Name: Christina Tarnacki
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in the Syracuse area. I graduated from LeMoyne College with a degree in accounting and currently work for a local pathology lab. In 1996, I left NY and moved to California but found my way back after 3 years. I love to be outdoors with my Chocolate Lab, Elly, especially in the Fall and Winter. The Adirondacks is my playground (but not during black fly season). In addition to the swimming, biking and running, I hike, x-c ski, snowshoe, golf, fly fish, kayak, canoe and camp (especially in the Winter… Yes, I did say Winter!). I’ve done the Warrior Dash the last 3 years. All my girlfriends thought I was nuts so I recruited my guy friends. The girls joined in the following years when they realized how much fun we had and we didn’t kill ourselves!! I guess you can say I’m usually the guinea pig! I just started to learn how to ice climb and rock climb. My favorite thing to do is to run with my dog, Elly; she’s one of my running partners. It’s really weird to run in a triathlon and not have her next to me. We often run in the Fayetteville and Dewitt areas and at Green Lakes with a group of friends. When someone finds out I run and the area I run in, I’m often asked in a surprising voice, “Do you run with a dog?”. Yup, that’s me!
How long have you been involved in Triathlon and what made you take it up? I started doing triathlons in 2010. I registered for the Iron Girl thinking that was going to be my first, but by then, I had already done one sprint and a relay. I decided to register for the Iron Girl because I felt like I was getting bored with my daily routine and needed to do something different. I always had a little bit of an interest but the swim always intimidated me. I could never breath correctly, but after Bill Houser’s clinic, that all changed.
Who is your Hero? I have several… My mom for always having a positive attitude after living with stage 4 liver cancer and never once complaining or asking “why me?” The many law enforcement and military men, women and K-9s that keep us safe and fight for our freedom knowing it may be their last day doing so. The numerous people with disabilities that do not let it affect them and keep them from living their life to the fullest.
What is your athletic background? I’ve always been active but more so as I got older. I started running in 1999 and did the 2001 Disney Marathon. I’m glad I did it and can say I’ve run a marathon but I have no desire to run another! Instead, I decided on doing half marathons so of course I had to do the Disney Half. Now I have the Mickey and Donald medals! The Adirondack Half Marathon at Schroon Lake was my first half and best race ever. I try to run that one every year – beautiful course (even though it’s hilly… I hate hills) and it’s in the Fall. What a great time of the year!
What are your Triathlon strengths and weaknesses? My strength is definitely running. I can hold my own in the swim but the bike is my weakness. I get to a point on a bike ride where I’ve had enough sitting down and I’m ready to get off the bike and… again… I hate hills! I try to make them my friends but once I see that hill ahead of me, all I want to do it get off that bike and run up that hill. Have you ever tried to run with bike shoes on? Not an easy task!
What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? My first triathlon was Hudson Crossing in 2010. The best part was doing it with two girls I met while training that Winter, Christine and Karen. We had a blast! The venue was small, it was out of town and didn’t know anybody. It was like we didn’t have any pressure on us so we just had fun and didn’t care about our times. During that race, I was given the nickname Fig because I always had Fig Newton’s with me.
What was your favorite race and why? See above.
What was your worst race and why? Henderson Harbor in 2011. I did the relay and silly me offered to do the swim. The lake was very dark and choppy with white caps. I didn’t even get 100 yards and had to grab a kayak. My breathing was off and I felt like my wetsuit was choking me. After a few minutes, I continued the swim as I was unzipping my wetsuit – all I wanted was that thing away from my neck. I had to grab another kayak after another couple of yards. If I didn’t have two people waiting and counting on me in the transition area I would have hopped on that boat to take me to shore!
What races are on your race calendar for 2013? The only race I have on the calendar, but haven’t registered for yet, is Tinman. Just thinking about doing a 70.3 freaks me out.
What are this year’s goals? First would be to improve my biking and start to like hills. The next would be to find that happy medium between work, life and training.
In five years you hope to … Love hills so much that I can beat my boyfriend up the hill leading into Green Lakes from Route 5. He climbs hills fast and he doesn’t even breath heavy – it’s ridiculous! Oh, did I mention he bikes maybe once every two weeks – just not right!
Something most people don’t know about you: While I lived in California I worked for NBC Studios. Yes, I saw famous people every day, but trust me… it’s not that exciting… well, maybe at first! You come to realize they are only people who are going to their job everyday just like you and me!