Happy Friday – SQUIRREL!

From USA Triathlon

These Squirrels Are Ready for Winter Triathlon

One month ago, the top winter triathletes around the world competed for national and world titles in championship events that took place in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Cheile Gradistei, Romania. These wild red squirrels wanted to join the action too!

Swedish photographer Geert Weggen works extensively with wild squirrels to capture unique, whimsical images. We’re pleased to feature Weggen’s latest photos, inspired by the sport of winter triathlon, which consists of a run, bike and ski.

See all the photos

How to Wildflower! Your Complete Guide to this Longstanding, Epic Triathlon

By Alison Freeman

Maybe you’ve signed up for Wildflower (what’s Wildflower? ) and haven’t quite sorted out your logistics for the epic weekend of triathlon, camping, beer, wine, and music. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to sign up for Wildflower, but have been holding back because sorting out the BYO details is just too overwhelming. (Do I have to eat freeze dried camp food for my pre-race dinner? Is there an option besides instant coffee? Where do I shower? No, really. WHERE DO I SHOWER???) No worries, I’ve got all your answers right here.

Jump to: Travel – Shelter & Showers – Food & WaterEverything Else


Assuming that you’re not driving to the race, Monterey Regional Airport is the closest airport to Lake San Antonio … but doesn’t seem to serve direct flights from Denver. Given that, your best bet is to fly into San Jose Airport, although San Francisco and Oakland are also decent options. You’ll need to rent a car, as the race site is not Uber-able from the airport. Don’t want to deal with flying with your bike and then having to rent an enormous, expensive SUV? ProBike Express, your local bike concierge, will offer bike + bag + tent + anything else you need transport services if there is sufficient interest; TriBike Transport serves the race as well.

Plan for a 2-1/2 to 3 hour drive from the airport down to Lake San Antonio, but make sure to buffer an extra 30-60 minutes to stop for provisions along the way (see “Food & Water” below). Your best bet is to hit up Salinas, which is about halfway from San Jose Airport to Lake San Antonio and serves as a convenient place to stock up on supplies for the weekend. There’s a Costco, a Walmart, a Target, and a Safeway, so between the four you should be able to find pretty much everything you need. There’s also an In-N-Out Burger in Salinas, and if you don’t stop and get a double-double animal style, we’re going to have a serious conversation about your priorities.

If you find yourself 15 minutes south of Salinas and realize you forgot the key ingredient for your famous campfire mac-n-cheese, you can stop at the Safeway in King City, which is about an hour outside of Lake San Antonio. For real this is the last place to find provisions, so check your list twice before driving off.

Finally, you’ll want to plan your trip timing around the road closures within Lake San Antonio Park. All roads in the park are closed on Saturday from 7am-3pm and on Sunday from 8am-3pm. Regardless of what race you’re eyeing, plan to arrive no later than Friday and leave late Sunday afternoon. (Already made travel arrangements that conflict with road closures? You can park at North Shore campground and take a boat shuttle to/from the race site.)

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There are a myriad of great lodging options available for Wildflower, as long as you’re not dead set on turn down service and a chocolate on your pillow: there are no hotels to be found anywhere near the race site. Here’s what is available:

Camping is available at a number of campgrounds surrounding the Lake. You can lock in advance reservations HERE. Individual spaces are first-come-first-served, so if you’re picky about locations, plan to arrive at the race site on Thursday rather than Friday. Camping is $25/person/night for everyone over 16.

RV parking is available at the campgrounds as well with the same logistics and pricing as tent camping. (The limited number of RV spots with hookups are, unfortunately, sold out.) You can bring your own RV or you can arrange to have one delivered to the campsite if a two-day drive each way doesn’t fit your schedule.

While sadly the super-cool Tinker Tins are sold out for 2018, there is still limited available for the Bell Tents (think: Glamping), at $950 for the full three nights. If you like the idea of camping but want to add a little civility, or just back support, to the weekend, I’d jump on these quickly – more info HERE.

For all of these lodging options, standard campground bathrooms should typically be no more than a few hundred yards away. Some of these will have showers, some won’t, so get the lay of the land ahead of time and strategize shower timing to avoid the crowds.

If you really can’t get past the idea of a private, hot shower, AirBnB and VRBO are great sources for rentals surrounding Lake San Antonio, and there are hotels in nearby Paso Robles, approximately 35 miles from the Lake. If you do stay outside the park, keep those Saturday and Sunday road closure times in mind, and plan to pay the $10/person/day Festival pass rates upon entering the Park.

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This is the area where your advance planning skills really get tested. You do want to think through ALL of your food and drink needs prior to heading to Wildflower for the weekend.

