Thinking about a Triathlon?

Dan T. and Brita L. will inspire you!

I have done a number of triathlons, from Sprints to half Ironman and it is the only event that I have ever felt like I was really competing.  The variety of activities gives a full complement of healthy activities. 

Dan T.

Dan TDan has always been competitive.  Whether it was running, tennis, swimming, radio control racing or Go-Carts…..he liked the competition.  And that is something that drew him towards triathlons in 2008.  I was ready for a new challenge.  Even then, it was about competition, because he started on a dare.

“Several of my friends rode our bikes out to watch the Pigman Sprint in 2007,” Dan says; “As we watched near the transition area, {my friend} Ken dared me to join him and do it the following year.  ‘It’s a go!’  I replied, and that first year I did three Sprints, following years up to 10 Tri’s and running races.  The sport is very addictive.”  Dan has been an age group winner and 5th overall in the Heart of America Race series.

He has his favorite Tri’s:   the Pigman Olympic, [or long course] here in the Corridor.  That one is in his own backyard, and he appreciates that, but he does enjoy going to races away as well.  He enjoys the places that he has traveled to do Tri’s, like the Ironman Louisville in 2015.  His training consists of alternating between swim bike and running, usually 2 activities a day, sometimes with strength training.  He always takes one day a week off to let his body recover and stay in top shape.

His best tip is to begin a tri with a sprint (.5 mile swim, 12.4 m bike, 3.1 m run).  He encourages folks to join the Midwest Tri Club in the Cedar Rapids area…or your local Tri club, for support, ideas and friendships it provides.

That is what Dan really enjoys:  the training rides with people who have become his friends.  “Tri’s really just give you a good lifestyle balance,” he says, “You find that you spend time with these folks and get to know them when you are training together.  You also will find that the variety of activities with tri training helps keep injuries at bay because you are not over-doing any one activity.” 

Brita L.

Brita LBrita has a busy family life. Husband, kids and myriad activities in regard to those.  She is a runner.  In 2004 Brita did a marathon and hurt her knee.  One of the activities she employed to recover was to bike.  Cycling gave less stress on the knee, but still kept her active.  A high school friend mentioned triathlon-ing to Brita, and shortly after that (some might say serendipitously) she found a beginner Tri class at her gym.  After her first Triathlon…she was HOOKED!

Brita says she is not a rigid triathlete, but she is a determined one!    She does plan her training by what the weather looks like.  Saturdays, Sundays and Mid-week she finds group training helps to keep her motivated and inspired.  She loves group atmosphere training of the the Midwest Tri Club.  She fills in from there.  She has not incorporated strength training into her regimen, but she has just started to do a bit of yoga.

Her first triathlon was the local Pigman Sprint Tri in 2007. That fall Brita became a founding member of the Midwest Xtreme Triathlon Club.  She does anywhere from 3-8 tri's a year...mostly sprint triathlons.  She's raced at a variety of venues in this area, as well as a few out of state.  In 2009 she traveled with a small group from Midwest Xtreme Tri Club to the Triathlon Club Nationals in Oklahoma City.  MWX Tri Club placed 3rd at Nationals which was pretty exciting.  Last summer Brita participated in the Heart of America Triathlon Series.  She ended up as the 2nd place overall female in the series.  "I love the people, the atmosphere, and the variety of a tri.  People come from everywhere, athletes of all sizes and abilities.  There is not a dull moment! Things happen during a tri that make me smile!" Brita says, laughing at the memories the triathlon races evoke.

“Equipment does make a difference,” she says.  “When I first started I was riding a 20 year old trail bike.  My husband bought me a road bike, and now I have a tri bike.  The Tri bike I just got a year ago and there was a learning curve with it…but it truly does make a difference, just like a wetsuit does.”  Along with that, Brita says that she has a good relationship with the Northtowne Service Department.  She has had some anxious moments with bike issues right before several tri's.  "The service team at Northtowne understood my pre-race stress and were able to fix my bike problems.  A couple times, some even stayed at the store late to get my bike fixed on the night before a race. That means a lot to me!" 

The people Brita has met keeps her motivated.  “There are lot of neat people in the sport and some have become my close friends.  We are like-minded in the challenge.  We set goals and encourage each other.  "I feel very fortunate to be able to compete in the great sport of triathlon...out enjoying nature, meeting awesome people, and cross-training!"

Have Fun!


Tri Distances






.5 m







Half Ironman