Reply To: 2021 DC Triathlon Club Award Nominations

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Chelsey Berlin

Brady Nelson Memorial* Spirit of DC Tri – Kelly Lefler, because obviously. In addition to all that she does for the club and sport, Kelly provided invaluable emotional support and tips via last minute panic texting with those of us NTP2019 alums that did our first long-course race this season.

Club Member of the Year – Cindy Hutchings. Simply put, it was absolutely inspiring to watch Cindy’s season unfold via the club’s instagram account this year. For like half a second after the Ironman Maryland coverage, I was like maybe I should do a full Ironman next year?! You almost convinced me, Cindy, almost! 😉

Most Improved Male – Jonathan Deng. Like myself, Jon did his first long course race at Ironman 70.3 Maine this year which included his first half marathon! I know from experience how nerve racking that must have been for you. 😉 Way to go, Jon!

Veteran Athlete of the Year Female – Juene Rader. Juene participated in seven triathlons this year! Juene effectively learned to swim during our NTP year in 2019 and then she fearlessly took on an ocean swim at 2021 Ironman 70.3 Maine — her first long course race ever! (She also did three run races, one obstacle course race, and one swim run.) At Culpeper Triathlon Festival, Juene created three sprint relay teams with her family members, inspiring and empowering them all to get involved in this sport that she’s so excited about. Juene is also a dedicated member of the club participating in weekly NOVA track workouts, virtual and in-person happy hours and other DCTri event including book club and the event with Taylor Knibb. I look forward to seeing what Juene does as one of the NTP co-leads next year!

Veteran Athlete of the Year Male – Romain Taravella. It is simply a pleasure to race with Romain. He is F*&#King fast and yet embodies the cheerful, joyful, and inclusive spirit that makes this sport so fun for athletes of all abilities and experience levels! Romain finished his first long course race at Ironman 70.3 Maine at 4:35:54 placing 99th overall, 95th by gender, and 17th in his age group. Congrats, Romain!