Archive for the ‘Member of the Month’ Category

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.

Annie Porter

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Name: Annie Porter 

Tell us about yourself.  

I am 28 years old.  I live in Syracuse where I work as a criminal defense lawyer.

 

I have been in the Syracuse area for six years.  Before that, I attended college in Charleston, South Carolina after my small town upbringing in Lyons, New York.  It was in Lyons (hometown of Jim Boeheim- known for little else) where I met my high school sweetheart who is now my husband.

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

My triathlon addiction began in 2010.

 

I began running competitively in high school.  I use the term “competitively” loosely; I was not very good, but running was just something I did.  While in college, I sustained a very bad, right foot “lisfranc” injury and could no longer run.

 

After a year or so of feeling sorry for myself, I started to swim laps and ride the stationary bike at the local YMCA.   When I could finally run again, I decided I would put the three together and I signed up for my first sprint triathlon. 

Who is your Hero? 

I am racking my brain trying to think of someone in the athletic field so that my answer will mesh with this bio, but my hero has always been Thurgood Marshall.  No amount of swimming, biking, or running comes close to his achievements.

 

What is your athletic background?

When I was young I was on every backyard team my brothers didn’t kick me off of.  As I got older, I realized my hand-eye coordination left something to be desired (I couldn’t tag a ghost runner in baseball) and decided to stick to track.  I tried a few different events and even managed to win a sectional title for pole-vaulting (it was not a competitive year for pole-vaulting).

 

In college I threw caution to the wind and signed up for rugby.  As it turns out, I didn’t need hand-eye coordination, just the ability to tackle and an appreciation for cheap beer.  My foot injury is a rugby injury, but it was worth it.

 

What are your Triathlon strengths and weaknesses?

It depends on the race.  The run leg is my best friend during a sprint, but my worst enemy in a distance race.  With the swim it is often the opposite.

 

 

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

My first triathlon was Green Lakes.  I had never done an open water swim and I had never worn a wetsuit.  I remember thinking that if I got close enough to a kayak I would ask to be dragged back to shore.  I am glad I stuck it out.

 

What is your favorite race and why? 

Green Lakes is my favorite race, probably because it was my first.  I also love to train there; the trail running is a nice change from running on pavement.

 

What was your worst race and why? 

Without a doubt the 2013 Syracuse 70.3.   The heat got the best of me.

 

What races are on your race calendar for 2014?

Green Lakes, Syracuse 70.3, and Ironman Lake Placid.

 

What are this year’s goals?

This year is all about the Ironman.  I have some times in mind, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

 

I met Steve Plante in 2010 when I was training for my first triathlon.  He told me that the first time I do a triathlon or try a new distance, my goal needs to be to finish.  If you want sound advice, go to Steve Plante.

 

My goal is to stick to the training plan and finish.

 

In five years you hope to…:

Stay in contact with all of the great people I have met through CNY Triathlon and triathlon training.  I love triathlons, but the working out and racing is only half the fun.  Being able to let loose and goof off with the great group of triathlon misfits I’ve met helps me keep everything in perspective.

 

Something most people don’t know about you:

I failed my driver’s test four times.

Maryjo Reinhart

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Name: Maryjo (MJ) Reinhart 

Tell us about yourself.  

I won’t tell you how old I am but I race in the 45-49 age group… I am a RN and work in Hemodialysis and have worked in this specialty area for 26 years. I am the youngest of 5 kids, and grew up in B’ville in the country. I now live in Jamesville with my husband and our 2 Labs – 1 chocolate and 1 black lab. The black lab is a trained Guide Dog from Guiding Eyes. She was my sister’s dog. My sister tragically passed away 3 years ago and they so kindly let me keep her dog. I have put her “back to work” and we do pet therapy, visiting nursing homes and children’s inpatient units.  Besides my work, 4 legged children and training, my husband and I love to travel, hike, winter hike and explore National Parks.