• Water – Yes, you need to bring your own water. Maybe a half gallon per day per person? Maybe even a smidge more to account for race day requirements.

• Race Fueling – Breakfast / pre-race nutrition; Race nutrition; Post-race nutrition. If it’s a powder-based product, make sure you’ll have sufficient water AND sufficient clean water bottles. If it’s real food, see next item …

• Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner – How many days? What do you want to eat? How are you going to cook it? How are you going to store it? If you’re going to cook, you’ll need to bring your own skillet, pots, plates and utensils, and be sure to grab a cooler – styrofoam or the real deal – when you stop for provisions. You can grab ice, firewood, and lighter fluid at the small, very basic, general store onsite.

• Want to restock mid-weekend? In addition to the small, onsite store, Oak Hill Market is roughly 15 minutes outside the park and is about the best general store there is: quality meats, great produce, wine, barbecue supplies, eggs, and a great deli. (There’s also a gas station here – the nearest one I believe – if you are running low!)

• Don’t want to cook over a fire? – Welcome to my world. Thankfully we won’t be left to starve – there will be a wide variety of food trucks at the festival all weekend, and they will mostly be serving healthy/gourmet food rather than traditional carnival food truck fare. Save for your 5am pre-race meal, the food trucks will have you covered. Pro tip: TriCalifornia is exploring a cashless system for festival vendors, including food trucks. Keep an eye out for more info on their website and Facebook page!

• Must. Have. Pasta. – No duh. There’s a pasta party Friday night. Did you really think they’d leave you hanging? Tickets will be available online starting in Mid-March ($12 adults / $6 under 16) and you can buy tickets onsite if that’s more your style ($14 / $8), but only those who buy tickets in advance get a second serving.

• But what about coffee??? – Yup, they thought of that too. Nate Dressel, former pro triathlete, will be there with his new venture, Frontier Coffee. Just be prepared to stand in a long line if your morning routine involves anything incorporating the word “latte.”

And if reading all that just gave you an enormous headache, there are a limited number of $200 VIP packages remaining that cover breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire weekend. You can add this option to your campground reservation, Bell Tent reservation, or pre-purchased Festival day pass upon checkout through Active.com.

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So then … Travel: Check. Shelter: Check. Showers: Check. Food & Water: Check. …


You’ve sorted through the headache of a race venue where everything – literally, EVERYTHING – is BYO. So now what? TIME TO PARTY!!! Just kidding. Well, not really. Pretty much the whole point of Wildflower is that it’s not just a race, it’s an entire weekend of awesomeness. And to experience all of this awesomeness properly, it’s going to require just a little more advance preparation.

First off, in the weeks leading into the Wildflower Experience weekend, TriCalifornia is going to release the official Wildflower app. (Yup, there’s an app for that.) Given the very limited cell service at Lake San Antonio – no, I would not anticipate any wifi hotspots – you’ll want to download this app before race weekend. Then, while you still have cell service, make sure the maps and shuttle schedules are loaded, and review the race weekend schedule. Within the app you can reserve spots for activities and services – as in: post-race massages and pedicures – and you’ll want to do this before race weekend.

Minus scheduling your massage, you can take advantage of much of the race weekend awesomeness on a more spontaneous basis. Plan for lots of time hanging around the campsite – pack your Eno hammock, or consider grabbing a cheap-o lawn chair at Walmart to enable this activity. But do wander off from your campsite at some point and check out the Festival: bands will be playing throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, there will be local artisan tents and helicopter tours (only $99 – if I weren’t terrified of helicopters I’d say this sounds like a steal), there’s an art bar where you can paint and drink wine (this is more my speed), and you can rent paddle boards and kayaks anytime outside of race swim windows. And yes, beer and wine will be flowing all weekend long.

As if all that weren’t enough, there is a 5k run at the Redonda Vista campground on Saturday night (think: pre- or post-race shake out run) that ends with an 80’s dance party, sponsored by Clif Bar. Seriously: AN 80’S DANCE PARTY. I mean, I thought I was excited about the Wildflower Experience when I signed up – now I don’t even care about the race. I just want to go to the 80’s dance party.

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More info about the races (long and short course tri’s – both on-road and off-road, 10k, 5k, trail run, and SUP races) HERE and registration HERE.

Make a reservation for camping or a Bell Tent HERE.

Check out the full weekend schedule HERE.

8 Fitness Trends for 2018

Kickboxing, functional movement flow and brain-training… check out all the latest research-supported trends as reported by by Pete McCall at the American Council on Exercise

This is the perfect opportunity to gaze into the future and attempt to predict what will happen in the fitness industry over the coming year.

