CAMBRIDGE – Emily Cranwell grew up with a father who loved running. Yet it was only ten years ago that she started running herself.
“I grew up watching my dad run 5ks, 10ks, and half-marathons,” she said. “He was my biggest inspiration.”
Ms. Cranwell and her husband, Todd, moved to Cambridge nine years ago. Her parents followed, buying a house around the corner. It turns out the house sits on the Eagleman and Ironman Maryland run course – one of the legendary spots on the course with upbeat music, a sprinkler in hot weather, and a hopscotch board drawn on the street with chalk.
“This year was heart-wrenching,” Ms. Cranwell said. During Ironman Maryland, her father, Joel Wilcox, had to stay in the house in a hospital bed, on what would end up being his final few days. “We took turns sitting with him and then going back outside to cheer the athletes.”
This June, Ms. Cranwell will be one of the athletes on the Eagleman course. She is about to begin training with Team TriMacc – supporting the Pauline F. & W. David Robbins Family YMCA’s mission and giving back to the community.
Ms. Cranwell is no stranger to triathlons. Soon after completing her first half-marathon, a friend convinced her to join Cambridge Multi-Sport (CMS). One sport quickly morphed into three.
“I took swim lessons at the Y to learn how to breathe,” she said. “Biking came after that.”
Ms. Cranwell’s priorities shifted when her son, Lindan, was born. She took a break from training until last year, finishing third in her age group in the 2018 Nanticoke River Sprint Triathlon. Now she is following in her father’s footsteps as a fitness role model for her family.
“We have three generations of athletes,” she said. Lindan, now six, races BMX bikes and last July, raced in the Firecracker Kids Triathlon in Cambridge, winning his age group. In her role as a fifth-grade teacher, she also gets to instill the importance of health and wellness in her students and how that leads to developing a positive self-image.
While Ms. Cranwell’s father won’t be sitting on the lawn cheering her when she races Eagleman in June, he will be with her in spirit. She has dedicated her training, race, and community impact through the Y to the memory of her dad – her personal hero.
To donate to the YMCA through Team TriMacc, visit www.classy.org/team/193403.