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RAMBLIN’ ROSE PROFILE | Mary Ann Gardner

“It was one of the best things that I have ever done and have become addicted to Ramblin’ Rose. I did four more in 2016 for a grand total of five!”

Mary Ann Gardner, 68 | Winston Salem, NC | CPA

2017_01_jan_rr_profile_ch_516_gardner_aI was a spectator at a Ramblin’ Rose in 2008 when my daughter was participating. I was 60 years old at the time and I knew that was something that I wanted to achieve. Although I’d been a  swimmer, biker, and walker for many years, I was never able to do much running without getting injured. Finally, in 2015 at the age of 67, I saw an advertisement for the Ramblin’ Rose and  I decided it was “now or never.”  I signed up for a tri-training group at Fleet Feet in Winston Salem. It was one of the best things that I have ever done and have become addicted to Ramblin’ Rose. I did four more in 2016 for a grand total of five!

The cheering and support present when crossing the finish line in my first triathlon created euphoria. The second and third crossings, both of which I won my age group, were purely icing on the cake. Olympic Gold couldn’t have felt any better! And then there was the fourth and the fifth. It just keeps getting better with each event.

First and foremost, my newly formed friendships in the last two years have changed my life.  My self-confidence level has increased to a new level. This has been brought on by the support and enthusiasm of fellow triathletes as well as the instructors and mentors.  My new friendships have enabled me to learn new skills, to gain more experience, and to expand my expectations of myself. 

My four grandchildren and their parents are the most supportive people. My late husband’s memory is with me every stroke, pump, step of the way.  And he would be beaming!

My goal for 2017 is to participate in all five Ramblin’ Rose Triathlons in North Carolina.  I already have them marked on my calendar.

<Photo by Tamara Lackey Photography>