BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – For triathlon veterans Chris and Trudy Davis, Sunday’s Aquaphor New York City triathlon will be just another family affair, with a parent, siblings and cousin participating alongside them in the swimming, biking and running challenge.
And as with any family event, their children will also participate. Even 10-month-old son, William, will be on the starting line the day before for the Diaper Derby crawling contest. And since daughter Ella, 6, has already participated in a children’s triathlon, and son Oliver, 3, won the Diaper Derby in 2010, it's only natural that their youngest child join the competition, Trudy said.
“We do it to model a healthy lifestyle for our children,” she said. “For Chris and me, it is a mental and physical thing. It’s fun, and the whole family competes.”
Davis started channeling her husband’s passion for triathlons after they met while living in Singapore. Both have competed in several of the endurance events worldwide. Chris has participated in dozens, and this will be his seventh New York City triathlon. It will be Judy's second in New York and fourth overall.
“My triathlons keep getting interrupted by having babies,” she joked.
On Sunday, the couple will leave home around 4:30 a.m. to join more than 3,000 competitors in a 1,500-meter swim in the Hudson River, followed by a 40-kilometer bicycle ride up the West Side Highway into the Bronx and a 10-kilometer run ending in Central Park. Chris completed his last New York City triathlon in 2 hours 20 minutes, Trudy in 2 hours 55 minutes.
The couple train by getting up early and alternating taking care of the children. They both work in Manhattan, Chris as an investment manager at Gefinor Ventures and Trudy as assistant principal at the United Nations International School. They also train at a gym in the city.
Their commitment to an active lifestyle and triathlons can be very challenging. In addition to her pregnancies, Trudy suffers from arthritis, has undergone a hip replacement and was recently “black and blue” after being hit by a car while on a training bicycle ride in Pelham, she said.
“It makes you feel good, and the commitment is a nice thing to show our daughter,” Trudy said. But each child will decide for themself whether to follow in their parents' footsteps, she added.
“If they were interested, I would definitely encourage them to do it. If not, I would still encourage them to do something that keeps them moving,” she said.
In addition to their parents, the three children also have extended family members as role models. Chris’ father, brother, sister and a cousin all compete in triathlons and will again join the couple for this weekend’s race, Trudy said.
“From the Diaper Derby to a meal at Sarabeth’s the day before and competing together, it truly is a family affair for us,” Trudy said.