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Finding Camaraderie as a Black Triathlete...

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By Dr. Candace Brown (triathlete.com)

The effects of the most recent racially motivated events in our country have filtered into the triathlon community. As this started happening, I was proud of the many people and companies who took a stand to remind the triathlon world of the importance of equality, especially for those who are Black. The success of this race year would have marked the completion of just about all the goals I had set out to accomplish as a Black Athena triathlete. I have participated in every distance from super sprint to a full Ironman; I’ve won 1st in age-group and Athena divisions; and, this year, qualified to be on Team USA for the aquabike. However, the world changed, our nation is changing, and so is the sport....

When I first started in triathlon 11 years ago, it was because I’d had my third child and gotten bored of just running. To this day, my husband jokingly says I train and race to get time away from the family. Real talk: he might be right. But at that time, I felt like I needed more of a challenge and upon joining the group Sisters Tri-ing, I got that challenge. I must admit, I started in the group just for strength and running, because I was scared to do an official race after my experimental ‘indoor tri’ earlier that year. I grew up swimming recreationally and knew how to ride a bike. I thought that an indoor triathlon would be easy. I was wrong.

Sisters Tri-ing was composed of women who identified as Black, Hispanic, Philipino, and White. I loved this group because we could be ourselves. I never felt out of place. Being a part of this group meant talking openly about those things which directly impacted us. This meant working out and sweating together. It was our team building. I was a brand-new triathlete and got to meet my first Ironman, Carla Thompson. Not my first Black Ironman; my first Ironman, period. That was impactful for me and I was completely amazed by her. When the group raced, we were together. I was never alone. That meant so much to me and I did not take it for granted.  READ MORE

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