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Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Everyone has to start somewhere

Q: "How did you get into triathlons? Were you and your husband both into triathlons when you met?" Pat, Westminster

A:

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My husband, a competitive swimmer since high school, and I met in college, about five years before we would do our first triathlon. A year after we were married, my husband joined a masters swim team and trained for the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, finishing in second place on his first attempt. So, when he decided to swim the bay again the following year I figured I'd give it a try too.

The sum total of my swimming experience to that point included basic lessons when I was 5 years old, during which I managed to keep the top of my head dry the entire time, and a little freestyle and sidestroke as required to pass a lifeguard training course.

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But I managed to make it across and my husband won that year so it was a great day for both of us. Ultimately, it was our involvement with the masters swim team that led us to the sport of triathlon.

Some of our friends on the masters team were headed to Delaware to participate in the Dewey Beach Sprint Triathlon and they invited us to join them. Thinking it would be a fun weekend at the beach, we agreed to go.

Little did I know how much the experience I gained training for the bay swim would pay off as I battled the rolling surf and the ebb and flow of the tide during the half-mile open water swim in the ocean. After the swim, it was on to fifteen miles of windswept coastal roads, which we tackled on our mountain bikes, followed by a 5K run. I wouldn't say we were hooked at that point, but it was so much fun we made the trek back to Dewey two more times after that.

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And then our first daughter was born. Within four years we had three children younger than 5 and every day was a triathlon. The revolving door of eat, sleep, wake, and bottles, bibs, diapers left no room for swim, bike, run.

By the time the youngest turned two I was running again, my daughter and her jogging stroller my constant companions. We hired a babysitter once a week so we could ride our bikes and, on weekends, took turns swimming laps at the community pool. That was six years ago and we've been competing in triathlons ever since. What started out nearly fifteen years ago as a fun weekend at the beach has become a passion that the whole family enjoys as all three of our daughters now regularly participate in youth triathlons. My husband and I continue to challenge ourselves and explore our limits within the sport, always striving to see how fast and how far we can go, our races ranging from local sprint-distance events to Ironman triathlons in far-flung locations. For anyone looking to get into the sport, we have one of the best races around for beginners right here in Carroll County; the South Carroll Sprint Triathlon is a fun race for a good cause in a supportive, family-friendly environment. Registration is now open at http://www.winthefight.org.

Please email your fitness and health questions to me at

or mail them to:

As I See Fit

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201 Railroad Ave.

Westminster, MD 21157


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