Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Ultimate Athletes

Four Greenwich triathletes share what it takes to push through mental and physical pain to run, pedal and swim their way to the thrill of victory



(page 2 of 3)

Born Athletes

None of the women were new to sports when they started seriously competing. Katha Diddel-Warren played varsity tennis and squash through high school and college. One summer, on break from Brown University, the New York City native joined her brother to lead bike tours across Europe. Through the years, she ran and biked to stay fit. Following her divorce five years ago, she signed up for a few charity rides and has been racing ever since, in everything from short 25-mile runs to the Pan-Mass Challenge, a 200-mile,  two-day bike-a-thon.

Last year, she returned to Falmouth, and competed in eight sprint and Olympic triathlons and three rides. Her plans for this summer again include Falmouth plus the Danskin Sprint Triathlon, the upcoming Jarden Westchester Triathlon, an Olympic distance event in Rye and a half Ironman, and the June Tupper Lake Tinman Triathlon.

Karen Newman was always running with her two brothers in her childhood home of Syracuse, New York. “I just knew it was a gift from God. I’d run, climb trees, play football and kickball, ride horses. When I was little, I rode my bike to my cousin’s house five miles away.” In high school, Karen was a star on the track team, and often participated in charity swims and races around the family’s Vermont summer home. Her husband proposed to her while she was running the New York City Marathon in 1989.

In 2001, Karen focused her sights on the Triathlon World Championships. She enrolled in the Masters Swim program at Sportsplex in Stamford as part of a twenty-hour weekly regimen that had her out every day through the summer in preparation for the July qualifiers in Lake Placid. She knew she had to make the top four in her age group to qualify for Worlds.

“We were finishing in the Olympic Stadium, and we’re coming around the track, and I come up to a woman and she’s fourth. I can hear my husband yell, ‘Ruuun!’ It was a sprint to the finish and I beat her by maybe a foot. I was jumping and hugging and crying. It was unbelievable. There are happy days in your life — when you get married and have children. This was one of my happiest. Then we went to Edmonton (Canada) for the Worlds. We had the parade of nations and fireworks. Just like the Olympics. I was crying, I was so proud.”

Karen came in twelfth, and has since been back to the World Championships four more times. “That’s the drug. There is nothing like it. Then I just got better and better. I just started winning tons of these races. And almost every race I entered, I won, and not just for my age. I got faster. I got faster and faster.”

Three months after Karen’s breast cancer diagnosis in March 2008, she competed in the World Championships in Vancouver. Three months later, while in chemotherapy, she competed in the Jarden Westchester (Darcy, Katha and Karen Brown were also there) and finished fourth in her age group, qualifying for this month’s National Championships in Alabama. But she will not be there. Though she is cancer-free, and her hair has grown back dark and curly, she will instead race to raise money for cancer charities, including the Alliance For Cancer Gene Therapy in Greenwich. “I’ll do some [sprint] triathlons in Vermont. I’m not out of it but I will focus my energies on having fun and giving back.”

Karen Brown started a little later than the others, as a college student in Boston, where she joined the Greater Boston Track Club. Running was her life then, filled with running workouts and Sunday races, from 5K to half-marathon distances. Ten years later, married with children, she moved to North Carolina, where she joined the Cardinal Track Club in Chapel Hill, and for two years, also took part in a Masters Swim program. “I got in the water the first day and swam a 2,400 [yards], which apparently is unheard of.”

It was during this period that Karen first came into casual contact with training triathletes. She met more after moving to Greenwich in 2002 as a single mom. But she continued to run, in spite of chronic leg injuries, until last summer, when she also raced in the Greenwich Cup (Sprint) Triathlon, the Madison Sprint Triathlon and the Darien ITPMan (Sprint) Triathlon.

For Darcy Ramsey, “the original tomboy,” her passion for sports began on the campus of Greenwich Country Day School, where her father was an English teacher. “We had the run of the entire campus,” says Darcy, a coach and trainer, and former state trooper. “Tennis courts, fields and streams, swimming pools and basketball courts. When all the other kids were off in safari in Africa or skiing in Aspen, we all went to the gym or the pool.”

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

 

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Greenwich Agenda

  • Native American Heritage Month

    2014.11.23
     @ Bruce Museum of Arts and Science

    November is Native American Heritage Month, and the Bruce Museum will celebrate with a special Family Day dedicated to Native American traditions...