 

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

About 11 years. I started doing tri’s as I was restless just cycling. I didn’t care for the “pack” racing mentality.  I belonged to the Onondaga Cycling Club and knew some members that participated in tri’s, so I went to a Wed tri night and just “watched”. Thought it looked pretty fun but knew nothing about swimming. So I started taking swimming lessons at a Y. Now I know that I did not take them from the “correct” tri coaches but at least it was a start. From there I just became more and more interested and hate to admit it, but more ~competitive.

 

Who is your Hero? 

Chrissie Wellington. I wish I could have that smile throughout a race. It is just priceless. I loved her book – A Life Without Limits. She seems so down to earth, not pretentious and an awesome athlete.

 

What is your athletic background?

I ran a bit of track and cross country in high school but was not too athletic as I had horses I had to tend to after school. My sister and I also participated in many horse shows so this consumed much of my time. Someday I think I would love to ride horses again. They are just so majestic and a lot of fun!

 

What are your Triathlon strengths and weaknesses?

Strength, I would have to say is biking ~~ I love hills!!! They can only make you stronger! Weakness of course is swimming. I make myself go to the Chargers Masters Swim at least 2 times a week. Wish I could go more but just can’t fit it all in. I envy the people who swam early in life and are just amazing to watch in the pool.

 

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

My first was the Caz Tri. I don’t think I was a member yet and I knew no one in the “tri world”. I remember being exhausted after the sprint (that is funny now) and thinking I just could never do anything more than that.

 

What is your favorite race and why? 

My favorite has to be the Henderson Harbor Tri. The $$ goes to the Children’s Home in Watertown and it is very well organized and fun. I love the mugs they give out but I think I have collected enough now.

 

What was your worst race and why? 

Worst race was the very first Syracuse 70.3. It was super COLD in the water and if you don’t like to swim this was the perfect storm for me! I felt like I was never going to get out of the water. Then it was a bit rainy on the bike and I crashed. All I can say is, careful of the “white paint” on the corners and braking. The tri world is a never ending learning experience.

 

What races are on your race calendar for 2014?

I need to race Syracuse 70.3 again and stay upright on the bike. I also will sign up for the Lake Placed ½ Marathon ~ very fun! Henderson Tri of course, Lyme Tri and Delta. I see Delta is doing a double tri – sprint and Olympic—hmmmm sounds intriguing! I also need to do a marathon again and try to qualify for Boston again. I ran Boston in 2008 and would love to experience it again.

 

What are this year’s goals?

Become a more efficient runner off the bike…and of course, improve those swim times. At least I don’t stop every few hundred yards in the water anymore (baby steps!)

 

In five years you hope to…:

Race Lake Placid again in 2015~hopefully…and spend some time with my husband as he will be retired by then.

 

Something most people don’t know about you:

Deathly afraid of snakes! I constantly think I will see one slithering under me when I am swimming. That will be an instant panic attack!

Eric Hinman

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Name:  Eric Hinman

Tell us about yourself.  I’m an entrepreneur from 9-5 and exercise in the morning and evening. I’m optimistic, passionate, and a creature of habit!  When I try something, I normally go “all in”! I enjoy entertaining, appreciate good food, and like to travel. I live in downtown Syracuse with my girlfriend, Jillian D’Amcio and six year old boxer, Madison.

How long have you been involved in Triathlon and what made you take it up?  I’ve been involved in triathlon for three years. My friend, Charlie Breuer got me into road biking, which eventually led to signing up for my first triathlon – Cazenovia. Triathlon has since become a lifestyle. 

Who is your Hero? Passionate people who take on challenging problems, overcome adversity, and succeed inspire me. Elon Musk comes to mind.

What is your athletic background? I played three sports in high school (including track and cross country) and played basketball for one year in college. In college, I become a regular at the gym. After college, I learned fitness isn’t how big your biceps are! I began crossfit-type workouts in 2008 and enjoyed the high intensity. I began supplementing the strength training with cardio, and signed up for some 5k’s, 10k’s, & 15k’s. In 2010 I tackled my first triathlon and was instantly hooked.

