Kelly O’Mara

Kelly O’Mara is racing as a pro in 2017 — something she is trying not to be nervous and stressed out about. She first learned how to triathlon on the Cal Tri team in 2005, but took a hiatus from the sport for a few years post-college (during which she did some terrible mountain biking, some moderately OK obstacle course racing, and finally actually ran a marathon). She returned to triathlon while on a grad school fellowship at USC and raced with the collegiate tri team there.

In 2016, she trained and raced a lot, like, a lot. And competed at the World Championships in Kona for the first time ever, taking 10th in the 30-34 age group despite some projectile vomiting. Because everyone vomits at Kona. Kelly also produces a sports podcast for WiSP Sports and writes for Freeplay Magazine, espnW, Triathlete, Competitor, and a number of other publications for whom she is the resident triathlon expert. Ask her anything about the industry. Except for detailed gear questions about bikes.

Quick Facts

  • Kelly still owns her high school’s freshman 800m record — and she can not believe racing for two minutes used to be her thing.
  • She’s lived in over a dozen different cities and six different states.
  • One summer, she worked as an au pair in Morocco; she was very bad at it.
  • She once took the Foreign Service Officer exam and she briefly considered working for the CIA.
  • Kelly is impressively good at rapping Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”.


2017 Schedule

February 5 – Surf City Marathon
April 1 – Oceanside 70.3
May 13 – Santa Rosa 70.3
August 20 – Ironman Mont Temblant
October 15 – Ironman Louisville

2016 Results

Super Sunday 5k; 5th overall (18:51)
Kaiser Half-Marathon
Credit Union SacTown 10 Miler (1:05)
Galveston 70.3; 2nd AG, 4th Overall
Wildflower Triathlon; 1st Amateur Overall
Pacific Grove; 1st Amateur Overall
Vineman 70.3; 3rd AG
Ironman Whistler 70.3; 2nd Overall
San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz; 3rd Overall
Ironman World Championships; Top 10 AG

Race Highlights

Ironman Wisconsin 2015: 2nd woman overall, 10:21:57
USAT Collegiate Club Nationals 2015: 17th woman overall, 2:16:37
Kaiser Half-Marathon 2013: 1:27:58, PR
Escape from Alcatraz 2011: 12th professional woman
Pacific Grove 2008: 1st amateur woman, AG course record; 2:19:22



Kelly’s Blog

Let’s Get This Started

The other day, a guy at the gym said to me, "Oh, I heard you did a triathlon." Which I didn't really know how to respond to. I went with, "Yeah, thanks." People say lots of things to me I don't know how to respond to. Aren't you a big athlete? Ho, ho, that was a lot...

It’s Almost Time for Kona

It's hard to believe it was over a year ago I qualified and registered for Kona. And now here we are. Two weeks away from my first Ironman World Championships. It's been a long year of training and I'm so stressed out and ready to be done that if you want to just do...

A Double Race Weekend: The Pacific Grove + the Dipsea

It's been a year since I started with Hillary. A year of training hard and getting faster, almost like that's how it's supposed to work. Naturally, it was fitting that I marked the anniversary with a double race weekend -- not this past weekend but the one before...

Race Report: Wildflower Triathlon

Multiple people the week after Wildflower (which was last week) kept telling me how tough I am. Which I thought was funny. I told my husband, Steve, this and he also thought it was funny, so that’s either encouraging or not. I don’t feel tough. I feel like I had...

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