Happily Ever After: Meet Four Triathlon Couples

  • By Sarah Wassner Flynn
  • Published Mar 8, 2012
  • Updated Oct 31, 2014 at 4:37 PM UTC

Team Kelley
Who: James Kelley, 37 and Mary Kelley, 36
Where: Philadelphia, PA

Both top age-group athletes, James and Mary first met in 1998 but lost touch after a few initial dates. Fast-forward eight years, when James, who was just getting into triathlon, reached out to Mary after learning she had qualified for the 2005 Short Course World Championships. Today, the pair have two children and continue to compete and coach (Mary runs a coaching business and was recently appointed as the new coach of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s athletic program,Team Lemon, which raises money and awareness for childhood cancer).

Full Circle. “The sport of triathlon brought us back together after eight years apart, and our relationship grew directly as a result of training together,” says Mary. “We love encouraging each other to train and race.”

Supporting Star. While he loves to race, lately James has taken on more of a supporting role for his wife, who keeps busy with her many coaching responsibilities. “James will make awesome cheering signs with the kids or watch them while I coach,” says Mary.
Making it Work. “We run together at least once per week, usually with the kids and our dog in tow,” says Mary. “Otherwise, we tag-team training and racing, while the other one watches the kids.” 

Fast Family. At one race, we had the fastest two overall times among Mary’s corporate team. It was pretty cool seeing James and Mary at the top of the list,” says James. “It was also the first triathlon that our son attended. We can’t wait until our kids are old enough to complete a tri, so that the whole family can race together.”

RELATED: 5 Most Family-Friendly Races

« Previous Next »


Sign up for our free e-newsletter, SBR Report!

Subscribe to the FREE Triathlete newsletter