From Nancy Z, Third Year Tri-umph 2016

Still smiling!  Having a few days to reflect on the race I realized how much I have learned.

On Friday before we left town I was headed into the bank and the largest most beautiful monarch butterfly swirled around me, not just once but several times.  It made me smile…butterflies in formation…check.

Our dinner was amazing and I felt so at home with all of the women.  This team has truly become family.  

The race was becoming so much more than just a race, but I wasn’t nervous.  I’ve never been as calm getting into the water and I can actually say I “enjoyed” the swim.  I pushed as hard as I have ever pushed on the bike (knowing my weakness) but still felt strong and even passed people (loved the ages on the leg!).

Then the run…and I spotted a teammate ahead of me (not knowing it was you yet).  It sparked my desire, inner athlete, and competitiveness to try and catch up.  This wasn’t my race this was a race for the team.  And then I figured out it was you.  It wasn’t about passing you it was about running FOR You.  I just kept repeating “this one is for you coach” and dug deeper.  I wanted our team to do this, to place and show you how strong you have made all of us.  And then I read you caring bridge this morning…and I hope it keeps you moving forward.  WE DID IT!  You have all my love, respect and pride in how you tackle each and every day and your ability to keep everything in perspective even as you head off to treatment.

Thanks for an amazing, life changing weekend.

Nancy Z.


From Leslie, First Year Tri-umph 2014

Nancy, I feel GREAT about the training. My heart rate has decreased quite a bit doing the same pace as four weeks ago. For instance, walking up the hill this week, my HR was the same as it was during our parking lot walks last month. My swimming time has also improved greatly as I have learned the right way to breathe! I feel that both my strength and my endurance have improved dramatically. I have gained so much confidence doing this training and feel better about my body, my health and my abilities than I have in years. I forgot how FUN it is to work with a team — I love it! I so appreciate all the work you and Judy put into it!

From Janelle, First Year Tri-umph 2014

I do want to take a minute and thank you .  This has been the coolest experience of my life.  I feel like, not only have I been inspired, but I’m inspiring others.  I have loved every minute of it and I am so grateful to all of you and all that you do.  I have never been surrounded by women that make me feel like I can do anything, and that is how you and my team mates make me feel.  I feel pretty, I feel strong, I feel capable, I feel limitless and I feel alive when I am around you and the team. You have created such a beautiful thing and you inspire me to be a better person. You have changed my life and I am so very, very grateful.

From Kelly, Second Year Tri-umph 2013

You Rock!  You both are so inspirational and motivating. I wouldn’t be where I am in triathlon without you!  Thanks, Kelly

From Laura, First Year Tri-umph, 2013

Nancy and Judy I want to you know that you do an exceptional job of pulling this all together.  It was very well-organized and very well-run, and I will highly recommend it to any potential triathlete I meet! I enjoyed the knowledge that I can run long(er) distances than I’ve ever tried to run before. Not something I really want to know because now I don’t have any excuses, but now I also don’t have any excuses! You chose exceptional people to be your assistant coaches, too. Special kudos to Caryn, Heidi, Sharma and Carol.   They were extremely supportive to me personally. Thanks, Laura

From Lynn, First Year Tri-umphs, 2013

It was a fantastic summer– one of the best things I have done in a long time! I loved the camaraderie from the participants and the coaches was amazing and unexpected. I have new friends, workout buddies and a new outlook on life. I learned about  balance. If I tried this on my own, I would have tried to go to extremes in both exercise and nutrition. The training kept me in check and offered me a new perspective. This has been applied to other areas of my life as well. My husband keeps commenting on how I have positively changed both physically and emotionally. I already miss the trainings and the group on a whole. I cannot thank Nancy and Judy enough for your support, advice, teaching, encouragement and inspiration.  Lynn

From Linda, First Year Tri-umphs, 2013

I’m a pretty quiet person and not very comfortable in crowds.  By the end of the summer I felt a part of something that was much bigger than I had imagined. I gained confidence in myself and comfort having others around me. The whole experience was fabulous.  Linda

