Faces of Endurance Sports: Michelle Guelfi

Why did you decide to start triathlon training?

I thought about  tri’s a few times but finally went for it in 2014,

I saw the Ironman Kona world championships on TV and was drawn into the regular guy next door story, I just finished the NYC marathon and thought why not!

What was your why?

MY why _Both of my kids were serving in Afghanistan at that time and I needed something to distract myself with I decided before I turned 50 would be a great goal. I am a very slow runner, swimmer, and biker but I was up for the challenge.

michelle G

What year did you start?


Were you athletic growing up?

I was not athletic but I wanted to be, I was intimidated as a kid and was afraid to try out for sports.  I was on the junior high track team, but  I felt I didn’t belong so I quit.

What was your favorite race or your greatest achievement? (Could be running or Tri.)

My favorite race was Ironman Lake Placid 2015.  I finished at 16:54:58   just under the cutoff… one year of training and all I had and it was the most epic event of my life.

What were some of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

I was slow, older, and never really learned how to swim well.  I hired a coach and followed the plan. It meant sacrificing a lot but in the end, it was worth it.

What are your plans for the year?

I am running the NYC marathon this year and want to finish in under 5 hours, I really am looking forward to the race… I also signed up for Lake Placid for 2023 so the training will start again soon.

Tell me about yourself. Are you married? Children? Ages? What do you do for a living?

I’m 57 working at Southside as a NP. I have worked on the pandemic in the medicine department and I will be transferring soon to cardiology.  I have been in health care for the past 20 years.

I am a certified wellness coach and have clients who I coach from weight loss to goal achievement.  I also wrote a book called my tri, which is more of an autobiography.

I was a teen mom, married for 32 years before I divorced.  I am now recently re-marrying and have three grown adult children and 5 grandkids, my children are all married and I am super proud of each one.

My son is a Lt Col, serving in Hawaii, My daughter Jillian is a mom of three, a full-time employee for the state of Washington in IT, and was attached to a special forces unit in her younger years.  My eldest daughter Jen, is a mom of two autistic children, and helps her 89-year-old gram out at all times, she also is a hairdresser who is not working at this time due to her family needs but her husband Jim has that part covered.