 
What are your Triathlon strengths and weaknesses? My strengths are the bike and run. My weakness is the swim. Someday, I’ll figure that portion out!

 

What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? My first triathlon was Cazenovia sprint in 2010. I started swimming 3 weeks before the race. I had to sidestroke and backstroke my way through the swim. As I passed people on the bike, I couldn’t help but think I should be yelling “slow swimmer coming through”. I finished third and was excited beyond belief. It wasn’t until later that day, I learned there was another “elite” wave that had 20 people. They all had a faster time than I! Being a fierce competitor, it left me hungry for more, so I signed up for the Skinnyman. The most memorable thing I noticed about triathlon is how close-knit the community is. Everyone is friendly, helpful, and rooting for each other. It’s amazing to see competitive people all trading their secrets and helping each other.  I’ve met some of my closest friends through triathlon.

 

What is your favorite race and why?  My favorite race is Ironman Lake Placid, specifically my first one in 2012.  I participated in the race with many of my closest friends. We all shared in the uncertainty of how our mind and body would perform in a grueling endurance race. Entering the water with 2,500 athletes waiting for the cannon to go off, gave me butterflies I’ll never forget. Subsequently, passing through the village of Lake Placid on the bike and run, listening to thousands of people cheering, produced an adrenaline rush second to none. Having so many friends, family, and supporters at the race meant the world to me. When I crossed the finish line, it was empowering and a relief to have finally finished!

 

What was your worst race and why? My worst performing race was Kona 2013. Training consumed my life throughout 2013 and my fitness peaked at the perfect time (in October). I expected to perform well in Hawaii, even in non-customary conditions (heat + wind). The day before the race, I was sick. Unfortunate timing to say the least! During the race, I couldn’t keep anything down on the bike; it turned into a porta-potty crawl. Thoughts of quitting entered my mind. It was a mental battle to keep going, but the reward of finishing and earning a medal was well worth it.

 

What races are on your race calendar for 2014? IM Texas 70.3. IM Syracuse 70.3, IM Lake Placid, IM Kona (fingers crossed that I qualify!). I’ll also compete in some of the local races (Du The Lakes, Green Lakes, Cazenovia, & Skinnyman) depending on what my Coach, Mike Corona lets me do! I always blame it on him if I can’t race!

 

 

What are this year’s goals?  In 2014, I’d like to return to Kona. I’m out for personal redemption. I need to race well at IM Lake Placid to qualify.

 

In five years you hope to … :  Over the next five years, I’d like to continue living a healthy lifestyle; training, racing, eating healthy and continuing to meet all the wonderful people in the triathlon community. I’d like to make Kona an annual trip – who doesn’t love Hawaii?

 

 

Something most people don’t know about you: While racing, I think about how delicious chocolate milk is going to taste at the finish line. It motivates me to go fast! Also, I’m addicted to Justin’s Maple Almond Butter.

Genaro Manzano & Jeannie Larrea

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Names:  Genaro Armand Manzano (son extraordinaire) and Jeannie M. Larrea (mummie!!!!!)

Tell us about your family:  We are originally from New York City, born and raised in the Bronx.  After a sabbatical in South Australia, we relocated to the Syracuse area in December 2012 for a new life and job opportunity.  We love the outdoors and trying new things.  Besides all the swimming, biking, and running, we are snowboarders too and can’t wait for the pow days to hit the slopes, in the dead of winter.

 

How long has each of you been involved in Triathlon and what made you take it up? 

Jeannie:  I am a late to the start line triathlete.  I started training for my first triathlon in 2010, but then was side tracked with an injury.  I completed my first triathlon in June 2011 and have done a few since.  Other injuries sidelined me all this winter so I had a late start to the season.  I started all of this to keep up with my son, who is a ball of energy and thrives on activity and movement.  It is important to me to have a common bond with your child and share something special.  Sports are our thing.  We are our biggest fans!

