How did you get in to the sport?
When I first got stung by the triathlon bug, I probably weighed 270+. I’d stopped counting. I had gained weight throughout a difficult, long relationship and was eager to get back to the fit weightlifting, skiing, tennis playing lifestyle that I had let slowly slip away. Once I got my first sweet taste of racing at the Falmouth Spring Triathlon on Cape Code in 2009, where I surprised myself by earning 3rd Athena (I’d never won anything in my life), there was no turning back.
Greatest personal accomplishment(s):
Well, qualifying for the Boston Marathon as an Athena was very special. But, having the support of my family and friends at each of the national championships events I have competed in has been precious. I have now won seven USAT National Champion titles in triathlon, one in the sprint distance, five in the Olympic distance, and one in the half iron distance.
Favorite Stinger fuel:
I’m a purist. Honey Stinger Gold Gel only and always.
When do you use your Stinger?
Have you tried it on toast? Divine.
Person or athlete you look up to?
Wow. So many, Simone Biles, Serena Williams, Misty Copeland, Simone Manuel, Debi Thomas. They each rose to the top of their respective fields in sports where minorities have not traditionally had a presence.
I take my role as the creator of the “Athena Triathletes (& Athena Alumna)” Facebook page seriously. It is a group designed for female triathletes weighing no fewer than 165 pounds. I believe we have created a unique space where athletes of like life experiences can come together to support and learn from one another.
Tell us more about the Athena Triathletes page:
I turned to Facebook to build a sense of community and support among the Athena athletes I was competing against…collecting their names at races from results boards like a bee gathering pollen to return to its hive. The group has blossomed to nearly 2,000 members. Finding one’s collective, one’s cooperative brood is extremely important for women who are not perceived as your typical athlete. We are dedicated to improving opportunities for recognition of Athena athletes as a competitive class, as well as to shattering misconceptions in perception of the comparative abilities of Athena athletes.
Goal for the future:
To do my part to advance the regard and participation levels of Athena triathletes.