Running to stay in shape takes competitive turn
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By Brian McInnis
Special to The Advertiser
Fitness runs in Rachel Ross' family. Her daughter, Sky, and son, Wyatt, went on jogs the same days they were born.
That's because Ross wasn't about to let the two pregnancies make her go out of shape — she regularly ran four to five miles a day during both, all the way up to and including the day of the kids' births.
"It makes for an easier pregnancy, I think," she said.
Ross "followed all the rules" while pregnant with first-born Henry, now 5. But after listening to other women who said it wasn't a problem and a doctor who said she would be OK, Ross decided to take her second and third children along for the ride.
Ross, 28, has now turned to competitive races to keep her busy, including a big one this weekend — the International Triathlon Union JAL Honolulu World Championships.
The event a 1.5-kilometer (.9-mile) swim, 40K (24.8-mile) bike and 10K (6.2-mile) run around Kapi'olani Park on Sunday. About 2,000 participants from 50 countries will race beginning at 6 a.m.
"I ran to stay in shape during pregnancy, and then (doing) triathlons was just something fun and new," said Ross, a part-time Web page designer. "And I hadn't competed since high school (at Punahou), so it was fun to start competing 10 years later."
Training for her races these days is only slightly more complicated than it used to be — now it just takes a little extra determination, and time management. She's also a graduate student at the University of Hawai'i.
Ross, of Hawai'i Kai, trains at 4 a.m., before her three children get up, and her husband, Ramsey, goes off to work. Sometimes she goes to train with Boca Hawai'i in the evening, so her sister, Celia, will help watch the kids.
Her sons are already showing flashes of fitness.
"We'll be at the beach and they'll have little pretend triathlons," Ross said. "They'll pop out (of the water), and pretend to ride their bikes across the beach, then they'll have a running race.
"They wake up on Sunday mornings and they're like, 'Do you have a race today, Mommy'? They get all excited — they always want to know if I won," she said with a laugh.
Ross plans to enter the kids in Boca's keiki triathlon when they turn 7 — if they want to, of course.
Henry sauntered over to give a few pearls of wisdom about his mother's races.
"It's cool," Henry said.