“You get what you give,” is Kelly Newell’s life philosophy. “I strive to put out positive energy to my work, my family, my friends, and strangers. I hope that folks will feel better about themselves having interacted with me.”

As Director of Conference Management at Washington State University, Kelly interacts with a lot of fortunate folks. She’s also working on her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration…and referees volleyball for USAV and Pac-10 competitions. But her top priority is spending time with her twin four year olds and husband.

“For most people in my situation, working out would be the last thing on their list.” But Kelly knows that fitness makes the rest possible. “You have to make excuses why you CAN fit in a workout, not why you CAN’T. For instance saying ‘Well, I have 45 minutes between my meeting and my class tonight—I’ll run over to the stadium and do stairs for 30 minutes and still have time to change’ instead of  ‘Well, I only have 45 minutes. That’s hardly enough time to break a sweat, so I’ll just hang out and surf Facebook.’ It’s all about the message you give yourself.”

Start small and use whatever “free” time you have, Kelly advises. “I wasn’t always fit. I started by walking twenty minutes at lunch time.” She eventually realized. “I’m never busy at 5:30 am—so there are no excuses at that hour. And it starts a day of great habits: biking to work, walking to the store with the kids instead of driving, and so on.”

The positive effects began to snowball. “My drive and determination pushed me to do more. Those walks turned into short jogs, which led to longer runs.” She did some short, local races followed by a half marathon. Within a year, she was training for her first marathon. Then came duathlons, triathlons, four Ironman competitions, and a “zillion” other long-distance races.

“It was an evolution from walker to runner to triathlete to distance athlete and it took years of persistence and drive, and LOVE,” says Kelly. “I hope that folks will see that anything is possible if you put your mind to it—I NEVER thought I could complete an Ironman, and I did it by focusing on one day at a time! So can you!”


Home: Pullman, Washington

Occupation: Director of Conference Management

Education: Masters of Higher Education Administration, pursuing a Ph.D in Higher Education and Cultural Studies.

Partner: Most supportive husband/father in the world – Scott.

Children: Taylor and Reed—4 yr old twin boys.

Age: 38

Height: 5’3”

Weight: 129

Sports, past and present: Triathlon, Golf, Volleyball, Running, Biking, Bowling, Rollerblading

Athletic accomplishments: 4 Ironman Triathlons, 2 adventure races, 4 STP bike rides (one day)

Little known fact about you: I know the words to nearly every John Denver song ever recorded.

Environmentally incorrect preference: Long, hot shower after a long, hot run.

Guilty pleasure: Reality TV—Specifically dancing shows.

Most embarrassing moment: I embarrass myself a lot. All the time. A favorite was at my first Marathon when I was suffering from “race tummy” and needed a port a potty really badly but the lines for all of them were so long! I was wandering around looking for more when I turned a corner and saw a bank of port-o-lets with no line and someone was coming out at that moment so in I ran! What luck! A few minutes later I came out to see the tremendous line that I hadn’t seen (and cut in front of) just a little ways back from the doors of the potties. Whoops!

Greatest triumph: Every day I balance my boys, my husband, my school work, and my job… Every day I rejoice a little at the end of the day when I haven’t let any of them down.

Favorite thing to do when not working or working out: Eating out with friends.

Moment of Inspiration: Seeing Dick and Ricky Hoyt finish Ironman—gave me motivation to sign up! If he can do it, with his son no less, then I have no excuses!

Favorite Quote:“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard, is what makes it great!” Jimmy Dugan —A League of Their Own.


3+ days per week at the gym or running in the morning, 3+ days per week biking/hiking/rollerblading – whatever I can do to MOVE!