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Since day one, Huntington Bank has been one of the biggest supporters of Grand Rapids Triathlon, they have been with us since the 2011 inaugural race. Through the years, not only have they been the title sponsor, but they have had tons of amazing people within their organization show up, line up and stand beside us on the starting line. Huntington Bank loves triathlon. And that has not changed this year, despite going virtual. Their support continues and makes this event what it is today, no matter any circumstance.

Meet one of the Huntington Bank athletes, Kate Martisius, who decided that Grand Rapids Virtual Triathlon 9.5 was the perfect opportunity to take herself from runner to official triathlete, participating in her first-ever triathlon this June!

Name: Kate Martisius
Age: 35
Hometown: Hastings, MI but I currently live in Rockford, MI
Occupation: Personal Production Assistant at Huntington National Bank
How long have you been associated with Huntington Bank? Since November 2019

What is your background with triathlon and endurance sports?
I do not have any experience with Triathlons. I have been running for a few year and have completed many races on foot.

Why did you decide to compete in a triathlon?
I had a brief moment of thought that it would be cool to someday do a triathlon. I received the email about the Grand Rapids Tri seriously just a few days after and I thought “ok, that was fast but I’ll do it.” I am also getting married this summer and thought as I trained I’d also get in shape for my wedding.

What has your training been like to prepare for your virtual race?
My training right after I signed up was going to the school pool to swim laps, I joined the Rockford Running Club and was biking during the breaks in the weather. Since the shut down I have still been running around the neighborhood and riding bikes with my son. The main thing that changed was my ability to swim. I am fortunate enough to live on a lake and although I do not have a wet suit and the water is still very cold, I’ve been in the water a couple of times now for short periods. I still have a lot of work to do in that department.

What is your race plan?
Since the race can be completed anytime in June I will be waiting towards the end of June to complete the race since the water at the lake is still pretty cold right now.

What is your goal for the race?
My goal is to just finish. Being this is my first tri, I will be happy just finishing.

What are you looking forward to the most about your first tri?
I talked one of my friends into do the triathlon too so I’m most looking forward to having someone do with with me. Maybe I can talk some family members into completing a certain leg of the race with us so it can be more of a fun experience with my family and for their encouragement.

What are you nervous for?
Definitely the swimming. Since I started this a weak swimmer and haven’t had much chance to practice.

Despite never having raced in a tri before, why did you decide to still go virtual with GR Tri?
I was training going to the school pool to swim laps, I joined the Rockford Running Club and biking during the breaks in the weather. And then insert 2020… Then all of sudden the schools were closed, businesses were shutting their doors and everything changed for everyone. One by one races were getting cancelled or changed to “virtual” events and it saddened me but I thought maybe by June this will all be over (and especially because my wedding is in July!) As the days turned into weeks and are now turning into months everything is still up in the air. More things are being cancelled or postponed due to our current stay at home orders and I received the email about the GR Tri was going virtual. I thought about canceling but because my wedding up in the air too I just wanted to finish something that I’ve been working for the better part of a year.