the Oswego Tour de Loop back in ’97 but I am a shadow of my former self on the bike. However, I can now swim.

What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses? My strength in triathlon is the bike although I was more of a sprinter than a time trialist. My one piece of advice is that triathletes need to learn how to “hit the apex of the turn.” Start wide, hit the apex and then finish wide all while holding your line. It will allow you to carry more speed through the corners. My weakness is the swim, although lately it has gotten better. I will never be confused with a fish though.

What was your first triathlon, and what do you remember most? My first triathlon was Green Lakes in 2004. I remember lining up right in the front row for the swim. Almost everyone in the wave proceeded to swim over the top of me. My family thought I drowned. I almost had to grab a kayak, but managed to flounder around to the finish. I was hooked.

What is your favorite race and why? My favorite race is Ironman Syracuse 70.3. I don’t know if people realize how great it is to have that kind of race right in your back yard. There are not a lot of sports where everyday people can share a course with pros from around the world.

What was your worst race and why? I don’t believe in “worst” races. You learn the most when you fail. Every race teaches you something. I guess IM Lake Placid was my most difficult race. When they say hydration is more important than eating they are not kidding. I got so dehydrated it hurt to pee for two days after the race. My recommendation for anyone doing IMLP is to get a coach even if you think you know what you are doing. Placid is no joke and should be respected.

What races are on your calendar for 2014? Last year I finally qualified for Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee. I honestly don’t think I would have made it if not for my coach, Kristen Roe at T2 Multisport. So I will be at Delta Lake for a tune up and then to Nationals in August.

What are this year’s goals? At Nationals the goal is to kick a bunch of old guys’ asses and represent the 315. No, seriously, there are a lot of fast people there. If I finished in the top 50% of AG, I would be ecstatic.

In five years you hope to… still be above ground and still doing triathlons. I just got a camp on a Finger Lake so I may chill out a little more, but I will always be doing some kind of sport if I can.

Something most people don’t know about you. I am probably a borderline extreme skier and can ski any double black diamond chute in the Rockies. My family and I love to surf behind our boat on a surfboard. We are inventing a new sport.

What triathlon has taught me. Triathlon has taught me that family and friends are actually the most important thing in the world. Triathlon, however, is a way of life. It brings balance to my life and teaches me something new every day.

Lynn Douglas

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Name: Lynn Douglas

  

 

Tell us about yourself.

I’m 51 and reside in Camillus. I am a Vermont native and moved to the Syracuse area in late 1995, from Connecticut. With 28 years of tenure, I work for Verizon as a Service Manager. My team provides contract governance and technical support for 17 worldwide healthcare clients. Locally, I’m proud to be on the Mountain Goat committee and board. I was probably one of the first 30 members of the CNY Tri Club and a club officer for a few years. I’m a dog lover and I’m destined to get another dog in my life, perhaps in 2014……

How long have you been involved in triathlon and what made you take it up?

I’ve been involved with triathlons since 2002. Close friends of mine had just started doing triathlons and they were having a ball and feeling the benefits of cross-training. With my running background, I decided to join in the fun, and added swimming and cycling to my training. I was confident I could swim, with work, having grown up on Lake Champlain and having ridden the hills of Burlington, Vermont, on a 10 speed bike when I was a student at the University of Vermont.

Who is your hero?

My local hero is Samuel Clemence, age 75. Sam is a soulmate Lake Placid Ironman training partner. Ironman pal Rich O’Neil and I went to Sam’s retirement party recently as he retired as a Syracuse University Meredith Professor within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. I was deeply touched to hear firsthand about his enthusiastic transfer of knowledge, inspiration, passion, critical thinking and integrity to his student base over the years. He has shared this same positive spirit and tenacity through his accomplishments with his triathlon “students” and family.

What is your athletic background?

