TThis month's featured athlete is Brooke Horiuchi! Being born and raised in sunny L.A., she was tossed into a YMCA swimming pool at a young age and worked her way from a tadpole to flying fish. By high school, she gave in to the appeal of amphibian life and completed three marathons before graduating. Years later, after finishing law school in D.C., Brooke discovered DC Tri and, through volunteering and club training events, launched her triathlon career. Get to know Brooke!
Even without a triathlon initially as an end goal, you started your training when you were very young. Tell us about the early days as a guppy at the YMCA!
I recall bright orange water wings, a flowered floater pillow and lots of splashing around. I'm sure it was all color coordinated to my bathing suit. ;) I don't think I quite got that the concept was not to make a huge splash as you made your way across the shallow end of the pool, but I definitely enjoyed it.
What motivated or inspired you to officially get involved in triathlon?
To try something new and to push my comfort zones as an athlete. I figured I was okay for the swim and run but the bike without training wheels was definitely an experience. Add in clip-in pedals and whee . . .
How has the sport helped shape your life today?
I have met some great friends through training for triathlons and DC Tri. I'm constantly awed and amazed at what people can do when they push their limits to try something new. And training for triathlons has definitely made me more aware of nutrition (I'm typically a hamburger, mac&cheese and ice cream person).
How has DC Tri helped you pursue some of your goals?
By offering so many different training options, the forum and friends, DC Tri has been a great resource for me. The amount of knowledge is amazing and if you are considering doing a race, there’s a good chance someone in the club has done it (or will be doing it with you). Seeing DC Tri members on the course and getting cheered on by the club members is a huge lift!
What keeps you competing?
Define "competing." I would say that I participate in triathlons - my goals for any race are typically - not finish dead last, finish without injury and have fun. So far, I have been lucky enough to accomplish my goals for each race.
When not training, what do you enjoy doing most?
Reading and hanging out with friends at a good restaurant with some good wine.
You are on a desert island and you find a genie in a lamp who grants you only one wish. Your wish is for only one piece of triathlon gear. What do you choose?
If I was being practical, I would take my garmin...but who wants to get off a deserted tropical island? I'd ask for my sunblock and relax in the sun. :)
Any advice for beginner triathletes?
Enjoy your training and races! Buy a DC Tri jersey - it's amazing how much cheering you'll get at races. Do whatever distance race that you feel comfortable. If you want to do an Ironman, go for it, but if not, that's great too!