Friday, April 21, 2017

Train Comin' Throo!! Interview with Local Pro Kathryn Throolin

Get to know Kathryn Throolin, a 3x Kona Qualifying age group terror turned first year pro triathlete. Among other things, here she talks about her first pro race at Oceanside 70.3, the medical breakthrough nurses use to avoid getting sick, and reveals the top secret running partner who has been key to her success.

Thanks for the time, Kathryn, and best of luck this season!

Standard question… what’s your athletic background and how did you get into triathlon?

Growing up my dad took me on many hiking and climbing adventures. These adventures helped me gain endurance and I learned how to push my limits. In high school, I played basketball for a few years, tennis for four years, cross-country for three years and swimming for a year. I love most sports and the mountains. In nursing school, I met my friend Holly who convinced me to sign up for a triathlon once a year. We didn't have bikes, so we would train on stationary bikes at the university gym. Before race day, we would rent a road bike and practice shifting gears. We had a lot of fun racing many local triathlons such as Jordanelle and Cache Valley. And that's how I started my journey into triathlon.

You’ve long been a terror as an age grouper on the local scene. What made you decide to go after the professional ranks, and what was the qualification process of doing so?

Last year at Ironman Boulder & IM Boulder 70.3, I was the second amateur, which qualified me to race as a pro. My goal for a long time was qualifying for Kona. After qualifying three times I wanted a different challenge to help me focus on improving my abilities as a triathlete.

Oceanside being your first pro race, on a scale from 1-100 how nervous were you going into it? Was it a completely different vibe, or just like any other race?

When I saw the list of all the amazing pro triathletes racing, I was super nervous... so 100%. I looked up to a lot of these pros and my bike was right next to them. So I was also super excited just to be around them. The main difference between racing as a pro is that your competitors are super fast! They are super fast on the swim, the bike and the run.

What lessons did you learn from the experience of getting your first race under your belt as a pro?

When I was an age grouper, it was very easy to know where to go... you follow the person ahead of you. However, racing as a pro female I was by myself. This means that I need to learn the course more - where to go, turns in the bike and the swim, etc.

What are the rest of your race plans for 2017, and what are your goals for the season?

My tentative race schedule is Santa Rosa 70.3, Coeur d'Alene 70.3, Ironman Canada, Santa Cruz 70.3 and Ironman Arizona. I hope to gain experience during my first year of racing.

Are you still working full-time? What’s your typical work schedule, and - always wondered this - how do you avoid getting sick all the time working with patients all day? Do nurses simply have the world’s strongest immune systems?

Currently, I work as a full time nurse at Huntsman Cancer Hospital. I don't think nurses have a special secret to staying healthy. They always say good hand hygiene is the key to avoiding being sick.

Coach or self-coached?

My current coach is Malaika, a former pro triathlete.

What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses as a triathlete, and what’s the general plan of attack to continue improving now that you’re a pro?

My biggest strength is my work ethic and resolve to always improve. One of the things I am working on is my open water swimming. The rest of my plan, you would have to interview my coach. I simply execute her plan. :)

What are some of your favorite Utah races and why?

There are so many great local races. As I said earlier, I got my start doing Jordanelle and Cache Valley triathlon. I love St. George 70.3, Kokopelli and Lake Powell triathlons.

Anything else you want to share?

I have a running partner in training. She is a cute, smart, athletic puppy. She is learning how to swim, and may be a future triathlete minus the bike.

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