Genaro:  He was always a hyperactive child and nothing kept him still.  Always wanting to try new things, we thought it would be cute to sign him up for an Ironkids event in St. Petersberg, FL in 2009.  He is a natural at the sport, now completing over 25 events since the age of 9.  I have served as his coach, confidant and training partner this entire time.  Triathlon is something we do as a family.  The challenge of all 3 events and what it takes to complete them is what drives him to continue in the sport.

  

Who is a Hero for each of you? 

Jeannie:  I just adore Chrissie Wellington.  Besides being an amazing athlete, she is just so down to earth.  Her smile and personality are infectious.  Genaro and I met her during her book tour in May 2012.  Genaro is in love with the British culture and brought his Union Jack pillow to the event.  Chrissie signed it and took a picture with us.  Her background as a mere mortal, turned into one of the greatest female athletes of all time, is truly inspiring.  In addition, her charity work and her ability to continuously give back make her a hero in my book.

Genaro: Genaro’s favorite triathlon team is the Browlee brothers.  They are the epitome of the sport and while competitive, they are family first. He just admires their accomplishments and can’t wait to see what else they pull off in the future. He hopes they will compete in longer distance racing.

   

What are each family member’s Triathlon strengths and weaknesses?

Jeannie: I have been a swimmer all my life and found it easier to change from pool swimming to open water swimming.  In the metro area, open water swims are in the ocean so the calm lake waters of CNY is soothing.  I learned how to ride a bicycle in 2007 so there is still so much for me to understand about cycling.  And I was never a runner.  I was always intimidated by athletics till my early 30s so this is a challenge all around.

Genaro:  Genaro, bar none is a cyclist. He learned how to ride 2 wheels before he was 4 years old and has never stopped since.  He loves everything about biking and prefers to ride the 2 wheels more than anything else. Swimming and running are secondary. While he is good at the other two disciplines, he just started working on them this last year.

  

What was each family member’s first triathlon and what do they remember most?

Jeannie: Stamford Connecticut KIC IT Triathlon.  Olympic distance.  No coach, no program.  Just trained as best as I could.  I finished close to last.  Genaro met me on the run course (as he does now all the time) to help me through the finish line.  I could have not finished it without him

Genaro:  Ironkids, St. Petersberg, Florida.  Barely could swim, biked an amazing split, walked most of the run, 39:31 was his time.  The entire family was there to cheer him on!

  

What are this year’s goals (family and individual)? 

Family: To take our training and nutrition to the next level.  We want to be serious athletes in the sport and learn how to do this properly.  It is game time for us!

Jeannie:  I want to do IRONMANS.  YES, more than one.  Actually, in my lifetime, I want to travel the world doing them all.  While there are so many sports out there people can enjoy, this is what captivates me the most.

Genaro:  Genaro wants to compete at an elite level and up the game. He wants to compete on a national and international circuit, while balancing his freshman year in high school.

 

   

What, if any, kinds of family workouts do you do together?

We try to work out as a family. It is imperative that family quality time comes first. I came into this sport as a way to keep up with my child, now we workout as part of our routine. We make a point to schedule time and make it work for our family.

  

What keeps the entire family motivated and keeps you coming to the tri events and participating?

We just love the atmosphere, the people and the excitement of it all. It is also important to us that we give back and volunteer whenever we can because we couldn’t race and compete without the wonderful people who give up their time to keep us going. Every time we attend an event, we learn something new, share a laugh and have a great time. It is part of our life.

 

Tell us about competition between family members:

Of course, Genaro is naturally competitive. There is no competition; he wins except when mom has to be mom!  Then I win and I am right :) )

 

   

In five years where do each of you wish to be? 

Jeannie:  I wish to be an ironmom and all around long distance endurance athlete. I want do so many things and explore the world in my early 40s. My son will be off to college and I have to start some new adventures. Kona is just the tip of the mommy and son list of “to do’s”.

Genaro:  By then, he will be 19 and just starting to live his adult life. Knowing Genaro, he won’t define any of that until he is older, but I am sure it will involve athletics and healthy living.

