2020 Member Spotlight – Liz WestbrookApril, 2020
In 2012 I was getting into running and taking spin class a lot. Some friends from spin convinced me to come do a metric century ride with them (Trek in the Neck in Cambridge MD) on actual bikes but I didn’t have one. My dad is a cyclist though and encouraged me to buy a road bike. I’m 4’10” so it took weeks to find one that fit – I ended up finding one a week before the century ride but as soon as I got on it I loved it and even though I only had a few days to get used to riding it before Trek in the Neck I had a blast. The night after that long ride we were having some beers and grilling with other cyclists and I learned for the first time what an Ironman was. There must be something broken in my brain because I said to myself, I’m gonna do one of those. When I got home I signed up for a local sprint tri, the now defunct Battle of the Potomac in National Harbor that was six weeks away. I spent those six weeks getting more used to my road bike and trying to build swim stamina, and when I crossed that first tri finish line I was totally hooked.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in a triathlon?
I went down to Colonial Beach sprint a few years ago and forgot to change out my trainer skewer for my good skewer, and apparently I also didn’t have it screwed on particularly tight. There’s a tight 180 turn a few miles into the bike course, and as I hit the brakes I think just the force of the calipers against the back rim knocked my wheel clear off. It has happened to me a few times training too so now friends are always checking on me that the wheels don’t literally come off.
Any memorable races or experience?
My first full was IM Chatty 2016 when it got up to 110 degrees on the bike course and only 60% of the field finished – it was the second highest DNF rate in IM history and it SUCKED. But I was so proud to make it to that finish line, albeit 2.5 hours slower than planned.
What do you do as a Rev3 Ambassador?
I fell in love with Rev3 volunteering as the bike lead at Williamsburg in 2016. After doing a few Rev races I applied in 2017 to join the Ambassador team and it has been one of the best experiences of my life. Somehow we’ve amassed a group of instant best friends from around the country. We are basically a totally crazy Rev3 and triathlon hype-crew. We try to get the word out about Rev3 races and we volunteer at the races (and compete) and we really try to make the sport welcoming for all people. If you’ve ever stay to the end of a Rev race we do a huge party for the final finisher, and we also always make sure the final runners or each distance have at least one of us keeping them company on the course. We love having competitive speedy competitive people race with us but we also want triathlon to feel fun and supportive for every single athlete and that is the focus of the Ambassador team.
What are your favorite Rev3 races?
Williamsburg will probably always be my favorite. It’s easy to get to from DC (as easy as 95 traffic allows anyway!) but far enough to be a fun weekend away. The course is beautiful: fast swim, rolling leafy bike, and I love the collegiality of the out-and-back run. Given the proximity I love that DC Tri and other DMV clubs come out in large numbers which means I always have lots of friends there. I even like that it’s usually surface-of-the-sun hot. We don’t know what will happen with Williamsburg or any of our races this year but Rev3 is working on a Quarantri, possibly a series of them and trying to make them as legit a race experience as is virtually possible so I hope the whole DC Tri Club will consider joining us for that!
What do you enjoy outside of triathlon?
Before coming a jock I was a theater nerd. In fact my undergrad degree is in musical theater. #jazzhands Last year I fractured my hip and spend almost three months on crutches during which I wasn’t even allowed to swim, so I revisited my artsy side and took a musical theater class at the Theatre Lab. I did the same this winter and it’s been really fun and also terrifying to go back to singing and acting. It gives me the same terror-belly-butterflies I get on race mornings.
Any fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share?
My dogs are probably way more tri-famous than me! Especially if you’ve been to any local Rev3 sprints or Rev3 Williamsburg, Birkin my Anatolian Shepherd and Daenerys my Great Dane are always huge hits.
If you’d like to follow Liz: http://www.trianythingtwice.com