Thursday, June 3, 2004

Triathlon is 'ultimate finish' on woman's road to fitness

By Shannon Russell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Cousins Jenn Smith (left) and Sally Dwyer hope to finish Morgan's Little Miami Triathlon with a time of less than three hours. The event is a big fitness goal for Smith, who lost 120 pounds.
MIKE SIMONS for the Enquirer

Two years ago Jenn Smith never dreamed of doing a triathlon, but that was before she lost 120 pounds.

The Goshen woman, 27, decided to cap her fitness success with the 25th annual running of Morgan's Little Miami Triathlon. She'll be competing with her cousin Sally Dwyer, 27, of Anderson.

"Before I lost the weight, I never thought I could do something like this," Smith said. "I thought a triathlon would be the ultimate finish."

The duo began training in mid-January and ran the Heart Mini Marathon and a Flying Pig Marathon relay along the way. Smith said they were so gung-ho they even went a little overboard on their workouts.

"Guys at the gym kept saying, 'You're wearing us out,' " Smith said, laughing.

Smith said she wasn't ready to get into a swimsuit "just yet," so the canoeing, running and biking aspects of the Little Miami Triathlon were a perfect triathlon combination. The pair visited Morgan's Canoe for a practice run, learning how to steer their canoe correctly and feeling out the course.

After cross-training in the past few months, Dwyer and Smith put all three events together in a trial run May 30. They have high hopes for the main event, and they're hoping to do better than just finish.

"We originally wanted to finish everything in three hours. That's pretty average," Dwyer said. "Now we're doing so much better, we want to finish in well under three hours."

The pair will be wearing shirts saying "I'm with my goose" because, as Smith said, "Geese fly farther because they have each other." The buddy system has been great motivation for both Smith and Dwyer, especially during training days when it would be so much easier to "sit at home in the air conditioning and watch TV," Smith said.

A triathlon is a reachable goal for anyone with the motivation, Smith said.

"My thought is that anyone can do anything, barring physical disability," Smith said. "You just have to want it."


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