Liis Rametta

Liis Rametta

11th Oct 2023

In the world of triathlon, where endurance and individual commitment
In the world of triathlon, where endurance and individual commitment often take center stage, Liis Rametta, a member of Team Octagon, exemplifies the spirit of dedication and perseverance.

Founded by Trista Francis, Team Octagon is a diverse, US-based squad that brings together 30 athletes from across 15 states, uniting a blend of high-performing individuals with a team of multidisciplinary experts, including coaches, a registered dietitian, a physical therapist, a cardiac PA, and even school teachers. This unique mix is what sets Team Octagon apart, fostering strong community connections and achieving a remarkable global ranking.

Liis Rametta, an integral part of this extraordinary team, shares her personal journey, the challenges she has faced, and her triumphant moments in the world of triathlon.
Can you share a bit about your personal journey in triathlon? What motivated you to pursue this sport, especially given the demands of a full-time job?

I have always enjoyed competing. I was a D1 track athlete and after my college career was over, I was looking for something I could still be competitive at. I found a triathlon after I had my 1st child in 2012. A coworker invited me to do a sprint triathlon in Southern Utah and the rest is history.

In the beginning, I didn’t take it too seriously and mostly did local events and one 70.3 per year. However, I enjoyed the success I had and wanted to keep pushing myself. It has definitely been challenging to train for full Ironmans while also working but I love a good challenge. It keeps me motivated.
Triathlon is often considered an individual sport, but you’re a part of Team Octagon. How does being on a team influence your training and racing experiences?

This is my first year with Team Octagon and I feel like I am just getting started. I’m excited to meet more of my teammates in Kona, at a team camp, and at our team race at Oregon 70.3 next year.

I think since triathlon is an individual sport, it’s even more important to have a team to belong to. I love having a couple of my teammates located close by, so we can do some training together. I definitely seek out races that I know my Octagon team members will be at. It’s fun to celebrate each other’s successes and also to lift each other up when you are not having your best day. It is also very motivating to see other full-time working moms on our team crush it.
Training for an event like Kona requires dedication and discipline. Can you share some of the key challenges you’ve faced along the way and how you overcame them?

My biggest challenge is the lack of time and other commitments in my life. I have 3 young kids, I work as an elementary school teacher, and I coach the high school cross-country team. Fortunately, my summers are free, so I get to put in some bigger weeks then. During the school year, I do my first workout at 4:30 a.m. and try to fit in another one during my kids’ after-school activities. Sometimes this means having 3 punch passes to different local gyms and pools based on where my kids are at or riding and running indoors even when the weather is nice because my kids are at home.

It takes a lot of planning to fit it all in. On Sunday afternoons I sit down with my husband and we make a schedule for the following week - who picks up the kids on what days, what’s for dinner, other obligations, and so on.

However, I would not change it for a thing. I love that triathlon is my hobby and I am not a professional amateur triathlete. Yes, it’s really hard at times but I like to think of it as if the triathlon is the hardest challenge in my life, I have a pretty easy life. I get to do this!
What role has your support network, including your team and coaches, played in helping you achieve your goals in triathlon?

None of this triathlon stuff would be possible if I didn’t have my family’s support. Even though my husband doesn’t want to have anything to do with endurance sports, he fully supports my passion. About 5 years ago when I decided to do my first full Ironman, I hired a coach, Marko Albert. He is a former professional triathlete from Estonia who now focuses on youth development in Estonia and coaches amateur athletes. Even though I can be very disciplined on my own, having a coach has definitely changed my triathlon career for the better. I have learned so much from him about the sport of triathlon and about myself. He is also a father of 3, so he understands the challenges I face.

I like being part of an amateur elite team because I feel most of us have very similar day-to-day challenges and I find motivation knowing that others are doing it. I also look up to my teammates who have been involved in this sport for decades and continue to give back.