Y club inspires members to try a triathlon

By Laurie George | Apr 17, 2013
Courtesy of: Dameon Hahn Kelly Irmer trains for a triathlon as a member of the Mukilteo YMCA’s TrY Club.

A triathlon can be intimidating to a lot, if not most people. Swim, bike and run all in one event, let alone one day? But not for Joel Rogers.

After years of working to get in shape on his own with not much progress, he decided to give the Mukilteo YMCA TrY Club a chance.

When Joel joined in January, he couldn’t run a mile. Three months later, he now consistently runs 10 miles on the weekends, as well as bikes, swims and runs with the group during the week. He’s also lost nearly 20 pounds.

“Being with the group makes it all worthwhile,” Rogers said. “Plus the willingness of the coaches and club members to be accepting and understanding of each individual, regardless of performance level.”

Fellow TrY club member Kelly Irmer also joined in January after losing a significant amount of weight. Her first time as a triathlete, she placed second overall in the YMCA’s first Indoor Triathlon in March.

She said she owes a lot of her success to the YMCA coaching style.

“Our Triathlon coaches aren’t just coaches,” Irmer said. “They workout and train with us. I feel like they are our teammates. By having them in the pool, on the bike, running beside me inspires me to want to train harder and be the best I can be.”

Dameon Hahn is the Mukilteo YMCA head triathlon coach. He has a long triathlon history, including ranking as the top Amateur Triathlon in Arizona in 2005 and working with Next Step To Gold, an Olympic developmental team.

He holds a masters degree in exercise physiology and will complete his USA Triathlon Coaching Certification in March.

Despite his own experience and success as an elite athlete, as a YMCA coach, he said his goal is to inspire new triathletes.

“The TrY Club members allow me to enjoy triathlon,” he said. “Because without them, it’s just training. We’re a bunch of fun loving, novice, aspiring motivated lovers of swim, bike and run. We’re together because that’s what we want to do.”

Rogers said Hahn is a part of the reason he keeps coming back, week after week. He said Hahn’s inclusion, support, and enthusiasm keeps him motivated and moving.

The TrY club is sponsoring a Youth Triathlon for kids age 6-14 that will kick off April 27 for Healthy Kids’ Day this year. It’s free and open to the community.

The club will also host a Community Triathlon on June 23 at the YMCA.

You don’t need to be a YMCA member to participate in TrY Club workouts or events. Contact dhahn@ymca-snoco.org or call 425-493-2407 for more information.

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