Abby Russell

Born: 1980
Team Member Since: 2013
From: Greenville, SC
Events: Triathlon, Trail Running, Mountain Biking and the new sport of Swim/Run

Do you race for fun, health or competition? Why?

I started racing for my health, to give my body a break from recreational running and soccer. But my competitiveness overtook and here I am racing my 2nd year in the Open Female Category.

What personal goals have you reached already?

I had very few goals when entering the triathlon realm in 2009 at what is now Andy’s Race; at the time my goal was to survive the swim and finish the bike so that I could get to the run. It took two years for me to “tri” again. In 2009 I didn’t own a bike and had never swam a full lap in a pool (I just learned how to do a flip turn one week before Parris Island in 2018!!) It didn’t take long though to meet many great athletes in our area that also loved to spend their weekends running or cycling across Greenville County. I was hooked and quickly found a passion for accomplishing events I never dreamed of… enter the iron distance….

What personal goals do you have for the future?

So, Katie has seen my goals change year to year even day to day, but she adjusts to it all. I still have a sub 12 hour Ironman goal, but its hard to say if or when that will happen. The iron distance training takes a great deal of time and money. 🙂

Do you enjoy training or competing most?

I enjoy racing so much more than the training; race day is the celebration of all your training, yes, especially at the Iron Distance! Although the training is what keeps me healthy which is my motivation beyond competing.

What drives you to compete?

I became hooked in 2013… I waited another 5 years before competing in my next iron distance race, but I have stayed with Katie since, throwing in a few curve balls along the way. I have a passion for the outdoors, specifically the backcountry so after B2B, I added a summit of Mount Rainier to my training schedule the following summer, smack in the middle of race season. Katie took it all in stride and I’m fairly certain even that year I placed in my Age Group!

Why did you choose Team Malone?

I met Coach Katie in 2013, after bidding on a Beach to Battleship Iron Distance race at the LLS Man & Woman of the Year Gala, thanks to Mary Biebel who obviously felt really bad for me as she watched me begin to panic as I was standing in line to pay for my “prize”! Mary (who I had never met before that night) donated her 3 months of coaching with Malone Coaching to me! Beach to Battleship was awesome!

I can’t imagine training without Coach Katie, although it may happen one day I’m not ready for that day yet. It is so nice to be able to trust that Coach Katie will have me ready on race day as long as I follow the plan, its one less thing for me to worry about in my busy day what my workout should look like or if things go awry she is a phone call or email away, and it definitely doesn’t hurt that she has a great team of athletes cheering each other on race day or in training; even from far away! We are a great team!

What race or races are on your bucket list?

I also may still take another stab at running at Boston, but for now I am back to exploring the outdoors on my mountain bike or in my trail shoes, and getting ready for another SetupEvents SC Triathlon Series hoping to finish in the Top 5 Open Females again!!