  

Something most people don’t know about each of you: 

Jeannie:  I want to have the opportunity one day to safety patrol the snow mountains in the EU or out West. Ideal dream come true: Avalanche control in the back country. I am in love with snowboarding as much as I enjoy triathlon.

Genaro:  He secretly wants to live the life of the 3 blokes on Top Gear UK. His backup plan…a race car driver. I wish I was 14 again.

 

Mike Brookins

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Name:  Mike Brookins

Tell us about yourself. I am the television meteorologist on the networks of CNYcentral which are NBC-3, CBS-5, CW-6 and CNYcentral.com. If you see me show up at a group ride or triathlon practice you can be assured the weather will be OK.  This benefit actually ends up hurting my own training because I’m always training in cooler, less windy weather. And that doesn’t always happen on race day, AKA Syracuse 70.3 in 2013. I work weekends so I end up using a lot of my work vacation days for races.  I’m married with three daughters.

 

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

I have been involved in the sport since the Ironman 70.3 Syracuse race was announced in the fall of 2009. I had run a few 5ks and my first Mountain Goat Run. When I read in the Post-Standard that the race was coming to town I decided at that point to get into triathlon and soon after purchased my triathlon bike. I signed up for the inaugural race and trained solely for that race for almost a year.  I decided to get into the sport because I had to stop racing BMX bikes due to multiple concussions from crashing.  I also was about to turn 40 and wanted to get into better shape, which I have!

 

 

Who is your Hero? 

In the triathlon world I would have to say Craig Alexander. He has dominated the sport for the past few years at long distance racing. He seems to successfully balance the pressure to race and win with raising or being part of a family, which is important to me too.

 

What is your athletic background?

As a child I was always playing different sports from soccer, to basketball to football. But at the age of 7 I got my first BMX bike and was racing it by 9. I continued on with the sport until my middle 30s, racing all around the eastern USA in state and national series. I still have my Redline cruiser in case one of my kids wants to get into the sport.

 

What are your Triathlon strengths and weaknesses?

My strength would have to be biking, coming from a cycling background in BMX. I pretty much rode all over Rochester most every day while growing up. And after almost every bike ride, I wished I had more time to keep on going. My weakness would be my swim where I’m usually middle of the pack. I find it hard to get in pool time, especially during the off season. It’s so much easier for me to hit the bike trainer in the basement or throw on my sneakers for a run.

 

 

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

My first ever triathlon was the Ironman 70.3 Syracuse in 2010. What I remember most is crossing the finish line at the Inner Harbor and not believing what I had just accomplished. It brought tears to my eyes and my wife’s knowing how long I trained for this one race and how badly I wanted to just complete it. The time it took me was irrelevant.

 

What is your favorite race and why? 

My favorite race is the Ironman 70.3 Syracuse because it was my first ever triathlon and the most difficult course I have ever raced. I have raced it every year, a total of 4 times now. With athletes from around the country and world, some gunning for a world championship slot, others just to best their own times, I have always had a great time. No matter how bad the weather was.

 

What was your worst race and why?  

My worst race ever would have to be the Syracuse Ironman 2012 when I completely fell apart on the run. I blamed the heat, humidity & sunshine but likely pushed too hard on the bike. I came into the 2013 race with a better game plan after licking my wounds from the year before and showed some gains.

 

What races are on your race calendar for 2013?

I will be racing the Rochester intermediate distance triathlon in August, the Skinnyman sprint triathlon in September and then racking my bike and focusing on the Empire State Marathon in October and the Disney Marathon in January.

 

What are this year’s goals? 

I want to move closer to the front of the pack at races versus the middle where I have been the past year or two. I hope to get some formal swim coaching this off season to help that part of my game.

 

In five years you hope to … :

I hope to be still racing in a lot of local CNY races. After traveling to BMX races around the country for years and now having children, I love any race that takes less than an hour to get to. Also, I plan to race a full distance Ironman race once my kids are all in school full-time and I have more time to train.

