Vote: Triathlete Fit - Women's Contest We’re recognizing the hard work and dedication that goes into becoming your fittest, healthiest self with a contest that will inspire other triathletes looking to achieve their own fitness goals in 2016.
Two age-group triathlete winners (one male, one female) as voted in our online poll, will be flown to Triathlete HQ in San Diego for a photo shoot and will be featured in a future issue of Triathlete magazine.
It’s time to vote! We’ve narrowed it down, and now it’s your turn to vote for your favorite female entry below. Be sure to also check out the men’s contest. There will be two phases of voting by the Triathlete.com audience. This phase will narrow it down to the top 10 men and top 10 women. In phase 2, we’ll feature the top 10 female athletes and the top 10 male athletes for a final voting stage where the audience and editors crown the Triathlete Fit winners in the male and female categories. Remember to look at the photos and the inspiring stories submitted by the entrants.
This phase of voting will end Monday, Feb. 1. 2016 Triathlete Fit Contest Presented by DeSoto Alex P. Triathlon changed my body, attitude and overall well-being. I maintain muscles and grow new ones I never knew existed. I look strong and therefore feel strong in my body and mind. I was sidelined with IT band trouble twice from running, needing at least 3 months to even think about running again and losing fitness gains I had made. By swimming and biking for cross-training, which are now my “go-to” workouts, I stayed healthy for running long races and now for triathlons! Balancing strength work, swimming, biking and running gives the necessary muscles a break while training others. Multisport saved me spiritually as well. I have been dealing with an eating disorder fueled by school stress and an unhealthy desire to be perfect. Through training, I learned food was fuel. Without changing my mindset about eating I wouldn’t experience triathlons and everything my body had to offer. My body wouldn’t be physically capable of what I wanted to do and thus I ate more. Instead of creating ways to restrict myself, I created opportunities. I am healthy and strong because of the experiences and lifestyle changes triathlon gave me. More than a hobby, tri healed me and made me happier than ever before. Ashley B. “Never say never” is something I often repeat in my head now.
I never thought I would enjoy running…ever. I never thought I would be able to run a mile without stopping. I never thought I could swim a lap in the pool without getting winded. I never thought I would overcome my fear and ride a bike on the road…WITH traffic! I never…well, you get the picture. I was running in a few races and then friends were talking about triathlons. Uhm, what’s all this talk? I decided I was more curious to try a tri than I was scared of the road. I sucked up my fear, trained and I finished my first tri and fell in love. I thought “Oh!! THAT’S what everyone is talking about!”
In December of 2015 I finished my first Ironman-distance race. It did not go as planned, but I have decided to use everything that happened and learn from it.
Training for triathlons has kept me in the best physical shape of my life and has helped me mentally become stronger.
What I didn’t predict was the snowball effect and how it has engulfed my family and friends as well as making my life abundantly full of people who are driven and positive. It rubs off. My kids come to track with me and I’m one proud mom watching them. I started a running club at the college where I work. Every day I feel blessed to enjoy this adventure and now I know never say never. Carrie H. I’ve always had “one foot” in the world of fitness; however, everyday trials and tribulations as an adult kept me from dedicating myself to sports with the gusto I would have liked. I ran a little, lifted weights a little . . . I would try whatever new class my gym offered. However, I was somewhat of a passive participant in my own health and fitness. That changed several years ago when I participated in my first triathlon: a super-sprint distance through the muddy waters of Alum Creek Reservoir and the hills of Westerville, Ohio. It was hard, and confusing, and wonderful.
I now compete with my friends and teammates in several races each year, including all distances. I cherish every chafe, every ache, and every victory. I have dedicated myself anew to my own health and fitness and setting an example for my two daughters that we needn’t be passive and that “girls” can do it, too. Training and competing have made me more disciplined, stronger (in several senses of the word), and has filled me with pride and wonder at what my body is capable of. I’m facing my 40s head-on in the best shape of my life.
Dana D. Triathlon has helped me reach my goal of looking fit and feeling good at 40 years old. This photo is part of a gift from my closest friends. On my birthday they honored my dedication to the triathlon lifestyle by booking a “Turning 40 and Looking Fit Photo Shoot.” My friends recognized my commitment to the lifestyle and honored me an opportunity to flaunt my physique and some cool gear. This picture symbolizes hard work, dedication and love of sport.
Living a balanced lifestyle of triathlon training, work, family and fun has been the key to my long-term success with looking fit at 40. Goal setting helps keep focus when life gets busy. Belonging to a triathlon team and staying involved with local clubs helps to keep the motivation going. The memories created on the journey to race day are worth the early morning wake up calls.
