In role reversal, Central Texas man competes in triathlon as triathlete wife sits one out and cheers for him

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 5:30 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas husband who has been on the sidelines for years supporting his wife as she pursues her dreams as a triathlete had a role reversal over the weekend as he entered his first triathlon with his wife cheering him all the way to the finish line.

Cody Messerall, 39, the chief financial officer of Behringer Group and chief executive officer of Bicycle World and Waco Running Company, completed the sprint distance triathlon in a time of 1:46:35, far surpassing his goal for his first year.

But what made the feat even more special was competing to the cheers of his wife, Katie, whom he’s followed in marathons from as far back as 2009 all the way to her first Tri Waco in 2018, IRONMAN 70.3 in Waco in 2018 and 2019, and a full IRONMAN in Waco in 2021 which led her to the World Championships this year in Utah where she ranked 19th in the world for her age group of females ages 35-39.

Every swim, bike and step of the way, Cody was there. Katie calls him her “rock” and “the ultimate hype man.”

When Katie got sidelined this year for Tri Waco due to a surgery, Cody decided to give the competition a try.

Cody and Katie Messerall
Cody and Katie Messerall(Courtesy Photos)

“Yeah, normally I’m a Sherpa for these races and my wife was sidelined recovering from a surgery, so I decided to hop in and do it and it was pretty amazing having the support,” Cody said.

“I kind of kept it secret the entire training time until this last week from everybody, so it was pretty exciting to let them know and have them on the course with me.”

Katie and their two children, 11-year-old Hayden and nine-year-old Ellie, stood along the racecourse to cheer for Cody as he passed.

It’s the least she could do, she said, for the man who has meant everything in her training.

“Pre-race, Cody encourages me to get my training in, helps me with my gear, and runs through race day checklists with me,” she said. “Race day, he is up early and scopes the course and makes sure to see me as much as possible on the course. Post race, he is there with a hug and celebration.”

Katie has accomplished her many goals while holding down a job as the assistant principal at Woodway Christian School.

This past school year was her last as she’s now transitioned to a full-time triathlon coach with NVDM Coaching, something else she said would have never happened without Cody.

“I’ve competed in everything from sprint distances all the way to full IRONMANS to the World Championship and I’ve always said I could never do it without the amazing support from my husband, Cody,” Katie said.

“He was on the sidelines cheering me on. He’s been through all my training with me. He’s seen everything I’ve had to do to accomplish what I want to accomplish, and he has supported me every step of the way.”

“He’s been a fabulous support system and it was so fun to have the tables turned and see him out on the racecourse.”

Cody doesn’t have any definitive plans for his next triathlon, but Katie hopes he participates in Tri Waco again next year and if he does, he’ll have his biggest fan at his side.

“He did amazing for his first one,” Katie said. “I’m so proud of him.”

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