Glenview triathlete helps others cross the finish line
Janet Santos (left) celebrates crossing the finish line of her first sprint triathlon last year withLibby Hurley (right). | Courtesy of We Tri group
2400 Chestnut Ave.
Updated: April 8, 2013 6:38AM
GLENVIEW — Libby Hurley will never forget the feeling she had when she crossed the finish line of her first triathlon.
“All of a sudden, I was a triathlete, and that was mine and only mine for the rest of my life,” said Hurley, “It gave me the belief in myself that I could accomplish anything I put my heart into.”
That was in 2000. Since then, Hurley, a mother of three who has lived in Glenview for five years, has completed dozens of triathlons, and is currently training for her fourth Iron Man Event.
There’s more to Hurley’s story, though. Twelve years ago, Hurley took her passion, her experience and her knowledge, and started Together We Tri, her triathlon training company for groups and individuals.
First in the city, and now in partnership with the Glenview Park District and very soon the Highland Park Recreation Center, Together We Tri offers several different training programs for men and women of all skill levels. Participants get instruction and endurance training on biking, swimming and running.
Upon completion of the course, they do one of the three triathlons held at the Park Center throughout the year, which includes the indoor triathlon taking place this Sunday.
“I want people to believe in themselves and believe in their own dreams,” said Hurley, a University of Kentucky graduate, who in the past worked as a physician assistant to a neurology group. “I want them to have the courage to find something they never thought was possible.”
With ten additional trainers who work with Hurley, the classes are designed to teach all the basics of doing a triathlon, including gear needs, nutrition, injury prevention, form, transitions, and endurance.
Hurley said most people start the program with self doubt and fear, feelings she said she can certainly relate to, but that as the training progresses, their outlook completely changes.
“Their bodies get stronger, their confidence grows, and their spirit soars,” Hurley said. “I love getting to be a little part of that.
Janet Santos of Glenview started training with the all women’s group at Together We Tri a year ago, and said she thought the group would be competitive and experienced, which wasn’t the case at all.
“It’s like a sisterhood,” said Santos, who with her group completed the Park Center indoor triathlon last March. “Everyone is on the same page, and when you finish the triathlon, you start crying. You feel like you can conquer the whole world.”
“It felt good to be accountable and meet up with the same people every week,” said Mary McCann of Glenview, who also trained last year and completed the triathlon in March. “The program is for all levels, and it helped me go from a beginner level to completing a half Iron Man.”
In 2011, Hurley co-authored the book, Tri The Journey: A Woman’s Inspirational Guide To Becoming a Triathlete in 12 Weeks with Betsy Noxon, a writer who previously trained with Hurley.
“When I was training for my first triathlon, I read so many books and they were very intimidating and not suited to give a novice athlete the information they needed,” said Hurley. “They were written by the pros. This book is triathlons 101, and sends the message that you don’t have to be a stellar athlete to accomplish a triathlon.”
The training at Together We Tri takes place inside and outside of the Glenview Park Center, and at Valley Lo Country Club. Classes start at $100 for an off season six-week class, $335 for a 12-week co-ed or all women’s class, and $499 for a 20-week program.
“What I do comes from my heart and my passion to share what I’ve experienced,” said Hurley. “I’m relatable. People look at me and say, ‘If she can do it, I can do it.’”