Ross Hennessy


Hello, my name is Ross Hennessy and I couldn't be more excited to be part of Team EMPOWER. I have been involved in triathlon for about seven years, and working with children for the last 10. What better way to combine these two passions than to help children with cleft  through IRONMANracing! I am a Pre-K-8 physical education teacher working with an African and Middle Eastern immigrant population. Smile Train has actually helped some of the families I work directly with!


I got my start in triathlon by doing an off road, super sprint. At the time, I had not run more than a mile, my bike didn’t shift and I had left my goggles at home. I trudged through, and will never forget the excitement when I rounded the last bend and could see the finish line! The event staff was also excited, as they had mostly broken down, ready to leave, and here I was dead last. Regardless of my position, I was hooked! Now, just six years later, I have completed four full IRONMAN races, many 70.3s and have been on the podium across all the distances!

Going through the triathlon journey has truly changed my life and my daily motivations. I never thought I could run a marathon, definitely not after biking 112 miles or swimming 2.4. Smile Train changes lives in an even bigger way, giving children and families a chance to eat and drink normally, while having a chance at a truly successful life. Being a part of Team EMPOWER truly motivates me with each step I take. Knowing that I am out there racing for something bigger than myself is a feeling you can only understand once you do it. I'm thankful for the opportunity, and I can’t wait to see how many children's lives we can change this year!