Jumper: Alessandra M Castanho

Town: Boulder, Colorado

Quote: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible!'” – Audrey Hepburn

About Alessandra: Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, my home now is Boulder, Colorado. It was a long way to get here. I was transferred from my home county to work in Miami, almost 18 years ago. After my first 5 years in the new town, I joined Team in Training in a fund raising event, which would change my life in many ways.

I became a triathlete 12 years ago, to help raising funds for a charity event. Since then, triathlon became my lifestyle and I’ve completed all distances from a full Ironman to a Sprint. I’m a three times Ironman finisher (6th place, female 40-44, in Brazil), six times 70.3 Ironman finisher (4th place, female 40-44, in Miami and Buenos Aires). And I have completed in many Olympic and Sprint distances, always finishing top three in my age group (and overall masters) – I’ve qualified over 10 times for the USAT National Championship.

Nine years ago, I decided it was time to give back to the sport, and I took my triathlon coach certification by USAT and later on by Training Peaks, to help in sharing my passion. With a level one certification, I worked in a couple of tri teams while in Miami, helping the head coach to train and engage beginners and intermediate athletes to achieve their fitness goals.

bike

One memory I’ll always cherish was during training and racing my first Ironman event, in Penticton, Canada 2012. I was training and helping my head coach to prepare three other male athletes for this race. Being the only girl in the team, to take this challenge, I became the center of attention of all the other athletes of our team; especially for the girls. I’ve never felt such a great support from everyone in the team and how they would look up for my advice, as we were advancing in training.

trail-run

In the course of 5 months of training, I got to work very close to the athletes and share with them my own experience and challenges. Race day came fast and, racing in altitude plus hills, was tough for us coming from very flat Miami. But I had a blast and I would never change one thing about this entire experience. Seeing my athletes and teammates during the race was priceless, it kept me motivated.

run-like-a-girl

After 12h and 50 minutes, I was the first, from our team, to cross the finish line. But the cherry on top, was the surprise that my parents made me, by showing up at the finish line. Mind you: they flew all the way from Brazil just to see me becoming an Ironman.

shejumps

I believe in SheJumps’ commitment to encourage women to live a healthier life.