Lorraine Jarvis is a motivated and determined athlete, and more importantly, one hell of a nice person. For the second year in row, she won the World Championship at the 500 meters sprint track event in Portugal in the 50-54 age category. This is an event where a fast start is key. Her close and careful attention to detail was critical for her success.
Lorraine came from a super athletic family. Her father competed in the Senior Olympics. The family was competitive at everything. Lorraine has worked hard throughout the years in the financial business and is now a VP at Wells Fargo. Her true competitive spirit didn’t arrive until later in life, according to Lorraine. However, in high school, she did compete in springboard diving and gymnastics. For years, she also played competitive volleyball. She evolved into sports through friends. By age 30, Lorraine realized that sports were always going to be a part of her life. The athletic lifestyle completely fits Lorraine’s personality. She met her husband, Kelly (former collegiate track cyclist), playing volleyball. Eventually, she cycled with him and he nudged her into competing. She describes him as an intellegent, thoughtful, encouraging, and calm under pressure person.
Kelly’s support has been key in Lorraine’s success. He is her coach and closest confidant. Being an intensely driving and hard working woman, Lorraine’s attention is completely focused when preparing and training for events. Each year, they put together a structured training schedule. The training schedule helps Lorraine’s motivation and cncentration. The schedule keeps her direct. When racing , Lorraine is “in to win.”
After two World Championships, I asked Lorraine what the next challenge is for her. She’s signed on for an unusual and exciting journey. She was contacted by a para-cyclist, Gena Harper, to train on a track tandem for the 2012 Paralympics. Gena just happens to be blind. Lorraine was skeptical at first, thinking Gena should be looking for a younger captain. But after speaking with Gena further, Lorraine discovered Gena has the same work ethic, maturity level, and professional success. They seem to be a good fit, sharing similiar values. Lorraine described Gena as supered motivated and trains a lot with a coach . Their first ride was after Thanks giving and went well. Another local cyclist, Kristen Drumm will be training with Gena on the road. Lorraine’s upcoming cycling journey provides the focus for her training on the track in 2011. Stay tuned for further updates on Lorraine and Gena’s journey to the 2012 Paralympics.