Inspiration comes in all walks of life, in people of all ages and in many shapes and sizes. In Jackie Halloran’s case inspiration came when she volunteered as an assistant in 2012 at the Win for KC Triathlon held in Smithville to give a helping hand to her sister, Michele Halloran, who was competing that day.
“I don’t know any other way to explain it, but when I volunteered that day I knew it was something I wanted to do the following year,” said Halloran. “Helping my sister and all of the other triathletes that day was amazing. Watching all ages of women complete the race was empowering.”
The Women’s Intersport Network (WIN) for KC was established in 1994 with a mission to empower girls and women through advocating and promoting the lifetime value of sports and fitness while providing opportunities for participation and leadership development. Halloran has children of her own and encourages them to play sports knowing full well that studies show that children who play sports have a more positive body image and experience higher states of psychological well-being than those who don’t.
Halloran, 48 years old, a lover of the outdoors and swimming enthusiast, didn’t concentrate her training efforts on the 500-meter swimming portion of the triathlon but instead focused more on the 5K run and 10-mile bike ride she would have to complete last Saturday, July 27. At the beginning of this year Halloran began walking as part of her daily workout. She said she knew the swimming portion would come easily so instead her focus was the 5K.
“Walking was an important part of getting ready. I just increased my pace as the race neared,” she said. A little over a month before the race began Halloran began work with a bicycle, which she said probably was not the right bike for the race but it suited her needs just fine.
“Next year I plan to use something different and train differently for the 10-mile bike portion of the event,” she added. “I breezed through the swimming portion but then when you come off the bike your legs feel like Jello before you start the 5K. That was probably the hardest part for me. There were times that I stopped at the water break areas they had set up and literally just took a break. I knew I was going to finish no matter what but I had to rest. Quitting was never an option. It was worth it in the end; it was so inspiring.”
Completing the Win for KC Triathlon was just the start for Halloran. She said next up on her to-do list is the Race to the Dome coming up in September. “I just got a stand-up paddle board in June and have been doing a lot of core training on it out at Smithville Lake,” Halloran continued. “I plan to enter the Race to the Dome, which starts out in Hartsburg and ends in Jefferson City.”
The race is 15.8 miles long and all proceeds go to the Missouri River Relief Fund to support their efforts to reconnect people to the Missouri River through hands-on river clean up and education. Halloran, a sales representative of The Excelsior Springs Standard and Town and Country Leader, is well known around the office for her love of recycling, the great outdoors and her efforts to help clean up the planet. Halloran said participating in the Race to the Dome is just one more way she can give back to our planet and spend time on the water.
By Jae Juarez • firstname.lastname@example.org