 

Something most people don’t know about you:

In addition to triathlons I’m a Disneyworld addict and enjoy visiting the Orlando theme parks most every year. My 3 daughters are my additional enablers. I’m also a parrot-head, a big fan of Jimmy Buffet and have been to quite a few of his shows.

Jackie Egle Capella

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Name: Jackie Egle Capella

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

I have been involved in Triathlon for about seven years.  Like many things I do it all started with a dare.  My friends know I am a sucker for a well placed dare.

 

Who is your hero?

Wow, that is tough.  I know so many people who have overcome huge obstacles in their lives.  There is no way I could pick just one.  Wake up everyday and be thankful, be kind, do the best you can – my definition of a hero.

 

What is your athletic background?

Mostly skiing, gymnastics and track (I was a sprinter.  I know – seems improbable, right).  But really you name it – my dad and grandfather made sure we experienced as many sports as possible.  I cannot really cook but I can ice skate, fish, horseback ride, throw a baseball, sail….and drive a standard.

 
What are your Triathlon strengths and weaknesses?

I love to run.  I do not love to bike.  Enough said.

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

My first triathlon was Cazenovia.  I remember standing on the lake shore the night before the race with a friend of mine and saying “This is the stupidest thing I have ever done.”  I have since said that same thing a million times – rock climbing, participating in a fireball eating contest (see dare statement above) and learning to shoot a shotgun come to mind.

What is your favorite race and why? 

My favorite race is the Finger Lakes Tri.  It is a beautiful course and a well run race.

What was your worst race and why?

Great timing on the worst race question.  It has to be this year’s Syracuse 70.3.  The run was a death march.

 

What races are on your race calendar for 2013?

Behind me are; Columbia Tri, Green Lakes and Syracuse 70.3.

Still in front of me are; Cazenovia, Skinnyman and Finger Lakes.

What are this year’s goals?

This year, like every year, my foremost goal is to have fun.  Ok, who am I kidding… people who know me would call me a liar if I did not include a goal of doing well – I can be a bit competitive.

 

In five years you hope to … :

In five years I hope to have launched my children (Alex, 19 and Abby, 17) to wonderful, purposeful lives. And then I am buying a really cool sailboat.

 

Something most people don’t know about you…:

  • I love old school disco music.  And tend to sing it while I am riding.
  • I love to camp in a tent.
  • I have a group of the best friends a person could ask for.  Wait, maybe that does not belong in this category, because if you know any of them then you know that about me.

Gina Pauline

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Name: Gina Pauline

Tell us about yourself.  

I have lived in Syracuse since the summer of 2006. I am originally from Yonkers, NY (about 15 minutes outside NYC) but have had the opportunity to live in many places thanks to my education and career in the sport sector! I currently work at Syracuse University as a faculty member in sport management.

I have a great family that includes my husband of ten years Jeff, our three kids Gabriella (7), Dominic (4), and Tyler (4), as well as our newest addition, a chocolate lab puppy, Bailey who is 6 months.  Being a mom of three young children, and working full time, certainly is a balancing act, and keeps me on the go at all times but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

 

 

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

I have been involved in triathlon for about 2 years now. When I was in college, I had always wanted to do a triathlon but never had the opportunity to do so. One of my research lines as a faculty member focuses on volunteer management.  In 2010, I decided that I was going to do a research study on volunteer motivation and satisfaction at triathlon events. As a result, I ended up going out to Syracuse 70.3 and once I saw the event, spoke to the volunteers, it reignited the interest in doing a triathlon and more importantly, getting back into shape. After having three kids and not working out at all (for almost 4 years) when our twin boys turned 1, I decided that I was going to do a sprint triathlon 9 months later. In looking back on it, this was one of the best decisions I made not only for my own personal interests but also to be able to keep up with my kids, especially the boys as they are in constant motion!

 

 

What is your athletic background?

