While most 11-year-olds spend their time playing neighborhood games or experimenting with make-up, Kristin Goett was running her first triathlon. Now, a senior double-majoring in public relations and Spanish, Goett continues to explore her passion as one of the 15 active members of the Penn State Triathlon Club.
An ear-to-ear smile is pasted on Goett’s face as she sits down. “I’m taking a quick break from my run,” she says, a bit out of breath. “I’m training.”
Goett grew up in a family gripped by sports. Following in the footsteps of her mom, who was a national champion in road cycling, the New York native knew she wanted to pursue an athletic career.
“There was always an atmosphere of hard work and dedication in our house,” says Goett.
Goett’s first sprint triathlon was a half-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride and a 5k run. She came in fourth overall, solidifying her enthusiasm for the sport. Triathlons became a summer sport for her, as she continued playing varsity team sports, such as soccer and lacrosse, during the school year.
“When I came to Penn State, I knew I had to choose between the three sports,” says Goett. “If you would have told me where this sport would have taken me as a freshman, I would never have believed you.”
The triathlon season runs March through October, at which anytime she could be racing. Practice is in the winter, but she has her own coach and does a lot of training on her own. There is very little down-time for Goett, who fills her time training for Iron Man races (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.22-mile run) and half-marathons, but those are “more for fun.”
Years of running experience has taught Goett some true lessons in the nature of the sport itself. For those of us who can barely make it a mile without passing out, we had to ask Goett for some tips.
“Take the time to learn what you are about to get into,” she says. “Everyone is way too concerned with what everyone else is doing. You have to learn to not care and be confident and proud for taking that first step.”
With that final piece of advice, Goett heads out to finish her run.