It’s not just inspirational gibberish when Coach Pitts, the leader of the Duke University Triathlon Club, tells her kids the most important thing about being knocked down, is getting back up again.
“My most memorable moment from last year’s Pan Am Championship race was a running downhill face plant at around mile two,” said Pitts. “And the men behind me starting jumping over me to pass!”
Unfazed, Pitts got back up and finished the race with the fastest run split in her division to take home the 50-54 age group Pan Am and USA Championship crowns.
“My favorite quote is from the Count of Monte Cristo, when he says ‘Life is a storm. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout, Do your worst, for I will do mine."
And, indeed she has. Pitts started riding mountain bikes seven years ago, did her first XTERRA in 2010, and has been shouting into the storm ever since.
The reigning and two-time XTERRA Southeast Regional Champion out of Raleigh, North Carolina, is the owner and founder of B3 Triathlon coaching, says she loves sustained climbing, and not surprisingly, lists Mr. XTERRA Marcus Barton as her favorite XTERRA racer.
“Marcus is so passionate about XTERRA and he shares his love with others,” she said. “He makes me want to be a better person and a stronger athlete.”
Marcus says the same thing about Margo.
“I've had the opportunity to race and train with her and can tell you she's a blast to be around and always has an upbeat, fun-loving aura,” said Barton. “She's a pretty dedicated coach as well. On one occasion, we rode our mountain bikes all over the Ironman Raleigh course cheering on our friends and her athletes. We put in a ton of miles that day just scooting from point to point across the course. We've gone to races, pre-ridden race courses, hill repeats in the mountains of North Carolina, you name it. She's even a part of our Rabid Muffin Monkeys mountain bike team. No matter where we are or what we are doing, she's always a blast and makes friends everywhere she goes with her outgoing personality. But... don't let that smile fool ya, she's a fierce competitor. She trains very hard and races even harder.”
Marcus added that Margo also has an addiction to mountain bikes and “looooooooves country music!”
This year Pitts has pegged a pair of summertime races, XTERRA Beaver Creek and XTERRA Aspen, as two races she’s really looking forward to, adding that “Aspen is an EPIC race, be sure to sign up if you haven’t experienced it.”
Unless, of course, you’re in the women’s 50-54 division and have plans on winning it!
As for some free motivational advice, Pitts shared how she chants mantras to herself during races.
“They are different for every race and always written on my forearm race morning. It’s what motivates and drives me to finish strong.”
When asked how she would describe XTERRA racing, Pitts replied … “XTERRA is Badass”
Takes one to know one.