Adams – An athlete at one with the water

CAMBRIDGE — Watching Kathryn Adams swim is like watching a dolphin. She is almost mystical as she becomes one with the water, effortlessly propelling herself at speeds faster than most fish in the Choptank River.

“I grew up in Cambridge,” she said. “My dad was big into sailing, and we were always around the water. My mother didn’t want me to drown, so she enrolled me in swimming lessons.” A childhood of swimming – both for fun and in competition – followed. After college, she decided to add running and biking to her repertoire.

“Triathlon is such a big thing in Cambridge,” she said. “Plus, I know so many people who participate in it. It’s a great, supportive community of athletes.”

Ms. Adams, a first-grade teacher at Sandy Hill Elementary School, only started running a little over a year ago. “I have flat feet, so I always figured I wouldn’t be able to run,” she said. It turns out she was wrong about that and runs almost as effortlessly as she swims. She competed in Eagleman – her first half-Ironman race – last year.

“Everything was going well,” she said. “I had a great swim. Halfway through the bike, I swerved to avoid another biker.” Ms. Adams hit a pothole, causing her water bottle to launch into the air. “It hit the ground and rolled, and I couldn’t find a safe way to turn around and go back for it,” she said. The water bottle just happened to be filled with Ms. Adams’ nutrition – a combination of electrolytes and carbohydrates necessary for fueling and hydrating her during the 56-mile ride in the heat and humidity.

Losing her bottle was a setback she hadn’t expected or planned for. Buoyed by her months of training, physical conditioning, and mental toughness, she adjusted, adapted and kept moving until she crossed the finish line.

Ms. Adams will be racing in Eagleman again this June, as part of Team TriMacc, and raising money for the Pauline F. & W. David Robbins Family YMCA.

“I am racing to honor the Y’s mission to offer health, hope, and opportunity to all members of the community,” she said. “The Y has been an integral part of my childhood, and I want to see others benefit from the services they offer.”

To donate to the YMCA through Team TriMacc, visit

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