From Sandy, First Year Tri-umph, 2013

I felt so prepared and was so pleased with the whole experience. I loved every minute and wouldn’t change a thing! Something I gained but didn’t expect to gain from my Tri Experience this summer was the mental as well as physical self worth. I have always been athletic and sports oriented but I never approached it from a mental standpoint. The visualization was amazing! This was very therapeutic for me. Just what I needed to get through the summer! I just want to thank you both so much for all the support, advice and training you gave me over the summer. I have been struggling with finding myself over the last couple of years. This experience and the energy and support I got from the two of you and the team was exactly what I needed!  Sandy.

From Tina, First Year Tri-umph, 2013

I was surprised at how many  amazing friendships I gained, and how much triathlon training, preparation and doing it relates to real life.  It is such a wonderful analogy.  Always have a plan B.  I want to know how much you made this summer incredible for me, I have so many fond memories and skills that I will take with me forward into what is about to be a very busy fall.  Thank you!!  Tina

From Teka, First Year Tri-umph, 2013

It was wonderful to be around strong, fit women. I enjoyed having a community to be a part of. What seemed impossible at the beginning of the summer was very much achievable by the end. And I learned a healthier way to get there, without pushing too hard or doing too much.  Thanks again for a great season!  Teka.

From Judith, Second Year Tri-umph, 2013

The Tri Team was an incredible experience for me. I understand how it is life-changing for so many…what a great service Nancy and Judy are providing! It’s easy to see how much thought and plain work goes into your leading the team every day of the entire season. I hope you are having time now to do just what you want to do for yourselves.  I’m planning on being back next year…I didn’t discover until the day of the Tri itself that I am competitive!  That was both enlightening and funny!  Thank YOU so very much!  Best,  Judy

From Jennifer Markovich, First Year Tri-umph 2012

I was so proud of my black body-marked numbers on my arm from the Tri For the Cure and was very disappointed that they washed off in the shower yesterday. I decided to rewrite it this morning (rookie)!  I was asked by my husband if I rewrote the numbers which I denied but was busted because I wrote the 6 backwards! I am very proud! Thank you so much for such an AMAZING JOURNEY!  I am still on my TRI HIGH. Thanks again.  I actually feel really good today not too sore and very pleased for what I accomplised on my first TRI ! Sincerely,  Not a Tri-Baby Anymore!! Jennifer # 796

From Janet Earley, Third Year Tri-umph 2012

Nancy and Judy,

I had a great race and decided that I do really like being a triathlete. I wasn’t sure before the race that I’d do another one. Katie and I were getting ready Saturday evening and wishing that we’d bought those snazzy timer chip ankle bands. Katie said, “well, we can order them from Amazon tonight.” I said “We’ll see, this might be my last race, let’s wait until tomorrow.” I guess we’re ordering them! I had a great race and decided to complete instead of compete, even with myself, and it made it very enjoyable. Thanks for all the tips and tricks. I think I used most of them and have the others tucked away for future use.

From Jeannette Chiapinelli, First Year Tri-umph 2012

Dear Nancy and Judy,

I am so grateful and appreciative for all the kindness, inspiration, guidance, encouragement, enthusiasm, motivating speeches, swim lessons, hugs and cheers you have given me.  I came into this group with some trepidation. Now, four months later I am looking forward to the next season and the next challenge!

From Barb Keller, First Year Tri-umph 2009

Roaring Fork Women’s Tri Team we are awesome!  This weekend was one of the most memorable of times. What a fab group of women and an amazing group who put this tri on. 3,500 women going in ALL directions!  I would not touch that with a taser!  Thank you for wonderful summer. See you next year!

From Desha Bierbaum, First Year Triumph, 2009

As I try to wipe the perma grin from my face I ask—WHY?!?  We are amazing individuals and an AWESOME team!  Thank you coaches–a monster you have created! To my tri-sisters–WHOO HOOO!!

