Chary Griffin

Athlete Profile

Chary Griffin

2016 Nationals, Milwaukee
Tell us about yourself. I grew up on the east end of Long Island, near the ocean in the late ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, back when you rode your bike everywhere, played in the woods, swam in the ocean. But there were no “sports” for girls at my school other than cheerleading and modern dancing. I have been married to my husband, Jim, for 45 years and have two grown sons and a beautiful granddaughter. I sell real estate for Berkshire Hathaway and can show you the best trails!
How long have you been involved in triathlon and what made you take it up?
I am lots older than triathlon – I took it up about 27 years ago when there were only 3-4 women in the entire field in most races. I was looking for a way to train for marathons that involved aerobic activity for a long duration without constant pavement pounding.
Who is your hero? Kathrine Switzer.
What is your athletic background? There was little to none in terms of formal athletics as a young girl. However, I rode horses, sailed, swam, rode my bike and surfed as a kid. I didn’t do anything athletic as an adult until my kids were involved in sports in the 1980s – I took up running and did local 5ks and 10ks. Then I aimed at marathons in the 1990s. I’ve completed 10 marathons and became a fan of triathlon.

What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses? Swimming is most natural, and running. I used my youngest son’s bike in my early triathlons.
What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? One of the earliest ones I remember in the late 1980s was Empire Games Tri at Green Lakes: Seniors started last and, by the 10k run, the race had run out of water.
What is your favorite race and why? Cazenovia is my favorite — I live and train on the course and I still find it challenging. The hills are the best fitness builders.
What was your worst race and why? Two come to mind – Lake Placid used to be a 10k sponsored by Casio. It was so cold and icy rainy that I couldn’t unbuckle my helmet after the ride and had to do the run with it still on until my fingers unfroze enough to take it off. The other worst race – ITU World Championship in Australia. I broke my wrist in the practice ride the day before the event. I had a long painful trip home in a cast with surgery awaiting.

What races are on your race calendar for 2016? Du The Lakes Duathlon, Delta Lake, Olympic Distance National Championship in Omaha, Neb. — going by train with the bike — Cazenovia, of course and ITU World Championships in Cozumel, Mexico.

2016 Nationals, Milwaukee
What are this year’s goals? Top 10 finish at ITU Worlds in Age Group – this is my last year in 65-69 AG — and to qualify for next year’s race in Holland.

In five years you hope to: Surf with my granddaughter in Hawaii (pictured below), and keep on doing triathlons.

Something most people don’t know about you. In addition to surfing, I love snowshoe racing.
What triathlon has taught you: Be proud of your accomplishments even if your tri suit doesn’t fit like it used to. An appreciation of nature. Don’t be afraid to try something new — we were all newbies once. Work on your weakest skill set….don’t avoid it. Smoothness and efficiency in all three disciplines lead to a strong finish. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Keep it simple, relax and enjoy the day, and smile for the photos. Train with a coach or a training group — it helps you avoid mistakes.

Comments are closed.