With over 130 athletes from Colorado racing IRONMAN Arizona this weekend, we went digging in the 303 archives to resurrect this awesome mini-documentary of a day in the life of Dave Christen at IRONMAN Arizona 2016, courtesy of Kenny Withrow. Enjoy!
Easier navigating makes a faster swim
HAUGESUND: After several years of Ironman 70,3 the pristine and coastal town of Haugesund now steps up its game and prepares for its first full distance. Far from sunny Hawaii the Norwegians aims for Cold KONA. Situated on the stunning western coast of Norway both scenic landscape and pure nature should give that hardcore Viking-vibe and classic ironman-feeling.
Now Ivar Jacobsen and his team prepares for an even better competition, focusing on improving every detail of the course. Ironman 70,3 in Haugesund was awarded Global Athlete Satisfaction Award 2015.
But Ivar and the volunteers always strive to improve. One athletes feedback sums up the core of an Ironman-competition in Haugesund: I felt like being part of a local race, but with the impeccable organization of a full Ironman.
“I have been thinking a lot about how the swimming-experience can be even better. One of the annoying things with open water swims is that you have to adjust your course constantly. If you have to stop and raise your head looking for the next bouy in the water you will loose quite few seconds every time”, Ivar Jacobsens said.
Just forget swimming in the icy North Sea. The Ironman Haugesund-swim is performed in Skeisvatnet, a freshwater lake right outside the city center. In Norwegian smalltown-scale that means just a few blocks from basically anything.
Check the whole course here.
-We have now developed a new system that solves two obstacles for a good and fast swim. First of all, with a high number of swimmers in the water you can risk that the old bouy-system will move a little bit and may confuse the swimmers.
Mr. Jacobsens solution is simple, clever and obvious.
“We will simply use a tube that is semi-submersible. We inflate it with air and water that will make light enough to float and heavy enough to stay in its position during the whole swim. It is almost like an oil-lense system used by the oil industry”, Ivar explained.
Instead of gaps with no markers or course-helping objects for the swimmers they can now follow a consecutive line all the way through. The tube will give guidance for direction all the time.
Read Mary Beth Ellis emotional experiences in Ironman 70,3 in Haugesund, 2012.
Like doing lapses in a pool
“Since this is a lake we do not have any waves or currents. Just follow the tube-lines in the water and you will get through, Ivar said.
The swimmers will go in the water by a rolling start and swim in an enormous s-shaped turn. The Skeisvatnet Lake is deep but not big enough for straight lengths.
-We really look forward testing the tubes out. Most likely the lake will stay ice-free this winter and we will have plenty of time for testing and adjustments, Ivar Jacobsen said.
From Training Peaks “Four Sports you should do in the off season”
According to the website Cyclova, it is believed that cyclocross originated in the autumn, in the French countryside. Racers riding from one town to another would take shortcuts through farmer’s fields, jumping over fences with an eye on the church steeple marking the next town. During this time, the sport was called “steeple chasing.”
WHY DO IT?
Long accepted as a way for road racers to stay fit in the off-season, cyclocross isn’t much of a cross training stretch for road racers. More recently, mountain bikers and triathletes can be found toeing the start line at a “cross” race.
The sport offers the challenge of riding a bike in mud, sand and grass. Combine that with obstacles and steep uphill sections that require bike carrying, this multi-lap sport is fun for racers and spectators alike.
Most races are some 30 to 60 minutes long, with the leg-searing intensity many racers savor. Fun, variety, challenge and bad weather conditions draw endurance junkies who don’t want to give up intensity in the off-season.
HOW TO FIT IT INTO YOUR TRAINING PLAN?
When participating in cross, it is best to leave any heavy weight training until after the season is over. Cut down the long rides that you’ve been doing all season and include these short, fast races instead.
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Are you an IRON-NERD?
Tell us how much you love IRONMAN, how it’s changed your life for the better, or any other story how IRONMAN came into your life.
The judging committee at 303Triathlon will choose the best entry and the winner will receive two (2) tickets to the IRONMAN World Championship Broadcast Premiere Viewing Party in New York City (travel and lodging NOT INCLUDED) on Tuesday, December 5th.