From Nettie Avery, Sixth Year Tri-ump 2009

I had a great race this year! I have never been so prepared and trained for a race and I used every tactic in the packet to push back negative thinking and interject positive thoughts.   I so enjoyed the season once again!

From Roz Fowler, First Year Tri-umph 2009

I have been poignantly aware this summer of what a gift it is to have a strong, able body. Both my youngest daughter and dear sister have had difficult health problems that have been heartbreaking for me. I personally dedicated my summer to my sister who is struggling  each day to get well. Each day I am grateful and blessed to be independent, strong, and will do everything I can to maintain good health. Thank you for your inspiration, coaching, and support. The whole experience was wonderful for me…from beginning to end!  I was ready, equipped, and excited for the event and it felt good to stand there waiting for the swim and feel so confident…with a few butterflies…flying in formation of course! Thank you all my tri sisters!

From Caryn Hettler, Five Year Tri-umph 2009

Words seem so insignificant to express my gratitude to both of you, Nancy and Judy, for the gift of triathlon you have given to me. It has become a vibrant fiber in the tapestry of my life. Below are the words to a song from the musical Wicked that express some of my thoughts of you:

For Good:

“I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason; bringing something we must learn,

And we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them. And we help them in return.

Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true;  but I know who I am today because I knew you

So much of me is made of what I learned from you, you’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart

And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have re-written  mine, by being my friend.

Because I knew you…I have been changed for good”

From Jacque McMillan, First Year Tri-umph 2009

This morning I was writing in my journal about each and everyone of you as tears were running down my face. I will remember the past 14 weeks and cherish every second and count down the days until we sign up again!  And as I type this letter I thank the make-up-gods for waterproof mascara!  Love and health to everyone.

From Jodie Noel, First Year Tri-umph 2009

Before our weekend is upon us and my nerves kick in while I approach my first triathon I want to be sure I thank the women who have had my back these past few months! A big thank you to all. This new discovery of triathlon will become a part of my life through your generosity and teachings. And oh, the pizza and Ben and Jerry’s custom 5 scoop banana split is gonna taste so good!  See you at the finish line!

From Tasha Waugh, Tri-umph 2005, new Mom 2009

I was out on my porch this morning with my hot cup of chocolate and had a revelation…the sun was coming up, the breeze was gently blowing in the trees, and it felt like a TRIATHLON MORNING!  The smells, sights, and breeze triggered a memory of standing at Cherry Creek Reservoir waiting for the triathlon race day to begin..the potential, the excitement, the newness of the day!  Just wanted to let you know I am grateful to you for that wonderful part of my life. It will always be there for me, and I can’t wait to get back to it. I had a dream about riding my bike a couple nights ago…you know. ..one of those where you cruise up hills like nothing,and feel strong and fit and not a care in your head…I must be hooked!

From Linda Flohr, First Year Tri-umph 2009, “Finish for Franklin” Team Dedication

Thank you ladies for all your support. I truly believe that this group has kept me alive and mostly sane this summer. You will never know how your smiles and kind words everyday kept me going. I hope you know how honored I was to have Joyce’s Olympic Qualifying Marathon Sweatshirt passed on to me from Nancy. I got home last night and read my “award” to Freddie and told him about the gift…and I tried it on. It fits like magic and even grew a bit to take me in it’s arms!  Thank you to you all.

From Sara Fowler, First Year Tri-umph 2009

This summer I finally had something I could say back to all those voices that told me I was too fat, too weak, too slow, not talented enough, and not good enough. It came from an email you sent early in the season that said, “You are good enough. You are strong enough. You can do this!”  I said that to myself all the time, I said it when I didn’t want to get up early. I said it when I felt badly about myself or was comparing myself to other women in the group. I said it when my body was tired. And eventually I said this to myself as I ran the last 200 meters of the triathlon!  I loved this experience so much and I can’t wait for next year. It really was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and helped me become so much healthier, both mentally and physically.  “Thanks” seems pretty low-key for what you have helped me  (and the all the rest of us, I’m sure) accomplish this summer. You’ve made a convert out of me!

