2020 Member Spotlight – Kyle Washburn

April, 2020

How did you get involved in triathlons?

I was in elementary school when I first learned about triathlons. My PE teacher recommended I do an Ironkids event. While I was intrigued, I pursued track and tennis instead. Fast forward 15 years to the inaugural Boston triathlon in 2003. With a race literally in my backyard and that nagging feeling of missing out on competing as a kid, my competitive drive kicked in. To prepare, I swam a few times in a pool (who knew Boston harbor water would be so cold and that there was such a thing as a wetsuit); borrowed a friend’s racing bike (bike fit be damned, not to mention learning the hard way about clips with a luckily non-injured fall); and kept up with my regular 30 minute runs.. The race went great, until I crossed the finish line with a DNF (I mean who changes a race course the day of?).

I was still hooked. I have since completed about 50 triathlons, with roughly 15 age group podiums, including a few medals at the Gay Games (gold in Chicago and silver in Cleveland) and a gold medal at the Nation’s Tri relay with a teammate (swimmer) from Special Olympics.

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

My only race DNF came at my first race. That is where I learned the importance of not only reading the athlete guide but more so attending the pre-race meeting to hear updates. They had to add an extra loop to officially hit 5K, which was announced at pre-brief, but I skipped it. That’s in part why you always see me reviewing the race course in the morning onsite and listening to announcements.

Do you have any memorable races or experiences?

2019 was finally the year I committed to the Ironman. I built up with a few races that year, including posting a 5:10:18 at IMOH 70.3, all culminating to a 11:15:04 IMMD finish. I was proud to have the DC Triathlon Club on my bib and to see so many fellow DC Tri Club members racing, watching and cheering each other on. And shout out to the TriOut group for the motivation and support to take on, train for, and achieve this monumental achievement.

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

Fun fact (ha, in my opinion), I don’t look much like a triathlete since weightlifting is another passion. I constantly balance keeping so much muscle mass with the trade off for speed.