About Kara

 

Jump1Hi! Thanks so much for visiting my site. I am a 29-year-old, Truckee, Calif.-based professional triathlete. I began competing in triathlon six years ago after completing my collegiate athletics career, which included 4 years of NCAA Division 1 skiing, and one year of NCAA Division 1 cross-country running and track. I grew up as a Nordic ski racer and swimmer, and enjoyed dedicating the majority of my time outside of school to training and adventures in the mountains that made up my backyard.

After finishing my NCAA eligibility, triathlon seemed like a great next challenge for me, combining my background in swimming with my skills in running, and some experience in biking from my ski training routine. Still, it was a โ€œwhole new ball game,โ€ with its own unique challenges and rewards. After my first Olympic triathlon in August 2009, I was immediately hooked. I knew I had found a new passion and focus. That same season, I notched my first overall win at the LUNA Women’s Triathlon Festival, and went on to compete in my first 70.3 race. By the next season, I was “all in,” competing in several Olympic distance races, 70.3, and my first full 140.6 Iron-distance race, in which I won my age group.

Slides6In 2012, I added Xterra Off-Road triathlons to my schedule, and knew that I had really found my calling. I absolutely loved the unique challenge that the off-road environment provided. During my amateur career, I earned All-American Age Group honors on the road in 2011-2013 and off-road in 2012-2013, and collected numerous age group and overall amateur wins and podiums. After a breakout year in 2013 where I finished the Xterra season ranked 1st overall in the nation in the 25-29 age group for the 2nd year in a row, was the F25-29 Age Group World Champion in Xterra (and 3rd overall amateur), and won the overall amateur women’s title at Ironman Lake Tahoe, I decided to make the leap to professional racing in 2014.

I knew that moving into the professional field would provide a great challenge and a big change from amateur racing, and that was precisely why I wanted to do it! I wanted to immerse myself among the best in the world and push myself to meet the challenge. I am on a constant quest for personal improvement and growth as both an athlete and a person, and this is my primary focus with each race and training session: getting the very best from myself and seeing how much I can raise the level of that “best” along the way. Above all, I am someone who believes wholeheartedly in giving your all regardless of the circumstances — whether you’re having a great day or a terrible day.

Since going pro I have had my fair share of ups and downs… I’ve had days where I achieved my goals, surprised myself and surpassed my expectations; I’ve had days when I came up totally short, felt nothing like myself and did not have an answer. But I have put as much heart, passion and courage into every one of those days, I have never given up, I have never stopped believing in myself, and I have never been afraid to fail.

2016 will be my 3rd season competing as a professional triathlete in both Xterra and road triathlons, across a range of distances, but primarily with a focus on Xterra and 70.3 racing. I will also be adding in more elite level cross country mountain bike and cyclocross racing for 2016, following my passion for off-road riding! After a turbulent 2015 competition season full of unexpected challenges but combated by grit, determination and a whole lot of heart, I am so excited for another year of racing and the opportunity to see what I can do to build on the efforts and achievements of this past season. Despite multiple injuries and life/work challenges, I saw my first pro podium in 2015, my first overall Xterra US Pro Series podium and a career-best World Championship result (13th place and 3rd American). I look forward to making a big leap in 2016 to improve on those results!

HeadShot1Outside of my competitive life, I am a journalist, coach, sales representative in the outdoor industry, substitute teacher and freelance marketing/PR/multi-media guru. I wear many hats because of my broad range of interests, and to help me maintain a flexible schedule that enables me to pursue my goals of competing at the highest level. While my ultimate goal is to become exclusively a successful professional triathlete, I am immensely interested in learning and sharing the stories of others through writing and multimedia, making a difference in the lives of children through teaching and coaching, being involved in the outdoor industry and advocating athletic and outdoor pursuits at all levels.

I am a firm believer in the power of endurance sport to enrich our lives and provide us with a foundation of inner strength, confidence and independence, and am extremely passionate about working to help more women become involved in sport and discover these same benefits. As much as I can, I seek to use my involvement and achievements in triathlon and cycling to encourage other women to take risks, get outside their comfort zone, believe in themselves and chase down their dreams — in sport and beyond. I am extremely grateful to the many people, companies and opportunities that have enabled me to not only pursue my own athletic passions, but to help reach out to others who are doing the same. Tremendous thanks to all who have supported me, and here’s to a bright 2016!

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