Mary Pickering

My first triathlon was a sprint designed for women of all shapes and sizes and speeds.  The organizers made sure that the women who crossed the finish line last were as celebrated as the ones who finished first.  You don’t see that much in racing.  Probably the thing I most love about Team Z is that we are the ones who do that celebrating for the final finishers – no matter what team they’re on.  We line the finishing chute, form arches with our hands and blow vuvuzelas because we understand that the achievement of finishing is so much more important than pace or place.

I joined Team Z to train for my first Ironman. The training program got me comfortably to the finish line, as strange as that may sound.  In 2012, about 100 teammates finished Iron distance races on the same day — the program is the real deal.  But it doesn’t matter what distance you want to train for – I’ve seen teammates go from not being able to swim one length of the pool to finishing their first sprint triathlon at the end of the season.  They manage that because every week they get personalized attention from the swim coaches on the pool deck.  Or they ride their brakes all the way down an even gentle hill and by the end of the season, they’re shouting “Woooooohooooooo!!!” as they break the sound barrier.  They can do that because of the specialized hill training we provide with ride leaders beside them calling out instructions and encouragement.  No matter what your fear, your weakness or your inexperience, Team Z can help you overcome it all.

Or … maybe my favorite thing about the team are the italian chicken sausages and hand cut fries on the bbq after a long ride.  It’s the little things that Team Z does as much as the big things that makes it so important to me.  Give it a go — see what I mean.