Laura Jennings and Neil Waite are driving more than 450 miles, from the Greater Toronto Area in Canada, to participate in this year’s Luray Triathlon. For Neil, it will be his third time participating in the race. Laura, who is relatively new to the sport and completed her first triathlon just last year, will be participating in the Luray Triathlon for the very first time.
Neil is a licensed CPA who was born in Annapolis, Md., and grew up in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area. He moved to Arizona after high school, completed his undergraduate and graduate work at Arizona State University, then transferred back to the DMV to be closer to his parents. In 2017, Neil moved to Toronto to pursue a job opportunity. That’s where he met Laura, who was born and raised in Toronto. The two share a love of the outdoors and travel, exploring with their dogs and planning their next great adventure.
Laura has always been into fitness and enjoys staying active but had never done any competitive events. “When I met Neil and learned he was into triathlon, I thought it was so cool,” she recalls. “What a badass! When we started dating, we started working out together and it was just a natural transition for me to sign up for one. I haven’t looked back.”
While living in Arizona in 2013, Neil inadvertently became a spectator of the Ironman Arizona competition. “I quickly decided I wanted to participate in triathlon due to its competitive nature and the physical challenge it presented,” he recalls. His swimming ability, or “lack thereof” as he says, kept him from finishing the Lifetime Tri Tempe. He focused on his swimming skills and trained over the next year, returning to finish the Lifetime Tri Tempe Sprint triathlon in 2015. Then in 2016 he completed his first Olympic distance triathlon. Since then, Neil has completed 11 races in Canada, the United States, Thailand and Norway. That includes completing the Luray Triathlon in 2016 while living in Northern Virginia, and again in 2017 after moving to Toronto.