For FishHawk resident Jennifer Kyte, swimming was not much more than an occasional dip in the pool with her children, all the while making sure that her hair remained dry and intact.
This past April, though, she decided to make some changes.
“I decided that it was time to do more and to get in shape,” Kyte said. “I couldn’t even swim the length of the pool. My idea of swimming was hanging out in a cute bathing suit with matching sarong.”
Kyte, 42, successfully completed an international distance triathlon, which included a half mile swim, 27-mile bike and seven mile run.
On her way to becoming the next Ironman, Kyte credits her quick success to all the supports she has received from her husband, James, a U.S. Marine stationed at MacDill AFB, children Brittany, 22, Thomas 12 and Robert, 9, as well as to her mentors Mary-Ellen and Rick Coles, both members of the FishHawk Triathlon Club, a local group that was established a little more than a year ago.
“Jennifer was reluctant to compete at first,” Mary-Ellen said during a recent club meeting conducted over wine and cheese at the Park Square Cellar restaurant in Fishhawk. “But now she is comfortable in all three phases of the triathlon. We’ve created a monster, really.”
Club president, Maria Cicchetti-Gross emphasized that central to the fast growth of the club, which also played a major role in Jennifer’s success, is mentorship and camaraderie.
“People feel that they can challenge themselves physically when they have the support of more experienced triathletes.” Cicchetti-Gross said. “It also helps that we like to laugh and have fun.”
The club, which has grown to more than 50 members in the past year, includes Ironman finishers and Tri-newbies of athletes from ages 20-late 60s.
Scot Moser conducts clinics in technique, while shares his advice in the finer points of endurance training.
The club plans to produce their first USAT sanctioned race – a bike followed by run – in March of 2013.
Kyte is now training for the Ironman.
FishHawk Triathlon Club membership information can be found at or

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