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Meet Coach Erin

Who I Am

Coach, Athlete, Cultivator

I’m a coach, top age-group triathlete, lawyer, and mom of two.  Based in Morganton, NC, I am fortunate to enjoy open water swimming in beautiful Lake James, riding in the Blue Ridge mountains, and running and hiking the trails along the Catawba River and in the Linville Gorge.


It is truly an embarrassment of riches.


I started Trillium Endurance to grow the multisport community by cultivating endurance excellence in Western North Carolina and surrounding areas.

Coach Erin McKee triathlon

Coaching for All Athletes

I have over 4 years of experience coaching athletes from youth to masters, first-time 5K runners to veteran long course triathletes. My credentials include coaching certifications from USAT, USATF, and CrossFit.  Among other personal victories, my athletes have accomplished:

  • First-time 140.6 and 70.3 finishes

  • Sprint and Olympic distance PRs

  • Age group wins

  • First time 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons

  • Marathon PRs

  • Cross-country conference championships

  • State meet qualifications 

  • Youth triathlon victories

Who I Coach


I believe we can grow something great together.  As your coach, I am fully invested in helping you define your own success and cultivate personal excellence to  achieve your goals.  My values:

  • Joy in the process

  • Mental skills and mindset

  • Empowerment through education

  • Commitment to core habits

Coach Erin McKee triathlon
Athletic Highlights
Athletic Highlights
Coach Erin McKee triathlon

Athletic Highlights

My own athletic career hasn’t always been a fairytale, but it’s been a masterclass in the power of perseverance.  As a competitive endurance athlete for the better part of 22 years,  I know what it’s like to:

  • finish last

  • win

  • be proud just to make it to the start line

  • train while the rest of your family is asleep, between classes, between meetings

  • be underestimated

  • start over

  • have dreams that don’t make sense to anyone else

  • struggle with injury

  • work hard and come up short

  • surprise myself with my capacity to keep going


Along the way, I've landed numerous podium finishes at local and regional triathlons (super-sprints to multi-day events) and running races (5K through the marathon).  Some things to write home about:

  • 3 appearances at NCAA DII National Championships for Cross-Country 2003-2005

  • SAC All-Conference and NCAA DII SE All-Region honors in Cross-Country, 2004-2006

  • Conference Carolinas Track and Field 3000m and 5000m champion, 2005

  • Most Valuable Runner – Mars Hill College Track and Field 2005

  • 2nd place overall female, Ridge to Bridge Marathon 2006

  • 1st place overall female, American Triple-T NC 2010

  • 2nd place amateur female, Rev 3 SC 70.3 2011 (USAT elite license qualifier)

  • 2nd place overall female, Grandfather Mountain Marathon 2012

  • 1st place overall female, Peak to Creek Marathon 2012

  • 1st place F35-39 (2 OA), IM 70.3 NC 2022

  • 4th place F35-39, IM 70.3 Happy Valley 2023

  • 1st place F35-39 (5 OA), IM Chattanooga 2023

  • 2nd place female, Fonta Flora 50K+ 2023

  • Multiple IM 70.3 and IM WC qualifications

  • Multiple USAT All-American honors in Triathlon and Duathlon

My Story
Coach Erin McKee triathlon

My Story

Although I've been a competitive endurance athlete for the better part of 22 years, there was a time in my life when I wasn’t much of an athlete at all. 


Despite standing well over 6 feet tall, I was cut from my high school basketball team à la Michael Jordan for - among other deficiencies - a literal lack of hustle.


There was no way around it - I was slow.  But my parents had a sports participation mandate and I knew that the track team didn't make cuts.  I showed up at track practice in the spring having spent the winter jogging, crying, and sucking wind alongside my father (who, in addition to being an accomplished runner, is a man of great patience).  But on the first day of practice, the track coach took one look at my frame and sent me to work out with the throwers.


I couldn’t throw any better than I could run.  And I didn’t want to. For reasons now lost to me, I was set on running distance.  I begged the coach to let me run and was grudgingly allowed to compete – but only if I finished my throws first.  


That first season, I finished last in almost every race I ran.  But something inside me began to grow.  I ran every day.  I got stronger.  I got faster.  And that summer, to everyone’s surprise, I finished 2nd to the top runner at my high school in a local 5K. 


The girl who had no hustle went on to run cross-country and track in college, to earn conference championships, all-region honors, and three trips to national championship events.

After college, I hit a plateau in my running progress and struggled with motivation to train.  Out of boredom, I began strength training and experimenting with adding swimming and cycling to my routine.  Like so many others, I fell in love with triathlon on sight. 


It only took a few months of ad hoc training before I was winning local sprints, but I quickly realized I would need help to continuing growing.  I hired a coach, learned to swim more efficiently and manage terrain on my bike, started racing long course, and earned my pro card within a year.

The Cinderella story hits a snag right here.  For a decade, I sat on the sidelines and watched other people accomplish the athletic feats I had once wished for myself.  In no particular order, I was injured, my children were born, I was finishing law school, building a career, and going several rounds with a "not scary" (but very inconvenient) kind of cancer. 


As each year ticked by, the thought of competing felt more and more overwhelming.  But in 2022, I decided to change my outlook and re-engage with sport on my terms - whatever the result. 


I am training and racing again, finding joy in the process, standing on podiums, and doing it all in a way that works for my life and my family.  It has been a year of tremendous growth.  And I am honored to use this experience to nurture this kind of growth in you.

Coach Erin McKee triathlon

Let's get growing

Ready to grow?  Contact Coach Erin to learn more about joining the Trillium Endurance family.


Not there yet?  Discover more by joining the Trillium Endurance e-mail list, connecting on social media, or checking out the Blog.

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