I was the captain of my small high school cross country and track teams. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed many sports including skiing (my passion), cross-county skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, kayaking, waterskiing and scuba diving in addition to swimming, biking and running. I would love to try winter hiking in the future. I’ve enjoyed building on distance over the years. You all know that once you do your first 5K run, your interest and crazy aspirations turn to the next goal and others often inspire you or talk you into more. I’ve run 11 marathons (excluding Ironman), including a couple of Boston marathons, and have completed numerous triathlons, including Lake Placid Ironman twice. Some of my PRs are: 10K, 45:37, Auburn Great Race; half marathon, 1:40, Tucson; marathon, 3:43, Mohawk Hudson; half Ironman, 5:27 Tupper Lake; Ironman, 12:35, Lake Placid.

What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses?

I’d have to say running is my strongest sport, not because I am fast but because I’ve been through so many miles that I’ve learned what my body can and can’t do. Furthermore, I have thoroughly enjoyed the mental outlet, cardio value and social benefit of the sport. I’m excited that I still have plenty to learn and to improve with my cycling and swimming.

What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most?

My first triathlon in 2002 was the St. Croix VI sprint triathlon on a rented mountain bike. I remember the island-start swim and large waves with tropical rain pummeling my back. I was thrilled that I wasn’t doing the slick-road half Ironman course, including the “Beast.” I also had a ball when I met and chatted with pro Joanna Zeiger’s husband out on the bike. He was doing his first tri too.

What is your favorite race and why?

Ironman Lake Placid 2005. I had massive butterflies in my stomach as I arrived in Lake Placid. I vividly remember hitting the point that I knew I was ready for the race–I had gone to Placid Planet around 5 a.m. the day prior to the race to get my derailleur tweaked and I cycled out onto Mirror Lake Drive alone to work through my gears when I saw the fog lift on Mirror Lake to reveal the red tetrahedral buoys at the swim turn. What a pure, unexpected and glorious fog-lift “sign” to know I was ready! Also, I burst out laughing on race day when I was in the water with the helicopter overhead and the swim was so tight my first strokes were the dog paddle. I knew my family would laugh at me if they saw me on TV. Lastly, after the race I was so amazed and fulfilled by the athletic goals set and results accomplished by other people after I shared my Ironman journey story with them.

What was your worst race and why?

Thankfully, I haven’t had many bad race experiences. For my first marathon, the Vermont City Marathon, after having been encouraged by Lindsey Reider and Eric Prager to run the event, I gratefully ran 22 miles with Bobby Angotti. I crossed the finish line happily only to have my entire thighs and calves seize up with cramping. I had to be carried away; I quickly learned about electrolyte replacement.

What races are on your race calendar for 2014?

Nationals, Olympic distance in Wisconsin; Henderson Harbor tri (love this one); Skinnyman and others.

What are this year’s goals?

I am focusing on Olympic distances, speed work and perhaps a half Ironman, which is in tune with my training buddy Monique Cuyler. Professionally, I am working on my PMP (Project Management Professional) certification by year’s end, which is a large commitment.

In five years you hope to… :

I hope to enjoy great health and new athletic accomplishments with varying locations and venues, as part of a balanced life. Another Ironman may be in the future…2015? I’d like to continue to inspire and assist others to achieve memorable athletic accomplishments, at any level.

Something most people don’t know about you:

I once roller skated for 24 hours for a charitable cause when I was a teenager. That might have been my first endurance experience.

What triathlon has taught you:

Triathlon has brought thorough enjoyment to me alongside great friends! The triathlon journeys have been such an important part of my life and balance. The hard work, laughter and memories have been amazing. Triathlon buddies over the years include Sam Clemence, Rich O’Neil, MJ Reinhart, Karen Allen-Turner, Lynn Festa, Monique Cuyler, Robin Cottrell, Ann Haley, Marlene Cleary, Sue Shopiro, the Ginny and Bob Burton cellar cycling crew and my Camillus neighborhood running ladies.

Mary Ryan

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Name: Mary Ryan

 

Tell us about yourself. I have resided in the village of North Syracuse since 1988 with my husband, Shawn. We have three daughters ages 22, 20 and 18, and one son age 16. I have been an Exceptional Education teacher for 30 years. My life has been centered on young people. I have been active in the schools I have taught in, church and community with emphasis on many years of service to Girl Scouts. I absolutely love to be outside and take every opportunity I can to be there.

