Updated 05/30/2012 10:16 PM
Hundreds of athletes prepare to "Tri it Again"
Athletes are training to "Tri it Again" as triathlon season is well underway. Hundreds of athletes are participating in Fleet Feet's training programs. Last summer, we followed several beginners throughout their training and race day. Our Katie Gibas tells us where they are today and what this season holds.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- You can feel it in the air. Training is back in season. And for athletes who competed in their first triathlon last year, coming back as a veteran puts a new perspective on the sport.
"Last year, at the beginning of the season, I thought, 'Oh, I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to do this.' And then when I actually got to the day, Fleet Feet had prepared us so much that I was actually like, 'Oh, I could keep going.' And so this year, I'll see, just kick it up a notch and then, of course, next year, I'd like to do the 70.3 all on my own," said Sarah Bettinger, a Baldwinsville resident and Fleet Feet coach.
A few of the athletes who competed in their first triathlon last year decided to step up and become coaches for the Fleet Feet triathlon training program.
"Especially seeing where we as athletes have come since this time last year and being a part of the coaching end of things this year and seeing all the beginners and being able to tell them, 'Hey, you can do this. I did it last year. It was an incredible experience. Here are some things that helped me.' And to watch them just in the first practices," said Laura Currey, a Cicero resident and Fleet Feet Coach.
Bettinger added, "I'm excited to see a whole new group of women and men find an inner strength that I found last year by doing the tri program. And it just creates such a sense of community that I can't wait to meet my new friends."
And there are plenty of new athletes for Bettinger and Currey to impart their wisdom on. The sport of triathlon has exploded over the past couple of years, particularly here in Central New York, which hosts two of the three all-female triathlons in New York State.
"In this time and age when we're having such problems with obesity as a nation, to see that there is a group in Syracuse that's so excited about exercise and a commitment to health and being stronger, it's a quiet movement in Syracuse that's kind of taking over. Everybody is starting to find out and see that there's an athlete in all of us," said Bettinger.
Currey added, "It's really a sport that's accessible to the common person. You don't have to be an incredible athlete to really participate and enjoy a sport like triathlon."
And now that training's in full swing, Bettinger and Currey have big goals and some pretty big races as they Tri it Again.
And we'll be checking back in with the athletes as they continue training throughout the summer.
Our very own Katie Gibas is also working out with the Fleet Feet Triathlon Training Group. To follow her progress and several other people writing about their experiences, check out the "Tri it Again" blog at 'http://centralny.ynn.com/content/sports/tri_it_again.