All triathletes understand the captivating grip our sport has on our hearts, although some of us may have forgotten what it was like when this sport first took hold in our lives. For Breanna Gawrys, her love affair has just begun. It doesn’t take long for to realize that this young, multi-talented woman is a model of the triathlete's spirit.
Breanna is not just content with training for her first half-Ironman (September) or her first full Ironman (November); she is also a full time college student in Duke University’s Pre-Medical program, and a cadet in Air Force ROTC Program. In fact, her fellow cadets were the ones who encouraged her to break into the world of triathlon.
"A lot of my friends in Air Force ROTC are into triathlons, so I started doing some sprint races with them," she said. "They signed up for the Ironman and I didn't want them to do it without me, so I signed up, too.”
While Breanna is at school, she volunteers at a psychiatric hospital and a children’s hospital. After she graduates in May, she will be commissioned as a second lieutenant, and plans on persuing a career in behavioral science.
“Being a pre-med student at Duke and heavily involved in AFROTC places a lot of demands on me, but I have found marathons and triathlons to be an excellent balance for a busy, hectic life. I enjoy the sport immensely and have found a social venue in it as well. “At age twenty, she has already run five Marathons, and she has even been re-invited to the Boston Marathon. Breanna has also completed five half marathons and four sprint triathlons. Once she completes the Panama City Ironman, she plans to fill her schedule with more triathlons.
Becoming a triathlete is nothing short of a life changing-experience, and for most people, once you start there is simply no turning back. For Breanna, the sport is “addicting as well as personally satisfying ." Keep an eye out for Breanna.~