How long have you been involved in Triathlon and what made you take it up? I had never heard of triathlons until 2010. A PE teacher at one of the schools I taught at told me about triathlons and that piqued my interest right away! I have been active my whole life and have enjoyed all three sports. In my formative years it was simply play, yet as a high school student I became competitive and was on swim team and track, events which are totally different than any triathlon leg. In 2010, I learned of Iron Girl and thought what better way to put my love of all three sports together than to sign up for the event and train for it! I learned of the CNY Tri Club and became a member, taking advantage of the Wednesday evening spring and summer training sessions at Oneida Shores. I didn’t know a soul nor had any clue of what to do. The people within our club are phenomenal and sooo supportive that I felt very comfortable growing into my training and tri-ing different triathlons. I have made many friends through the club and met many others during events. I believe it is one of the best things that has ever happened in my life!

Who is your hero? My dad. He has taught me so many things! He is the kindest, hardest working person I have ever known. I grew up with five brothers close in age (God bless my mom). She remained at home taking care of all the household tasks while my dad worked several miles away as a steamfitter in construction. When there was work it was very good but sometimes things got tight. My dad’s work ethic and devotion to family are astounding. He has a keen sense of nature and would spend hours with my brothers and myself walking through the woods behind our home telling us all about the animals, fauna and forest wonderland. During the hot summers he would take us to the beach or the local pond on Fort Drum to swim. His dedication to and appreciation of the little things in life, with the most congenial attitude, make him my hero for all his life stories he has gone through.

What is your athletic background? I believe I was born to move! I have difficulty remaining motionless. I am a bit adventurous and like to challenge my skills. I swam in high school with the backstroke as my event. I was a team member for track and field in high school with the 880 relay and 220 sprint being my running events with discus and high jump as my field events. (Those of us of a certain age will remember running these distances before the advent of the metric system.)

What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses? My strength in triathlon is my passion for all three legs. I absolutely love each sport although I am not good at any of them. I thought that running was my weakest so I have tried very hard the last year to improve that. My time has not really improved although it certainly has helped my endurance. There is just so much technique involved in each leg, far different than anything I have ever experienced, that even with my swim and running background there simply is no comparison.

What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? My first triathlon was Iron Girl 2010. I remember the empowerment that this event gave to beginner triathletes like me to complete three physical events and the sense of accomplishment that it gave me to venture forth to give back by volunteering at other tris and expand my races with the knowledge that support is available through the tri community.

What is your favorite race and why? This is a hard question because each tri I have completed has been fabulous for so many reasons but I must admit that Henderson Harbor is my favorite because it is in my beloved North Country on beautiful Lake Ontario. Moreover, community service and support are very important to me and I love most of all that this event supports Credo and the Watertown Children’s Home.

What was your worst race and why? My worst race was Delta Lake in 2013. I experienced very poor sportsmanship on the swim. My leg was actually pulled and tugged on to pull me back and I was also dunked next to a buoy by other swimmers. Fortunately I love to swim but this set off my race; I also had a new bike and was new to clipping in and out. The event itself is fantastic; however, my experience for that particular day was not.

What races are on your race calendar for 2014? My first race is Oswego followed by the swim leg of the Syracuse 70.3. I also have Henderson, Gillie Girl and Cazenovia on my race list. I am currently registered for the new sprint Incredoubleman in Sackets Harbor in September but if things go well for me I may bump up to my first 70.3.

What are this year’s goals? I plan on riding 62 miles for Tour de Cure and the swim leg of the 70.3. If all goes well I would like to do my first 70.3. I would also like to run my first full marathon–I am registered for the Empire State Marathon.

In five years you hope to … : Keep going strong, God willing.

Something most people don’t know about you. I have a twin brother.

What triathlon has taught you. Have faith in your skills and trust in your training.

