As I near the halfway point of my summer residency at the OTC one of the things I’m most excited about is that I have developed ties to the triathlon/OTC community. I am fortunate in more ways than I even realize to be starting out in this sport at the OTC with a phenomenal group of athletes, coaches, and staff to help me develop the skills I need to fully start in this sport in a little less than a year.

I’ve gotten to know the other resident triathletes during my time here. There are currently eight resident recruits affiliated with the Collegiate Recruitment Program (CRP), plus some professional/Olympic triathletes and several others affiliated with the Elite Triathlon Academy. These athletes possess a wealth of knowledge and have provided a ton of guidance to me during my time here.

My triathlon network extended even further last week when nine CRP triathletes (and their coaches) from all over the country joined three of us CRP residents at the OTC for a skills camp. We spent the week swimming, biking, running, transitioning, bricking, and bonding. It was great to meet so many new people and I came away from the camp not only with increased skills and knowledge in all three sports but also some new friends who I know I can meet up with for a swim, bike, or run whenever I am in their neck of the woods.

One of the two highlights of the week was hiking the infamous Manitou Incline, a .91 miles trail with 2,000+ feet of elevation gain. The record for climbing the incline is 16 minutes and some change, which I’m told was set by triathlete Mark Fretta, but I was pretty happy with my time of 41:38, especially since the afternoon hike followed a morning bike/run brick workout. The other highlight was dinner and games at 4x Olympian Hunter Kemper’s house. After a period of winning some intense games of cornhole with fellow resident (and roommate) Rosie Mascoli, we all especially enjoyed his wife Val’s incredible chocolate √©clair!

The great resources here do not end with the fellow triathletes. I’m currently coached by Melissa Mantak, who was the 1992 ITU World Cup Champion and obviously has an incredible bank of knowledge. Melissa was also the USAT coach of the year in 2010. I recognize how fortunate I am to be able to work with her as I begin to develop my triathlon skills. I’m not quite sure how I managed to somehow magically start both my running and triathlon careers under some of the best coaches in the country, but I’ve been incredibly blessed in that respect. I’ve come to understand that sometimes things just work out in incredible ways.

The community extends beyond triathlon to the OTC staff. Resident athletes have access to some of the best massage therapists, chiropractors, nutritionists, and sports med experts in the country. As somebody who had several season ending injuries in the past, I’m excited to have a full range of resources to work with in order to maintain and ensure my health. Sports med also provides something called Elite Athlete Profiling, which I got to participate in this past week. Elite Athlete Profiling is one part comprehensive physical (it includes an EKG and a hefty panel of bloodwork) and one part testing to determine physical weaknesses through an analysis of several dynamic exercises and running gait. These tests will identify areas that need prehab for injury prevention. I‚Äôm excited to get the results and continue moving forward!