IronWoman

Celebrating 5 years of Ironman participation

About Me

Name: Sara Strope

Currently Living In: Boston, MA (by way of San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC)

Occupation: Marketing executive for IBM (by way of startups like Cloudant and Cleantech Group)

Hometown: Albany, NY

Part fish by upbringing, cyclist thanks to city living, and runner by necessity. I grew up in the pool – swimming competitively and even dabbling in synchronized swimming throughout middle school and high school. By graduate school, I learned cycling through St. Louis’s Forest Park would get me between classes and my internship just as quickly and full of sweat than driving my non-air conditioned car. The cycling thing stuck when I moved to DC in 2001 – and I soon bought a bike to tackle the AIDSRide 6 and AIDSRide 7 and several WABA Bike to Work events! After a couple other outdoor diversions like climbing Kilimanjaro and picking up kayaking, I took on triathlons in 2006.

Tri-History: 2006-Present

Cranberry Tri-Fest (August 2017) – Being simply a weekend warrior on the bike and a sometimes swimmer shows, but a few years focused on running pays off.  For the first time ever, I placed the best in the run portion of my race, not in the swim or bike!

Whaling City Triathlon (July 2017) – Nothing like a quick sprint to warm up the day.  Short swim with wetsuit, flat and fast bike and run.  All around fun!

Nantucket Triathlon (July 2016) – Another fun, community oriented race.

Cranberry Tri-Fest (2015) – Do not race with strep throat – no matter how ready you feel after 4 advil and 20 oz of coffee.

Ironman Maryland (September 2014) – My fifth Ironman race. I crushed the bike at the expense of my run…and struggled with the final outcome for a long time.

Ironman Lake Placid (July 2013) – My fourth and fastest Ironman race.  The weather was great, I was surrounded by friends racing and cheering from coast to coast, and I pushed myself just enough all along the way.

Ironman Canada (August 2011) – My third Ironman race.  It was a hot, hot day in Penticton and I did not push myself at all on the run.  My slowest time yet, but happy to be eating pancakes with my parents at the end of the race and not in the med tent.

Pine Bush Triathlon (July 2011) – A relay with my dad in honor of his 15th anniversary post-heart transplant and the kickoff of our Organ Donor 4 Life campaign. I swam, dad cycled, and we ran together!

Santa Barbara Triathlon (August 2010) – My first California race!  I was supposed to race Wildflower, but I was out of the country.

IM Wisconsin (September 2009) – Who would have ever thought Madison would be 85 degrees on a Sept day and mac and cheese could taste so good, you eat it for 2 days straight post-race?  With a brutal swim, rolling hills, and a hot, hot run, I made it through my second Ironman with a final time of 13:49:56.  Almost 10 minutes faster than last year!

Cranberry Trifest – Olympic (August 2009) – Our club championship race and a little IM Wisconsin warm up! What a difference a flat course makes too – total finish time of 2:40!

Mooseman Olympic Triathlon (June 2009) – A seriously fun race!  Surrounded by friends from DC and Boston, I tackled my first Olympic race.  It was a hilly course, and only 10 miles from the hospital I had been in just 3 weeks before the race, but I felt strong on the bike.  I made it through the coldest swim EVER and enjoyed the run – for a total finish time of 3:04.

New Jersey State Triathlon (July 2008) – How could I not participate in the USAT Mid-Atlantic club championship race, even if it was one week post-Ironman?  So, I joined up with Nikki and Rachel to form team TriChix and race an Olympic relay.  It was probably one of my slowest swims ever, but what a great way to enjoy a race day.  Just race one leg, then cheer a lot, and volunteer at the finish giving out medals.  Oh, and coming in first in the women’s relay and second overall wasn’t too bad either.

Lake Placid Ironman (July 2008) – My favorite race yet!  I think everyone should at the very least go to Lake Placid to watch this race, or volunteer, or better yet – actually race it!  Read all the details of this great day.

Black Bear Half Ironman (May 2008) – This was my first Half-Ironman distance.  The swim was great, the bike was hilly and the run was sweltering.  The race t-shirt said “Hope You Finish…”  Check out some pics from the race.

Dewey Beach Sprint (September 2007) – Perhaps the most fun hilarious race yet! It poured until about an hour before the race was set to start. Our great idea to camp the night before had turned into us sitting in our cars at 4 am to stay dry. The swim start was a run in from the beach – and let’s just say a wave definitely got the better of me! The bike ride was only 7 miles due to road construction. Oh, and the race ended with beer – and my feet being taped due to crazy blisters!

Lurray Sprint (August 2007) – I learned the meaning of false flats on the bike course. And just how good that frozen custard and burger joint in Front Royal, VA is!
Steelman Sprint Triathlon (July 2006) – My friend Susan had convinced me to join the DC Tri Club’s New Triathlete Training Program and this race was our group race. The swim went much better for me, but I learned my lesson of having my bike in the wrong gear coming out of transition and straight up a steep hill! I nearly fell over!

Belleplain Sprint Triathlon (June 2006) – My coworkers from GetActive Software (Peter, Sean, and Chris K) all joined me for this race. The small race was a great start for me – and the park near Cape May, NJ was beautiful (we camped there before the race). It was however, the first time I thought I might drown! I learned the challenges of open water swims – getting kicked, attacked by seaweed/plantlife, and the need to spot the buoy course markers!

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6 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Great story! Best wishes with the race and I’m looking forward to following your greatness shared here on your blog!!

  2. Find the link you left on another site – definitely hard core. Are you exercising outside in our beautiful freezing temperatures? I’m stuck on the treadmill at the moment – but would love to meet up for biking when the weather is better!

  3. I did the Belleplain tri in 2004. It was my first triathlon…boy did I learn alot. I also did the Dewey Beach in 2006…loved that race because it was flat, fast, and short.

  4. Hey Rachel – how funny that we crossed paths at races these past years! Look forward to training and racing with you this season. -Sara

  5. Hi Sara!
    I just found your blog! Very interesting! I am just starting to train for sprint tris! I have my first 5k this weekend! I hope to compete in an iron girl next spring! Can’t wait to read more. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    -Emily

    • Hi Emily –

      Thanks for reading and hope you find some good tips. I think some of my race reports have good lessons for any distance race. Good luck with the 5k!

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