Friday, March 31, 2017

Major League Triathlon- 2017

I am honored to have been selected to be one of 32 athletes competing in Major League Triathlon series this year! It is my first season racing at the elite level and I am thrilled for some fast, fun racing with some of the speediest athletes in the country.

A little about Major League: It is the first and only professional triathlon league in the United States. It is a unique format of racing, in which each athlete races a super sprint (300 meter swim, 4 mile technical bike loop, and 1 mile run) before tagging the next teammate. Each team consists of two men and two women. I have been drafted to represent my home state of Colorado on The Colorado Peaks with three other strong, experienced athletes: Paula Findlay, John O'Neill, and Alex Libin!

Feel free to check out Major Leagues' Website and their Facebook Page to follow the series.

Below is the schedule for the 2017 season, and first stop is in Charlotte!
1. MLT Charlotte-Saturday, May 20, 2017
2. MLT Atlantic City P/B The Claridge Hotel-Saturday, June 3, 2017
3. MLT Vail Valley (woot woot!)- Saturday, August 26, 2017
4. MLT Cleveland-Saturday, September 9, 2017

Being a newer athlete on the elite circuit, not many people know my background, so I would like to give an introduction of myself; it is not brief, so grab a blanket and a cup of tea!

I am proud to be a Colorado native, growing up in Denver. I have three sisters, and I am one of triplets :)  While most of my competitors were in the pool at age five (or younger), I spent hours hitting a fuzzy yellow ball across a mesh net for hours at a time. I went to Cherry Creek High School and my triplets and I were varsity tennis players there. The only year I played on the team (sophomore) I won an individual state singles title, while my sisters were finalists in doubles. In high school, I finished second in The Copper Bowl National Championships (doubles) and went on to play division 1 tennis at Santa Clara University my freshman year of college.
I was introduced to the sport of triathlon my senior year of high school by a tennis friend, though I didn't begin training intensely until my sophomore year of college at the age of 20. I initially used it as a cross training tool, and I enjoyed being a multi-dimensional athlete. After my freshman year of college, I transferred to the University of Colorado Boulder to earn a degree in mechanical engineering, and I committed to pursue the sport "full-time" (as much as I could with the demands of engineering school). I went from being a complete rookie to winning the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club Draft-Legal National Championships my Senior year.

My first triathlon, in which I wore a waterski wetsuit (which filled with water), sported running shoes in baskets, a swimsuit with bike shorts, borrowed a size 52 bike from a friend, and wore a camelback...this was a sprint triathlon :-p

Collegiate Nationals 2016

Because I am relatively new to the sport (at least at the elite level) my goal is to continue an upward progression of improvement, getting stronger in the water, on the bike, and in the run. Learning how to swim late in life at the age of 20, has created its own challenges. My main goal is to make every stroke count, developing the right technique in the water so I can swim to the ability of my aerobic engine. I am committed to working hard day in and day out, and my motivation is to find long-term consistency; therefore, I can be the best athlete I can possibly be.

My strength in the sport is the tenacity I have developed, coming from a tennis background; when you are on your feet for 3+ hours, the court temperature is 120 degrees, the rubber on your shoes melting, your legs are cramping, and you're in the final set, it comes down to who wants it the most. Interesting fact about my athletic background before triathlon is I moved away from home at the age of 13 to pursue the sport professionally. I was homeschooled on and off for two years, and I lived and trained with the Hungarian Federation National coach until the age of 15. I learned the value of hard work at a young age, and this skill continues to propel me forward in all aspects of my life today.

When I am not training, I like to enjoy the simple things of quality time with others, cooking with friends, hanging with my sisters, exploring the outdoors, trying different foods/restaurants (I am a huge foodie!), solving engineering problems, and reading a good book. I currently work as an engineer for Keysight Technologies, one of the world's leading companies for manufacturing test and measurement equipment; most of my time outside of training is filled with working to support my lifestyle :)

I currently live and work in Colorado Springs, Colorado. My favorite place to train is in the Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs. It is only five minutes from the office, so I enjoy exploring the endless trails for running, and embracing the technicality of the roads for riding in the park. I love the thrill of pushing beyond my comfort zone, ripping corners, and building my overall strength as a cyclist on the climbs. I also love the peacefulness of riding the country roads out in Fountain, Colorado.

Through triathlon, I have been fortunate enough to travel to some pretty amazing places including Switzerland, Argentina, and Cuba. I am definitely a people-person, so I love having the opportunity to meet new people, learning about other cultures, trying new foods, and taking on the challenge of performing in an unfamiliar environment.

It is difficult for me to put a time stamp on my racing, for triathlon has become such a lifestyle for me. I think realistically I can see myself racing through my mid-thirties, however, once I have a family I would like to ensure I have the right family/life balance. I am a competitive person by nature, so I will most likely always be competing in some fashion :)

If I could offer advice to someone looking to enter the sport it would be to join a club (or college team if in college), have fun, don't take yourself too seriously, embrace the relationships you make along the way, and be patient. It can take years to develop as an athlete, so keep showing up, make good habits, and take your easy days easy!

After I am finished racing in triathlon, I would love to continue in the engineering/management field and serve as a mentor to young girls pursuing engineering and sport. I hope that through my life experiences, I can guide young girls and women to embrace their development professionally and athletically with a growth mindset.

Given the diversity of the Colorado Peaks, I believe through intelligent tactical choices and hard work, we have the ability to bring home the Major League Championship this season.

In the interim, I will keep training with purpose, put in the work every day, and ensure that every swim stroke, stride, and pedal stroke counts.

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