Maura Donovan

Name:  Maura Donovan 

Tell us about yourself.  

I am the youngest of four children and grew up in Massachusetts.  I moved to Syracuse in 1999 because I accepted a job position at Syracuse University in their Athletic Department.  Prior to living in Syracuse, I lived in Miami, Colorado and Washington, DC.  I do call Syracuse home now and I fell in love with the great Central New York area, but Massachusetts will always be in my heart.  I am a diehard Red Sox (yes, we will be back next year) and Patriots fan.  I also love hockey and I am very disappointed in the lack of a season this year.  Besides triathlons I have also completed a marathon, six half marathons, three open water swims and a 192 mile bike ride across the state of Massachusetts.  I love winter, is that surprising for a triathlete?  And due to the fact that I love winter, I also love to ski and snow shoe.

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

My first triathlon was in June of 2001, I was 30 years old and it was a challenge that many did not think I could achieve.  I completed a second triathlon in August of that year.  It was the first annual Cazenovia Triathlon.  After those two triathlons, I took a 10 year hiatus and did more running and swimming than triathlons.  In 2011 I had a comeback at the DeRuyter Triathlon and I remembered what I loved about triathlons and I was back.  In 2012 I completed five triathlons including the Syracuse 70.3 Half Ironman!

Who is your Hero/heroine?    My Mom!  My mom passed away two years ago after suffering from Parkinson’s disease for over 10 years.  Prior to her diagnoses she was a woman who had it all; a career, family, was involved in her community and was a very active woman.  She was a strong and intelligent woman who commanded respect but also gave respect to everyone she met no matter who you were.

What is your athletic background?

I ran cross country in high school and when I was a freshman I ran a 10K and came in first place in my age group.  I received a trophy that I still have … because I have yet to win my age group again and I am very proud of that.  Actually, my finisher medals hang off the trophy now.  Other than that I don’t have any formal athletic background.

 Running up Colvin


What are your Triathlon strengths and weaknesses?

My strength is swimming and my weakness is the bike.

Forgot to unclip 

What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? My first triathlon was a sprint triathlon in Ludlow Massachusetts.  It was the Ludlow Boys & Girls Club triathlon.  During the swim I remember a girl panicking near me and all I thought was “Get away from me!!”  I also remember that during the swim I was kicked in the face and my goggles fell off…they floated to the bottom of the pond!  However completing that tri was a great accomplishment and I felt fabulous!!

What is your favorite race and why?  The DeRuyter Triathlon.  It is the last event of the season; it is very laid back, but well supported with volunteers from the community.  Also I always have a lot of fun there and I think it is a race that everyone should try and support!

What was your worst race and why? 

My worst race, based on my time and how I felt when I finished was the 70.3.  I was the last person across the finish line and I was a mess.  I had a stomach bug the week leading into the event and was even sick the morning of the race, so my nutrition was completely off.  During the last 10 miles of the bike, my legs started to cramp and I had a lot of cramping issues on the run.  I am glad I did it but it wasn’t the best experience.

 Finish line!


What are this year’s goals?

Syracuse 70.3 Half Ironman.  I am determined to finish stronger this year.  I also have a couple of half marathons on my schedule and will continue to do some sprint triathlons during the summer.  Another big goal of mine is to lose some weight which I know will help me with my training.


 Coming out of the water at Syracuse 70.3


In five years you hope to …

within five years I hope to become a stronger cyclist, complete another marathon, attempt the full Ironman in Lake Placid, and since I am unemployed right now, I hope I have a job!

Something most people don’t know about you:

I love to knit … Before I ever attempted my first triathlon I worked at USA Triathlon in Colorado Springs, CO in 1998…final thing most people don’t know about me … I have a secret desire to have my own talk show!

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