2019 Member Spotlight – Sarah Lifsey

October, 2019

How did you get involved in triathlon?
I started running because I wanted to get into better shape and I was very broke. It was the cheapest sport I could think of. When I moved to DC I bought a hybrid bike because I wanted to use it to commute. I’m not sure how I caught the idea of doing a triathlon, I might’ve read an article or something. I looked up triathlon clubs in DC and found the New Triathlete Program!

What was your first triathlon?
The New Jersey State Triathlon in 2007. It was the goal race for NTP.

Any memorable races or experience?
My first-and-so-far-only Ironman was Ironman Chattanooga in 2014. I had never even considered that distance until the race was announced and I decided I needed to do an inaugural Ironman in my hometown. I was not the sort of person who went running or bicycling when I lived in Chattanooga so going back to where I grew up and seeing all of the streets and sights from a human-powered perspective was amazing. I lucked out and got a cool, semi-rainy day. Seeing my wife and family multiple times on the course was so encouraging even though I made them wait nearly the entire race for my finish: I had only about 16 minutes to spare when I crossed the line!

What do you do as the NCC coordinator?
The NCC is the National Challenge Competition (formerly the National Club Challenge), a winter club-versus-club mileage competition that USA Triathlon puts on every winter. It’s meant to encourage people to train over the winter by ranking clubs on which put in the most miles in a given discipline and overall. Each month has a different focus between swim, bike and run. My job as the coordinator is to email weekly encouragement to everyone participating and give updates on our ranking. The competition usually starts in December so you’ll hear about it in the club newsletters starting in November.

Do teams from sunny climates have an advantage?
They certainly do seem to put in massive bicycle miles, which is the secret to winning the competition. That said, I want NCC to be a way to encourage training over the winter, not a method for burning out before spring even starts. I don’t know if you get anything other than bragging rights if your club wins the overall competition but we do have DC Tri Club prizes for folks who put in the highest swim, bike, run and overall mileage. So, even if we don’t win the overall competition, we have a nice internal winter competition to make it just a little easier to get on that trainer or in the pool on a cold day!

Do you know what is the highest or lowest that the club has placed?
We did win one year! Generally we hang in around 7th or 8th place–we’ve had difficulty getting higher the last few years.

What do you enjoy outside of triathlon?
I like gardening, cooking and brewing beer. Lately I’ve been experimenting with fermentation and bread baking.