Based on wide-ranging research and numerous conversations with colleagues working for health clubs, equipment companies and education organizations, I’ve identified some of the fitness trends we are most likely to see in the coming year. The trends listed below, although not an exhaustive list by any means, represent opportunities for you to increase your knowledge as a health and fitness professional, and identify potential areas of growth in 2018.

(Note: If you’d like to judge the accuracy of my soothsaying abilities, here are the trend lists for 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014. It’s a shame I can’t make the same predictions about the outcomes of football games or the stock market.)

Boxing and kickboxing workouts will experience a resurgence in popularity.

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of studios opening up to offer these physically demanding workouts, as well as an increase in the number of boxing/kickboxing classes showing up on group fitness schedules.

2018 will make a rediscovery of functional training.

After years of high-intensity interval training reigning supreme, 2018 will make a rediscovery of functional training that emphasizes movement quality over load and intensity. Lashaun Dale, vice president for content and programming at 24 Hour Fitness who specializes in being a futurist for the fitness industry, suggests that class programming will shift toward an emphasis on what she calls “conscious movement,” as opposed to simply pushing the intensity of a workout to reach the point of exhaustion.

Fitness programs will become more mindful with instructors and trainers incorporating various strategies to promote flow states via exercise…

Check out the full article for more trends including mindful exercise, brain training, and more.


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Butterfield Wins Bermuda Marathon in 2:27

Always one to recognize and compliment the competition, as well as thanking the cheering crowds, Longmont’s Tyler Butterfield won yesterday’s Bermuda Marathon with grace, and gratitude.

From the Royal Gazette

Tyler Butterfield followed in the example set by Dage Minors in Friday’s Elite Mile when he ran to victory in the Bermuda Marathon yesterday in near-perfect running conditions.

Butterfield, Bermuda’s top male triathlete who returned from his home in Boulder, Colorado to compete for the first time in several years, set the pace after a 1hr 14min time for the first loop on his way to a winning time of 2:27:07 ahead of last year’s winner, Bryan Morseman, of the United States, who clocked 2:28:43. Third was Abu Kebede Diriba, of Ethiopia, in 2:37:44.

“I’ve done one marathon before and that was a 2:42 [time] when I was 21, a good 14 years ago,” Butterfield said after his victory. “I ran a 2:48 in an Ironman, so I knew with a 2:42 I should be able to improve on that.”

Butterfield ran several miles with another local runner, Chayce Smith, who was competing in the Bermuda Half-Marathon.

“Chayce and I ran the first lap together and it was great hearing everyone cheering us on,” Butterfield said. “It was nice to have some locals up the front.

“Bryan led me through the first half and then we ran the first mile or two [second loop] together before I pulled away just after Trimingham Hill.

“There was a slight downhill before the flat to McGall’s Hill and I had speed coming off the hill and just went with it. I thought I might regret it later because it was a little quick. The first lap was a negative split but I have to say there was a lot of people out there cheering. Thank you to the people who come out every year.”

Butterfield and Morseman were tucked in with the Half-Marathon lead pack, before the field started to open up after the two-mile mark and Butterfield carried on to win,

Butterfield still holds the senior schools mile record of 4:27:30, which he set in 1999 when a student at Saltus.


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Tyler Butterfield tackling Bermuda Marathon this weekend

From the Royal Gazette

Triathlete Tyler Butterfield will run in Bermuda Marathon Weekend as he continues his preparation for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April.

Butterfield is to return home from Boulder, Colorado, tomorrow and will be among hundreds taking part in the full marathon on Sunday — the final race of the three-day event.

The 34-year-old, whose schedule does not usually allow him to compete in the Bermuda Marathon Weekend, will also take part in the Butterfield & Vallis 5K next weekend, which marks the 100th anniversary of his family’s wholesale business.

“I’m super excited about doing a road race in Bermuda again,” Butterfield said.

“I miss doing May 24, but some years the timing works and others it doesn’t due to other races over here in the United States or internationally.

“I’m pumped to get to do a bit of Bermuda Marathon Weekend, a weekend I used to always look forward to when I lived on the island. I’m not looking at anything special from myself in the marathon; I just want to enjoy it.

“I will be racing off mostly base training and it will be one of my last long, harder runs before I switch to focus on more speed.”

Butterfield left his mark in the schools’ KPMG Front Street Mile races in the early 2000s when he set several records. His schedule will not allow him to return in time to watch those races.

“I would love to come on Thursday to watch the Front Street Mile on Friday night, but I’ve one other sponsor trip I had to do this week, today and tomorrow.”

