Triathletes do things in threes… For Greenbrae resident Sarah Squiers, this is a major understatement. When the 48 year-old mother of two is not traveling in her role as a VP of Univision, she performs as a musician and finds time to compete in triathlons. After only three years in the sport, she competed in the 2011 Age Group Sprint-Distance National Championship in Vermont and qualified for the 2012 Sprint-Distance Triathlon World Championship in New Zealand. She again competed in the 2014 World Championship, this time in Edmonton, Canada. Squiers is currently training to qualify for the 2016 National Championship in Omaha, Nebraska.
byteclay.com recently spoke with Squiers about the transitions she makes in her sport and in her everyday life.
Mark Davis: What brought you to triathlon?
Sarah Squiers: I got into the sport in 2008 to get over a fear of open water, a fear that I acquired during a really bad scuba diving incident. It’s been very hard for me to shrug. Afterwards, I was at Stinson one weekend with the kids and they were getting far out in the water. I panicked because I realized that I couldn’t help them if something happens. So I did my first triathlon and unfortunately I still had the fear of open water. I have an incredible attachment and love for my wetsuit because I know nothing can happen to me in my wetsuit.
MD: Tell me more about the scuba diving incident… You thought you got stranded?
SS: We did. I used to work for a local ABC station in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We used to take clients on these worldwide trips. One year we went to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. We had a scuba diving charter with some novice divers. We went down and I was in the back, my coworker was in the front. After a while I started looking at some of the gauges of the divers and I noticed that they were running out of air. I got myself to the front, contacted my coworker and said we’ve got a problem here. We got everybody to the surface but people were panicking, forgetting certain rules like dropping your weight belt. They were struggling to stay up and in addition to that there was a ton of chop, which I don’t do well in. We were stuck in the middle of nowhere for about 50 minutes hoping somebody would find us.
MD: What happened to the boat?
SS: We didn’t end up where we were supposed to be. The boat was waiting for us and after almost an hour passed by they said we’ve got to find these people. And they finally did find us. But to be stuck in the middle of open water, there’s no land to be seen and people panicked around you and tons of chop. That did a number on me.
MD: What is your racing schedule for this year?
I want to get back on the U.S. team and that means qualifying and racing at Nationals, which are going to be in Nebraska. It’s going to be in a lake that’s probably not more than six to twelve feet deep. You know how hot it is in the Midwest. I believe that that race is not going to be wetsuit sanctioned.
MD: When is this race going to be?
SS: It’s going to be in August. Which means I now have to get comfortable swimming in open water without my security blanket that is the wetsuit. My coach, Duane Franks, wants me to do a race in May, which is the Monte Rio Triathlon at Russian River. He thinks the first goal is for me to do that race without a wetsuit. That’s currently what we’re working for. It’s really getting over this open water issue so that I can race at Nationals and get back on that team for next year.
Next up: How Sarah juggles the various roles in her life. Stay tuned…