Whatever inspired her, this 20 year veteran is now inspiring others with her latest fitness embarkment, “Tri2Teach”, a group she recruited of friends who will participate with Redfield in an upcoming triathlon, The Riverwood Golf and Athletic Club Triathlon in Clayton, to be held on April 24.
“Most of the members of Tri2Teach are teachers in some capacity,” explained Redfield. “The initial concept was that we would all do the Tri to teach and set an example for our students. The goal being for everyone to get more fit and active in the process.” For Redfield and her friends, it was a way to train and have fun. “Get the adults excited about training and doing triathlons and then get the kids in the classroom excited and training for triathlons,” she said. “Kids learn what they live and see, so who better than to be an example than their teacher.”
“The cool thing is that most of these ladies never in their wildest dreams thought that they would ever be doing a tri,” said Redfield. “It started out with me trying to talk my good friend Lisa Barrows into doing a tri. I had gotten her into spin classes and yoga, so I thought I could convince her, or worst case guilt her into doing it.” Soon, others were interested in the venture, and Redfield developed “Tri2Teach” to organize the growing group of determined ladies. “While I was on vacation in New York for the holidays, I started seeing the notes on Facebook and in email, asking me when the workouts were going to start,” she said. “That was all I needed and so I sent out a general training plan.”
Redfield offered to take anyone who didn’t want to participate off the email list. No one wanted off, and that group of eight blossomed to 20 women, including Redfield. And, there are seasoned triathlete friends of Redfield who are doing the race in support of all the new triathletes. Even Redfield’s sister is flying in from New York to do the race. All the triathletes are teachers in some capacity.
The Riverwood Race is a sprint Triathlon, with a 300 yard swim in a pool, a 14.5 mile bike and a 5k run. “It is a perfect tri for beginners and advanced triathletes alike since it is well run and a very lovely course through the neighborhood for the run and a nice countryside for the bike,” said Redfield. “Swimmers will go every 15 seconds, not a mass group start like in a lake -also good for beginners.”
“The standard goal is to run twice/week, bike/week and swim at least once/week,” said Redfield. “We meet twice a week, usually Monday and Wednesday at my house at 5:30 a.m., for running workouts followed by mini boot camp in my garage.” And, the majority of the group swims at Campbell University (CU) or at the Triangle Aquatic Center (TAC). “We have swim workouts posted on our blog so that people can do the swim workouts in small groups when I am not there with them,” she added. “For biking, we meet on Sunday mornings and people are encouraged to do spin classes if they belong to a gym.” Many of the ladies call each other to get together to workout and keep committed to their training, noted Redfield. “They post messages on the blog or via our email list if they are heading to CU or the TAC to swim, or the Tobacco Trail to ride or simply biking in their neighborhood,” she said.
“These were women who could be heard saying, ‘I hate to exercise’, or ‘I cannot ride a bike well enough to do this’; ‘I cannot run three miles’.” Redfield has brought the group a long way. “Just this week, we did a track/interval workout at the elementary school parking lot and they were killing it,” she said.
“They are swimming at least 1200 yards in the pool whenever they go and running three to four miles in the morning. I have two ladies that just this week parked their car in Angier, rode eight miles to CU to do their swim and then rode back to their car.”
“I am a retired Army officer turned stay at home mom who has always been an athlete,” said Redfield. “I loved helping my soldiers improve their scores on their physical fitness tests.” And, Redfield has always loved a little adventure, attaining Jumpmaster status while stationed at Fort Bragg, parachuting out of airplanes. Then, in her final assignment as head of the Army ROTC Battalion at NCSU, Redfield took a special interest in helping her young cadets attain better fitness standards. Leading others to higher fitness goals has always been a mainstay of Redfield’s life. So, this latest training endeavor came naturally. “For me it gave me a great chance to focus on a goal and give back to the community which I have settled into for the first time since I graduated from West Point in 1988,” she said. “Training these great ladies for their first big triathlon adventure has been a great thing or me as well as for them. I love watching them progress, lose weight, run faster, call each other to workout.” And, the ladies are there for Redfield when she needs it as well. “Our initial goal is to complete the Riverwood Tri and then sign up for at least two more this summer,” said Redfield. “I just have to get some people over the apprehension of swimming in the lake or the ocean.” The early morning light for biking and outdoor swimming pools will be a welcome addition to the group’s training. Contact Redfield at email@example.com for more information on participating in training and races. “We are also getting the kids geared up for some of the Kids in Training Triathlons throughout the Triangle with the first one on our radar in June at Prestonwood,” she said. “Watch out. These ladies will be unstoppable.”