AnikaOccupation: Operations Manager for an education advocacy non-profit (primary), Fitness Instructor (secondary)

Member Since: 2014

Age Group: 40 – 44. I’m considering lobbying USAT to add a Turtle Division – like Athena for wicked slow racers.

Why I love Triathlons: I love the sense of accomplishment when I finish a new “longest bike ride ever” distance or get just that tiny bit faster in the water. And crossing the finish line always feels great. Triathlon has also motivated to push myself – to get back on a bike for the first time in 20+ years, to be open to coaching and advice, to embrace a new perspective on what “being competitive” means. By far, the camaraderie I’ve experienced – with teammates, fellow participants when setting up our gear in transition, race organizers and volunteers – is my favorite aspect of the sport.

Favorite Discipline: I’m a Gemini, so I nearly always have multiple favorites in any given category. This week, it’s the bike – I like that it challenges me to keep learning, to face and embrace something that once scared me (going fast downhill) as my competitive advantage.

Favorite Races: The only race I’ve done (so far) is Title 9, which makes it my first love and thus will always hold a special place in my tri heart. I love the positive energy of the participants, so many newbies excited about meeting a personal goal, all the families who cheer on the racers, and the celebratory vibe.

Accomplishments: Losing & keeping off 100+ pounds. Going from being the kid who did everything possible to avoid gym class, especially when we had to run, to finishing my first half marathon a month before my 40th birthday. Getting certified as a NASM Personal Trainer.

Goals: This season – Improving in all 3 disciplines in order to set a new personal best at Title 9. Competing in more than 1 race. Training for & finishing my first Olympic distance tri.

Longer term – Being a stronger & faster triathlete at 50 than I was at 42 when I started. Destination races, particularly with the friend who encouraged me to get into triathlon. A marathon. A trip to Hawaii, the final state I’ve never visited.