From Jennifer Holmgren, Two Year Tri-umph 2009

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about a month into our training this summer and I had a lot of trouble keeping up with the training. But I sucked it up and moved on and went on to have my best race yet!  You, my friends, have just pulled off one of the greatest challenges that  many can think of and you should pat yourself on the back for decades to come!  Pay a small fortune for the pictures, tell the stories to as many people that will listen and ride around with your bike on the back of your car until the snow flies! Thank the Lord that you have the health, the partners, and friends to complete one of those bucket list items that 99% of the population would never even think of attempting. You rock and don’t let no one tell you different!  Ok, I’m not going to cry.  Nancy and Judy, you are some of the most encouraging and motivating people I have ever met. If not for you many of us would not even dream of going in this direction.  Thank you for being the duct tape that holds it all together and making the sacrifices to help us  ladies finish that “impossible ” dream.

From Kiffany Brown, First Year Tri-umph 2009

Thank you seems too simple and yet, that simple word vibrates and quivers with all the sweetness of the universe and is the beauty that we are privileged to humbly offer one another. So, with my heart pushed up in my throat, tears glistening in my eyes, and my body alive from my triathlon experience this year, I offer my heart felt and tri-baby to tri-umph gratitude to you and my Tri Sisters.

From Maureen Nuckols, Race Walk Coach, “Master” 10 year Triumph 2009

When Nancy yelled at me to “kick it in” I did…as I always do what my coach tells me so I actually sprinted to the finish! The sound of the crowd was music to my soul. I gave it my all and I felt like throwing up at the end. Officially, I finally had experienced that strange badge of honor! My high is still there now. Your company, friendship, and models of courage, perseverance, and good humor, add light and bright colors in to my every day life!  Thank you!

From Jeanne Sheriff, Seven Year Tri-umph 2009

I can’t describe how energizing it was, and is, to have this community of women and their families to cheer for you along the way and at the finish line! And the real frosting on the cake was finishing 3rd in my age group.  In the end, we all compete with ourselves, set our personal goals and do the best we can on any given day.  Some days we have to go to Plan B–and the cool thing about this group is no one ever, ever gives up!  The biggest lesson for me is not to be afraid to try.  I was brought up in a family where we learned that if you don’t try too hard, you can’t fail too badly. Luckily, I am learning it’s ok to go out on a limb and try!  Thank you for a great summer and wonderful Tri Season.

From Kelly Lord, Tri-umph Two Years 2008

The RFWT was a wonderful experience. Not only did it allow me to focus on myself for a change, I also realized how I sell myself short. I was amazed what my body could do. Instead of hating my body, I now appreciate my womanly curves. I am a triathlete and this confidence and attitude has made me a better wife, mother and friend. Who knew that a race could do so much!

From Carol McCurry, Tri-Umph Seven Years 2007

I was introduced to triathlon in 2001 when I signed up with the Roaring Fork Women’s Triathlon Team. I was so new and at that time had no idea how my life was about to change. I became addicted, however in a healthy way. I was about to meet so many supportive women that shared so much in life with me. Joining the team has poured another layer of foundation for my life. I’ve learned how better to take care of myself through exercise, diet, training discipline, and mental awarenesses. I’ve been shown more humility and self respect. The team has been nurturing for me in what I can give to myself as well as receive from others. My needs are being met individually and on a group level. Overall I get a better balance and direction in my life as a result of being part of the team. And now I have joined the coaching team to help others gain what I have. It works for me! I’m growing and having fun doing it.

