If You Never Tri, You'll Never Know!

Charlene Sylvester


I am a Physical Scientist (Oceanographer) for the US Army Corps of Engineers. With a collegiate swimming (thanks in large part to Title IV) and rugby background, I did my first Sprint triathlon in 2007 while living in St. Petersburg, FL.

Several sprints and an olympic tri later, I found myself on the Gulf Coast in 2009 as a result of a job change. While on the Coast, I enjoyed (loved!) Cross Fit through 2012 when injuries, old lady aches and pains, and a complex TDY schedule started becoming problematic. So I decided to become a professional wine drinker. After one very long TDY in 2013, I begged Lisa McCombs to let me into a half-marathon training program two weeks late. I swore up and down I had been running, but of course had not and lied because I was THAT desperate to get moving again and surround myself with like-minded individuals. 

This program was fantastic and for the first time since moving to the Coast, I had friends! Real friends! Lady friends! Sweaty lady friends! I was also running again and enjoying the growth, explosion perhaps, of fitness-minded individuals on the Gulf Coast. 

In 2013 I decided to Tri again (why not?), alongside my husband, Ed. After a few sprints and an olympic to 'get back into it', Ed and I came to the decision that life is too short for "shoulda, coulda, woulda" and that it's now or never ... Half Ironman ... why not?