Prize valued at $300, the winner and their guest will get to attend the Broadcast Premiere and rub shoulders with Pro-Athletes Patrick Lange, Timothy O’Donnell, the “Voice of IRONMAN” Mike Reilly, and many more IRONMAN celebrities.
By Cassie Cilli
If you’re like me, you’ve watched the movie Legally Blonde close to a million times (and counting!) and can quote most of it by heart. There’s a scene in which Elle Woods hands over her resume to Emmett, her professor’s junior partner at Harvard law. As she walks away he sniffs the pink colored perfumed paper he says “Do you think she just woke up one day and said… “I’m going to go to law school?!”” This is how I feel about my intro to trail running and I’m assuming what most of you might be thinking, “Did she just wake up one day and decide to trail run?!” Well yes, yes I did!
It’s crazy what can happen in a year. I started this journey with the intent to get myself healthy. Have you ever looked in the mirror and completely hated the person staring back at you, someone you no longer knew? Well, that’s where I was. I had a disappointing running season last year, but had made new friends, joined a club and community that gave me new meaning to life. But, you never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball. Late last summer my dog was viciously murdered, my fiancé and I decided to part ways after 9 years, AND my work was closing its doors after I had been there for a little over 6 years! When it rains it truly pours!!!
Starting over is never an easy thing to go through. Devastated, I picked up what pieces remained, tucked my little turtle tail between my legs and retreated home for a bit. I knew this year was going to be about trying to focus on me, which was something I’d never done before (aka hard!) and proving to myself that I could do this trail running thing. It was the only thing that provided therapy and relief for me and still connected me to Boulder and my friends. But I also found myself even more lost, so much change had left me confused on who I really was! (So I apologize if I have appeared like a basket case to any of you! It’s been a whirlwind and I know I haven’t been the best of a friend. Thank you for still being there!)
I decided to go back this time and get my revenge on my racing season. There was method to my madness! I signed up for my 100 miler first, then went back and signed up for the distances I didn’t finish at last year… so a 32 miler (out of 50) and a 50 miler (out of a 100). Coincidentally or not, each race corresponded to something meaningful in my life. Therefore each race had some sort of message or mantra that I boldly wrote on my arm to remind me what I was doing. Last year I was obsessed with cutoffs times, this year I decided to put away that part of my brain that was always worried about time, and use my determination to propel me. Which, mind you, is way easier said than done when you’re mid race!!
At Dirty Thirty, I wanted that finish because I had never actually done a 50K. Apparently I skipped that last season in favor for a 50 miler! Go figure! On a friend’s fridge was a quote to “remember who you wanted to be” I found this very fitting for me at the time, as I had lost sight of what I was trying to become, why I had even started this journey in the first place. This became my mantra. I also ran for my dog, whose death anniversary was the same weekend of the race. I know that sounds weird but I ran a disappointing Leadville Marathon last season because I had lost her that week, and I wanted some sort of vindication this go around. Also, if a six pound dog who was literally ripped apart by two big dogs can still be alive even for the briefest of ten minutes, I sure as hell can survive some pain. I ate an Oreo in her honor at the top of the last peak, screamed some profanities, shed my first tear of the race and finished my first official ultra!
Next was Leadville Silver Rush 50M. Good gracious my oh my, don’t even get me started on Leadville!!! I love it, I hate it, it’s easy, it’s “runnable”… but it’s hard!!! I had it out for this place. Vendetta. We were at war and I was going to finish as redemption for the 100 last year. It was solely that motivation that got me to the finish. I went out feeling great and I made the turn around in what was a great time for my turtleness! But around mile 40 I lost my marbles… and my shot of whiskey I had been saving (which really works p.s.!) I walked it to the finish, but I learned some valuable lessons. Tape your feet and lube ‘em up, no one likes blisters! Saltine crackers at 10,000 feet are gross! Shoe insoles, duh! Tip from a pro, fill one of your bottles up with Coke-A-Cola… why didn’t I think of that?! Oh, and everybody hurts (another pro tip)!
