In the late 90’s this triathlete was a resident at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and a member of the US National team. After chasing points around the world for 5 years she earned a spot at the first Olympic Triathlon trials in 2000. After not making the team for the Sydney Olympics she decided to take a hiatus from the sport.
After having her first child in 2003 she was encouraged by friends to coach them to reach their athletic goals. While training with her first few clients she decided that a Half Ironman would be just what the doctor ordered to get rid of the extra baby weight. Almost accidently qualifying she went to Kona where she placed 3rd in her age group. That was the last she ever thought she’d see of Kona.
5 years later after having her second child she returned to Kona in 2010 in an effort to shed more baby weight. She beat her 30-39 age group existing world record placing 1st American amateur and 2nd in the world by going 9:50. Unfortunatly, she was 2nd on the podium as the only person who beat her was in her same age group.
Determined to get 1st and be a world champion she joined team Timex in 2011 and was voted rookie of the year. She returned to Kona in the 40-44 age group. She again broke the existing age group world record only to be trumped on the day again in her age group after going 9:51.
After placing 3rd, 2nd and 2nd in her age group she decided to give it another try in 2012 only to be injured most of the year. She recovered enough late in the season to qualify at Ironman Cozumel for one more trip to the show.
In 2013 she was well on her way to getting fit to achieve her goal. However this time she was sidelined in April when her husband had a massive heart attack. She spent months with him as he couldn’t lift anything or drive. Her husband pushed her to get back out and train. She came back with a vengence. She won every race she entered until the decision to run at Olympic Distance Nationals was on the table. Just 1 week before the race a best friend’s husband was killed on his bicycle by a city bus. Having the full support of her family in Milwaukee and the encouragement of her friend, she reluctantly jumped on the plane.
She set a personal best in Milwaukee and won her age group and Master’s National Champion. In her finish photo you can see her saying “Udo”, her friend’s husband, as she crosses the line. Ready for Kona and one more try, she had the race of her life. Swimming 58:30, biking 5:11 and running 3:25 she finally placed on the top of the podium. 1st in her age group and set a PR of 9:41 at the age of 42. She is the fastest American amateur over 40 in the 35 year history of the Kona Ironman.
In 2013, this dedicated mother of two, wife, coach and friend had a personal and racing year she’ll never forget. She won all 8 races she entered, set 4 PRs and a couple course records. After winning the US Nationals and Kona she was selected by USA Triathlon as their Master’s Athlete of the Year. She can be seen in Carlsbad’s local magazine, Sports Illustrated and on the cover of USA Triathlon magazine.