Meet this month's highly decorated Athlete Highlight - Heather Kukla!
Get to know Heather...
Hi! I'm Heather Kukla. I am 45 years old, a married mother of 2 teenagers and one adorable Cavapoo. I am originally from the DC area and spent most of my childhood and teenage years in Virginia Beach. I graduated from the University of Virginia with a Finance/Marketing degree and after many years in the fast paced fashion and cosmetics industry, I concentrated my efforts on raising good human beings! Now in the Philadelphia suburbs (where my husband is a native!), with summers in Avalon, NJ, I have reinvented myself as an indoor cycling instructor and I've discovered the athlete in me that I never knew existed! I've been racing for 12 years and my very first triathlon was the Philly SheRox.
1. What is your favorite DelMoSports event to race and why?
- My favorite DellMoSports event is Tri the Wildwoods Olympic Tri. With the ocean swim and MOSTLY beach run, it's certainly not the easiest, but I love the challenge in the change of terrains. Also, the bike over the bridges adds some fun hills to a usually flat Jersey Shore ride! Loved having all the Wildwood lifeguards sticking around after the swim to cheer and driving down the beach during our run. DelMo volunteers and spectators are THE BEST!!!!!
2. What is your favorite workout song?
- That's a toss up between Foo-Fighters' "Walk" and Jay-Z/Rihanna/E.S. Posthumus "Run This Town/Posthumus Zone"
3. Favorite pre-race meal?
- Dinner: Pasta & Shrimp w/ a little Red Sauce & breadsticks, Breakfast: 2 cups of coffee & a banana
4. What is your race mantra?
- Again, a toss-up : "You made the choice to be here; honor that choice and 'show up' for yourself right now." AND "Heather, stop being a (insert expletive!) wimp!"
5. What is your favorite memory from a DelMoSports event?
- I've been very concentrated on my improving my cycling and have come a long way, so winning "Fastest Female Bike Split" at Tri the Wildwoods was a great one for me! Also, who can forget the "mud run" in the middle of the Atlantic City 70.3 swim?! It was funny at the time and still is!
6. What do you do with your free time when you are not training or racing?
- Ubering my teenagers around, watching them play A LOT of basketball, 24/7 Household manager, I am an indoor cycling/fitness instructor, I love live music, barre, pilates, standup paddle boarding and I'm learning to like golf!
7. What is your goal for next season?
- My big goal for next season is completing Ironman Maryland in September, the bigger goal is to remain injury-free! You will see me at DelMo events all summer, and can't wait to finally do Escape the Cape - a bucket list goal race!
8. Tell us three things we should know about you.
- I am living proof that it's never too late to become who you might have been! Exercise or sports weren't even in my vocabulary until both my kids were born and I was 32 years old. Up until that point, I had never even run more than a mile or 2! Now 13 years later, it's my lifestyle AND job. (and a little secret: I only started working out because there was free babysitting at the gym, and I figured a kid-free hour was worth a little walk on the treadmill!)
- I am the one you will see smiling on the course, speaking an encouraging word to you, and maybe singing a little Beyonce aloud - I have found that's the single thing that gets me through races - trying to spread positive energy which in turn gets my own up!
- In my former life, I was a finance/numbers person and spent years in the fashion and cosmetics industry. This has segued into triathlon, as I am such a data nerd! I love analyzing all the power, HR, pace data and I view triathlon as a puzzle, where I am constantly trying to manipulate the different pieces to put them together into one beautiful race! In addition, my fashion background has me gravitate toward bright colors and cool patterns in my own tri-style.