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We’re Better When We TRI Together

Just two sassy ladies…posing for a photo.

photo courtesy: Nelson Creative

Wait a minute — just nothing! Two fabulous friends who just experienced the thrill of a lifetime together. That’s a much more accurate description!

Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson (“Composing a Life of Exquisite Harmony“) and I may be smiling in that picture, but underneath the grins, we’re sweaty, a little bruised and ready for a long nap.You see, just moments before Elizabeth’s husband Doug snapped this photo, Elizabeth and I each crossed the finish line at the end of an Olympic distance triathlon:

  • 1.5 km swim
  • 40 km bike
  • 5.6 mile run

(Elizabeth, by the way, didn’t just cross the finish line — she flew over it. The woman is incredibly fast and even took second place in her age group!)

photo courtesy: Nelson Creative

Triathlon is an incredible sport, and I love to share the story of how I got into it in late 2007.

I was on a story shoot for GrowingBolder.com, and found myself along the course of a Masters Triathlon, in which all of the athletes were over the age of 40.

(Video of “Three Times the Fun” embedded below)

As the athletes passed me, I was blown away by the various ages, all written in marker on their calves…men at 50, 60, 70 and above, running an 8-minute mile. Women at 70, 80 and even 90, mashing the pedals like elite competitors.

And I, at 27 years old, could not run a single mile.

I took it as a challenge, and decided on that day to start training for the sport.

Four years later, I’m addicted. I love everything about triathlon, and love getting others involved. So when I found out that Elizabeth was taking her first crack at the Olympic distance, I was thrilled!

photo courtesy: Nelson Creative

Elizabeth and I met up at the transition area and exchanged hugs and advice. We walked to the water and warmed up together, and we were the last faces each other saw in the moments before diving into the water.

And at the end, Elizabeth was the first person I wanted to find — because we’d shared an experience that neither of us will forget!

photo courtesy: Nelson Creative

I feel especially close to Elizabeth because, like me, she graduated from Syracuse University (“I Don’t Want to Wait“). And like most people, she’s faced challenges. But as I found out firsthand, as I stood alongside her beautiful family, the motto is to just keep moving, and to never let life get in the way of pursuing passions.

By the way — I thought you guys might like the motto that I wrote on my arm as motivation:

  • Susan Helmrich

    Fabulous and inspiring…from a fellow SU alum.

  • Tony Handler

    Congratulations on your Olympic tri.  Great picture! You look like you could do another 30 miles right there.
    I am glad to hear you are still hooked on triathlons and enjoying them. Hope that continues for many more years.
    I am still addicted after 26 years and last weekend completed my 247th tri. Have done 8 this year including a 1/2 Ironman at Disney in May where I beat last years time by 41 minutes. Thats the third one toward my 
    goal of doing the Disney 1/2 for each birthday in my 70′s. (so far 70,71,72).  Hopefully the body will cooperate!!
    Stay healthy and keep enjoying tri’s.

    Tony Handler    

  • SavingTrees<3

    That is a good thing to do and very active i only run cross country and track not the best swimmer 

  • Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

    Katy, you are amazing. What a great post this is. YOU do look like you could do another 30-miles! Folks, this woman DANCED across the finish line and I MISSED taking her photo because somewhere along the way she managed to change her outfit! I didn’t even recognize her! Katy helped calm my nerves about the distance of the Olympic race, something I had never done before. We ARE better when we tri together, thank you for your support and encouragement! Don’t be fooled, despite all that dancing and wardrobe changing, this chick Who could not run a mile at 27 is fast! Katy placed third in her age group. What a wonderful experience I had in my first Olympic distance, thanks to my wonderful family for coming out and supporting me and thanks to Katy for being a good friend in encouraging me and making the whole experience more fun. We Orangemen have to stick together!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1177176513 Walter Arnold Berten

    Cleaned and adjusted my road bike today. Looking forward to riding soon.

  • http://twitter.com/DaniDillard Danielle Dillard

    Cool to hear how you got into triathlon, Katy! Awesome job on the race.

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