Denice M. Turning 40 was a milestone that helped me realize there were things I still needed to do in my life. I wanted to be a triathlete, but two major obstacles stood in my way…I didn’t know how to swim and had an intense fear of open water. Having a competitive personality, I signed up for a triathlon that I wasn’t ready for and committed myself to learning the sport. I watched videos on the internet and learned the basics of swimming in a pool. I stumbled across Triathlete.com and incorporated their training plans toward a well-rounded routine.
After six months of daily training to learn how to swim efficiently, I was faced with my self-imposed first triathlon. I placed second in my age division.
Still dreading my anxiety of open water, I registered for Tri for a Cure, which included a swim in the frigid waters of Casco Bay. With guidance from Triathlete.com, I read articles about anxiety and strategies for coping with open water. I was ultimately able to overcome my fear and excel at the swim. After completing the grueling tri, I was shocked to learn that I placed third in my age division!
Emily H. While preparing for my first triathlon in 2013 I experienced a heart attack, at the age of 41, which led to emergency open-heart surgery for a quadruple bypass. After numerous setbacks and months of cardiac rehab I was finally given clearance to register for my first race. My alarm sounded at 4 a.m. and I was the first to arrive in the transition area. Yes, I’m THAT girl. I received my race number tattoo and moved on to set up my gear. The adrenaline set in as I slid on my wetsuit and stepped onto the sand. As I glanced back my husband smiled with a “you got this” grin. As I held back the tears the horn sounded for us to GO! For the next 90 minutes so many emotions ensued. It was a long awaited exhilarating feeling as I crossed the finish line. And to my surprise a third-place medal on the podium! My husband said, “babe…you are now officially a TRIATHLETE!” This photo is from the race I had planned on doing before I had the heart attack. Only a week out of the hospital and barely able to walk I was determined to get my number! Ironman….watch out. I’ve got the bug! Imuri P. My triathlon journey has helped me become a stronger and healthier person, mentally and physically. Through my training, I realized that diet is about fueling for power rather than staying lean and light. I used to have a fear of eating too much and gaining weight, but when I was getting tired too early on in my training, I realized I wasn’t giving myself an athlete diet. Now, with an approach to use food as power, I have a very healthy and balanced diet. Being a triathlete means being responsible in other areas of my life. I know I need to get proper sleep, eat the right foods, and do activities that keep me rested and injury free. It’s also important to value my other time aside from triathlon training. I’ve learned that if I don’t stress about training or missing one workout because I couldn’t get to it, I don’t lose much and allow my body to get a good rest. Triathlon training makes my physique strong and healthy. The cross training helps me work different muscle groups which reduce my chances of getting injured. When I used to do one sport, I realized I wouldn’t feel as fit, but as a triathlete, I feel very strong. I feel very disciplined, motivated, and balanced doing the sport. It’s my passion, and most importantly it makes me feel happy. Ingrid M. Triathlon has made my body and mind into my fittest adult self! 2015 was my first tri season. I’m hooked on the training, competition and body results from combining so many sports. In addition to eating primarily whole foods, the multisport lifestyle has kept me healthy and mostly injury-free.
I have muscular arms, shoulders and back, strong legs, lungs, heart and flat abs. I have tons of endurance that, added together with my fit body, gives me confidence in all that I do. My mind is engaged by my varied workouts, as well as the awesome like-minded people of all ages I get to interact with. Training by myself builds toughness and with others builds friendships.
My secret as a 56-year-old grandmother is that I am living my “second childhood!” I love the journey of setting goals and challenging myself, working hard and seeing the results. I like knowing my body and mind are capable of so much more. I admit to wearing un-grandmotherly clothes and hope I can inspire others to be their ageless intentional self!
Jeannete S. Growing up in Sweden, I was never into sports or exercise. When 17, I tore my ligaments in my knee rollerblading. The doctors told me I would never be able to run.
Moving to the USA changed my life. I was 40 years old when I started triathlons. I did not know how to swim. Running was hard. Biking came surprisingly easy to me. I developed a passionate love for the sport.
Two years ago, I almost lost my youngest son in an accident. He suffered a severe TBI, went through surgery and was treated at Craig Hospital. Today, he’s attending his first year in college. He’s my hero and truly my inspiration that anything is possible. Seven months after his accident, I was hit twice on my bike, which has left me with neck and shoulder pain. I’m a four-time Ironman finisher training for my fifth, Ironman Kalmar, 2016. My dream is to qualify for Kona.