Molly English-Bowers

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Name:  Molly English-Bowers

  

Tell us about yourself.  I am a mother and step-mother to five children. You’ve probably all seen my husband, Charlie Bowers, taking a ton of photos at all my races. His support is vital. For 13 years I was the editor of theSyracuse New Times. Last March I was hired to be the Communications Director at Service Employees International Union Local 200United, based here in Syracuse. I enjoy reading and watching movies, laughing at Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, and being outside as much as possible. I am currently seeking a seat on the Liverpool Library board of trustees, so if any of you live in the Liverpool School District and are registered to vote, please consider signing my petition!

 

How long have you been involved in triathlon and what made you take it up?  My first triathlon was in 2009. After suffering a broken foot in 2007, and struggling to regain my marathon form, I decided to give multi-sport a tri (haha). Always a planner, and one to not rush things, I got into the pool in August 2008 for my June 2009 triathlon. I knew how to swim, just not well-I needed those 10 months to prepare. Marathoners tend to be macho, so I was dismayed when I barely made it a lap. Now I enjoy swimming almost as much as running, almost.

 

Who is your hero? I will mention three: Kathrine Switzer. She had the nerve to run the Boston Marathon in 1967 when women weren’t allowed. She broke through a huge barrier, and made it possible for women everywhere to compete in marathon. Joan Benoit Samuelson is another. She won the first Olympic marathon women were allowed to compete in (in 1984). And finally, Deena Kastor, U.S. record holder in the marathon and half-marathon. Girls who run today owe these three a boatload of respect.

 

What is your athletic background? I have a brother who is four years older than me, so I was a tomboy-jumping out of trees, playing baseball, trying to keep up. In high school (when it wasn’t that cool for girls) I tried basketball, volleyball and softball. Interestingly, I hated track, mostly because of the coach. I started running in college to lose 10 pounds and have been running ever since.

 

What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses? I am mediocre on the bike. I don’t know if it’s me or the bike. It’s likely both. A lot of the problem is lack of time to ride for half a day on the weekend. I am saving for a new bike, which I hope to purchase at the end of the 2014 season. I am a strong runner (though not as fast as I used to be). I keep working on transitions, especially getting the wetsuit off faster in T-1. There is always something to work on in triathlon, which is a big reason I enjoy the sport so much-you never get bored.

 

What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? Keuka Sprint Triathlon, June 2009. I remember being scared shitless for the swim. But mostly I remember such a feeling of accomplishment crossing that finish line. I asked my husband, “When can I do one of these again?” I was hooked. A bonus was a surprise third-place age group finish because of a penalty to a fellow competitor.

 

What is your favorite race and why? This is a tough one. So as not to offend any of the local race directors, I will say Steelhead 70.3, in Benton Harbor, Mich., in 2012. The swim in Lake Michigan was surprisingly calm, and I didn’t really care much for the bike (bad roads) and run (ugly scenery). But, my sister was there, as were my aunt and uncle, along with my husband and one stepdaughter. Seeing a small portion of my large, scattered family at the finish line makes this race my fave.

 

What was your worst race and why? I honestly don’t believe in a “worst race:” they’re all good! I guess my worst race was the one I didn’t compete in. The night before the Delta Sprint in 2009, I had placed my ID in a pair of running shoes I wound up not taking. I realized it when we were at the Canastota Thruway exit, turned around and went back to bed. The race took place in a downpour, so I guess I didn’t miss much, but I learned a valuable lesson.

 

What races are on your race calendar for 2014? I like to mix things up geographically, and I like to stay realistic. In addition to running races scattered throughout 2014, my tri calendar looks like this: Du the Lakes Duathlon, Oswego Sprint, Delta Olympic, Cayuga Olympic and, my A race, Incredoubleman-a sprint on Saturday and a 70.3on Sunday. That should be interesting!

 

What are this year’s goals? I hope to have saved enough money for a new bike. I also intend to finish the Harrisburg Marathon in a respectable time. The triathlons are just gravy for me, and while I work like crazy to do well, finishing is the real goal.

 

In five years you hope to … : Have completed my first (and likely last) 140.6. While my family is uber-supportive of the time training takes, in five years one child will be left at home (and she will be a teenager) and then I can really focus on the distance.

