Athlete Spotlight: Kristine Renninger

Today’s we spotlight Kristine Renninger: our comeback kid and 2023 Ironman Texas finisher who manages are South Texas region!

WHEN DID YOU JOIN VALHALLA + VALKYRIE RACE TEAM?
Winter 2017.

WHEN DID YOU START TRIATHLON?
2018! I wonder if there are any others on the team who really didn’t know what triathlon was when they joined.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR TRIATHLON JOURNEY:

I was riding and running a lot with Julie Spain and, one day, she said, “you should come to swim with me and then you can do trialthon too.” So, basically, it’s all Julie’s fault. πŸ˜‰ My first race as Valkyrie was Du the Polar Bear Duathlon. My first triathlon ever was CB&I in May 2018. I distinctly remember fiddling with my Apple Watch in T2 and Gemma yelling at me to get a move on! I’ve never been fast in this sport, but I have loved every second of it and I don’t take any of it too seriously. I am blessed to be healthy enough to even participate!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RACE?

For short course, Cypress World Championships. I’ve only been able to do that race twice but it was really fun both times. The atmosphere is just so incredibly supportive. For 70.3, I really loved the Oregon course last year. The swim is sooooo fun! Memphis is my second favorite 70.3. I’ve also done Galveston, Waco, and Oilman.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THIS SPORT?
IMTX 2023!! I still can’t believe I finished that.
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WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Coming back from my January 2022 bike accident. I’ve been an athlete my whole life and have had a lot of bad injuries but that wreck about killed me, literally and figuratively. I got very very depressed during those 6 months of recovery and it was the help of my Valkryie ladies, and Darlene Goode, who got me through to the other side.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE POST RACE FOOD?

Big greasy burger, fries, and a beer!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY.

I’m married to David, he’s not a triathlete but he is an endurance gravel cyclist so he gets it, but he’s not at all interested in the sport and he’s a terrible Sherpa. I have two grown kids, 25 and 21. David and I live inside Big Bend Ranch State Park where he is the superintendent of the park. We are truly blessed to live out here even though it’s very far away from everyone I love. I am a big time introvert so it suits me just fine to be where no other humans are.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL/PERSONAL LIFE.
I’ve been a lawyer for 20 years. I practice insurance defense and subrogation which is very boring but I am not a people person so working for corporations is my jam. If you are friends with me on Facebook, you’ve seen a million pictures of my dog Beaux, half a million pictures of my cat Earl, and a few pictures of my other cat Sirius. He’s a black void and doesn’t photograph well. LOL. My niece is having twin boys in July so I’m going to have new content to spam everyone with. πŸ™‚

WHAT IS SOMETHING NO ONE WOULD EVER GUESS/KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I was a ballerina growing up and toured the USA with a dance company when I was 16.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT THIS TEAM?

The camraderie. We are a family and that really showed through when I had my accident. I played competitive soccer most of my life (yes, in addition to being a ballerina, I know, those things don’t go together but here I am!) and that sport is so cut-throat even at the old people level! Triathlon is such a “family” sport. It still blows me away how helpful and welcoming everyone is in this sport from the pro level on down.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR?

Stephen King.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT?

Din Tai Fung which is, sadly, not found in Texas.

WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

My mom.
She is 73-years young and is the reason I’ve continued to be sporty my whole life. She can deadlift 100lbs, she hikes, bikes, skis, travels the world with me, and…this is the best part….her boyfriend is 58 years old.

WHAT EXCITING PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE NEXT YEAR?

I’m working hard to become faster. I really want to qualify for 70.3 Worlds at some point and, even if I don’t ever qualify, I love having big scary goals and staying fit. This year I’ll be racing Galveston 70.3, Coeur d’Alene 70.3, and either Kerrville or Waco 70.3. Probably Kerrville since I’ve not done that race and I hear great things about it. I also have a long-shot goal of IMCA but that a huge maybe. More likely to happen in 2025.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?

I’m very proud of the community I’ve helped build on Facebook with the Triathlon Training for Women group. I created the group at the end of May 2022 and we have grown to over 7500 members in that short time. I think we are the largest inclusive women-specific triathlon group on FB and we are drama free!