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Athlete Spotlight: Syd Roe

Introduction from Vicki | Syd came to me early this season wanting to compete in an Ironman 2021. I could immediately tell that Syd was a very special young woman with an incredible drive and definite potential in her triathlon career. Since starting down the path of triathlon training, Syd has had nothing less than the most amazing attitude toward learning and training. She is open to learning everything about training to improve her outcome in each part of her training and racing. Even in the most difficult of situations, Syd has remained positive and focused. I am excited to see Syd’s growth in the months and years to come.

Name | Syd Roe

Tell us about your family/careers.

Floridian who lives in Minnesota over here! I left home after deciding I wanted to spread my wings outside the family insurance business, but stayed in the industry. After the corporate life wore me down, I took my passion around storytelling/marketing into an insurance software startup. To anyone wanting to start a business….do it….and buckle up…’s a ride.

What is your favorite sport/activity?

Soccer! Specifically, the USWNT (United States Women’s National Team). I played soccer in high school and college. I’ll never forget watching Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath, and Kelley O’Hara steal the FIFA World Cup AND the Gold at the Olympics multiple times over. At the time, Women’s soccer wasn’t as popular. Maybe people knew the name Mia Hamm or Brandi Chastain. But now? It seems like everyone knows multiple players on the USWNT team. The team’s grit, grind, and devotion to the sport have captured hearts all over the world, elevated the sport to new levels, and opened up more opportunity for young women who want to crush it on the field. Whether I’m playing recreationally now or just catching a game, I consider it a gift to be able to participate in such a beautiful, inspiring game.

Outside of training with Tri Fitness, what are some of your favorite hobbies?

Well…startup life and training for a half ironman haven’t given me much free time, but a couple things I love: traveling to new places (and specifically meeting the people who live there…people are fascinating), making videos and…well…eating epic food. Does that count as a hobby? It should.

What is your favorite motivational quote?

“No excuses.” (actually a song by NF) And, “Where stuff comes from….matters.” (a quote from my business partner during the first meeting of officially forming our company)

Favorite gear for summer/winter racing?

Hmmm…well, thus far I’ve only raced in the summer. Obviously, Tri Fitness gear. Aside from that, love the Torpedo Versa 200 I’ve got on my aero bars.

What keeps you going when you really don't want to?

I guess you could say I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder from some experiences earlier in life. Those keep me motivated to keep going; keep reaching in general. On a day-to-day, it’s digging deeper into what I’m doing in the moment—learning. If you skip something, that’s a missed opportunity! To learn something new about your swim, your bike, your run, or yourself. We all only have so much time…what am I going to do with it? And honestly, consistency/discipline. The more you tell yourself to go when you don’t want to, the better you get at it.

What got you started with training/racing?

A few things collided for me personally…and the result? I wanted to test myself; see what I was really capable of. I remember meeting a friend of a friend for brunch one day. She was in her mid 50s and had done 3 ironman. All I could think as I was eating my pancakes listening to her tell me about the race was: “Syd…dude…if she can do it…you can do it….come on!” 4 days later, I walked into Tri Fitness without a phone call, shook Jack’s hand, and told him I was going to do an ironman that year (that might have been pushed out a year after talking to Vicki, haha), and I needed a coach. No bike, no experience really “racing”—nothin! Here we are, just on the other side of my first half ironman, and pumped for the next one!

When you tell your friends/family about beginning you journey, what was their reaction?

Lots of long pauses where they were trying to figure out how to say “you’re crazy.”

How long have you been training/racing?

9 months

Were you involved in other competitive sports prior to your adult years?

I was always in some sport as a kid; sometimes a few at a time. In high school, I fenced competitively (for those of you less nerdy than myself, it’s a sport with swords) and played soccer. I took soccer into college.

Best tip for a newbie?

I remember the day I tried to pitch my dad on one of those multi-level marketing schemes. His response? “Syd, do one thing and do it well for the rest of your life, and you’ll be successful.” Whether or not you agree with his professional advice (lol), the principle is true: be consistent. The things you consistently do and think are who you become.

What is your favorite pre/post workout snack/drink?

Love Promeal Bars – the oatmeal chocolate chip – pre or post. They’re so dang good. And recently came across Osmo for hydration. Straight up awesome!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

That’s a tough one. I don’t know that I have one “biggest.” I’ve always been so impressed and inspired by the women who have come before me and blazed a trail. There are a number of specific people who mean a lot to me—both those I haven’t met and those I have. I’d like to do the same for someone else/others.

What is your biggest struggle?

Right now? Getting my diet a bit more dialed in, and finding balance in the craziness of startup life.

What is your pre-race routine?

If possible, I like to see the course. For my Olympic at Buffalo, I went and rode/ran it knowing where the turns are, the hills are, etc…huge boost on race day. For my half ironman, I drove parts of the course. Again, it really helped my confidence level.

Mindset, mindset, mindset. The night before, I take a walk, listen to some of my favorite music, and think about why I’m there and why that race matters to me.

The day of, up to 3-4 hours before the race, I eat and drink some coffee and electrolytes. Thirty minutes before the race: UCAN. Sometimes I do music, sometimes I don’t. And of course, taking in all that sweet, sweet, epic ironman energy.

Goals for the upcoming year (2022)?

Race a full ironman….and absolutely crush it.

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