Sara Schuler Xterra World Championship Athlete Profile

Name: Sara Schuler
Division: Pro
Where do you live? Boulder, CO
Is this your first year competing at Worlds? What do you most look forward? This will be my 8th time competing at Xterra Worlds. I’m looking forward to having what I hope to be my best race to date at Worlds. This is my last season competing in Xterra so I hope to leave it all out there and smile while doing so. In addition, I am really excited to enjoy the beach with my daughter and husband. My daughter keeps talking about finding “sand crabbies that pinch, pinch” so, I hope we can find some to fulfill her “beach wishes”.
What is your favorite aspect of Xterra? I love the different challenge that each course presents. 
How did you get into Xterra or triathlon in general? I raced road triathlons in high school before starting to run for the University of Colorado in 1999. After realizing that Division 1 running at CU was not for me I joined the CU Triathlon team and went on to win Collegiate Nationals in 2002. I raced until 2004 and then took a break from racing until I finished graduate school in 2007. I was burned out on road racing and wanted a new challenge so I bought an old mountain bike from Heather Irmiger and started racing Xterra. I’ve been hooked since then!
What challenges did you have to overcome in order to qualify for Worlds, or what do you contribute your success to this year? Trying to balance being a mom, wife, social worker and professional athlete has been very challenging this year. Natalie is only in daycare when I go to work and it is important to me that I don’t take time away from her to train. Therefore, I’m up way before the sun and often in the garage after dark squeezing in workouts. This does take away time from my role as wife, which has also been challenging. Thankfully, my husband is my number one fan and so understanding of our crazy life. 
What is your favorite discipline and why? Mountain biking because it is the area I continue to see the most growth in and pushes my mental and physical comfort levels.
What is your least favorite discipline and why? Swimming. I’m scared of sharks and other ocean critters. 
What is your favorite piece of triathlon/Xterra equipment? Does a beer after the race count? I’m really not much of gear guru but I’d say for Maui I love my old school Camelback and I’m excited to rock some new wheels from Kappius Components. 
What is one piece of advice you would give other off road triathletes trying to qualify for Worlds in the future or to those participating in Worlds for the first time? Enjoy the experience and remember all the wonderful days you had in order to get you to the start line. Celebrate the journey that leads you to Xterra Worlds! 
Who do you need to give a special shout out to for making this season successful? My husband who has tolerated our crazy hectic schedule and has encouraged me to keep at it everyday!  I also need to thank Josiah for providing me with time efficient structured workouts that have helped maximize my limited training time. I’m pretty certain I’m the most fit I’ve been thanks to his guidance and expertise. 
What are your expectations at Worlds? My goal is to be in the top 5 and be the first American. My best finish was 7th in 2011.
If you had to choose one song to get stuck in your head for the entire race, what would it be? So many of the songs that get stuck in my head nowadays are nursery rhymes. I’d be happy with any song that is not a nursery rhyme.
What is your favorite activity outside of training? Baking, cooking and spending time at our “cabin” in the mountains. We have no phone, internet, or water so it is a great chance to play and connect in a way that escapes many people in our fast paced society. 
After the season is over what do you most look forward to doing that you were not able to do leading up to Hawaii? I’m looking forward to sleeping in a little more, upping my wine intake and getting caught up on many projects around the house. 
What is one thing that you think others might be surprised to know about you? Part of my work involves going out in the field with police officers on calls where there is a concern for an individuals mental health. The things I see in the field would be unimaginable to most. I’m passionate about community mental health and wish there was more support for mental health and removing the stigma that is so often tied to people who struggle with mental health issues. 


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