Erika Marchwinski

I am married, a mom of two and work as a Program Manager in the Clinical Research field. I am a former rugby player turned triathlete. I started dabbling in triathlon in 2019 by challenging myself to complete a super sprint 5 months postpartum after our first was born. I really enjoyed it but the Covid era killed any initial momentum. I dabbled a bit more at the end of the 2021 season but was off again in 2022 while pregnant with our second. I came back, all in, on the 2023 season. I knew I wanted to start taking the sport a bit more seriously so I joined the tri club to find a community of support and knowledge. I did 10 multi sport races between April and September to make up for lost time and was officially hooked!

When/Where was your first triathlon?
Super Sprint in O’fallon, IL in August 2019.
What is your favorite and least favorite gel flavor?
Favorite: salted watermelon
Least favorite: anything chocolate, that is not my vibe during a workout.
What is your favorite race?
So far, age group nationals in Milwaukee. It’s the biggest race I’ve done and the energy at the event was awesome. Riding across the Hoan bridge, while terrifying with the crosswinds, was really cool too.
What is the most challenging moment you’ve had during a race?
Those crazy crosswinds on the hoan bridge in Milwaukee. I felt like I was actually going to get blown over. It’s the most scared I’ve ever been on a bike. I’m super proud of myself for holding it together mentally and getting through it.
What is your favorite place in or around St. Louis to train?
The MCT bike trails in Illinois for easy rides and open water swims at New Town.
What is the worst food you’ve tried in training or racing and why?
I tried to chew cliff blocks while running and could not get them down. I don’t understand people who can eat and run. It’s been gels for me ever since.
What is your favorite thing about triathlon?
Pushing myself to do things I never thought I was capable of.
What is the one piece of tri-geek gear you can’t live without?
Wahoo bike trainer. Being able to bike without leaving the house is a game changer with small kids.
Tip for new (or veteran) triathletes?
Ask all the questions. Everyone was new once and most are happy to share what they’ve learned along the way.
Add your own fun question and answer!
Favorite post race treat: a cold beverage or two from Athletic Brewing.