Butterfield is also looking forward to competing in the Butterfield & Vallis race, along with brother Spencer. He will also be the guest speaker at the Bermuda Triathlon Association’s prize-giving dinner at the Loft at Flanagan’s next Saturday.

“Tickets for that are available at Raceday World, and it should be a fun night talking about modern racing, the old days of triathlon and racing with my dad Jim.

“Then the next day I will be at the Butterfield & Vallis 5k to celebrate the [company’s] 100th anniversary. It’s a perfect distance for everyone to come out and enjoy a family event.

“It’s great to be able to be home for both weekends and three great events. Bermuda always has so much going on.”

Butterfield will then turn his focus to the Commonwealth Games, where he hopes to be a part of a triathlon relay team including Flora Duffy, Tyler Smith and Erica Hawley.

“After this trip to Bermuda, it will be back to Colorado and a training camp in Arizona to start to get ready for Commonwealth Games in April,” he said.


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Coeur Sports Launches “Collective Beat” Community

Coeur Sports has announced they will launch the Collective Beat women’s triathlon community in 2018:

We created The Collective Beat so that we could expand our community beyond our team of ambassadors and professionals. The goal is to draw in more amazing women who are instinctively aligned with the Coeur mission of building a nation of encouraging, supportive, and positive endurance sports athletes.

Our goal is to help make connections that can last a lifetime.

There will be a nominal fee to join The Collective Beat and we wanted to share our thinking behind the program and also tell everyone about the benefits.

So, let’s start with the benefits. We set up the benefits so that members will receive much more in value than the cost of membership. First, members will receive a $200 clothing allowance that can be used to purchase some beautiful and exclusive apparel.

To see the full line, just go to the Collective Beat page on the Coeur Website

The gear will be designed specifically for TCB members and will be delivered around the first of April next year. Just as the North American Tri Season gets going.

Members will also receive a free women’s specific triathlon training plan that was developed by the ladies over at Hardcoeur coaching. These plans retail for up to $149.99 and we have a selection of distances that range from sprint to full iron distance.

We’ll also be giving members an an unlimited use, 20% discount code that is good all year long for Coeur Sports and Zele by Coeur products. You’ll be able to begin using your discount as soon as you join and it can be used on the new 2018 line that we just rolled out.

Plus, our amazing partners are also providing some incredible discounts. So if you’ve ever wanted to try something from great companies, like Barnanas, Zelios, Breakthrough Nutrition, Normatek, Inside Tracker and more, then this is your chance. Just sign up and do some shopping.

Finally, members will have access to a social site where they can cheer for each other and keep up with new benefits as they become available. In our heart of hearts, we believe that the social connection will be one of the most special benefits that members receive.

If this plays out the way we hope, people will know that if someone is wearing TCB gear, then there’s an extremely good chance that that individual is positive, encouraging, relatable, and approachable. We’ve said it time and again, that the first step (or pedal) into endurance sports can be a bit scary and we hope that Collective Beat members will be little beacons of encouragement all around the world.

All in all, we think this is a fantastic package of benefits that will more than cover the $250 cost of the program. We’ll be welcoming members until January 31, 2018 and then the membership will be valid until January 31, 2019.

Check out all the details

Casting for Season Two of “IRONMAN: QUEST FOR KONA” Now Open

Series to run in 2018 through top international broadcasters; Casting submissions open until February 1, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. (December 15, 2017) — IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, announced today that applications for the second season of “IRONMAN: Quest for Kona”, are now being accepted globally.

The series, which just finished airing its first full season on NBCSN and Red Bull TV to positive reviews, is scheduled to air in 2018 and will profile ten athletes from around the world as they embark on their journey to qualifying for the most iconic single-day endurance event, the IRONMAN® World Championship which will take place in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on October 13, 2018. Throughout the series, athletes will evolve physically and emotionally as they pursue the goal of competing among the best in the world.

“We are excited to embark on our search for the next set of IRONMAN competitors who are willing to share their stories of dedication and perseverance in working toward their ultimate goal – qualifying for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship,” said Christopher Stadler, Chief Marketing Officer of IRONMAN. “I am confident that we are going to have another cast of remarkable athletes looking to share their extraordinary and awe-inspiring stories.”

Each episode will feature one charismatic and engaging contender as they take on a specific IRONMAN qualifying event, capturing the breathtaking scenery, local culture and unique athletic challenges that each setting presents. While not every athlete may ultimately qualify, each will show that IRONMAN is about persevering, enduring and being a part of something larger than themselves, proving that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE®.