So, I hit a bit of a lull after the fifty miler. I found myself depressed, after race blues are a real thing I’m finding out! This was my first time driving to work in 8 years, usually I bike, which is extra fitness if you’re training for things! I had lost that and was honestly putting more miles on my car than my body. I was also stressed trying to balance work, dog sitting, running, relationships that I completely sucked at having, and trying to maintain some sort of a social life… that I broke said car. (Another life lesson learned: OIL, you need to put oil in your car. Oops!) I would have quit the 100 miler, it was counting down quickly to race time. But someone so graciously made a post about my adventures and I knew I couldn’t quit ( p.s. thank you for that!) I knew I had to keep running, but it was so darn hard to find the motivation or drive. I was thankful for everyone’s support, but I also wasn’t taking their advice for running strategies. “You need to run 30 miles back to back!” “You need to do speedwork!” “You need to run A LOT more than you are now!” Woof, I liked my bed and wallowing in self-pity more. Truthfully my work schedule didn’t allow me to run back to back without going to work like a complete zombie, and I’m sure I had already stressed them out enough with my race schedule and crying over my life bouts! It took a couple weeks but I got moving again, thanks to friends getting me up and out. I made the turn around in my brain and the last four weeks I got the job done. And I’m so glad I got out on those last few big runs, some of my best memories of summer!
I went in to Run Rabbit Run 100 comparing myself to last year. I felt like last time I had run more and was lighter and leaner! However, this year I had run much longer quality distance runs, and I’d like to think weighing more meant I had more muscle, I wasn’t sure which version was better! I’m also not good with the whole planning out your race or pace chart thing… aka spreadsheets. Like I said, I get so consumed with the cutoff times that it can royally mind screw me. So, I never really looked at them or had them memorized. I said: Screw it!!!! You’ve done everything you could have done, you’re as fit as can be, and you’ve done the work, just know the basics and keep moving! Obviously my crew had the info and could figure out where we needed to be and when. But I didn’t want to know and I told them to lie to me about it, and everything else! Tell me I look great, even though I’m 99% sure I didn’t for 99% of that race!
There’s a lot that happens in a 100 miles. It’s hard to describe in words even. I feel like I blacked out for most of it. I can tell you that it’s really, really, REALLY far and there comes a point where even another darn mile seems like eternity… “another three miles to the next aid station?! but that’s so far!!!” I don’t think our brains can fully fathom that distance, even though I’ve done it, I can’t explain how far it is. You also go into this awful self-loathing period of time, no one tells you about it, or when it will strike or how long it will take for you to work yourself out of it. It can happen repeatedly too! (Joy!) It is literally the epitome of darkness. I won’t even say what I told myself for hours upon end in those moments, because no one should say those things to another. And that’s why my motto or mantra for the race was to “Have courage, and be kind and all will be well” It’s a Cinderella quote, judge all you want!!! But it’s in these dark spaces of spaces to find the courage and strength and to be kind to yourself and to others around you that keeps you going. Also, whiskey at mile 65 and 82, messages from friends and pancakes help.
I left my crew a note that they read after I had already started the race. I thanked them all for taking the time to come and help me and how much it mean to me to have them there. I said how I knew I wasn’t the fastest, fittest, strongest person out there but I KNEW I could do it, and needed them to believe in me too. I said how I wasn’t doing this to “prove” I could run a 100 miles, which is awesome and all. But more so I wanted to prove that it all had been worth it. All the loss, the pain, the staying up at night not knowing what the hell I was doing with my life at 30 years old! I wanted to show myself I could do it. That all the hard work mentally, emotionally, physically had paid off. That I was strong and was determined to show what I could do!
Although it helped I was physically capable to do such a thing, I probably could have trained harder upon closer look, and it’s most likely recommend to do so. But at the end of the day, I am a firm believer that you can do anything you put your mind to. Yeah, that cheesy life quote we’ve all heard before! It’s the truth! Yeah it takes works, sometimes lots of work. With determination anything is possible. And that’s why I finished my races this year. I am incredibly proud, most days it still hasn’t sunk in even! I’m so glad I’ve overcome what I have. I am constantly learning and as always am never perfect!! Now that the dust has settled, I’m feeling more like the person I’ve longed to become!
