Local triathlete taking shot at big time

Scott Swanson

After years of running competitively in junior

high, high school and then college, Crawfordsville

resident Kambria Schumacher was ready to try some-

thing new.

“I’d been running all the time and you kind of

get burned out,” said Schumacher, 23, who graduated

from Sweet Home High School in 2006 after a high

school career that included four straight trips to state in

cross-country and twice in track. She ran for Oregon

State University for two years, clocking a personal-

best 18:40.77 in the 5K.

“I love competing in sports and stuff and I loved

swimming and biking, so I thought, ‘Triathlon, that

would be fun. I could do that,’” she said.

She launched her triathlon career last year with a

couple of sprint triathlons (750 meter swim, 12-mile

bike, 5K run), starting with the Portland Triathlon,

where she finished third overall in the women’s divi-

sion and first in her age group. Then she won the wom-

en’s sprint event at the Best in the West Triathlon at

Foster Lake last September, running 19:23, the third-

fastest 5K time in the entire field – men or women.

This year she’s moved up to Olympic-distance

events (1,500-meter swim, 25-mile bike, 10K run)

after winning the Albany Sprint Triathlon women’s

division, placing fourth in her age

group in the 1,929-competitor


lower Olympic-distance tri-

athlon at Lake San Antonio in Ca-

lifornia, and sixth at the Blue Lake

Olympic-distance triathlon.

Her finishes in 2011 were suf-

ficient to qualify her for the Olym-

pic Age Group Nationals in Burl-

ington, Vt. on Aug. 18.

She is hoping to make the

trip, but needs some help with the

$3,501.39 cost, she said.

Schumacher’s best triathlon

finish came last weekend at the

Amica Mid-Summer Triathlon, an

Olympic-distance event at the Blue

Lake Park in Fairview, where she

placed second overall among fe-

males and

first in her age group, in


“That’s the same course as

the Blue Lake triathlon,” she said.

“I wanted to see where I was at.

I dropped seven minutes off my


Schumacher said she’s


fished with college and is working

in her family’s Internet sales busi-

ness. She said she’s interested in

turning pro in a couple of years

and going to the nationals will give

her a chance to compete against a

wider variety of athletes. The top


finishers at the nationals qualify

for Team USA for 2013, which

competes in International Triath-

lon Union’s world championships,

which attract the best athletes rep-

resenting over 50 countries each

year. Membership on the team in-

cludes help with travel, insurance

and support.

She also wants to see if she

can qualify for the 2016 Olympic

team. That means bringing her

times, particularly her running

times, down. “This year I wanted

to get down to 38 or 37 minutes

(for the 10K),” she said. “I haven’t

quite met that goal yet (40:56 at


“I have high expectations for

myself. I expected to do well in

triathlons, especially with my run-

ning background. If you’re really

good at running, a lot of times you

do really well in triathlons.”

To support Schumacher, e-mail

her at [email protected].