Self-shot footage will be utilized to capture each person’s real-time journey as a supplement to the broadcast content. “IRONMAN: Quest for Kona” takes aspirational athletes and puts their mission front and center, inviting viewers to experience the personal highs and lows of each pursuit. Air dates and channels for each market will be released in the coming months.

Casting for the second season is currently open globally, with the first round of submission due by February 1, 2018. Additional information and casting application is available at www.ironman.com/questforkona.

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. For media related inquiries, please contact press@ironman.com.

Women’s Wednesday: Colorado’s Sarah Thomas – the woman who swam a century and made history

Sarah Thomas © Ken Classen

 “…only three athletes active today have finished ‘current-neutral’ swims of 63 miles or more — all three of them women.”

Unnoticed and unfeted, a US swimmer is breaking the sport’s boundaries

From Financial Times

Last week Sarah Thomas got up at 5am and drove the 25 miles from her home to the swimming pool in Lakewood, Colorado, as she does most mornings. There she completed her 6,000-yard workout before heading to work as a healthcare recruiter. She was untroubled by autograph hunters; no TV crews stopped her to seek an interview.

And yet Thomas is, according to Steven Munatones, founder of the World Open Water Swimming Association, “an outlier, a once-in-a-generation athlete, and a motivator who is showing others how far they can push themselves”. In August she completed what must rank as one of 2017’s greatest achievements in endurance sport, swimming further than anyone — man or woman — has swum before without the assistance of currents: a scarcely believable 104 miles, nonstop, in three days and nights in the water.

“The record wasn’t really the big incentive for me,” Thomas tells me from her home in Denver. “It was about finding and pushing my personal limits.” What could be a weary trope coming from many athletes rings true from Thomas. She swims without sponsorship — fitting her training around her full-time job. Her achievements have received little media attention; her record-breaking swim has not, to date, even been mentioned in a national newspaper.

“Sarah herself doesn’t seek out publicity,” Ken Classen, her coach and training partner, tells me. “If it wasn’t for her friends and mother-in-law she’d probably have no publicity and quite frankly I don’t think she’d care either way.”

Last year Thomas swam a record 82 miles nonstop in Lake Powell but felt she could go further — the 100-mile barrier beckoned. In choosing the current-free Lake Champlain for her swim, Thomas was attempting something no one of either gender had previously done. “A few people have swum over 100 miles before,” explains Evan Morrison, co-founder of the Marathon Swimming Federation, that adjudicated Thomas’ swim, but only with the assistance of strong, predictable currents.

These include a 139.8-mile effort by the late Croatian swimmer, Veljko Rogosic, in the Adriatic. “His swim was very impressive, but it belongs in a separate category,” explains Morrison. According to his records, only three athletes active today have finished “current-neutral” swims of 63 miles or more — all three of them women.

Beat Knechtle, a Swiss doctor and endurance athlete who has studied female performance in open-water swimming, offers two possible explanations for this dominance. “Women have an advantage due to their higher body fat, which provides insulation against the cold and better buoyancy.” As wetsuits may not be worn for official open-water swims, this could be an important advantage. Then there is the mental side. “In open-water swimming women have learnt that they are able to beat men and therefore expect to compete at a higher level,” says Knechtle.

Thomas agrees. “Women have a long history of swimming: it’s been socially acceptable for us to be athletes in the pool and open water for much longer than in other sports. I think having that strong foundation has really helped women to compete and train at a high level.”

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Colorado man, 75, dies following triathlon at Sudgen Regional Park, officials say

Sugden Regional Park in East Naples offers a host of activities, many centered around the 60-acre lake.

From Naples News

A Colorado man died following a triathlon at Sugden Regional Park in East Naples on Sunday, officials said.

A Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputy stationed at the event to coordinate traffic was alerted by a man about 7:20 a.m. that “there is a man in the water, not breathing,” according to a Sheriff’s Office incident report.

The deputy ran to the shoreline of the lake where he found a man, later identified as 75-year-old James Treadwell, lying on the sand and being tended to by a Collier County EMS paramedic, two race participants and Treadwell’s wife, the report states.

After confirming Treadwell had no pulse and wasn’t breathing, the group began cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

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303Radio Interviews Stryd’s Nick Obletz and Angus Nelson

303radio was in Boulder recently interviewing Nick Obletz and Angus Nelson of Stryd–the running power meter and finding out why it should be under the Christmas tree this year.

If you aren’t familiar with running with a power meter you will want to listen to this podcast to learn why running with power can help you be faster and more efficient.


Also, be sure to check out our full story on Stryd by Rich Soares from our Holiday Gift Guide.