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Vicki Updike

CDA bike1) Give us some background information. Where are you from? Tell us about your family. Tell us about your profession/work. Share your hobbies/passions/interests.
I was born and raised in Maine on a large cattle and sheep farm. My family is still there and it’s such a great place to visit.

Work brought me to Tennessee in 1998 and since 2004 I’ve worked at the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation as the Vice President of Finance.

I live in Brentwood with my husband, Dawson, our sons, Cooper and Dawson (Lil D), and our dog, Spyro.

When I’m not working out, I love spending time with my family, which is something the boys occasionally don’t appreciate! They really don’t like seeing me with my smiling face still at the house around 8 a.m. on a Saturday because they know it’s going to be a work day! But once the chores are done, we have a great time doing all those things that families do.

2) What is one fun fact about you?
To pay for my first car and college, I showed cattle and sheep at local, regional and national shows. As funny as that sounds, the prize money helped me graduate from college debt-free, which is such a gift.2202-101

Oh, and I teach cycling classes at the Maryland Farms YMCA on Wednesday’s at 5:15 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. I know this is technically two fun facts but I love having cyclists in my class so I’m spreading the word!

3) How did you get interested in triathlons and/or endurance sports? When did you start training for triathlons/endurance races? Which race was your first triathlon/endurance race and where was it?
I moved to Tennessee straight from the farm and I was so bored. Kerry Roberts, who owned Alanti Bike Shop, was kind enough to loan me a bike for the summer and I discovered I LOVED riding! Then a friend bet me that I couldn’t do the Music City Triathlon without training and that was the start of it all. After that first race I had to go home and take a nap, I was so exhausted!

4) Which of the following is your strongest and weakest discipline and why: swimming, biking or running?
Biking is by far the easiest for me. I have to work harder on my swimming and running but they are improving.

5) What obstacles, if any, have you overcome in order to train for and race in triathlons and/or endurance sports?
It is important to be balanced. We all have family and friends we want to spend time with, as well as work obligations. It’s important for me to try and plan my time so I can train without neglecting all those other factors in my life. I try to remember that while one area might get the short end of the stick this week, that doesn’t mean it will the next week.

Another trick for me is to combine training with other family obligations. It’s not unusual for me to run or ride my bike to my sons’ soccer, basketball, baseball or golf games.

And I always try to bank the GWPs (Good Wife Points) in the winter because summer is when I’ll have to make lots of withdrawals. For you men, it’s GHPs (Good Husband Points)!

6) What is your most memorable/favorite triathlon or endurance race and why?
I would have to say it was my first Ironman, the 2009 Ironman Louisville. I was so emotional when I finished but my parents were really emotional! They had been through a lot with me. When I was a child, I had severe hip dysplasia and I was in a brace until I was 3 years old. Doctors told my parents I may never walk and if I did, it would be with a limp or gait. In 1969, my family was a financially-strapped farm family; so my Mom did all the therapy I needed at our home with monthly visits to the Shriner’s Hospital in Massachusetts to learn new exercises for me. She was so proud when I finished that race. I truly thought she was going to break my neck at the finish line, she was hugging me so hard!!!

7) What races are you planning for/training for in 2014?
Rev 3 Knoxville, Mach Tenn, Chattanooga Waterfront, Music City, Toughman, Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman Florida.

8) What’s one piece of equipment/gear that you can’t live without?
Glide. I hate it when I forget to glide before a run!!!!

9) How long have you been a BEAT member? Why did you join BEAT and what is your favorite thing about the club?
I am not sure how long I’ve been a BEAT member. I believe pretty close to the beginning. My favorite thing has to be the camaraderie and encouragement everyone gives each other.

10) If you could give one piece of advice to a beginner triathlete or endurance racer, what would it be?
Make it a lifestyle and be patient.

I see so many folks come into this sport and they’re just focused on doing an Ironman. I’d been racing five years before the thought of doing an Ironman even crossed my mind. It can be hard watching everyone train, but you AND your family have to be ready because it takes so much time and commitment. A seasoned Ironwomen once told me, “Ironman racing is not disappearing…there’s no need to rush it.”

11) Any last words for us?
Race with heart… and a smile that makes others want to know what you’ve been drinking!

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