One of our main features here on Endure will be profiles of athletes that are just normal, everyday people. For our very first athlete, I am honored to present to you Robin Coyle of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Perhaps one of the nicest people in the world, Robin embodies everything that Endure stands for.
Robin is 50 years old and works as an RN in the cardiac floor of a local hospital. She is married to an Oklahoma State Trooper and has a twenty-nine year old daughter and a sixteen-year-old stepson. Having been an endurance athlete for over twenty-five years, Robin has an impressive race resume that includes: one full Ironman triathlon, two half Ironman triathlons, thirteen marathons, and many other half marathons, running races, and sprint triathlons. Professionally, Robin is dedicated to taking care of and serving other people. Her running and triathlon motivations are no different.
Writing about Robin and spreading her story is a difficult task because I do not believe that I can fully capture her gracious personality and heart with words on a screen. Twenty-five years ago, Robin started running with short runs around her neighborhood. She enjoyed running, and gradually began to run longer and more often. She wasn’t motivated to race until she found a cause that she could run for. That came in the form of the inaugural Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. To this day, the sole purpose of this race is to raise money for the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Monument, which honors the victims of the tragic bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. Robin ran that race to help raise money for a cause, and it is still her fastest marathon to date. After that, she ran many other shorter races, took a short break from running, and started running marathons again about ten years ago. A stress fracture in her leg led her to swimming, which eventually led to cycling and triathlons. This whole journey culminated in a full Ironman triathlon last fall (for those that are unaware, a full Ironman is 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling, and 26.2 miles of running for 140.6 total miles).
Purpose fuels Robin’s training and racing, and she does not believe that she could be an athlete without the motivation to help others. She raced her Ironman for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation under Team Challenge, raising $9,000 for the Oklahoma Chapter of the foundation. Robin’s daughter, who is diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, was the honoree for the OK Chapter. Her motivation to endure the early mornings and intense balance of training, work, and family commitments was the hope that she could play her part in curing those who suffer as her daughter does with digestive diseases.
Since her Ironman, Robin has dedicated herself to helping empower women by encouraging them to become better versions of themselves through running and fitness. She is happy with her accomplishments and wants other to feel the same way. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, Robin hosts a group run for ladies of all fitness and ability levels. She always pushes everyone and never leaves anyone behind or makes them feel like they are not good enough to belong to her group. In true Robin fashion, she continually jokes with her lady runners and is willing to lend an ear if someone just needs to talk. Throughout our interview, she frequently stressed that the people she can help and the community of athletes is what keeps her feet moving one in front of the other, year after year.
In addition to her service to others, Robin takes great pride in being the wife of an Oklahoma State Trooper. She is incredibly proud of her husband and how he protects and serves the citizens of Oklahoma. Every time her husband is working, she prays that he, and the rest of the law enforcement community, can return home safe. Robin is also an active member of the OHP Spouse’s Association, where she helps maintain a community of support among the wives of other state troopers.
Robin’s advice for those balancing training with spouses and children is to make sure that they are on board with what you are doing. She stresses that communication amongst the entire family is key, and that they must all understand how large a time commitment training and racing will be. Holding your end of the bargain as an athlete means that you must be willing to think ahead and adjust your schedule to help balance responsibilities. Lastly, she emphasizes the power of being present. If this means that you have to ride the trainer or run on the treadmill around your children to complete a workout, then that is what you must do.
Robin’s main lesson is as follows:
“Above all, you must have fun in what you are doing. I pray that whoever crosses the finish line is a better, more confident person because of it.”
Robin Coyle endures the grind for the benefit of others. She is a role model for ladies and gentlemen of all ages, and someone that is doing her best to make the world a better place.
Until next time…
Endure the Grind!