 

Something most people don’t know about you: I am a terrible public speaker, so don’t ask me to talk to a group. I always tell myself, “You have finished three 70.3 triathlons and four marathons; you can do this!” But I can’t.

 

What triathlon has taught you: Never, ever give up. No one cares if you walk some of the run portion. No one cares if you’re the last person to finish. Someone will be there at the chute to welcome you back.

 

Daniel C. Wnorowski

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Name:  Daniel C. Wnorowski, MD MBA

Tell us about yourself. 

I am 56 years old, married to Marybeth, with three adult children: Amelia, Nick and Hannah. I have been fortunate enough to be an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports med, and knee and shoulder. I have been tested with some health challenges during the past three years, which have not been too bad as I have been lucky enough to be able to carry on with work, training and competing, and life in general, despite two distinct rare cancers requiring surgery and chemotherapy. The unwavering support of my terrific family, wonderful friends and colleagues and the goal-oriented mentality of Triathlon has kept me focused and positive, despite this “inconvenience”.

How long have you been involved in Triathlon and what made you take it up?

I began in 2009, at Green Lakes. I clearly remember watching an Ironman on TV many years ago and thinking that it would be impossible for me, especially the swim. How could I ever swim 2.4 miles?  No way. But I like challenges. I would guess I have now done about 30 events, including my first Ironman last summer. It was possible after all, and it was very gratifying.

Who is your Hero? 

My wife Beth is my hero. She has stood by me through all the peaks and valleys of 35 years together, raised three wonderful children while I mostly worked and played, and supported my adventurous spirit. I am so lucky.

What is your athletic background?

Mostly endurance sports and activities. I always loved biking, skiing and climbing. My dad planted my climbing roots, and this turned into a big passion for me. Starting in the Adirondacks, I have been fortunate enough to progress to some wonderful big climbs all over the world, meeting great people along the way. I have been witness to some tragedies and miracles on many climbs and consider myself to be a very lucky person to have had such unique experiences.

What are your Triathlon strengths and weaknesses?

I have worked really hard since my first Tri, the Green Lakes sprint in 2009, when I finished the swim in 25 minutes plus, good enough for 266th place out of 266 finishers for the swim. I remember all the bike racks being empty in the parking lot! I sucked it up and took lessons and had tremendous help from some very key people like Bill Houser and Amy Klein, and turned this debut eye-opener into a reasonable 81 minute effort for the swim at the 2013 Lake Placid Ironman. It felt great to have come so far. I love working on the swim. My bike has always been very solid, thanks mainly to my Dante’s pals, road bike racing, and the Bumps Hillclimb Series. I need to rediscover my running past to be complete, having done some reasonable marathons 20 years ago.

What is your favorite race and why? 

2013 LPIM. I cannot wait to repeat the effort in 2014 with the benefit of lessons learned from last year. My second favorite was Burlington, the day after a bike hillclimb race up Mt. Washington, what a great weekend that was!

What was your worst race and why?   

Last year’s Finger Lakes Tri, flatted in the first mile with no spare. (Never recall ever flatting in any prior Tri, so why bring a spare?) What a lesson. I walked back to my hotel. DNF, first and only, after 30-some races. The Finger Lakes Triathlon had no Bike Loft East type race support. Always carry a spare!

What races are on your race calendar for 2014?

As six months of my current chemotherapy regimen and it’s side effects allow: maybe Lake Effect HM, Syr HM, The Goat, Fly By Night, Green Lakes, Coop Tri, Oswego Tri, Syr 70.3, LPIM, Skan Weekend, and FLT with a spare tire. I was lucky to be able to do seven races in 2011 while on a different chemo regimen. The first mile of the 2011 Syr. 70.3 run seemed an eternity, and Barker Hill like Mt. Washington. One step at a time…

What are this year’s goals?  

Finish LPIM faster than last year, with Double Dante’s third attempt only four weeks later. Yikes!

 

In five years you hope to … :

Be breathing.

