I grew up in a really small town in North Carolina where softball, baseball, football and basketball were the only sports available. I started playing fast-pitch softball at age nine and loved every minute of it. I was competitive from a young age— I have always loved to win! My team went on to become the first girls' team in our region to win a state championship. But when it came time to play in high school, the tune changed. Our high school only played slow-pitch and this meant no stealing bases. I was fast, I loved running, and if I wasn't allowed to steal bases, I was NOT interested. At age 14, I made the leap from softball to track and 25 years later it is still one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am still running/racing and competing and I love every single minute of it.
After high school, I spent the next four years At UNC Wilmington on the indoor/outdoor and cross county team. In addition to making life long best friends with my teammates, I learned that I really loved running longer distances. By senior year, I made All Conference in cross country and the 10,000m and 3rd in the NCAA collegiate championships. I was also the 10,000m school record holder for over 10 years. I was humbled to be honored as team’s most valuable runner that year. My training and success as a collegiate athlete served as a platform for my success years later as a multisport endurance athlete.
When my husband, David, and I started dating shortly after college graduation, he introduced me to cycling. I instantly loved the ability to explore different areas in ways that running never allowed me to do. We had great adventures cycling together until we were hit head on by a drunk driver in 2001. While the injuries from the accident were minor, the trauma and fear stayed with me, and I assumed my cycling career was over. Over the next eight years, we added a wedding, a pediatric nurse practitioner degree and two beautiful babies—Hunter in 2007 and Lucas in 2010-- into the mix. On a whim, David and I decided to sign up for a 70.3 as a fundraiser for a group charity in 2013 and I had to face my fear and get back on the bike! I successfully completed that half Ironman in Raleigh, NC, and finished 4th in my age group on my road bike. It was so much fun and I was hooked!
I have been racing triathlon, duathlons, and trail races competitively for the past 5 years. A glance through my training journals shows that I get faster and stronger every year, and I am so proud of what I’ve accomplished and equally proud to be a role model for good health and healthy athleticism for my growing boys. I am excited to be a member of team Snapple and look forward to a successful and healthy 2019 season!
Date of Birth/Location: Born in Jacksonville, NC on March 3, 1978
Current Residence: Abingdon, Virginia
Years Racing: I started running track as a freshman in high-school and then begin running cross country as a junior, the first year my high school had a cross country team. I then went to UNCW and had a successful four years of racing in indoor/outdoor track and cross country. I held the school record in the 10k for over 10 years and was all conference in both cross country and track. I have been racing multipart competitions for the last 5 years
Strengths on the course: Anything but the SWIM….I used to think running was my strength but I’m getting pretty good on my bike!
Goals for 2019: Have fun and enjoy the process it takes to get to the start line. I would like to continue to podium among my peers and place competitively among all females! I am racing Kona for the first time this year and would love to have an amazing race on the BIG ISLAND!
Nickname: ‘Energizer Bunny'
Height: 5’5”, not too short and not too tall
Family Status: Married to an amazing man, David. He has been pivotal to my success as an endurance athlete and mom. I wouldn’t have the success in either discipline without him encouraging me, training with me, and supporting me every single day. I have two wonderful sons, Hunter (11) and Lucas (8). They are two of my biggest fans and one of the many reasons why I race. I love that they can see a strong female setting goals and reaching them. And, my parents have been there from the very first race until now. They still come to every event they can!
Favorite Race Moment: I have TWO!!! Winning the Long Course ITU World Championship in Penticton, Canada and winning my age group by over 40 minutes and finishing third overall in my fist attempt at the FULL Ironman distance in Haines City, Florida in November of this year.
Favorite Post-Race Food: I have a hard time eating after any race! It takes my stomach a few hours to settle down. My favorite post race drink is an ice cold Coke!
Favorite thing when not swimming, biking, or running: I love hanging out with my family. We play golf, tennis, take hikes, travel and camp, go to the movies and cook together. I also love date nights out with my husband.
Favorite Food: Veggie PIZZA!
Blog: My family blog is Simmonsfamily2008.blogspot.com.
Coaching website: http://studio7multisport.com