My athletic background has truly revolved around swimming! While I played a little tennis and the typical soccer, as a child, the pool is where I spent the majority of my time growing up! I have been swimming competitively since the age of 7. I started swimming just for a summer club and by the time I turned 10 I was swimming year round and dragging my family to swim meets all over the place! I swam competitively at Binghamton University and was blessed to earn 4 All-American honors in the 100 and 200 butterfly.  Interestingly, I swam very little freestyle (less than ¼ of each practice), until I started doing triathlons, which now is pretty much all I do! Not sure I could even do a 200 butterfly right now! After finishing up my swimming career, it took me 10 years to get back in the pool and start swimming laps again!

 

What are your Triathlon strengths and weaknesses?

Certainly the swim is by far my strongest leg of the sport. As far as the weakness, this is a moving target still. In my first year it was definitely the bike, and last year, it was the run so it is a toss-up! And of course there is always room for improvement in the transitions J Certainly, lots of room to improve still, which is why I love the sport.

 

 

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

My first triathlon was 2011 YMCA Livestrong Green Lakes. I had thought I was so well prepared for the race as I had been running, swimming (in a pool), and had been mostly riding spin bikes at the gym. I had not gotten on my road bike until about 2 weeks before the race nor had I ever done a brick workout. The race started, and I took out the swim pretty hard, which that year was based on seed time so I was battling to stay in the front with the men. Of course I got hit several times! I got out the water more winded than I had expected and realized that this was going to be harder than I thought. My transition was fairly slow (another thing I didn’t practice). I got out on the bike, and about ½ mile out of the park, went into the gravel and went flying off my bike! I remember a few of the guys passing, and saying, “You’re doing great, just keep going”.  As I got back up, I was pretty scraped up, and realized that I had lost my water bottle. I kept going yet questioning why I was out there doing this. I ended up finishing the bike, and off on the run I went. At that time, I was really winded and had to just keep talking myself out of stopping. When I got close to the finish, I saw my husband and kids, which helped me finish. I crossed the finish line, where I was then escorted over to the medical staff to treat all of my cuts and bruises from the fall. I left Green Lakes very sore, all bandaged up, and for about 2 days, I wasn’t sure I would ever do a triathlon again. J.

 

What is your favorite race and why? 

This is a tough question as I have several favorite races that each have their own meaning to me. I think the one that always stands out in my head, has nothing to do with a PR or how I felt during the race but rather the experience of completing it. After having a terrible first race, somehow, I convinced myself that I was going to do Ironman 70.3 Syracuse in September 2011 (yes, only three months after my first race ever and having no clue what I was doing). After putting Green Lakes behind me, I signed up for a half ironman! I worked hard to get myself ready to race and certainly logged many more bike miles before that race. The morning of the race it was FREEZING but I will never forget how excited I was to embrace the journey of completing my first long race. My husband and daughter as well as my parents were there to watch me start the race and cheered me on as I came in from the swim.  They were then there at different points during the run and the bike. During the entire race, I was very calm, soaking it all in, and truly enjoying the experience. As I finished the race I will never forget seeing my friends, husband, and mom at the finish line, all ready to embrace me with big hugs! It meant the world to me to have them there. The feeling of accomplishment after completing that first 70.3 was incredible as I felt that I had reached a goal that I would never dream possible after having three young children and certainly from where I started just a few months prior.

 

 

What was your worst race and why?

2011 YMCA Livestrong Green Lakes (See above)

 

What races are on your race calendar for 2013?

This year is pretty low key for me as I have been really limited with my training the last few months due to work and family life. Currently I only have two races on my calendar but hoping to add a few more: Musselman sprint and Toughman (70.3 distance).  Both of these are favorite races of mine so certainly excited to be part of them again!

 

 

What are this year’s goals?

My goals are just to continue to improve my fitness level, work on my weak links in the sport, and most importantly to have fun out there!

 

In five years you hope to … :

Still be competing, improve on my age group rankings and hopefully by then (or sooner) do my first full Ironman.