Tell us about yourself. I’m 36, and I was born and raised in Central New York, and work as a personal trainer at Metro Fitness in downtown Syracuse. Other people say I’m the kind of person who is always looking for new adventures, whether it’s triathlon, ultramarathons or jumping out of planes. I suspect they think my life is more exciting than it really is. I have a great group of friends, and I love spending time with them, whether it’s hanging out while enjoying a glass of wine or getting together for a run, ride or swim. I love being in the woods, and doing things outdoors in general, like hiking and camping. I also enjoy reading and cooking; those are my noncompetitive hobbies.
How long have you been involved in triathlon and what made you take it up? I’m going into my fourth year of direct involvement with the sport. It all started with coaching for the Fleet Feet Triathlon program. I was hooked pretty quickly, so after a season with that group I bought a bike and began training for my first triathlon.
Who is your hero? Quenton Cassidy, the main character of the novels Once a Runner, Again to Carthage, and Racing the Rain by John L. Parker Jr.
What is your athletic background? I began “play” running with a neighborhood friend when we were about 8 or 9 years old (we would stage pretend track meets in her back yard). Modified sports programs didn’t exist yet when I was in school, so I didn’t join a formal team of any sort until I was a freshman in high school. I played field hockey and ran indoor and outdoor track for Liverpool, and I continued with both track seasons when I went to college. After that, I was pretty much on my own working my way up through the distances.
What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses? I’ve been a runner most of my life, so I am very strong for that leg, and I also do pretty well with the swim. My weakest leg is the bike, largely in part because it’s where I am the least experienced.
What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? The intermediate distance at the Delta Lake Triathlon, and I remember being so glad to make it through the bike and into my running shoes. Having some of my closest friends at the finish line made the experience especially memorable.
What is your favorite race and why? It’s hard to come up with a favorite. I suppose Delta Lake Tri. It’s a well-executed race with a great atmosphere. The Cayuga Trails 50 is also at the top of my list. Love the challenge of all the crazy stair climbing on that course.
What was your worst race and why?
2006 New York City Marathon, be
cause it was so frustratingly crowded. There was a bottleneck at every water stop that stopped me dead in my tracks.
What’s on your race calendar for 2016?The definites are on the Caumsett 50K and Cayuga Trails 50 Mile for some spring ultra marathons, and the Tupper Lake Tinman and the Delta Lake Double for tris. I will likely also do the Caz Tri intermediate race or another 70.3 race in late summer. Haven’t thought about the fall yet.
What are this year‘s goals?
My spring ultras serve as the national championships for those distances, and I really want to improve from last year (seventh and sixth, respectively). Tinman Tupper Lake will be my first 70.3 and I want a really strong debut there. Also, to sign up for 2017 IMLP!
In five years you hope to… : Have my own log cabin in the woods, with a couple Ironman finishes under my belt and a national championship title in either the 50K or 50-mile distance.
Something most people don’t know about you. I’m actually a pretty shy person. I’ve learned to be outgoing because of my role as a trainer and coach, but it doesn’t come naturally.
What triathlon has taught you. Chamois Butt’r is an amazing product. That, and it’s OK to be afraid of something (like flying down hills on a bike) but that fear will hold you back if you don’t keep working to get over it.