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Meet our 2017 Femmebassadors


Gail Lohman

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?
I tri because I love the training, love the people involved in the sport, and because it's fun!!!!
Favorite sport and distance -
My favorite of the three disciplines changes from day to day.  I started with biking, added in running and then learned to swim. 70.3 distance is my favorite because I get to train somewhat long and still have a life outside triathlon. There is energy left to go out for dinner and a movie or go to a party and not be a zombie. 
Interesting fact -  
The most interesting fact about me is that I learned to swim at age 49 so I could do an IM at 50.  You know, a bucket list item.  It was only going to be one and done.  Like most people, I got hooked and have done many since then. Like I said earlier - it's fun.
Favorite pre race meal -
Pizza. 
Favorite post race meal -
Pizza.  I'm a purist...I like it plain.  OK I also like a nice chocolate protein shake.

DeeAnn Murphy

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?

Inspiration is a funny thing. It changes moment by moment. Immediate inspiration for me has been from listening to a favorite song, watching a video clip of hope and journey or just observing nature and my surrounding while training.

My husband is significant source of inspiration. We both enjoy spending time together doing pretty much everything. He has gotten me through some tough runs and taught me how to be strong mentally. Now, if he could just lend me some of his speed!

There is a much deeper level of motivation. I am blessed to be active and use my abilities to get out and move. I have an innate drive or need to push myself to see what I can do, how far I can go. While I believe that my body and mind thrive on intense activity, there are many folks in this world who are unable to enjoy the freedom of movement. Cancer is just one of those limiters and has struck family from young to old. Their struggle pushes me beyond my mamby pamby complaints on days where training is not going as planned and to never quit. NEVER QUIT.

Finally, Swim/Bike/Run has taken me from Sprints to Ironman and has given me the ability to face life from a new perspective with strength and perseverance I never would have known possible. That alone inspires me to inspire others.
Favorite sport and distance - 
My favorite leg of the triathlon is the bike. I love clipping along at a good speed going from place to place. Such a simple mode of transportation all powered by me!

My most favorite distance is the Half Iron. Long enough to be challenging yet short enough not to take up the entire day.
Interesting fact about yourself- 
I enjoy reading books. You know, real books that you hold in your hands and actually turn the pages? I dive in to stories on athletes of all sports and their adventures, especially Ultrarunning.
Favorite pre race meal -
Pre race meals have evolved over time. I can now race well on oatmeal with peanut butter & honey or Eggos with chocolate nut butter. (mmmmmm!)
Favorite post race meal - 
Post race I usually just crave water and oddly enough, a diet Pepsi with ice. If chocolate milk is available, I go for it. That stuff is magic and worked LONG before the commercials! However, when my belly is finally asking for real food, I’m usually hungry for a burger with mustard.

Melissa Hopkins

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?
What motivates me on a daily basis is the reminder that I was not able to do a quarter of what I can do now just a few years ago. Each day I should push myself and enjoy this new excitement for fitness. 
Favorite sport and distance - 
I really do enjoy swimming, cycling and running so triathlons are perfect for me. I enjoy sprint triathlons, but I also have a love for endurance swimming races as well.
Interesting fact about yourself -
Before becoming a triathlete, I had spent the two years working hard on losing weight through diet and walking. After hitting my 125 lb weight lose goal and my fitness goal of running the NYC marathon in November of 2016, I chose to push myself even further and signed up for a triathlon (even though I had not been on a bike in 25 years). Four weeks later, I completed my first triathlon and won my category. I have been hooked ever since. 
Favorite pre race meal -
My favorite pre race meal is a homemade burrito bowl with black beans, brown rice, corn, pico de gallo and lots of grilled chicken. 
Favorite post race meal - 
I always have a thermos full of Chocolate Repair from Infinit Performance.

 

Gretchen McElroy

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?

I love adventure, I love to test my limits, I love to do battle with my head.  Over the years my training and racing has gone from very podium focused to the more social aspects of racing.  If I can go for the Masters win or the AG win now, at 53 (USAT age) it's a good day!
Favorite sport and distance - 
Don't make me choose!  I love love love them all that's why I'm into Multisport!  Favorite Distance? again- all of it!  I like the redline of a Sprint or short course Duathlon but I also really like the multi hour events in more comfortable heart rate zones.
Interesting fact about yourself -
If you go on a trail run with me I will be forever catching the snakes, lizards and pointing out the various birds and plants with the occasional spotting of a deer or?  I have "Eagle Eyes" and I'm a life long Biologist/Ecologist.
Favorite pre race meal -
My Fav pre-race meal is all the things Carb; usually Quinoa, some squash or sweet potato, tempeh with chipotle-cidar glaze.  I'm pretty much vegetarian. 
Favorite post race meal - 
My fav post race meal is more of the same! Plus pizza and a glass of wine!

