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“I’m super competitive,” Blanche Holt, President of the Corpus Christi Triathlon Club, laughs as she explains her love of triathlons. The athlete, who holds over 100 medals from various events, has been involved in competitions since being introduced to cycling in 1997 through the Corpus Christi Athletic Club.
Hired in 1988 as an instructor at the Athletic Club, the part-time fitness trainer had no prior experience. She learned about exercise through the Club, and eventually moved into the Director position for three years. She currently holds over nine different certificates for teaching fitness classes.
The Athletic Club acquired bikes and began cycling/spinning classes in 1997. As Director of the Club at that time, Holt was required to teach one of each class. “I absolutely had no love for wanting to get on a bike and just spin in class; that was not my thing,” explains Holt. However, the forced exposure to cycling showed her that she actually enjoyed the experience. “You’re either going to love it or you are going to hate (cycling),” she says. Holt’s enjoyment of indoor cycling eventually progressed to riding outdoors, and she was introduced to triathlons through cycling members of her classes.
Participating not just in triathlons, Holt also competes in - and wins - cycling races and marathons. This past May, she competed in the Beach to Bay marathon and won the Overall Masters Female with her worst marathon time ever. “That’s how bad everybody did. It was so hot and horrible,” Holt says. The athlete has traveled all across the state for competitions, recently winning Overall Female Masters at the Springs Back Triathlon in Fulshear, Texas, with a time so good she qualified for nationals.
Holt is involved in multiple fitness groups around town, both for cyclists and runners, including the Corpus Christi Triathlon Club and the Corpus Christi Roadrunners. “We work together at lots of different events and help out and support each other’s organizations,” she explains.
As President of The Corpus Christi Triathlon Club for two years running, Holt supports and is on the committee for Conquer the Coast, an annual cycling event that gives distributions to organizations to give to charities. The Triathlon Club directly supports Bikes for Kids and Colin’s Hope.
For those interested in starting a new fitness routine, Holt says, “You have to find some sort of workout routine that you really like. If you don’t like it, you’re not going to stick with it.” Holt strongly suggests having an accountability partner or group, and she herself regularly trains with others.
Beginner cyclists should research bikes well before buying one and know that the idea that a lighter bike is a faster bike is a myth. While a good bike is important, the cyclist on the bike creates the speed. “It’s only going to go as fast as the person on it.”