  • The Enchanted Forest

    2014.11.21
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    Junior League of Greenwich presents 2014 Enchanted Forest! Holiday Boutiques Gingerbeard Workshops Santa's Breakfast...

  • Junior League of Greenwich The Enchanted Forest

    2014.11.21
     @ Junior League of Greenwich

    The Junior League of Greenwich (JLG) will host its annual holiday fundraiser, The Enchanted Forest on Friday, November 21 through Sunday, November...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • Holiday Craft Sale

    2014.11.22
     @ First Congregational Church of Greenwich

    Annual Holiday Craft Sale in Old Greenwich, Nov. 22 and 23 The Annual Holiday Craft Sale at First Congregational Church of Greenwich is a great...

  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

    2014.10.30
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    "IN FOCUS" OPENING RECEPTION -  Thursday October 30, 2014 6-8pm. "IN FOCUS"features seven artists' visions in...

  • Antarctica: Photographs by Diane Tuft

    2014.10.28
     @ Bruce Museum

    October 28, 2014 - February 1, 2015 Selections from Gondwana, Images of an Ancient Land Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT...

  • Exhibition: Northern Baroque Splendor

    2014.09.20
     @ Bruce Museum

    Northern Baroque Splendor. The HOHENBUCHAU COLLECTION from: LIECHTENSTEIN. The Princely Collections, Vienna September 20, 2014 - April 12, 2015...

  • "Paper & Stone" an exhibition by Ellen Gordon & Sary Backer at the Loft Artists Gallery

    2014.11.01
     @ Loft Artists Gallery

    Paper and Stone” An exhibition by Sary Backer & Ellen Gordon November 1 - November 30th Artists’ reception: November 8th from 4 – 6 PM...

  • Exhibition: Native American Pottery from the Bruce Museum Collection

    2014.11.22
     @ Bruce Museum

      Generously underwritten by Gabelli Funds and The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund Over the years, the Bruce Museum has...

  • The Best of 2014: Cecile Chong, David, Ruth Hiller, David Licata, Loanne Mattera, Jill Parisi, Kristen Thiele

    2014.11.08
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY I Dates: November 8 – December 22, 2014     Opening Reception: November 8, 6:30 – 8:00 PM Public Invited THE BEST OF 2014:  Cecile...

  • Family Gallery Tours

    2014.10.26
     @ Bruce Museum

    Designed for children ages 6-10 and their families, these tours will provide an interactive, discussion-based tour of the museum’s current...

  • 6th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa’s Workshop

    2014.11.28

    Santa and his LIVE reindeer - Dancer, Dasher, Prancer and Blitzen, are coming back to town for the 6th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival &...

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale for Charity

    2014.11.29
     @ First Congregational Church of Greenwich

    O, Christmas Tree; O Christmas Tree Buy your tree and help those in need this Christmas! It’s time for the annual Christmas Tree and...

  • Tuesday Toddler Tours

    2014.11.04
     @ Bruce Museum

    Children ages 3-5 and their adult caregivers are encouraged to come explore the Museum’s collections and exhibitions through picture books...

  • Greenwich Gives

    2014.12.02
     @ Greenwich Avenue

    Looking for a fun way to complete your holiday shopping and give back to your community?    On December 2, 2014, local non-profits...

  • Holiday WOW At Your Front Door!

    2014.12.02
     @ Garden Education Center of Greenwich

    Beautify your entrance way with luscious holiday evergreens, berries, pinecones and more, sure to last throughout the dreary winter...

  • Exercise as Treatment for Chronic Pain

    2014.12.02
     @ Noble Conference Room Greenwich Hospital

    Presented by Greenwich Hospital and Orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists Exercise as Treatment for Chronic Pain Tuesday, 12/2/14 at...

  • Israeli Film Series | Bethlehem

    2014.12.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    Join us throughout the year for award-winning films direct from Israel that will show you Israel through the lens of a movie camera. Following each...


Show More...
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular Articles

  1. Greenwich Hospital Venezia Gala
    Greenwich Country Club
  2. BCA Annual Luncheon + Fashion Show
    Hyatt Regency Greenwich
  3. Greenwich Happy Hours
    6 places to go in Greenwich for Happy Hour
  4. Greenwich Restaurant Week Opening Night Kick-off Party
    Miller Motorcars
  5. AmeriCares Airlift Benefit
    Westchester County Airport