MaryAnn Hughes

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?

I am inspired by the people around me. Each one of us has our own struggles but as a community we band together and keep each other up. 
Favorite sport and distance - 
I am a triathlete, I actually enjoy the swim the most. My favorite distance would have to be 70.3. It is a long enough race to really be a challenge  but short enough that you can still enjoy it. 
Interesting fact about yourself -
I always make new friends on the race course. 
Favorite pre race meal -
Pre race meal is usually grilled chicken and pasta. (Low on the fibre content...lol)
Favorite post race meal - 
 I usually can't eat the evening after a race but the next day watch out.  I then eat ALL the food. Lol 

MaryJane Rose

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?

I Tri to push my limits and to inspire my children.  I wanted to be an example to my girls and show them strength comes in many forms. 
Favorite sport and distance - 
I ❤️ triathlon,  but I also love the peace and tranquility of trail running.    
My favorite triathlon distance is the 70.3 - a challenging day and still time enough for dinner 😉.
Interesting fact about yourself -
I'm not particularly fond of swimming - I don't like thinking about what else could be swimming with me in the water 😬.  
Favorite pre race meal -
My favorite pre race meal is chicken and rice.  I have been known to eat chicken and rice for several meals leading up to race day (excluding breakfast).
Favorite post race meal -
Diet Pepsi and Cheetos -terrible, I know.  

Angie Anderson

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?

I tri because I love it.  Many years ago a good friend passed away riding his bike. He had a heart issue that ultimately killed him.  Our small triathlon community grieved together by riding his favorite route called Horse Creek Road.  We stopped at the place he stopped every ride, and while we were sad, we also were thankful for the inspiration and appreciation he gave us to be able to do what we do. I’ve never forgotten that.  Winning awards and placing in my age group motivates me, but knowing I’m healthy and strong, and can go “the” distance for what I need on any given day drives me to be active for life.  Adding to that, over my many years in triathlon I’ve seen so many people do what they believed impossible.  That also inspires me.  If I can do this, so can others.  It’s a daily habit that gives back SO much.  I am thankful every day.  
Favorite sport and distance - 
Cycling and running are equally my favorite!  My favorite distances are sprint and 70.3!  
Interesting fact about yourself -
I have no sense of smell!  I fractured my skull when I was 14 and lost my smell.  
Favorite pre race meal -
Are you ready for this! Pre-race… skim milk latte, a bagel sandwich with 2 eggs, cheese and a slice of tomato.  
Favorite post race meal - 
Post race… whatever is in the fridge!  Not picky but I usually want it fast!  I do love Infinit Mocha Recovery drink but I generally gravitate to whole food. 

Kristin Radcliff

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?

This question could have so many answers..... To show my kids, 11 yo son and nearly 15 yo daughter, how to challenge myself, try and do new things and to take risks. I may not podium like their dad (not very often anyway), but I still put myself out there. To show my daughter, who struggles with an eating disorder and anxiety, that strength and fitness come in all shapes and sizes. To maintain my own sanity and mental health. Some days, that is about coping with the chaos at work, others the personal side of things (working mom with work/life balance challenges). I may be nearly 45, but I feel more fit than I did in my 30s!

 On a side note, I will forever be fiercely loyal to DeSoto. By chance, I was recommended to try the Carrera shorts years ago. Seeing an Ad for Femmebassadors in a magazine, by chance taking the opportunity to email, I am consistently impressed with the fit, quality and just all around work the company does. Being able to personally email Tracy, having her promote the body positive for all kinds of women.... will never wear anything else. My husband often says, "what DeSoto stuff DON'T you have?" 
Favorite sport and distance - 
Probably triathlon. My husband got me into running; and while I have completed a few half marathons, I still do not love it. Triathlon allows me to a) diversify workouts b) not get bored and c) tune into my childhood competitive swimmer self. I would say I do love a great long bike ride, though my thighs and how pants fit don't necessarily agree! So far, only one Olympic under my belt, so I would probably say Sprints and with running races, 5k and 10ks. Every once in a while, I fantasize about doing a half Iron, but then I think, a half aqua bike sounds so much better!
Interesting fact about yourself -
I am a clinical social worker in private practice with children and adolescents. Never a dull day at work. 
Favorite pre race meal -
Morning of, anything peanut butter. Bagel, peanut butter energy bites, peanut butter smeared on chocolate HoneyStinger waffle (OMG). Night before, anything that isn't too much roughage. 
Favorite post race meal - 
Probably a big old burger and a beer. 

Robin Leenders 

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?

