Tri It Now athlete's stories

We love hearing from our athletes about their participation
 in our events and how that has impacted them

We met Tom at our tri clinic in 2018.  It’s been fun to watch his race skills and enthusiasm grow!!  Here’s his tri story:

 "There I was sitting on my doctor’s table several years ago, at the year-end annual physical, and he asked if I’m open to taking cholesterol medication. After a couple years of the blood work results going the wrong way, this was probably inevitable. But it still felt like a punch to my oversized gut. If medication was necessary, then by all means. However, I didn’t want it to be yet, and it was obvious I had to get up and moving to try keep him from writing that ‘script’.

So I googled for activities, couch-to-5k type stuff, and happened across Tri It Now’s Mini Tri. I always loved the water but never swam laps, had just bought a bike from Dick’s, and always loathed running. But the distances of the Mini Tri seemed doable. At least I could finish that I thought, and I had 6 months! A tri for my tri(glycerides) as it were. 

The ‘training’ started and it was rough. Stopping in the middle of the lap cursing bc couldn’t make it to the wall, heart jumping out of chest halfway up a hill on bike, needing to walk after half mile of jogging. Before I knew it June arrived, and ready or not had to do it. It was all a blur; rested on too many laps in swim, took too long in transition, walked several times on run. But I finished and was more tired than I could ever remember. It was also awesome and I was hooked! 

Kept up the ‘training’ as a weekend warrior because worked too hard to overcome years of inertia and not going back now. Most importantly, blood work all improved at that year’s physical, and all normal year after that. All thanks to Tri It Now, Ina, and the great group of fun and supportive triathletes. Introduced some friends to join and stepped up to the 14.06 last year. While I’m no where near competitive, I’m the happiest near last finisher you’ll find, because being able to participate for fun and fitness is its own reward. Looking forward to ‘racing’ at Tri It Now for many years to come!"                                                                                                                                      --Tom 



We've loved having Mary Schade race with us for many years.  And she brings relay teams of newbies women to the Ladies' Choice races annually...her way of giving them a taste of triathlon!  Here's her tri story.

I did my first Tri many moons ago and did all three legs! I thought to myself this is nuts!

However, I continue to do the Sprint Tri [Tune up Tri] at the beginning of each season. My only goal was not to be last. I’m glad to admit I’ve managed to not be last.

The Mother’s Day Tri [Ladies’ Choice] I thought would be a good race to introduce my lady friends to Triathlons. I would gather friends for a ‘Schadey Ladies’ triathlon relay race. Each year I tried to gather a different group of ladies to participate in the relay with me. The ladies were so excited to be a part of a triathlon. I always did the swim part of the race.

Going into my 75th year I hope to do a Tri this year.

Keep on keeping on!

--Mary Schade



Charlie has been one of our regulars for the last couple of race seasons. His enthusiasm is infectious! 

Hello. My name is Charlie Rossi. Several years ago, through a medical accident I lost the feeling and use of my left leg from the knee down. There was a time where it was uncertain if I would get any function back or not. After additional back surgery and extensive rehab, I was able to get partial functionality back, but I had to wear an Ankle-Foot Orthotic (AFO) to assist my ability to walk. As a result of all of this decrease in mobility, I packed on the pounds and became less active than I had been. Fed up with my circumstance, in 2015, I started working out regularly, and was happy to find out that I could actually run while wearing the AFO. After about a year, I decided to give it a shot without the AFO, and I was pleased to know that with some gait-modification, I could run without the AFO. My goal then became to lose 100 pounds, which I did in 2017.

With my new mindset and increased mobility, I signed up for a Tri It Now sprint triathlon, and I immediately became hooked. It was late in the Tri season, so I had to wait until 2018 to give it a real shot. In 2018 and 2019, I completed all of the available Tri It Now triathlons...and loved every minute of it. In all 10 races, I was fortunate to podium in all of them for my age group (55-59), and in two of them I reached the podium for Overall Male. Quite the surprise to me. With 2020 a bust due to the pandemic, I have focused my efforts on training for the 2021 Age Group National Championships in August, and I am scheduled to compete in my first Half Ironman and first Full Ironman as well.

I have found Triathlon the perfect match for me to challenge myself, and it has given me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. The beauty of Triathlon is that it doesn't matter your level of fitness, your age, your weight, your gender, or your competitiveness-level ... it affords you the ability to be active, to challenge yourself, to be outside, and to live your best life. Get up. Get going. Get out. Give it a Tri.


We thank Charlie for telling the story of his entry into multisport and where it is taking him next. Best of luck in all your races!  We're always happy to see your smiling face at our Tri It Now starting lines.



We'd like to thank Lester for sharing his story about becoming a triathlete. Tri It Now is pleased to have helped him find this healthy activity to add to his life!

My name is Lester Benitez , I’m originally from Guatemala. About 10 years ago I was a 300 lbs guy, in my early 40’s, professional couch potato, never swam a lap in my life. As a kid I was an elite bmx & bike lover (punk riding bikes). Chasing soccer balls was my running background and I was a father of my just born miracle baby, Lance ( of course ). I was looking for the way to get in shape, be healthy to be around for my kid. One day I met a client, and now my friend, Donna Rostant who led me to triathlon. I google local races and clinics and I got in touch with Ina from Tri it now. I signed up for a clinic because I had no clue about triathlon!! Sprint/Olympic or Ironman was like English was to me 35 years ago when I moved to the USA for the first time (and I still struggle with it, you guys can see, lol). The clinics last 2 days, Coach Ina and Coach Anne Viviani (RIP) were amazing. I remember World Champion/Coach Viviani brought 2 of her medals from Kona (Ironman World Championship) and that day I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life, BE A TRIATHLETE!!!!

Long story short, the clinic included a free race from Tri it now, so I signed up for 14.09 sprint  race in the middle of the summer. I remember finishing 56th overall and like 12th in my age group. I was just happy to survive.  I remember saying on the run “ why am I doing this ?” but pain went away when I crossed finish line, haha. From that day on, the rest is history.  I went back a year later to the same race, 125 lbs lighter, and I won the overall!! Then I qualified for Team USA. I finished every distance in triathlon including IRONMAN.  I qualified for Boston Marathon and twice to 70.3 Ironman Worlds Championship. Now I’m a father of another miracle baby, Joaquin. Sport achievements are cool, but still my goal at age of 50  is to see my kids graduating from college, and why not ? See my grandkids!!! Now as sponsored triathlete by SlayRx ,Peak Performance SP & Tri Coach Georgia, I raced all over the world. Some people asked me why I go back every year to race in Manassas, VA.  My answer is because Tri it Now is my HOME.

Looking forward to welcoming you to a race
back home with us this season, Lester!