My love for triathlon came along with my love for staying active, setting and achieving goals, and competing individually against myself and as a member of a team as a kid. I grew up playing soccer, field hockey, and track and field as a sprinter/hurdler. I got into running because my friends in middle school did and convinced me that it was "fun and cool". I did soon come to learn that it wasn't just "punishment" for soccer/field hockey mishaps- it was indeed "fun and cool"! I started running 5k's to stay in shape for collegiate field hockey, and then just had to challenge myself to my first half marathon (which seemed so long and terrifying at the time!). My college field hockey coach told me, "you could run a half marathon tomorrow". Having only done 5K's I thought she was crazy, but then went home Googling how to train for one. By the end of college I had run several half marathons and ran the Disney Marathon as my first full and 21st birthday gift.
The summer after graduating college in 2010, ironically my old high school track and field friend asked me to do a new, local women's triathlon. "What's a triathlon?!". I did that first race on the cheapest hybrid bike I could find, after YouTubing "how to swim freestyle" and man, I was hooked! I ended up going back to that race year after year, with my best finish being 3rd overall female. I love going back for the community, as a beginner-friendly race I love helping out in transition, calming all those pre-race jitters from new triathletes, lending things forgotten at home or helping to answer those frantic last minute questions.
Since then, I have completed many Sprint/Olympic distances with two finishes at the USAT National Age Group Championships, twelve 70.3's and three 140.6's at Lake Placid. Although I live along the NJ shoreline with not much elevation around, something about the magic (and maybe pain?!) of Lake Placid brings me back. I'm always aiming for AG podiums at local races, and personal PR's on those longer days. I'm always seeking the next challenge, so I've found myself completing a 375 day run streak and the Yeti 24 Hour Ultra Challenge in the past few years. My motto, "no challenge, no change!"
This past year I landed my qualification to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship for the first time and was beyond ecstatic. Unfortunately my lucky avoidance of COVID-19 as an Autism Kindergarten teacher ended and I tested positive the week before the race. I had my eyes on that prize to finish out the 2022 season in October and had to find a new outlet for all my pent-up triathlon emotions and energy entering the off-season.
That brought me to my current love- Zwift racing! I *finally* earned my Tron bike in the game for climbing 50,000 meters, and again I just had to find a new goal to work for! I got hooked into racing TTT on a team in the WTRL Race League, ITT events, and the duathlon league. I find myself racing 2-3 times a week to scratch the competitive itch, loving learning/using all the race tactics, and seeing my FTP and wattage stats increase. Next goals? Level 50 Fire Socks! And possibly get close to catting up to A. Why are we triathletes so crazy?! It's all "fun and cool" like my pre-teen friends said, right?!
I'm looking forward to this upcoming race season and all those to follow! My short/long term goals are to qualify for 70.3 World's again, earn a 70.3 PR, and eventually work towards a Kona Legacy spot.
I'm so grateful I have Team Varlo to keep me inspired and motivated every day. I've been a part of a team since I could kick around a soccer ball at age five, and my competitive edge and love for camaraderie hasn't changed all these years later! From fields to finish lines!
Let's all crush our goals TOGETHER!
Follow Rebecca on Instagram @swimbeckrun