2020 Member Spotlight – Cheng Lee

August, 2020

How did you get involved in triathlons?

I signed up for the Central Park Triathlon in 2017 with some friends from my running club who were also triathletes . Unfortunately I had a bike crash a few months before the race and had to miss it.

I try to set a new challenge for myself every year, so after running the Chicago Marathon in October 2018, I decided to give triathlon another try.

I realized I had a lot to learn about triathlons, since I didn’t really know how to swim in open water or bike on a hilly course, so when I heard about the New Triathlete Program I signed up immediately.

What was your first triathlon?

My first triathlon is the DC Tri’s PeasantMan back in April of 2019. This super sprint club race was a fun introduction to the sport. It was the perfect opportunity for me to meet some other DC Triathletes, and it also gave me some much-needed extra practice getting in and out of my wetsuit!

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

Well, I’ve learned the hard way that if/when my training gets off track, it is pretty impossible to try to cram it all in a few weeks before the race. Consistency is key, right?

Any memorable races or experience?

The most memorable race for me was my 2019 goal race, Diamond in the Rough, which was my first Olympic Distance race. I originally signed up for the sprint distance, because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to finish the race within the time limit. But training with NTP gave me the confidence that I could do it! Even though I was struggling, and getting passed by people left and right, I was really glad that I finished strong, and made it in time for the group photo!

What do you enjoy outside of triathlon?

Outside of triathlon, I enjoy exploring architecture, taking photos (https://www.instagram.com/avocatography/), traveling the world, and finding good vegetarian food and bakeries. I recently did a surprise proposal photoshoot for a fellow NTPer, and that has been the highlight of my 2020 (so far).

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

My family runs a commercial avocado farm in San Diego, so I’ve been eating avocado toast looooong before it became a thing on Instagram LOL!

The farm sits on 100 acres and produces several different varieties of avocados, including Bacon and Fuerte, which you don’t usually see in the markets.