Some call us crazy for doing what we do. And it truthfully is! I think that’s what we like about it. To see what your body can do and overcome is truly one of the most amazing experiences I’ll never forget, even if it hurt. It’s empowering what your mind can do, from the depths of the dark to the moments of joy and peace. It’s this great community of runners and friends, who build each other up, even when you fail or falter, and is always there for you! I’m not sure if you’ve looked around you but Colorado is a pretty rad place and being able to explore miles of untapped beauty on your own two feet is another thing you can’t describe till you’re in it! SO call me crazy, I don’t “love” to run but I do love what it’s brought me. Determination, discipline, adventure, patience, slowly but surely confidence and the strength to ask for help when I need it. There’s also the friends, new places, and new lease on life that I have… that maybe even one day I’ll make my very own turtle spreadsheet.
Geoff Hanson – Colorado Mesa University is the first NCAA Triathlon program in the State of Colorado. We caught up with head coach Geoff Hanson to learn about their first season and this foundation-building year. Coach Hanson shares insights into the team’s training regimen and how they qualified for the NCAA Championship in Tempe, AZ. Read the previously published article here.
Bryan Williams – Having completed his first marathon 7 years ago, At 42 years old, Bryan Williams set out to complete the 490 mile Colorado Trail Run. Bryan took inspiration from Scott Jaime and worked with coach Cindy Stonesmith to prepare for this epic adventure that would take him over 13,000 foot passes and often getting only a couple hours of sleep each night. Bryan has the Fastest Known Time (FKT) of 8 days and 30 minutes.
By Mark Cathcart
Wildflower is both the story of how I got into triathlon, it’s was also one of my most fun adventures.When I heard it was coming back in 2018, I signed Kate and I up to race, and late one evening we had a discussion about the race, and how it had gone last time I raced it, back in 2003.
MARK: Why don’t you ask me how I got into triathlon, and what this Wildflower thing is you’ve signed up for?
KATE: Hey Mark how did you get triathlon, and what the hell is this Wildflower thing you’ve signed us up for?
MARK: Well Kate, it’s interesting you should ask. Back in 1998, I was travelling on business to Australia, it had been a 26-some-odd-hour flight from San Francisco, and when I arrived at Melbourne airport, a limo’ driver was there with three names on the board. The Driver said, you’ll have to wait a few minutes, another woman is already here and she’s gone to pick something up from oversize luggage. A few minutes later the woman came walking across the arrivals hall dragging a big box behind her. Her name was Peggy, and in the box, was her titanium triathlon bike. Turns out she was training for Wildflower triathlon. She’d got her whole trip planned out, she knew where she could swim; she’d got the local cycling club to come on Sunday to the hotel and take her out on a ride; and she took a bus to the beach to run along the sea front.I was totally in awe, I was just a workaholic, email geek. By the end of the week she’d got me convinced that Triathlon was this great thing, and she was doing this race called Wildflower, which was the “Woodstock” of Triathlon. To be honest, at that point I don’t think I’d ever heard of Triathlon. They didn’t show the Ironman World Championships on the TV on a Saturday afternoon in December in the UK back then. I’d always wanted to have a go at an Aventura race, so I thought doing a triathlon might be a good way to lose weight and get fit for adventure racing. At that point I was 41-years old, and weighed 280lbs. When I got back to the UK, I did some research on triathlon, and it turned out there was a pool based sprint triathlon race in my home town, St Albans, in late August. I signed up and began a nearly 20-year journey. Back then in the UK there were only 3-long distance triathlons, Bala, Ironbridge, and the Longest Day. There were NO Ironman races at all. The first one didn’t come until 2001, and I was a race volunteer Captain for half Ironman UK 2001. I managed to squeeze an entry into both the 2001 and 2002 ITU World Championships, and as good as those races were, they were really nothing like the Wildflower race Peggy had described.
KATE: So, What about Wildflower?
