by Ron Adkins
Waiting for her at the finish line was her husband, Wally — Trina’s self-proclaimed bike mechanic, chauffeur, support group, time keeper, and beverage manager.
“Normally,” says Trina, “Wally gives me a little recovery drink at the end of the race. Fresh mangoes blended with rum.”
She pokes him good-naturedly in the ribs for forgetting the concoction this one time.
Breaking tradition aside, Trina has nothing but praise for her loudest cheerleader. “He’s the bomb,” she beams. “He’s always there for me. He always gives me great encouragement when I’m down. He’s a tremendous support, physically and mentally.”
That support extends to the other triathletes, as well. “I really enjoy coming out to the races. I’m there for anybody who needs help with gear, changing tires, whatever needs to be done,” says Wally.
About the only thing he doesn’t do, he admits, is help Trina much with her training. “She’s got her own wrecking crew for that,” he says. Trina is a member of the Midwest Extreme Triathlon Club.
Trina swam in high school, but didn’t really do much athletically before deciding that a triathlon was a good challenge. And, as Trina echoes what so many triathletes say after their first race, “Once you do one, you’re addicted.”
Wally echoes that sentiment. He honestly enjoys coming out to each race with Trina, cheering her on, celebrating all the racers who cross the line, and being a good role model for the sport. “I love to help the new people,” he says. “If a race has 80 newbies and they have a positive experience, you can pretty much guarantee that 60 of them will sign up for another one.”
The husband and wife team from Hiawatha, Iowa, have been sharing the tri experience for six years now, and have no plans to stop any time soon.