The triathlon seed was planted early on in Kara’s life, when at the ripe age of two she was thrown into the pool to learn how to swim. You see, at the time her parents were living in beautiful Southern California with a pool in their backyard and three girls under the age of four. Her wise parents were simply mitigating their risks. The Ringo girls would learn to swim and learn to swim well. Okay, maybe in Kara’s case just learn to swim.
By middle school, all three girls were swimming competitively. One summer they were shipped off to the University of Texas for a multi week intensive swim camp. By this point, Kara’s disdain for swimming grew as she remained middle of the pack while her two sisters were winning left and right – the very scenario embodied middle child syndrome. She ultimately quit swimming, but still had the urge to keep her feet moving.
By high school, Kara’s family had moved to Cleveland, Ohio. She joined the diving team to be at the pool with her swimmer friends. Kara was able to hang out with her friends while they swam ALL the laps and she comfortably sat in the diving team’s hot tub. #loophole. Her junior year she decided to join the cross country team to be with her best friend and younger sister. Kara cheered her sister all the way to the All-Ohio title both in track and cross country. Yes, her sister was a stud, and by this age Kara was just excited to be in the competitive environment and to cheer her teammates on – it fired her up.
Kara went on to study business and accounting at the University of Pittsburgh. She continued her love for running as a hobby and to stay fit through the trying years of binge drinking, garbage eating and sleep deprivation. She signed up for her first half marathon her junior year, and upon crossing the finish line she knew endurance sports were in her future. She recalled the yesteryears of watching her mom run marathons and race triathlons, and despite her earlier beliefs, it was then that Kara discovered she had in fact inherited the Full Send gene.
After graduating college, Kara spent countless hours working in public accounting, eventually deciding that the long hours and daily grind were not for her. She left for a less time-demanding job where she could find more work-life balance. At the new job, her then manager, now close friend, informed the team they were required to sign up for the MS150 ride in Austin, Texas. Being the good employee she was, Kara did as she was told. She bought her first bike and “trained” during the winter months in Pittsburgh. That April she raised money for the MS Foundation and rode 150 miles in two days. It was then that she discovered her love for cycling.
Kara’s next move was to Charlotte, NC in pursuit of a brighter (no- literally, sunnier and warmer) future. She began work at Wells Fargo, but began the REAL work training for her first marathon and triathlon. The summer of 2016 was when she went Full Send into triathlon, signing up for her first sprint and Olympic distances, winning AG and overall. That fall she raced her first 70.3 where she earned 4th place on the AG podium. That winter she ran her first marathon finishing with a Boston qualifying time.
Kara went on to race shorter local running races where she consistently won AG and overall. She ran her second marathon in 2018, winning her AG as well as earning another Boston qualifying spot. After aging up into the more competitive group (yes, it’s true, women get A LOT faster), she placed 4th at her second 70.3, finishing in sub-five hours. In October, she ran her first 140.6 distance finishing 10th in her AG and going sub-four hours in the marathon.
When not training and racing, Kara Full Sends motherhood to her two fur children. She also shares her love of fitness by working part time as a fitness instructor (cycle, strength and Yoga) and as a triathlon and run coach. You can catch her at many of the YMCAs around the Charlotte area, or doing outside activities such as hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, hanging out at breweries and exploring new places.
Kara is ecstatic to find a group of her kind who share the passion for Full Sending, and is looking forward to Full Sending with the team in 2019.