Member Spotlight: Kelly Wagner

26 Apr 2016 6:36 PM | Deleted user

In the 1980’s as a teenager, Kelly Wagner watched the IronMan Championships on the Wide World of Sports and knew then that she wanted to compete in a triathlon.  Growing up in Ohio at the time, there were minimal opportunities. 

From the time she was 8, she took part in ballet.  She danced 3-4 times a week through the end of high school.  She also decided to take up swimming in high school as there were some cute boys on the team.  Her swimming was less than stellar so part way through the season, the coaches asked her to become a diver.

In college, at The University of Toledo, she began running and cycling, mostly just to stay in shape, but she never lost sight of the sport of triathlon.

After relocating to Florida, she suddenly found opportunities for triathlon more plentiful and took up the sport.  In 1998, she took part in the Mad Dog Triathlon in St. Petersburg, FL and was hooked.

In 2015, Kelly realized a dream of finishing an IronMan.  At 42, with 3 elementary school aged children, she took part in IronMan Texas.  After years of dreaming, she achieved this long time goal and pushed her body harder than she ever thought and succeeded in a big way.  She finished 34th of 129 in her age group in a total time of 13:24:39.

Kelly considers her IronMan performance her best accomplishment in the sport to date.  Her best ever race result was in HITS Ocala in 2015, beating her previous year's time by nearly 5 minutes.  She is also proud of her IronMan FL 70.3 performance in 2015, finishing in under 6 hours and achieving her best ever bike split.

Kelly would like to forget a Clermont sprint triathlon in 2014.  She was late to the race, forgot her USAT card, and had to quickly set up her transition spot.  She raced to the starting line with no warm up and had to quickly start.  She didn’t perform well, but wouldn’t quit, which she is proud of.

Kelly notes that she always has to have coffee the morning of race day and likes to say a prayer prior to the race beginning.

Kelly joined G3 in 2015 at the encouragement of friends.  She is very passionate about triathlon and enjoys being a part of G3 as this keeps her surrounded by others who love it just as much.

Kelly knows that swimming is the part that gives most people trepidation.  Her advice to people starting off in the sport is to work to get comfortable in the pool and that “success is only a few hundred meters away.”

Kelly’s long term goal is to one day qualify for Kona.  She knows that she will have to continue to work and be patient, but knows that one day she can make this happen.





G3 - Gainesville Tri-Club
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