Hometown: Sarasota, Florida
Triathlon Club: Sarasota Storm Triathlon Club
USAT Florida Region is so happy to announce our August Woman of the month, Ginny Poyner. Check out her bio written by Tom Reily, Vice President of USAT Florida Region.
Few people in multisport deserve recognition more than Ginny Poyner of Sarasota, Florida. She began her long career in multisport thirty years ago at the age of forty. Her first race was all it took. She placed second in the overall female category and she was hooked. According to her, “My big thighs were meant for cycling!”
Ginny has raced in twenty-three World Duathlon Championships. Along with Jim Girand of California,
She holds the world record for competing in the most World Duathlon Championships.
She has won four silver medals in competition.
Her multisport career hasn’t all been without problems, however. While training for the Worlds competition slated for Australia in 2005, she was hit from behind by a car and almost killed. For a long time she wore a full back brace and walked with a cane, but she didn’t quit.
The year 2013 was a real challenge. When she suffered multiple mini-strokes and then a heart attack, she learned that genetics cannot be overcome. Unwilling to give up on multisport, however, she continues to race, just slower and with the addition of some walking to her running.
In June 2014, Ginny came in fourth at the 2014 Pontevedra ITU Duathlon World Championships. The next month at the USA Triathlon Duathlon 2014 National Championships she qualified for her twenty-fourth World Championships. To be held in Adelaide, South Australia, the World Championship race in 2015 will complete her journey.
Multisport is her passion. Torn muscles, accidents, diseases, broken bones, and a heart attack have not stopped her from racing. It is not the awards that keep her going. She simply loves competing and loves the positive attitudes of the athletes.
“No matter what the age, everyone supports each other. Even young men from other countries will yell, ‘Keep it up’ or ‘Looking good’, when they pass me on the run.”
After her 2005 accident, she was asked what multisport has given her. She said, “My sport uncovered the ‘real me’ hidden in this body. I grew up in a time when women weren’t involved in sports. It was considered unladylike to sweat. Now I love it when I pass a young man in a race. It makes me smile and ride even faster.”
Ginny Poyner is a true ambassador for multisport and USA Triathlon. She is definitely a strong role model for girls and women of all ages.
Not just a competitor, Ginny does much more than race. She has been a Level II USA Triathlon Coach, has served as a USAT Certified Race Official for twelve years and is a member of the USAT National Duathlon committee. Ginny is a member of the Sarasota Storm Triathlon Club.
Ginny Poyner epitomizes what the Florida Region is looking for when a Female Athlete of the Month is named.