2019 Member Spotlight – Martha Huizenga

September, 2019

How did you get involved in triathlons?

I was a long distance swimmer in HS and College and started running in college as well. People always said I should do triathlon because I was a swimmer and most Triathletes aren’t swimmers. When I realized I couldn’t run 7 days a week anymore (around age 40), I started biking and then signed up for a triathlon in NY State with my two brothers-in-law.

What was your first triathlon?

The NY State was my first. It was called the American Memorial Triathlon in Greenwood Lake in 2007. It was freezing out like mid-40s. The lake was 74. I was the only one not wearing a wet suit, which I normally don’t wear unless the water is below 70. It was a small race. I came in first in my age group and 4th woman. I was hooked!

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in a triathlon?

Hmmm…. I’ve ridden the whole race with my goggles and cap tucked in my bike shorts and (on a separate occasion) lost a snap to my race belt in the grass minutes before transition was closing.

Any memorable races or experience?

This isn’t triathlon, but I swam the Chesapeake Bay swim in 2015. It was incredible. That year it was completely calm with no waves. It can be really wavy, so I was surprised. It’s the longest swim I’ve done. I encourage anyone who likes to swim in open water to do it. My top training was around 5500 yards (the Bay is 4.4 miles which is about 7700 yards). Since I’ve always been a long distance swimmer this was fine for me, but I would encourage people to get to at least 6500. I’m happy to give advice to people, just message or email me!

What do you enjoy outside of triathlon?

I enjoy open water swimming a bit more these days than triathlon. However, my non-exercise hobbies are knitting, sewing, photography and skiing. I’m also on the Capitol Hill Community Foundation board and I’ve been on several other boards over the years.

Any fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share?

My husband and I own a Capitol Hill business called DC Access. We’ve been in business for 20 years this year! That’s where I spend my time when I’m not exercising! That might not be a fun fact, but it’s my life!