By Mary Anderson
Photos: Photos by Aaron Anderson
For Erin Storie, 26, one sport just simply isn’t enough. As an athlete with a passion for running, biking and swimming, she has become a promising member of USA Triathlon, striving to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics. I sat down with her to talk about her story, mindset going into the off season and all things Colorado.
Growing up in Hood River, Oregon, Storie developed a love for physical activity early. She started swimming at 8 years old before adding track and cross country to her plate in high school. At 17, her Dad gave her a $200 Trek 1000 bike with rat-trap pedals allowing Storie to make the transition from a two-sport athlete to an aspiring triathlete. With no official training, she competed in the elite junior nationals that year and finished in 6th place. But, when it came time for college, triathlon was not an NCAA sport yet. So Storie put this aside for a couple years to pursue a degree at Oregon State University while also running cross country and track. But, she did not have to limit herself to one sport for long.
“My junior year, I was reading USA Triathlon magazine and they were starting a new program at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) here in Colorado Springs,” Storie said.
The program, the Elite Triathlon Academy, allows students to complete their degree while conditioning for triathlon at the training center in Colorado Springs. Immediately interested, Storie transferred to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to study health care sciences with an option in strength and conditioning, all while pursuing her passion.
“I love Triathlon because it’s three different sports. Since I grew up swimming, it’s nice to change it up. I thought it would be a fun and different environment to get started in and now I just love it. It’s my passion,” Storie said.
Even with switching things up, her early love for swimming holds true today.
“I like swimming the most. I always feel like I’m going into battle. We all start at the same time and you have to get to the buoy first. I just love that adrenaline rush,”
Life as a Colorado Resident
The move from Oregon to Colorado was easy for Storie, given the two states shared love for the outdoors. But, with nearly 300 days of sunshine each year, Colorado outshines Oregon’s wet tendencies.
“I love the sun. And the opportunities we have to train out here are enormous. I can go and ride my bike anywhere, I can run anywhere. The only thing missing is water,” Storie said.The training environment is not the only thing Storie found here. She also met her husband, Logan Storie, a USA Modern Pentathlete and member of the US Army World Class Athlete Program. The two met in the cafeteria of the OTC and instantly clicked. Just last year, they got married.
With the support of her husband, Storie puts in a lot of work. On a typical week, she spends 20-25 hours training with an intense workout regime. She travels across the state, training in Colorado Springs, Boulder, Denver and other areas along the Front Range.
“In season, three days a week, I wake up, run, swim, bike and then lift weights. The other two days I swim in the morning, run and then lift weights,” Storie explained.
With this hard work, Storie has found perseverance and never giving up are also essential to this unforgiving sport.
“At this level, especially, you’re always going to fail. It’s getting up from those failures and not giving up that matters,” she said.
For Storie, failure came after working for four years to earn the chance to compete in the most recent Olympics. Despite her ambition, she found herself coming up short and falling from the Rio 2016 USA Olympic Triathlon Team.
“You train so much for it and you don’t make it and I’m just like ‘I’m still one of the best in the world, but I didn’t make the goal that I wanted to the past four years.’ I had to just put that aside and realize why I love doing this, make a new goal for 2020 and make other small goals to check off along the way,” Storie said.
Being selected as part of the Pan-American Championship team alone was a big step for Storie. The competition is like a mini games, taking place the year before each Olympics to allow the top athletes in the country to compete for a spot on the USA Olympic Team.
The off season
Although Storie’s off season is short, she still appreciates it. She focuses on taking some time to enjoy herself and works out with others for motivation.
“You can always run or bike inside but doing things with friends helps too. Having Logan to go hiking with keeps me motivated,” Storie said.
While recognizing the need to stay active, she also eats more of the things she can’t eat as much of during season, like cheeseburgers and milkshakes, and takes part in other activities she can’t normally do, like hiking, skiing and snowboarding.
“Do what you love to do, but also remember to have fun with it. At the end of the day, get a beer,” Storie said.
After taking this past year to compete less and recover from the Pan-American games, these next few years are big for this ambitious triathlete. Storie plans to push hard to compete in Triathlon’s World Championship, a yearly competition for top athletes. Then she will gear up to snare a spot on the Tokyo 2020 USA Olympic Triathlon Team.
After rounding up her career with a gold medal, Storie plans to settle down and start a family.
Visit erinstorie.com for more about Erin and her accomplishments.
- Hardest Sport - Running
- Favorite Place to Bike - Cheyenne Canyon
- Favorite Place to Run - Sante Fe Trail
- Favorite Outdoor Activity - Hiking
- Guilty Pleasure Local Restaurant - Shuga's
- Favorite Beer - Bristol's Laughing Lab
- Hardest Workout - Biking up Pikes Peak or running the incline twice before running back to the otc
- Fourteeners Hiked - 6
Mary Anderson is a freelance graphic designer and writer currently based in Denver. When she is not designing logos or writing magazine stories, you’ll most likely find her in the mountains. maryandersongraphicdesign.com