Feel the need to go swim a few miles, hop on a bike to ride even more miles, then hit the pavement running to finish the trip off? If yes, a triathlon might be just the right thing.
Team FASTT, a non-profit triathlon team based on the Eastside, has given athletes a place to organize, make friends and improve themselves.
Lisa Worthington and Kris Stolmeier founded the team late in the season in 2005 with 10 members. But things didn’t really get rolling until 2006, when membership blossomed to 67.
“We saw how cool the concept of being on a team was, all of that support, and thought we should bring that to triathlons,” Worthington said. “The best part is to bring in new people who have never done the sport and see them race for the first time.”
Now membership has topped 70 and the team is building steam. A number of athletes on the team are from Kirkland, including Sean Minister, Patty Bredice and Debbie Boyce.
Sean Minister summed up his attitude towards triathlons with a simple statement: “I did an Olympic distance earlier in the year as a warm-up.”
For the record, an Olympic distance triathlon is a total of nearly 32 miles of grueling swim (0.93 miles), bike (24.8) and run (6.2). Hardly what most people would consider a warm-up.
It’s clear triathletes think about things, and miles, a little bit differently than most people.
The 39-year-old finished the Olympic triathlon on June 6 at Moses Lake, just a month before finishing a half Ironman on July 7 at Lake Stevens. A half Ironman steps up the intensity from an Olympic considerably. The race consists of over 70 total miles, with 1.2 in the swim, 56 in the bike and 13.1 in the run.
By completing the half Ironman, Minister attained his immediate goal and took another big step towards his ultimate goal: a full Ironman.
“I finished and that was my goal,” he said. “Just finishing — the pride to be able to say I did it.”
A full Ironman runs a staggering 140.6 miles. The swim is 2.4 miles, the bike is 112 and the run is 26.2 (marathon length).
Minister will run another half Ironman this season in September in Santa Cruz, Calif. He plans to work up to a full Ironman in 2009 or 2010, but he’s proud of what’s he’s accomplished so far.
“Even doing a small triathlon is insane, much less a half Ironman,” he said.
It’s been just 11 weeks since Patty Bredice had her third child and she’s already completed two triathlons.
New child or not, don’t expect Bredice to slow down. The 38-year-old competed in 15-20 races in 2007 (that number has dipped to 4 or 5 this year because of her pregnancy). It may sound a little crazy, but for Bredice there’s nothing quite like competition.
“I love to race. I just like to get out there and push myself,” she said. “The training can get kind of mundane, so I like to go race.”
Among her races last year, Bredice completed sprints, Olympics and half Ironmans.
“I have a visualization. I think about each step, and I get more and more energy off the concrete,” Bredice said. “Usually you start bonking about the run. The run is where you feel the fatigue.”
Bredice won her age group and placed fourth overall in the Kirkland Triathlon last year and is hoping to repeat her success at this year’s race on Sept. 21.
The Weekend Athlete
Debbie Boyce doesn’t run triathlons to win. In fact, she’s pretty sure that she won’t win. She runs triathlons to be with friends, test herself and accomplish goals. And for the occasional surprise.
While making her way through the Flowing Lake Triathlon in Snohomish last September, the 40-year-old noticed she had indigestion which she assumed was from sucking down water on the swim.
“I found out I was pregnant the same day I did the race,” Boyce said. “The pregnancy tests I took over the next couple of days confirmed it. I didn’t believe the first one.”
Nearly a year later Boyce has a three-month old child and is gearing up to make her comeback at the Flowing Lake Triathlon on September 13.
Boyce runs Sprint triathlons, which are an even 16 miles long. The swim is half a mile, the bike is 12.4 miles and the run is 3.1 miles.
The hardest part for Boyce is right at the start, the swim. “Usually the end of my rope is in the swim,” she said. “That’s where I’m struggling to get to the end. Once I’m out of that, the rest is cake to me.”
While the three athletes all run different races at different paces, they share one thing in common: Team FASTT
“I’ve just gotten so much out of being on the team,” Minister said. “Just stuff you can’t learn on your own. Little things that make you so much better.”
The team holds regular workouts, bike rides and classes on everything from swimming just a little faster to bike repair. But the thing most of the members appreciate is the teamwork and camaraderie among members.
For more information about Team FASTT, go to TeamFASTT.com.
Upcoming events –
Beaver Lake Triathlon, 8/16
Lake Sammamish Triathlon, 8/23
Titanium Man Olympic Triathlon, 8/30