From Trish Kramer, Tri-Umph 4 Years 2007

I always got shin splints when I ran, a sore rear and back when I biked, and swimming laps was pulmonary torture! Why the heck would I ever consider training for and doing a triathlon? With serious doubts, and frankly, a LOT of fear, I attended a RFWTT orientation meeting at the urging of a girlfriend who was a member of the team. I found myself at the orientation, all the while looking for an easy out, with my arms crossed and my attitude very negative. This was spring 2004 and I was approaching my 51st birthday. I had never competed in anything athletic in my life, having been born and raised pre-Title 9, being a bookworm, and suffering from childhood asthma. What was I doing here? Was I nuts? No, not nuts, just awesomely luck to meet a group of amazing women of all ages who shared their guts, compassion, humor, fears and joys, and supported me to achieve what most of us never dreamed we were capable of. The fact that most of return for at least one if not more seasons is a testament to the precious value of this group and the coaching inspiration of Nancy and Judy and their wonderful assistants.

From Kathy Westley, Tri-Umph 3 Years 2007

Have you ever been so incapable of living, so in despair that you were disabled emotionally and physically and you had to use the strength of someone else to stay alive to breathe? When I was that needy I found that kind of strength times 50 in the powerful support from the women of the Roaring Fork Triathlon Team. All of the women, starting with the coaches Nancy and Judy have become my sisters and have pulled me along helping to put meaning and purpose back into my life. How can you infuse your strength into someone else? I close my eyes and think, how can I describe this to you? Becoming a triathlete takes teaching, training, desire and courage. When I arrived at the first meeting, I was timid, unsure, sad and scared! Never an athlete, I struggled through life teased and rejected when it came to sports. Could I become a triathlete? I went to the first class thinking I might become part of a “team”–maybe the swimmer, but not also a biker and a runner. I was enveloped and encouraged by each member of the team, picked up, shaped up and not allowed to fail. At first unable to breathe, and tears at every turn, I was taught step by step, my body was trained and I was eventually transformed amazingly into a triathlete who has completed 3 full triathlons. I think of myself as a “completer” not a “competitor”. But more than completing the triathlons, which for me was like winning a gold medal, I learned that women can infuse strength into each other giving me many reasons to breathe again, smile, laugh, and giggle and a will to live life to the fullest. My goal now, as a way to thank the women who helped me is to continue in the group to serve as another woman’s courage and strength.

From Tiana White, Tri-Umph 3 Years 2007

I joined the RFWTT initially to lose weight and get in shape. That turned out to be just the icing on the cake. So much more happened to me during those first 3 months of summer with the team. I am now going into my 3rd season, each one getting better. It has become like a family to me. The support, friendships, work-outs, sense of inner-strength and purpose is what keeps me coming back year after year.

Lisa Doherty, First Year Tri-Umph 2007

To say the tri group has helped me is an absolute understatement. I came into this group as a seasoned runner and biker, with no intention of truly confronting my swimming issues. The Tri group accelerated me from pre-school swimmer to lady-of-the-lake in just three months time. This can only be done in an atmosphere of intentional and professional guidance, unconditional support, humor and a structured context for personal challenge. The RFWTT is a phenomenal experience for anyone, at any level, at any age. It is a transformative experience. Thank you!!

From Gloria Miller, First Year Tri-Umphy 2006

I keep getting more and more impressed with this crowd. I did my first tri in 1978 and competed at various intensities and frequencies through 1996. Over that time I’ve had 6 coaches and been part of many groups. THIS IS THE BEST. I can’t believe how much we get for the money. The time Coaches Judy and Nancy put in to this is over the top. In my last group in Boulder we paid for phone calls to the coach. You know like a lawyer, the old charge clock ticks as you talk. The support from the group is unbelievable. I am more accustomed to competition than this prevailing attitude that everybody wins. I now have concern, real concern, not just for how I do and feel, but how everybody else does and it seems to me everybody in the group feels the same way. Judy and Nancy have created something beautiful, strong, and life-changing. I feel so grateful to everybody. Sign me up for next year!