To be the very best version of myself possible - my triathlon journey has forced me to overcome my extreme death fear of water, lack of self confidence and feelings of inadequacy as an athlete, and a myriad of physical issues/imbalances due to a debilitating injury years ago where I couldn't walk. For me it's about becoming the best version of myself possible, so that I reach my later years with enhanced vitality, and can demonstrate to my children and grandchildren that you can shape yourself, defy odds, and achieve your goals. To that end I am hoping to cross the finish line of Ironman Cozumel Nov. 2017. 
Favorite sport and distance - 
I will say triathlon, because that's the sport that pushes me and is my complete focus for 2017. Of the 3 distances, running is the one that comes naturally, even though I've only been doing it a few years. Favorite distance - The long stuff. Loved my marathon training last year and hoping the same for my 70.3 and 140.6 training this year. 
Interesting fact about yourself -
While I have a corporate day job as an IT analyst, I'm also a trained animal communicator and Reiki master teacher. 
Favorite pre race meal -
Before I usually want fish, vegetables, and a little potato or pasta, with, most importantly, a fruity beer. I'm certain the pumpkin ale before my marathons was the secret to my success...lol!!
Favorite post race meal - 
Immediatle after I'm not hungry for quite awhile, but a Mike's lemonade (or something similar) is required! Once my appetite kicks back in, I love this baked cheese ravioli with Alfredo sauce from a local restaurant. 

Angelika Gruber

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?

LOVE the training…. Versatile and challenging and if you’re bored with one discipline you can always sneak in another one. 
Favorite sport and distance - 
Cycling… Olympic 
Interesting fact about yourself -
Used to train horses all my life, not so different from training a triathlete :)
Favorite pre race meal -
Favorite post race meal - 
 just everyday good fresh, healthy food

Sue Moote

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?

Well--it started out (33 years ago) as a way to finally beat my cousin at something (we have something very similar to sibling rivalry and she is a very good runner) and has turned into a lifelong pursuit of finding my limits and how I can get to be the best I can be.  Along with that, over the years I have encouraged, inspired and mentored countless women and men to embrace a healthier lifestyle--that is a huge reason that keeps me coming back for more!
Favorite sport and distance - 
gotta be the bike--in any flavor, if it has 2 wheels I am on it!
Interesting fact about yourself -
As a high school athlete, I used to whine if the track coach made us run an entire lap of the track (I was a sprinter and long jumper)
Favorite pre race meal -
Morning before big breakfast:  pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns.  I love for travel races to find the best local breakfast spot.

Favorite post race meal -
Something that ends with ice cream.

 

Michele Reitz

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?
I do triathlon because it makes me set goals to be healthy, have fun and see my friends.  Training is a way to get outside and be active and stay young!  However, primarily I do triathlon to see my people.
Favorite sport and distance - 
My favorite sport of course is triathlon and I love full Ironman distances…however I don’t have time for many of those, so any shorter distance or relay has to do in between days.  This summer it is “all about the bike” because I’m heading to cycle in France in September doing some of the classic Tour de France climbs!  I love climbing on the bike!
Interesting fact about yourself -
Years ago, I took a year-long travel sabbatical for 15 months and lived out of a backpack.  We hiked, explored, ate, scuba-dived, met new people, learned about the world—wandering through Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, India and Nepal.  As soon as I can, we will do it again, new places on the list!
Favorite pre race meal -
Favorite is anything with peanut butter if I am not too nervous to eat!  :)
Favorite post race meal -
Afterwards, there is nothing better than a nice burger and a beer—I start thinking about this during the workout or race about an hour before I’m done!

Holly Beavers

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?
I tri for many reasons!  I do triathlon because I like to establish goals and enjoy reaching to achieve them.  Triathlon is a perfect example of this plus it keeps me in shape and constantly learning new things!  It's so exciting to learn about new gear and explore different avenues of race nutrition and training techniques.  Triathlon training has enabled me to set an example for my children as well as those around me.  I've been able to inspire others to move more, train for 5K's, do pushups, eat healthier, lose weight, etc.  It's been exciting to hear how MY actions have set a ripple effect to others and to their friends/followers and so forth.  One more reason, of many, that I tri is because it has made me a better physical therapist.  Whether it's being able to relate to others' injuries or motivate my patients or use some of the great new information (training, nutrition, etc) that have come in to play while triathlon training, I've used all of this to enhance my ability and knowledge to help my patients reach their own goals. 
Favorite sport and distance - 
Triathlon is for sure my favorite sport right now.  I enjoy all distances but prefer the 70.3 as the time to train is manageable.  If time was no issue, I could potentially lean toward the 140.6.  Who knows?  ;)
Interesting fact about yourself -
About myself....oh, dear....I'm a physical therapist, mother of 2 boys and live in a small town of 2000 population where there is no lap pool for year round use so I drive 55 miles one way to swim in a lap pool or use and Endless Pool.  My husband and I are the only triathletes in the area. 
Favorite pre race meal -
Pre-race is usually Teriyaki chicken, white rice, side salad with that awesome ginger dressing, miso soup, 2 beers of choice...oh, and water, of course.  I've gone mostly gluten-free so this is the "safest" meal I could think of.
Favorite post race meal -
Post-race favorite is SUSHI and BEER and miso soup with more sushi and then that side salad with ginger dressing...& water.