MARK: By late 2002 I was the Chairman/President of my local Triathlon club, Tri-Force (Herts), and when entries opened up in December 2002 for Wildflower, I managed to get 9-other people to sign-up for Wildflower 2003. TRAVEL EXTRAVAGANZA. Our drawback? We were in the UK, except Martin Barrett, he was in Switzerland. When it came to planning the trip, the logistics were more challenging than the race. At least that’s what I thought at the time. The main problem is that flights from Europe to San Francisco pretty much all arrive late afternoon or early evening in San Francisco. That makes it impossible to arrive, collect your luggage and bikes, and then go rent an RV the same day. Anyone who has flown with a bike knows that dragging a bike box around is no fun, trying to do that with 9-people… yeah. No! What we did was, the Monday before race weekend, Martin and I flew to San Francisco with our gear and bikes. We checked into an airport hotel, and after breakfast headed off in a taxi for our RV familiarization and training session. By lunchtime we were back at the hotel loading up luggage and bikes and then heading back to SFO to collect the others. We hadn’t given 2nd thoughts to pulling up at SFO arrivals with an RV in the post 9/11 era, and only having driven about 10-miles total. It was a mess at best. We picked up Jo Parker, and saw some of the others. It was made all the harder by the fact that even back then few people had cell phones that worked internationally. Eventually we were on the way to lake San Antonio, 2x RV’s and a Jeep. We were all jetlagged from the 8-hour time difference, and we didn’t make it far. We stopped overnight in a Wal-Mart parking lot. We’d been told that you needed to be at Lake San Antonio by lunchtime on the Wednesday or you wouldn’t get a full hook-up for the RV. Next morning, we had a full court press to get there. We arrived around 2:30pm and sure enough all the full hook-ups were gone.
KATE: What happened at the race?
MARK: LEGENDS. The following couple of days were great. I met many legends of the sport, including Dan Empfield, Emil De Soto and 2003 was the year John Cobbs Bicycles Sports made a big launch at Wildflower. The only problem, it started to rain and never stopped for almost 24-hours before the race. RACE DAY. We were “British”, rain wasn’t going to stop us. There were over 9,000 people racing over the weekend. Come the Saturday morning, race day for the Long Course, it was also very cold. Rumor had it that some people were going to ride the bike course in their wetsuits. While waiting for my wave to start and trying to keep warm, I bent over to stretch, and the seam on the back of my wetsuit split, no time to find tape or glue. After the swim, I headed out on the bike dressed as best I could, red arm warmers, white tri top, and blue Team GB shorts. Yep I looked like a flag. About mile-10 on the bike, it had rained, we’d had hail, and as I plodded along, my front wheel broke two spokes. I don’t know if it was related to how I’d packed and shipped the bike, but I had to stop, loosen my front brake to so the wheel would work but no front brake. I made it up “Nasty grade” aka Heart Rate Hill on the bike, made a right turn, and there at the aid station was Martin. He was riding tubeless tires and had punctured twice. Meaning without a spare wheel or tub, he was out. I offered my back wheel, fearing I wouldn’t finish anyway due to my warped front wheel. Martin shrugged, grinned and pointed. There through the misty rain was a college aged woman, wearing a transparent rain poncho, and just her panties. Completely topless. Martin said he was happy to wait for the SAG Wagon, I pushed on. The rest of the bike was uneventful except the downhill into triathlon which I took pretty much with my back brake full on, with no front brake. The good news, it had stopped raining and was warming up. WHAT RUN COURSE? The mountain bike triathlon had finished, but the rain and the fact that the mountain bike course used part of the trail the run course for the long course race, and had cut it up so badly it was unusable. That meant using the Olympic distance run course. My reaction, no big deal, same distance, twice the fun. Then the realization it meant going up Beach Hill out of transition on the run course not once, but twice. I’ve never been a good runner, back in those days I wasn’t even using a a built-up shoe to compensate for my 2-inch leg length difference. By the time I headed out on the run I was already wasted, come the 2nd loop, it took me 30-minutes to walk up the hill. This wasn’t going to end well. I finished, it was a great race, but boy was it hard. I was 87th in the 45-49 age group, Dan Empfield was 4th. Later that afternoon we hung out in the expo village, it turned into everything Peggy had said. Bands, a stage, great food, just hanging out. The next day while the Olympic distance race, and the Collegiate championships were going on, we hung out; waited for Hanna, and Jo to finish; got massage; eat, laughed, took in more music bands. The whole race experience was fantastic. It was that race that convinced me to stick with triathlon rather than switch to adventure racing. On the Monday morning, we had to set off back to San Francisco and home to the UK. We went back via Pacific Coast Highway. Did the tour around Hearst Castle and drove back to SFO hard, which given the hills and curves on US-1 was pretty epic. We dropped all the luggage and bikes at departures, finally taking the RV back to the rental. The one thing the rental guy had told us was “don’t leave the awning open overnight”. Due to the rain, we had, to keep the bikes dry while we are sleeping. Yep, it ripped, there went a $500 deposit. I took a cab back to SFO and the Wildflower adventure was over.