Triathlon has given me a passion for life and living a healthy lifestyle. I love to coach others and motivate them to achieve their goals in fitness and health. I’m 53 and I feel fitter and stronger than I ever been. Jennifer A. Triathlon has helped me achieve my fitness goals by challenging me to go beyond my comfort zone. I think every triathlete has two disciplines he or she is confident in, but there is always one that is more difficult. Growing up, water sports were always a big part of my life. In college, I biked around campus at maniac speeds (even in the snow). For years, I had wanted to give triathlon a go, but I was really going to have to psych myself up for the run.
My first triathlon was in 2012, and running 3.1 miles was tough! With each season I learned to tolerate, and eventually love running. The consistent practice of triathlon has carried over to the other aspects of my life. I am more mindful, disciplined and grateful for the life I have. Swim, bike, run has conditioned my mind, body and spirit. At age 41, I am stronger than ever before, and look forward to completing my first 70.3 race this year with my family cheering me on.
Jessica M. Fitness goals? Before triathlon there was no such thing as a fitness goal. I was an overweight, asthmatic, clinically depressed, unhappy person. Triathlon helped to transform me both physically and emotionally. It showed me to make goals and to persevere to work hard towards those goals. Yes, I lost about 30 pounds in the process, but I also learned to love myself and to keep myself emotionally solid when the going gets tough. It’s how I get through long training days. This also helped me get through graduate school to obtain my PhD. Every time I had a setback I channeled my triathlon training to get back up and keep pushing forward. I am not really sure I have any secrets to success. I work out a lot, but listen to my body when it says “too much.” I eat in moderation. I have a great and crazy group of friends that constantly inspire me. My husband, who is also a triathlete, helps to keep me honest. Julie S. In August 2011, I had weight-loss surgery. Like many, I had tried to lose weight on my own with diet and exercise, but I wasn’t successful. After the surgery, was it easy to lose weight? Yes. Was it easy to keep it off? Hell no!
The main problem was I wasn’t being active. I met a lady who told me she was scheduled to have a second surgery to lose the weight she had regained. Fearing I would end up like her, I decided I needed to get moving, so I started swimming. Then a friend asked if I wanted to do a triathlon, so I started biking and running too. Finally, on Mother’s Day of 2012, I officially became a triathlete. From then on I was hooked.
I’ve been competing in triathlons for four years now, and I’m currently training for my first half Ironman in April and first full Ironman next year. I’m happy to say that, thanks to triathlon, I haven’t regained any weight and I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. My new goal is to encourage others to be active and to try tris—whether they need to lose weight or just want to have fun. Marci G. I am 41 years young and am a triathlete. I have been a triathlete since 2009 and have been able to achieve some incredible fitness goals. Currently, I am training for Ultraman Florida (Feb 2016) and am in the peak of my training. Raised as a swimmer, I have always been involved in a physically active lifestyle and as an adult, I not only race, I coach as well. In addition, I am a full-time Physical Therapist and mother. Triathlon has opened up doors for me to put forth my talents (swim and run) and work on weaknesses (bike) all while having fun training with partners, challenging my own limits, helping out in the community and inspiring those around me to live healthy lifestyles as well. Nyree R. Where do I begin? I’m a mother of three boys, a 9 year old and 7-year-old twins. My journey started with running about five years ago. I was 200 pounds after the twins and couldn’t seem to lose the weight. I lost some at the gym, but working full-time and being a mom it was hard to lose those last few pounds. I started running and did some races, but kept getting injured. A friend of mine told me to swim as cross-training so I took a lesson and I was hooked. Next, I bought a bike and did a sprint tri. Next thing you know, I hire a tri coach and sign up for a half Ironman. Last year, I completed two and now I’m training for my first full in August. How has triathlon training changed me? I lost a son (one of my 9 year olds twin… yes I had 2 sets) and it has given me an outlet where I focus so much on overcoming any obstacle. I get up at 4 a.m. everyday due to my crazy schedule and conquer my workouts even if I don’t hit the numbers. I think of my son, Casey, everyday and how I can break through brick walls and fight for what he can never have. I do this for my three boys so that they too can set goals and achieve them. Triathlon gives me a sense of purpose and being and makes me feel alive. I’m a 41-year-old tri mom and am in love with my life. Rachel D. 2015 started rough, I was depressed and recovering from having my knee reconstructed (what joy it is to suffer from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome). I felt useless. Being an Army veteran, being laid up does not sit well with me. Once I was able to bend my knee, I started running. Then I was talked into a triathlon by a close friend. I thought he was nuts. I showed up with my heavy mountain bike, running shoes, and trail running shoes; I looked like the poster child for what not to do in triathlons. I completed the race and I was hooked. I raced my second tri a month