Get Inspired by Triathletes’ Goals

Fitness, News and Advice
on June 1, 2009

Julie Weaver, 38, Huntington Beach, Calif.
First race day: Oct. 12, 2008
Distance: 1/4-mile ocean swim, 10-mile bike, 3-mile run
Inspiration: "My husband signed us both up to get us both back in shape. I had recently been dealing with some health problems, and for a while, doctors thought I had lupus. I was motivated in part because I felt thankful I didn't have lupus, but my Dad was my biggest reason. At 67 years old, he's in a nursing home due to Parkinson's disease and a spinal cord injury. He was such an athletic and outgoing man and knowing he lays in a bed unable to walk or even feed himself made me want to push myself even more. I always think about what he'd give to even have the opportunity to train for this. It was quite emotional for me at times. Now I've got the bug! I want to do another! It was hard work, but an amazing feeling of accomplishment after being so down for a while!"

Loren Fay, 38, Denver, Colo.
First race day: June 8, 2008
Distance: 1/2-mile swim, 12-mile bike, 3-mile run
Inspiration: "To lose weight—which didn't happen. Prior to March, I had never run, biked or swum. My friend and I were discussing our desire to lose weight, and she asked if I wanted to participate. My answer was immediate: Oh good God—no! I decided to do it because everyone should do something that scares the hell out of them. I did surprise myself when during the day, I would think, I feel wonky, I need to go for a run, and then was like, wait—who said that! The tri was also a wonderful way to bond with my friends."

Kerry Morrison, Andover, Mass.
First race day: July 12, 2008
Distance: 1/2-mile swim, 12-mile bike, 3-mile run
Inspiration: "After my first son was born, on Oct. 1, 2004, I wanted to lose weight and get in shape, but it didn't happen. I had my second son 19 months later, May 18, 2006. At that point I was huge. I signed up for Weight Watchers and lost 50 pounds. Once the fat was gone, I felt great but I still didn't return to working out. I didn't have the motivation to go to the gym. But I soon felt a little lost, giving myself all to the family. I wanted to do something for me, make time for myself and achieve something. And I didn't want to work out just to work out; I wanted to work toward a goal. A Tri seemed like a good fit. I had always enjoyed swimming, biking and running and was pretty sure I could handle doing all three in one race. I also thought that I could fit in the workouts around my schedule. My son turned two on May 18 and I signed up for the Amesbury Tri that same day."

Leslie Korff, 39, New York
First race day: July 22, 2007
Distance: 1500-meter swim, 40k bike, 10k run
Inspiration: "I wanted to set a definite goal to not only lose the baby weight I had put on after my son's birth, but also to get the strength and confidence I imagined I would need to be the kind of parent I wanted to. I ended up becoming pregnant with twins a few months after that event and now am on my way to setting the next goal-they were born in June. Being physically fit and having great amounts of energy makes parenting fun, in my book."

Julie Marsh, 36, Parker Colo.
First race day: Sept. 7, 2008
Distance: 500-yd swim, 13-mile bike, 3-mile run
Inspiration: "My husband had done the same tri each year since 2005. I always brought the kids to cheer. Each year I was caught up in the energy of the athletes, thinking, 'Hey, I could do this too!' After having my third child this past January, I couldn't think of a better way to get back in shape than to start a training program with a concrete goal in mind. It was an incredibly empowering experience."

Carol Stewart, 57, Overland Park, Kansas
First race day: August 8, 2008
Distance: 500m-swim, 10-mile bike, 5K run
Inspiration: "In January of 2003, I joined Weight Watchers weighing in at a whopping 352 pounds. I hit my goal weight in about 16 months. After a slow start, walking about a block, I progressed, with the help of my personal trainer, into some sort of fitness devotee. I decided I had to attempt a triathlon before I turned 60 and the Smithville event was the perfect place for me to start. One of my many goals is to try to help any single person who thinks they can't because I know they can."

Megan Pribyl, 33, Olathe, Kansas
First race day: Sept.13, 2008.
Distance: 500-meter swim, 10.6-mile bike, 2.6-mile run
Inspiration: "The triathlon was an enormous motivation for me to get back some strength and fitness after having two kids. When my youngest was 18 months old, I began training, signed up for the race 3 months later, and competed in September."

Gina Dispirito, 33, Rhode Island
First race day: July 27, 2008
Distance: 1/2-mile swim, 12-mile bike, 3-mile run
Inspiration: "After years of never taking time to take care of myself, I decided it was time for a change… And in the last year I have lost just shy of 100 pounds, thanks to diet and exercise. Around the 80-pound mark, I decided to do the Danskin triathlon in Webster, Mass. My friend did it last year and kept pestering me about doing it this year. My husband even got into the mix and did his own races this summer. It was wonderful to be active again."