Jamie Broussard

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?

As far back as I can remember, I was the heavier girl. I was was always the biggest out of all of my friends. I still played sports, but was never "great" at anything. I always played and just had fun. My mother always told me that I could do and be anything. She was my biggest supporter no matter how crazy my dreams were. I found this sport and absolutely fell in love. I love the challenge that it gives me. I have always been an instantly gratifying person. I want results and I want them now! This sport has taught me that the results will come and believe me it is worth the wait! Unfortunately, I found this sport after my mother passed away from brain cancer. She was always an active person but never really into sports. She worshiped her children and did everything for us. She also had bad joints and joint replacements so she was unable to run or even jog. My mom never got to see me cross the finish line. So when I run and train, I know that she is there with me; she is pushing me to finish and to make her proud. I know that physically she isn't here but I know she has seen me cross every finish line. I run to show her and other women that we as women, no matter what your background, are capable of anything we put our minds to! I am not lazy. I do not have the typical "athletic" body. However, I am strong. I am powerful. I am a TRIATHLETE, and no one can take that away from me! Also, for my family. My children see me on a daily basis training. Whether it is super early or super late, my kids have seen me push through some workouts that I just did not want to do. They have also joined my workouts. My son loves to make a loop on my run with me. I want to show them as well that if mom can do it, then so can they!
Favorite sport and distance - 
I love the whole idea of a triathlon, but I have to say that out of all of the sports, the cycling is my favorite. It's the mixture of riding and the whole body having to move as one. It's also the speed and exhilaration that it gives you to be riding a bike over the speed limit of the road! Running would be my second. I don't hate to run, I'm just learning to get better at it. My run is very slow and speed increase has been a work in progress. I don't hate swimming, but it isn't my favorite. I like the fact that I can swim better as an adult than I ever could as a child!

My favorite distance would have to be the olympic and the half. With the olympic, it's long enough that it takes some stamina, but it doesn't take you forever to get it finished and you still are able to do something else during the day. I also like the half, but I have only done one half so far and the run was hot and rough!  Hopefully after Augusta, this will still be on my list  ;)
Interesting fact about yourself -
I'm friends with more boys than girls. I was president of the Student Council my senior year of high school. I rather hunt, fish and be either in the woods or on the water than shopping or doing my hair. I didn't start wearing makeup until I was 18. I plan on returning to school for my nurse practitioner degree. I have coached my son's soccer team for 3 years now (they are 6)! I love horseback riding! My toes point outwards, so my brothers always say that my toes look like mud grip tires!
Favorite pre race meal -
Night before I like to have grilled fish and/or chicken with green beans and sweet potatoes. Race morning I will typically have a bagel with peanut butter, some honey almond oatmeal and a cup of coffee and chocolate milk. I also try to bring a yogurt for right before the race since I eat so early! 
Favorite post race meal - 
Post race- ANYTHING GOES!!!!!! 

Laura Perry

Why I Tri - What inspires you day in and day out?
I grew up doing many different sports, but I was primarily a runner. I'd see Ironman races on TV and think "there's no way I could ever do that!" A few years ago, some ladies who were in a half marathon training group with me convinced me to join a training group for a local sprint tri. As soon as I got over my fear of getting on a bike on the open road I was hooked. I don't really have any sort of inspiring reason why I try. I do it because the people are amazing and it's a great way to get to spend a lot of time outdoors.
Favorite sport and distance - 
For competitions, triathlon is my favorite because of the great people. I love all the sports, but if I had to pick just one it would be running. I like half marathons and 70.3 triathlons. I've done some full marathons and an ultra, and I've completed two 140.6 IMs (well, 144.6 at IM Choo). The long races are great for really getting to know your capabilities, but I like the mid-distances because I can push more and recover sooner!

Interesting fact about yourself -
I used to race motorcycles and was an official at AMA, World Superbike and MotoGP roadraces for several years. I'm a member of the US FTR rifle team preparing to represent the United States in the World Championships in Canada this August. I was also a member of the gold medal winning World Championship team in 2013.
Favorite pre race meal -
Love to eat pre-race, post-race, mid-race :-)   Probably my favorite pre-race food is a pure energy pudding mix that's like a chocolate pudding for breakfast. If I don't eat that, I'll usually eat a waffle and banana. Mid-race I use Infinit drink mix, Gu gels and bananas if they're available at the aid stations. 
Favorite post race meal - 
I don't usually eat much more than a banana right after a race, but a few hours later I like to have grilled salmon or chicken and a treat for dessert.

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