WINONA LAKE — A swimmer by trade, Ann Barker has been staying active since her time growing up in Bluffton. After moving to Pierceton in 1994, and later to Winona Lake where she now resides, her activity levels began to increase.
In 2008, she began running 5K races. She got involved in triathlons when, in 2010, she was asked to be part of a relay triathlon and participated in the swimming portion. At this time her interest in cycling was reserved primarily for triathlon training.
However, once she met Todd Snyder in 2015, that all changed. He admitted he “started to get more serious about biking around 9/11.” He grew up in Indianapolis, later moved to Kokomo and finally settled in Winona Lake because he “sought to be closer to the trails.” While Barker had amped up her cycling training in order to prepare for a half Ironman, she began racing even more often after she and Snyder met.
This year Barker has already biked 3,370 miles so far and completed five century rides, or 100 mile rides. Snyder has completed six century rides. Their bike collection has also continued to grow. Barker now has four bikes with different ones for mountain biking and triathlon training. Though Snyder has used six bikes so far this year, he has more available. “You can never have too many bikes,” he remarked. Recently he also purchased “a fat bike so I can ride in deeper snow.” The average bike can only handle approximately 2 inches of snow.
In less optimal weather Barker stated, “I’ll go out if the weather’s decent and do about 20 miles.” In the winter months she tends to focus more on running and swimming though she admitted, “I’m still doing all three just to maintain.” She describes herself as getting too wired if she doesn’t exercise but still able to scale back in the off season.
This year was very busy for Barker and Snyder as they both competed in two half Ironman races and one full Ironman race. In June, just five weeks before their full Ironman in New York, Barker got into a bicycling accident and broke her clavicle. However she was still able to finish the Ironman in approximately 14 hours.
“Next year I’d like to do another marathon and another half Ironman,” Barker plans. With the days already set out on his calendar, Snyder hopes to continue to participate in D.I.N.O. mountain bike races and endurance races. His goal is to complete the 160-mile, one way bike ride, Ride Across Indiana, in July.
With a background in mental health, Barker has always wanted to help people. That is why her job at the Indiana Department of Child Services is so important to her. Her own children, Sarah and Jacob, are a top priority. “My kids are pretty patient with my activity level,” she stated, but also emphasized she will begin her activities early so she is still able to spend quality time with them.
Snyder’s work history revolves around maintenance, engineering and supervisory roles. They both volunteer at Kosciusko County Velo. “Bicycling is a great way to disconnect,” Snyder emphasized.