Team TriMacc: Emily Ruf finds a new sport

Submitted to Dorchester Banner Emily Ruf is seen with her husband Andy, son Callan and daughter Maisie.

Submitted to Dorchester Banner
Emily Ruf is seen with her husband Andy, son Callan and daughter Maisie.

CAMBRIDGE – What does a lifelong volleyball player from the western shore do on the Eastern Shore where there aren’t any leagues? This was the question Emily Ruf asked herself when she and her husband moved to Cambridge in 2011.

The move forced her to look for a new sport to fill the gap, as volleyball had been a considerable part of her identity. She stumbled upon a triathlon training camp that a friend was doing. Intrigued by the challenge, she signed up.

“I knew enough about swimming to not drown,” she said. “But I couldn’t swim laps.”

Ms. Ruf made it through that camp, which culminated in the 2016 Nanticoke River Sprint Triathlon. She had become a proficient swimmer and aced the half-mile open water swim.

Ms. Ruf had her new sport, or, it had her. The relationships she built in the camp lead her to join Cambridge Multi-Sport (CMS) where she began participating in track and long bike rides.

In 2017 she was invited, along with several other CMS members, to race in Düren, Germany. Düren is Dorchester’s “sister” county and asked that some of our athletes participate in the tenth anniversary of their triathlon series. Ms. Ruf completed their Olympic distance triathlon, which was twice as long as the sprints she’d previously completed.

“It was a unique experience,” she said. “Everything was in German. You really had to pay attention to the course markers.”

Unlike the terrain at home in Cambridge, the German course was hilly. The swim course posed a unique challenge with a start from a rocky shore into an old coal quarry. But unlike the Choptank with its “jellies,” there weren’t any critters in the water.

Ms. Ruf is about to begin training for her longest triathlon yet – Eagleman 70.3. She will be training with Team TriMacc and has pledged to raise money for the Pauline F. & W. David Robbins Family YMCA. Her philanthropic approach is driven by the benefits she realizes through the Y’s triathlon training series and the impact the Y has on her two young children.

“For such a small town, Cambridge has so much to offer,” Ms. Ruf said. “The Y is a large part of that and helps keep the community strong for both its residents and visitors.”

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