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IN TRAINING: Martha Tsiatsos will ride her bike 20 kilometers Saturday as part of the Solstice Triathlon at Morgan Lake. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).
IN TRAINING: Martha Tsiatsos will ride her bike 20 kilometers Saturday as part of the Solstice Triathlon at Morgan Lake. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).

By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

A triathlon is no easy task but for two participants in the first Solstice Triathlon happening Saturday at Morgan Lake, it's more of an individual accomplishment rather than a competition.

Martha Tsiatsos, who works in physician relations at Grande Ronde Hospital, and Korrie Dubray, a nurse at the hospital, both enjoy keeping fit.

Tsiatsos, a Grande Ronde Bicycle Club member, was a gymnast in junior high and high school. After her fourth child was born, she decided to get back in shape.

"By the time you are older, ready to retire, you have grandkids — you can have an active, healthy life and do what you want to do," she said. "You don't have to live to crochet."

Tsiatsos said it is healthy to keep in shape.

"Mental capacity stays with physical fitness, and you maintain that younger level and your whole body is younger," she said.

Dubray is not doing the 0.6-mile swim Saturday because she has not trained in the pool. Another woman will be swimming for her; Dubray will bike 13 miles and run 6.2 miles.

Dubray has always been active; she enjoys the exercises in staying fit and the personal rewards.

"Bottom line, it just makes me feel good," she said.

Both have juggled their busy work and home schedules to prepare for the event. Tsiatsos has four children – 13, 12, 9 and 5 years old – and Dubray has a 2-year-old.

For the last couple of weeks, Tsiatsos has worked out between 5 and 7:15 a.m. before going to work at 8:30 a.m.

Dubray typically runs or bikes four to six miles in the morning. She works a swing shift.

Tsiatsos advises others who work out to drink a big cup of coffee.

She also coaches spin bicycle classes at the Grande Ronde Athletic Club.

"Never do any kind of workout without a big cup of coffee," she said. "Good coffee."

Tsiatsos was inspired to continue training for the event from "ABSolution: The Practical Solution for Building Your Best Abs." (High Point Media, 2002)

She said the book addresses post-Sept. 11 and the attitude of the American people.

Author Shawn Phillips "talks about in order to become a strong nation and fight the terrorists and everything, all you can do individually is become stronger individuals; that's the first step," she said.

"And if everybody would take just one step toward making themselves a stronger person, think about collectively what that can do to our nation. That's kind of the whole motivation factor behind fitness and making yourself stronger because once you're physically stronger, you're also mentally stronger. That's such a great plus to physical fitness."

The triathlon begins at 10 a.m. People can still sign up at CycleSports, 112 Depot St. or at www.racecenter.com. Registration will also take place on the day of the event, up to 9 a.m.

Call Mark Larson at 962-7441 for more information.

The triathlon is an XTERRA point series event. XTERRA is the fastest growing multi-sport event in the world according to its Web site www.xterraplanet.

com. The web site also states it exposed more than 5,000 athletes to XTERRA last year on the 10-stop America tour. One of those stops was Hood River.

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