Tara Bakker

I first got my feet wet in 2009 at the JCC Indoor short distance triathlon. I was a nervous wreck! Swimming only two pool lengths with my face out of the water before I had to flip over and backstroke the rest, I knew I had a lot to work on! (I’m pretty sure the first two lengths looked more like dog paddling, which would actually be more of a disgrace to our four legged friends because I’m sure they look more graceful!) Even though I was last out of the pool in my heat that day, I immediately knew that I had fallen in love with the sport! So I joined the St. Louis Tri Club in 2010 so I could get a little help from some of the veterans!

Fast forward to 2014…I can swim, bike, and run a heck of a lot farther and maybe even a little faster than I was able to do that day at the JCC! I have made more nutritional mistakes than I can count on my fingers and toes. I have been sidelined with injury. I have had sunburns and awkward tan lines that no “normal” human being should have. I’ve bonked on long rides and almost cried when my nutrition fell on the ground and I had nothing to eat. For all these reason, I love this sport because there are always the “I DID IT!” moments that keep you coming back for more!

The members that make our club what it is are what keep me here and going. The camaraderie in this sport keeps me smiling both on and off the field because of all the great people wanting to help others learn and become great! If you need a pep talk before you go out there, email me or come and talk to me!

Favorite gel flavor: Winter- Chocolate Mint Gu; Summer- Vanilla Gu

Favorite Race: Tie between Ironman Canada (injury comeback and absolutely breathtaking venue) and the RaceMaker Productions Litchfield Triathlou sprint (first ever podium)

Most challenging moment during a race: 2013 Route 66 Half Iron distance. I was injured and had to walk (most of) the half marathon. Awesome race though!

What is the one piece of tri-geek gear you can’t live without: Arm coolers!