It’s all in the family for these triathletes.
The family that races together wins together.
That was the case recently for the Bill Coppel and Kathy Fulton family when both parents and both children raced to podium finishes in the Big Shark Newtown Triathlon in St. Charles, Mo.
Kathy, a self-employed graphic designer, placed first in the 50-54 age group in the .62-mile swim/20-mile bike/4-mile run event, while Bill, Chief Client Growth Officer for First Clearing, placed first in the 60-64 age group.
Will, 11, and Grace, 8, an exceptionally strong swimmer, both placed third in their categories in the kids sprint triathlon.
“It’s a little bit more than a regular local race, and we like to do it because it’s close and easy,” Kathy says. “But this is the first year the kids actually did it, and it was their first race with a lake swim.”
Bill and Kathy are longtime MAF program followers, having met and worked with Dr. Phil Maffetone in the late 1990s. The couple also recently had podium finishes at the James Island Triathlon in Charleston, S.C.
As longtime triathletes, healthy-living advocates and role models, Bill and Kathy have followed the nutritional and training guidelines throughout their years of marriage and parenting. They both say the program has helped them find success in not just triathlon but in all areas of their busy lives as parents and professionals.
Kathy handles most of the cooking duties in the household and says she works to incorporate real and healthful foods into all meals. “We eat as healthy as we can without going crazy,” she says, noting the ongoing challenge of keeping the kids away from junk food.
Bill attributes the family’s success to their lifestyle going back to their early days of learning the MAF program.
“I’ve been fortunate to have a way of thinking and a way of living, and Kathy has been a real anchor around it,” Bill says. “For Kathy and myself that has been a huge part of our lives. When we got married and had kids, our lifestyle never changed.”
Bill also says they never pushed their kids into sports or triathlon.
“What they saw was us getting up and working out every morning,” he says. “They learned from their parents and adopted our style of living.”
Furthermore, Bill says this attention to lifestyle, diet and training has prepared him for a lifetime of success, not only in triathlon but life in general.
“Phil’s approach to diet and exercise is what has allowed me to continue to race and overcome aging, but these same principles also have allowed me to continue to do what I do professionally at a very high level.”