[at this point I looked over and Kate was asleep, the question I wanted Kate to ask was]
KATE: So what is your objective for next years Wildflower?
MARK: To have as much fun, with none of the drama, and to beat my 2003 times. 1.2-mile swim: 40:48, T1: 5:3956-mile, bike: 3:38, T2: 3:45, 13.1-mile run: 2:54, TOTAL: 7:22:57
Mark Cathcart took up triathlon in the late 90’s to get fit for adventure racing, which to this day he has never done, and has since taken part in 170+ events. His pragmatic approach to training, racing, and life have lead in from being the Chairman of one of the bigger UK Triathlon clubs 15-years ago; British Triathlon volunteer of the year; a sometime race organizer; The organizer and ride leader for Austin Texas award winning Jack and Adams triathlon shop; doing sometime Sports Management for development and professional triathletes; he has attended all the Triathlon Business International, and Triathlon America conferences, where he usually asks the questions others won’t; moved to Colorado in 2016 and is a co-owner of Boulder Bodyworker
New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan hasn’t slept much since Sunday, when she became the first American woman to win the race in 40 years, but she’s still exhilarated. “I updated my Instagram profile and wrote ‘New York City Marathon champion,'” she said. “Adding that title, that validation that I’m not crazy that I thought I could do it, that feels so good. That sense of accomplishment is huge.” We spoke to Flanagan on Tuesday from her home in Oregon to break down her tactics, her emotions at the finish and her thoughts on whether she’ll race at the marathon distance again.
ESPN: Have you taken the laurel off yet?
Shalane Flanagan: I’m trying to figure out how to preserve it. It’s slowly decaying and I need to figure out somehow how I can keep it pristine, because it’s probably my favorite piece.
ESPN: You put your goal out there so explicitly. It strikes me as a risk, that only one result was going to be acceptable to you.
SF: Part of me is like, ‘Oh, don’t say exactly what you want. Maybe sugarcoat it.’ But then I have this verbal problem where I can’t keep it in. I say to my dad sometimes, ‘Maybe I’m too honest.’ And he says, ‘Shalane, since when is being honest not a good thing to be?’ If I feel I’ve had good preparation and I think I have the potential to do something, I’m excited and I want to convey that excitement. I guess it could be a bit dangerous, because yeah, there is only one result that would ultimately make me happy. There’s some accountability behind it, so I think that creates some pressure on me, but I don’t mind that. It’s a good position to be in at times, to make sure you’re doing your job.
ESPN: How did the race evolve compared to what you thought might happen?
SF: My coach and I had analyzed Mary [Keitany’s] past couple wins, how she’d captured those wins. It seems like she just kind of listens to her body. She’s run it in a variety of ways — very aggressive from the beginning, aggressive at Mile 10. She ran 2:17 within the last year, so we knew her fitness should be really high. Six months ago, she was the best in the world and set a world record in London. Given that data, I prepared myself for literally any kind of race. She knew the course really well, having won three times. She was for sure the woman to key off of, and a lot of times I would actually try to run right behind her so that if she made any distinct move, I’d be there to cover it, I wouldn’t be caught off guard and gapped. My coaches said if the race wasn’t a full-on assault of 26 miles, every mile that was kind of slow was to my advantage. I saw her split at halfway, we were about 76 minutes to the half, and I started to get excited. . .
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From Triathlon World
The season isn’t over, but according to Challenge-Family’s prize money rankings Daniela Ryf is ahead of her male counterparts on the prize money front in 2017.
When it comes to earning prize money in 2017, Daniela Ryf has moved to the top of the castle, overtaking Mario Mola thanks to her $120,000 payday at the Ironman World Championship earlier this month. Patrick Lange, who earned the same amount as Ryf in winning the Kona race, moved himself to fifth on the prize money standings on the men’s side.
It’s interesting to note that ITU World Champion Flora Duffy, second in the women’s rankings, is also ahead of the second-placed man in the standings, Javier Gomez, who won $45,000 as the Ironman 70.3 world champion. Ryf took the same amount thanks to her win in Chattanooga, too.
Read the full article for the standings