WHY I TRI: SIRI LINDLEY

WHY I TRI:  SIRI LINDLEY

Siri Lindley

World Champion Triathlon Coach and Motivational Speaker : Open letter to Tri for the Cure Athletes! 

Known for her devastating run splits, two-time Triathlon World Champion, Siri Lindley, dominated the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Rankings, winning 13 World Cup races between 2000-2002 and was the 2001 ITU World Champion. Siri won the World Cup Series both years by being the #1 ranked triathlete in the world! 

Why I Tri: Peggy Roberts

Tri for the Cure is so unique compared to other triathlons. “In 2010 I was asked to volunteer to shuttle spectators at the Tri for the Cure. After volunteering on that day and witnessing the anticipation, excitement and sense of accomplishment from the participants I felt a strong pull to give it a try.” Peggy Roberts was hooked.

Peggy has never considered herself as an athlete, but still decided to compete. “Anyone can do it, that’s what caught my eye,” Peggy said. “There were women of every shape, size and various athletic abilities.”

On race day, Peggy’s family was there to cheer her on and support her. After watching their Mother compete, her daughters were inspired to participate as well. The following year her two oldest daughters did the Tri for the Cure with, but it was her second oldest, Molly, that really embraced the event and competition.

 Molly competed for five consecutive years, last year being the first she missed only because she was on a trip she planned before the date of the event had been announced. In 2015, Molly even competed a week after having abdominal surgery, despite being told by her doctor that it wouldn’t be a good idea. Peggy and Molly volunteer in the apparel tent every year at the Tri for the Cure Expo the day before the event. Molly was really struggling with watching the anticipation and excitement of the participants as they picked up their race packets. After speaking with her parents and event coordinators, they reached a compromise and Peggy would wear Molly’s timing chip on a relay strap when she did her swim. This way, Molly could still compete by doing the bike and run without putting her surgical incisions at risk in the water, and still not get an “incomplete” on her event timing. 

 “It has been awesome for us to train and participate together,” Peggy said. “She’s my driving force. She’s had six years of abdominal pain, and yet she continues to push through this!  It’s great bonding for us both! We look forward to this event every single year!” 

 Peggy believes this event is great for mothers and daughters to do together or even friends. It builds camaraderie and it’s like no other race you’ll compete in.  “It’s a great event,” Peggy said. “I can’t speak more highly of it. The energy, excitement builds at Cherry Creek State Park. The place is packed with participants and spectators and it is an amazing feeling! Women are so excited as they cross the finish line, it is such a feeling of accomplishment! ”

Why I Tri: Beth Best

“I never thought I could do a triathlon, never in my wildest dreams.”

That was the way Beth Best felt as she signed up for her first Tri for the Cure race. “Why did I sign up,” as Best reflected, “Can I even finish? I know I can do each piece, but not sure that I can put it all together. But once you complete each leg, your confidence builds.”

Best was nervous, halfway joking that she had to run to the bathroom 12 times before the race began. But now, she has five Tri for the Cure races under her belt, “There is nothing like it,” Best said. “It is truly an amazing event. People hugging, holding hands and encouraging one another along the way.”

Best described showing up at the event and seeing women of all ages, sizes, and ability. Thinking she couldn’t possibly complete a triathlon, she looked around and knew she wasn’t alone; “There’s just a different feeling in the air, I could start crying right now thinking about it,” as Best holds back tears while she reiterates, “I have the chills just talking about the race. There’s a feeling of comradery and sisterhood.”

The environment was much different than anything she had ever witnessed. Best recalls standing near the track and instantly being surrounded by “20 new best friends you didn’t have before.”

Best had previously competed in other triathlons and recalled being swam over, cut off on the bike trail, and having spit fly her direction. But that’s not the experience she has encountered at Tri for the Cure; “Women apologize for swimming into you, give you tips in the water,” Best said. “There’s no snot rockets on the course and people are fine if you go first on the bike course.”

But that doesn’t mean there’s no competition as Best reassures there is, “Definitely a sense of wanting to win, but it’s a mentality that we are all in this together.” As for other triathlons, “I will never go back to a co-ed triathlon after competing in Tri for the Cure.”

Perhaps one of the greatest things that stood out to Best on the track was the amount of safety Downing Events puts into Tri for the Cure.

“There are swim buddies and professionals in the water with you, the roads are clear and clean and volunteers line the way watching out for you and encouraging you,” Best said. “You get a lot of encouragement from everyone, people are there by your side every step of the way.”

Beth Best did a few races by herself, but she found the most satisfaction in bringing friends, competing with them and crossing the finish line together. “There’s a saying that the Downing Events staff say every year, ‘The woman who finishes the race is different from the woman who starts,’” Best echoed. “That’s 100% correct.”

“One friend in particular felt, next to having kids and getting married, that it was one of the best days of her life,” Best said. “The feeling at the end of the race just can’t really be described. It is a feeling of euphoria, an addicting sensation that you just want to do it again.”

Beth Best “Tri’d” for herself. No matter your reasoning, it’s a race you won’t want to miss. There are clinics and pre-events leading up to the race. There is even a training calendar to walk you through every day until August 6. Make sure to check out the website and Tri for a reason. 

Why I Tri: Nancy Reinisch

 

“In 30 years, I haven’t found anything that makes me feel the way I do when I finish the race.”

Emotional is how Nancy Reinisch describes the Tri for the Cure. Nancy has been running the race since the get-go of Tri for the Cure. She began running the race for herself and then became a coach, looking to help others. She founded the Roaring Fork Women’s Triathlon Team which consists of about 60 women, of all age groups.

“We decided Tri for the Cure would be our team’s destination,” Reinisch explains, “It ends our season for the team and is a great benchmark and culmination of all our training.”

Reinisch always felt Tri for the Cure supported a great cause, but then 10 years ago, the cause truly hit home as she reflects; “I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer at the age of 53. I used to do the race for others, but now I am the person people do it for.”

In her time fighting breast cancer, going through intense chemo, a double mastectomy and reconstruction, Reinisch continued to relate back to running triathlons. She wrote a book entitled, “Chemosabee,” and continues to point out five distinct similarities:

  • Take one step at a time
  • Keep your sense of humor
  • Manage injuries
  • Use your team
  • Celebrate your finish line

"The two years going through cancer and competing in Tri for the Cure were the highlights of competing in this great event,” Reinisch said. “The race became much more emotional. I remember 10 years ago crossing the finish line, almost bald. I wasn’t able to run, but I did bike and swim in that event. Then the following year I was done with chemo and finished all three legs of the race. At the end, there was my team, cheering me on. I was so emotional I began to cry.”

Reinisch beat cancer once but after nearly eight years in remission, the terrible disease has attacked again. She was just diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and will begin treatment again soon. Yet, you wouldn’t notice while speaking with her. Her energy is high, fun-loving, and she is great to talk with. When asked if she would be there again this year, there was no hesitation in her voice, “You bet,” Reinisch exclaimed. “I am going to be there and plan to compete and participate in whichever way I can.”

Reinisch is an inspiration. Not only is she running for others, but her situation is the very reason this race was put together. Reinisch is among six cancer survivors running on the Roaring Fork Women’s Triathlon team, “The team is a place for us to go,” Reinisch said. “We feel comfortable, love each other and inspire one another.”.

Join Reinisch and the rest of the Roaring Fork Women’s Triathlon team this August as we race the Tri for the Cure.  Everyone has a good reason to race, what’s yours?