Merissa is a New Hampshire native and Boston transplant. She loves doing anything outdoors and first fell in love with the city of Boston through her explorations while running. Over time she became a true endurance runner and it was around this time a friend started to get her into triathlon. Merissa learned how to ride a bike when she was little and had always owned bikes, but had never thought of cycling as more than just something kids do or crazy athletes do during the Tour. Merissa had begun to bike commute by this point and was warming up to the idea of cycling as a means of exercise. She would go on her version of "training rides", i.e. going 10-15 miles on a department store mountain bike and panting her way up anything resembling a hill. Deep down, she wanted to do what her friend was doing, go on 40 or 50 mile rides into the suburbs around Boston, and find fun hills rather than balking at puny ones. In Fall 2016 she bought her first road bike and did her first long ride with the Boston University triathlon team; what she was told would be a "short" 25-mile ride turned into a 37-mile sufferfest. It was almost twice as far as Merissa had ever biked and she was utterly spent by the end, but she loved every minute. Unfortunately, a week later, she sustained the first of 2 concussions she would get that fall and faced a year and half of fighting her way back to normal. By that point though, she had fallen in love with cycling and the idea of getting back on the bike and competing in triathlons became the fuel for her recovery. She has since completed several sprint and olympic triathlons and a few century rides and did her first half-iron this past June. Her major goal for 2019 is to improve her cycling ability (mainly climbing) so she can smash the bike leg of what will be her first full ironman, Ironman Louisville 2019! Merissa didn't just stumble on some temporary hobby when she found cycling and triathlons; she found what she imagines will be a life-long passion.