Home / Participant Stories / RAMBLIN’ ROSE TRIATHLETE | Chelsea Sullivan


“Training for the race was much more important to me than just going to the gym and aimlessly working out without an end goal in mind.”

Chelsea Sullivan, 30 | Chapel Hill, NC | Neuroscientist

2017_01_jan_rr_profile_ral_406_sullivan_bI first heard of Ramblin’ Rose on a large poster at my gym. I was very out of shape and disappointed with my overall health, so I made the commitment to sign up for the race as an incentive to improve my health. It was a scary thing to do because at the time I signed up, I didn’t even know how to swim with proper technique and didn’t even own a bike! Having Ramblin’ Rose as a concrete goal to achieve was very beneficial to my health. I just kept telling myself, “I can do this, even if I’m slow”. As I trained, I saw great improvements to my overall health and confidence, and people noticed! I felt so great when I could see the surprise on people’s faces when I said, “I’m training for a triathlon”. I wanted to prove to myself that I could take on a difficult challenge and achieve my own personal goals. 

I remember how inspired I felt by the diversity of the women who raced in the Ramblin’ Rose triathlon. There were women and young girls from grade school level to senior citizens, and the body types ranged from super athletic to people who were just like me. I remember in the first loop of the run portion, I tripped and fell hard near a crowd of spectators/participants who had already finished. They helped me up and cheered me on to finish the race. I was inspired by their encouragement and finished the race successfully, and it was a very emotional experience that I will never forget. 

My life is very different now from when I first signed up for a Ramblin’ Rose triathlon. I am in even better shape than when I competed. I have lost about 40 pounds from the time I started training until the present time. I can’t wait to compete again and see how much faster I can go without that baggage! The whole experience of racing with the Ramblin’ Rose community has definitely impacted my overall health and level of fitness. 

I hope that others can take from my story that no matter what shape you are in, you can improve your overall health by training for a race like this. The entire experience is inspirational and uplifting, and I am so glad that I had the courage to give it a try.

I plan to participate in another Ramblin’ Rose in the spring!

<Photo by Tamara Lackey Photography>