Kristen Lodge: A Family That ‘Tris’ Together … |

Kristen Lodge: A Family That ‘Tris’ Together …

The Garrett Family on one of their many outdoor adventures in Grand County.

McKenna Garrett finished her first triathlon a few weeks ago. She is 3 years old.

Her older sister, Kylie finished her first race, too, at the Fraser Recreation Center Kid’s Triathlon. Their mother, Tanya, gives a race report: “McKenna took off on the run sprinting to the turnaround point and never looked back, and never slowed down. She was so winded at the end, like a true athlete trying her best and never giving up. Kylie finished the race strong, trying her best throughout.”

Initially Tanya didn’t think that McKenna would be able to participate since the event was geared for children ages six and older, and, McKenna just learned to swim three weeks earlier. Tanya told her if she could swim one length of the pool unaided she would sign her up. “McKenna is very determined when she puts her mind to it and she showed me the next day she could indeed swim multiple laps of the pool unaided.”

There was also a problem of training wheels on her bike. The race director let McKenna compete without doing the bike portion.

The Garrett sisters have two excellent role models when it comes to outdoor activities and competing in triathlons.

Shawn Garrett started competing in triathlons six months before his 30th birthday. He admits, “I was a biscuit under 230llbs. With my first child on the way, I wanted to lose some weight and focus on a healthier lifestyle. I finished a sprint triathlon, and fell in love with the sport. The multiple disciplines keep me interested and focused on training. I have never finished higher than 4th place, but the greatest reward for me is setting a positive example for my girls.”

Now he completes in all distances and both on and off-road triathlons including the popular Xterra series: “Competing in Xterra is exponentially greater than road, plus my mountain bike is my favorite piece of outdoor hardware.”

Tanya began training for triathlons after knee surgery. “I used to be primarily a runner and dabbled in mountain biking. Swimming was new to me but the low-impact activity would benefit me after surgery.”

Her first triathlon was a sprint race in Boulder. “I didn’t want to do a pool-swim triathlon because I enjoyed the idea of open water. I started swimming this January to prepare for the triathlon. Swimming and biking served to be good rehab and low-impact exercise for my knee.”

Tanya noticed immediately after the race that she was addicted to the sport. “I was already analyzing how I could have done better. Then I registered for another one and began training even more intensely.”

The Garretts have met many like-minded athletes through the Fraser Recreation Center and at local races. “The Fraser Rec is a huge benefit to the community to network with others and provide childcare so parents can swim or get their training completed without interruptions. Our trail system for mountain biking and running is unlike any other mountain location.”

Shawn and Tanya are sharing their passion for sport and competition with their children. Triathlons are just one of the ways this family comes together outdoors. When they aren’t competing in triathlons, they are hiking the trails around Colorado National Monument, biking around Bear Creek in Lakewood, and boogie boarding in Maui – all excellent cross training activities.

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