later, then another the following month (an XTERRA) and won! If I wasn’t hooked before, I certainly was then. I noticed my body changing and my mood improving. I felt more confident in my own skin. I won another tri and placed first in my AG again! I felt happier than I had in such a long time. What’s even better? I don’t have any issues with my Ehlers-Danlos because I’m stronger. My lupus is under control and my body as a whole is stronger. Triathlons have changed my life in such a positive way that I can’t imagine living my life without it. Rene M. Triathlon not only got me in the BEST shape of my life at age 36 and post-two babies, it has given me back a sense of ME. I did my first triathlon when I was 22 years old and then look over a 10-year break due to a very demanding job. After some soul searching I quit the demanding job and started training for my comeback into triathlon with a sprint. Halfway through the training I found out I was pregnant. Instead of stopping training I felt so good I signed up for an Olympic-distance race that weekend and continued training and racing all through the pregnancy totaling seven (tri and running) races while pregnant with my first and five with my second pregnancy. I loved the accountability signing up for events gave me to keep exercising. Since returning to the sport I have competed two full Ironmans, 3 half Ironmans, several shorter distances, and have even started placing in my AG. I’ve always enjoyed exercise, but even in my teens and 20s I could never quite get to “6-pack” status! I never dreamed I’d have a 6 pack at 36 years old and after two babies! Rochelle M. Triathlons have not only changed my physique, but they have saved my life. My story is called, “Alcoholic to Ironman.” I crossed the finish of an Ironman race at only 10 months sober. During that time period of training, my body became much leaner and stronger. My body fat went about 22 percent down to 15 percent. I even started to change some of my eating habits as well. It inspired me to become even healthier and pick the right fuel for training. I learned that athletes eat to fuel and not for taste during my triathlon training. After the Ironman race I continued my passion for triathlons and a healthy lifestyle. My biggest secret is I’m a personal trainer and I already know a lot about to fuel your body properly. Also, with my story staying sober is also a big part of how I keep my physique! I never have to worry about alcohol bloat or extra calories!! I want to be a healthy role model for other triathletes out there. Ironman/triathlons saved my life! Sabina P. If you want to have a good body, exercise. If you want to change your life, become a triathlete. And that is just what I did.
But has it changed for the better? I ask myself just that every morning when my alarm goes off at 5 a.m. and I fight the urge to hit snooze. I repeatedly ask myself ‘What did I get myself into?’ when I’m shivering on the pool deck eying the hot tub just feet away. Being a triathlete has been more than just swim, bike, run, repeat. I have developed the discipline to get to bed early, because sleep the most powerful tool for recovery. I have completely transformed my diet and have formulated a nutrition plan to maximize recovery and performance. I have made food preparation a habit. And it is to no surprise that with 2-3 workouts a day, I can’t remember the last time I woke up and my legs weren’t tired.
No one said it was going to be easy. So is all the sacrifice and hard work worth it? I think I will answer this question as I toe the start line of the Marathon Olympic Trials on Feb. 13. Shauna H. I fell in love with triathlons and have been addicted ever since not only for how they have given me my best shape ever but the challenges they give me. I used to be nothing but a weight lifter trying to stay toned and never did cardio for I hated cardio.
I came across triathlons in 1997 with some friends, who thought we should do one as a goal for just completion. After I completed one, a sprint, I chose to do 1-3 each summer for fun for about 3 years. In 2010, I decided to go at it again and try another sprint and eventually joined a team and got a coach. I then began to see how training started to really get me in shape, keep the excess weight off and start to lean me up lessening the thickness I had built over the course of many years. I built more muscle and leaned up at the same time.
I was 40 years old when I went into triathlons full force. I am currently 46 years old, more lean than ever since I have been currently coached by Big Sexy Racing. I have completed four Ironmans, eight half Ironmans and am currently the leanest I have ever been in my life. This sport, with the perfect coaching and self-control, has leaned my thick legs and cut every muscle of my body. I will forever be a triathlete to stay in perfect shape. Dedication and work equals a 46 year old who looks like me.
Susan I. My name is Susan Inman. I am a 39-year-old mom, wife, nurse and triathlete. Triathlon has given me the opportunity to see who I really am. It has helped me stay fit, find my courage and keep my sanity. My son was diagnosed with autism eight years ago and training for triathlon keeps me focused on what really matters in life: my family. I am getting ready to graduate with my doctorate as a nurse practitioner in May and I am looking forward to tri season after graduation! I will never forget the excitement and feeling of accomplishment when I completed my first open-water triathlon. It is a feeling I hold onto when life gets challenging to remind me that I can accomplish anything with determination and hard work!
Go back to the contest home page or vote for the men here