 

 

Something most people don’t know about you:  

I was a marginal dancer, so I took lessons for Amelia’s wedding dad-daughter dance last summer. We did great for 2:42: Dylan’s “Forever Young”, but I really wish it lasted at least as long as that first Tri swim in 2009.

What Triathlon has taught me:  BALANCE in the sport, as in life, whether training or racing, is absolutely essential. Pace yourself, and be patient. Take care of yourself, especially in the 70.3 and IM distances: eat, drink, and ration your energy. Take what the day gives you, learn from your mistakes, work on your weaknesses, and always Tri harder.

Kelly Covert

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Kelly Covert and I am a USAT certified triathlon and whole body health coach with my company Strong Body Whole Heart. I am married to the other Kelly Covert who is much faster than me, so if you see some amazing times it’s probably him! I have two sons, Ryan who is 10, and Noah who is 7. Ryan loves swimming and science and Noah loves riding his bike, running and pretty much all sports, so between the two of them we have a pretty good relay going! One of my passions is nutrition, and I was recently certified as a nutrition coach, which I’m really excited about! I am originally from the south, but once I moved to Syracuse I knew I had officially come home – I love it here. I am obsessed with good lattes and dark chocolate, and admittedly love riding the trainer because I get to get caught up on all my television guilt-free!  

 

How long have you been involved in Triathlon and what made you take it up?

I have been doing tris since 2005, in fact, Cazenovia Tri was my very first race! I started triathlons because after the birth of my first son I felt that if I could give birth I could do anything! Once I did my first triathlon, I was hooked! I love the people, the races, and the training.

 

Who is your Hero? 

My hero is every single person who is able to do something they never thought they could, no matter how big or small. I know so many wonderfully inspiring people who decided that they CAN. Those people are my heroes.

 

What is your athletic background?

Well, if doing marching band for 8 years counts as a sport, I was a star athlete!! I didn’t really do much beyond basic exercising until I raced my first 5K about a year after my son was born.

 

What are your Triathlon strengths and weaknesses?

My strengths as a triathlete are definitely my endurance and my attitude. I can go and go for days – it might not be that fast, but I can last! I also always try to keep the fun in triathlon which really helps me when racing or training gets hard. I always keep the reasons why I am doing triathlons in the first place at the front of my mind, and when I can remember the whys that helps me to remember how blessed I am to be able to be doing it at all! My weakness is definitely my run speed. Maybe one day I will be fast!

 

What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most?

Cazenovia Tri was my first race ever. After putting on my shoes in T1 before I took my wetsuit all the way off, then dropping my chain on the bike and having a potty training song stuck in my head the entire race, the part I remember the most was crossing that finish line and being so excited that I had actually done it!

 

What is your favorite race and why? 

My favorite race is Rev3Tri Cedar Point FullRev. It was my first full distance tri and it was the most spectacular day. I smiled so much that day and will never forget the feeling of being about a half-mile from the finish and realizing that I was really going to do it!

  

What was your worst race and why?  

Well, I always try to have goals at races that I know I can hit no matter what, so I can honestly say I have very few races I would call “bad.” However, last year at the Rev3Tri Quassy HalfRev it was a freak 95 degree day in early June and the heat definitely got to me! It was my slowest and hardest half ever, but I am still proud to say I had fun and finished with a smile.

 

What races are on your race calendar for 2014?

I’m still not totally sure of my race schedule this year. I definitely plan on racing Rev3Tri Poconos Half this year and am looking at possibly doing Tinman, Musselman, or Rev3 Maine…I guess I should figure that out!!

 

What are this year’s goals? 

To have fun, brighten at least one person’s day while I’m racing, and to try to go just a little bit faster!

 

In five years you hope to … :

Still be living in gratitude each day for every breath I am given.

 

Something most people don’t know about you: 

In addition to being a triathlon and health coach with my company, Strong Body Whole Heart (www.strongbodywholeheart.com), I am also a professional flutist. I play with Symphoria (formerly Syracuse Symphony) and a professional flute quartet called Dolce Flutes, and I teach flute at Syracuse University.