Colorado Athletes on Maui: Benny Smith

My name is Benny Smith and I’m 17 years old. I did my first tri when I was 6 and started getting serious with training at like 13. I definitely started doing them because of my dad.


This will be my second year going to the Xterra World Championships. I qualified at Xterra Beaver Creek. I’m currently ranked 1st in the country for 19 and under which is pretty sick and I’m grateful to get so many sweet opportunities. I love climbing when cycling and running and I get STOKED when I’m way in the mountains/ocean and snowboarding in waist deep pow!!

Vixxen Racing looking for 2018 Project Feisty Ambassadors

Our Find Your Feisty initiative has been so successful and we love seeing all the women grow and develop as athletes. As a result, Vixxen Racing is introducing Project Feisty as a new initiative for 2018. We are looking for women everywhere to join the Vixxen family and show off their Feisty Side.

As a member of Project Feisty, we hope you contribute to your local training groups and triathlon community, serving as ambassadors to women and sharing the mission of Vixxen.

We are looking for women who strive to be competitive athletes, but mostly we want women competitive within themselves; women racing to be their best selves!


The only requirement for Project Feisty is that you embody the Vixxen mission! You will get you access to:

  • Peer-to-peer mentorship from the members of Vixxen Racing
  • A monthly newsletter highlighting all things Vixxen and the issues facing women athletes
  • A great lineup of partners and sponsors including but not limited to: EK Endurance Coaching, Base Performance, Roka, and Zealios Skin Care
  • A Project Feisty Performance Kit including: T-shirt, hat and your choice of cycling or triathlon kit
  • Invitation to select Vixxen racing summits, training sessions, and camps
  • Access to the Project Feisty community


Applications are due Monday October 23rd.

Complete details and application HERE

Colorado Athletes on Maui: Ryan McMullen


This is my 5th season in Xterra and this will be my 2nd trip to the World Championship. I qualified at Beaver Creek (3rd amateur overall) and at the Pan American Championship in Utah (3rd in age group). I have had a very rewarding season and I’m excited to cap things off in HI.

This is the 5 year benchmark of my racing and has had me reminiscing a lot lately. I started this journey with almost no experience in any of the disciplines of triathlon. I grew up riding BMX bikes around the neighborhood, I took a few swim lessons as a kid, and I ran cross country for a couple of years in high school to hang out with the girls. However, I have always had a strong drive to be active and for most of my life basketball was an outlet and a passion of mine. I poured myself into that sport and I’m very grateful for what it gave me in return, but basketball is tough on your body and eventually I had to look for another outlet. At the same time I was struggling with some old lifestyle habits that were essentially killing me both physically and emotionally.



The turning point for me was this very clear moment when I realized that my two little girls weren’t going to have their dad around for very much longer if I wasn’t willing to change who I was and what I was doing. So I started making some small positive changes and the momentum just grew, as did the void. Then I remember watching one of the nationally broadcasted Xterra shows and the seed was planted. With absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into, I quickly signed up for an off-road triathlon in Lakewood, CO called “Battle the Bear”. At the time I had no idea what I was doing. I was 40 lbs. overweight, I could barely swim, I couldn’t seem to keep the rubber side of the bike down, and the run just flat out hurt; but I finished, and I found a new passion.

Athlete, Matt Russell, struck on Ironman cycling course, suffers serious injuries

KAILUA-KONA — A professional athlete suffered serious injuries after he struck a vehicle on the cycling course of the 39th annual Ironman championship, Saturday morning.

The accident occurred around 11 a.m. Hawaii Police Maj. Robert Wagner said the cyclist was traveling toward Kona on Queen Kaahumanu Highway when he broadsided a vehicle crossing the highway from Waikoloa Road.

According to the Ironman Track app, the athlete was 75 miles into the 112-mile course and had four hours of race time when he was last tracked at mile marker 76.

The cyclist was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital. Wagner said the cyclist was reported in serious condition around 1 p.m. By 3:30 p.m., his condition appeared to be improving.

Janey Brink said the accident happened right in front of her while she was cheering the athletes on from the highway with family and friends. She said the cyclist was going full speed when the vehicle pulled in front of him in the intersection.

“I’ve never seen a body go through what his body went through,” Brink said. “He came out of his clips.”

Brink splits her time between Hawaii Island and Albuquerque, New Mexico. She said she came to visit with her husband and friends, specifically to watch Ironman.

Brink said police used her umbrella to cover the cyclist. Officials also asked they stay around so they could talk to them about the crash.

“No one ever came to talk to us and we stayed for a long time,” Brink said.

Wagner said there were some cones in the area where the crash occurred but there are also several police officers directing traffic at the intersection. The accident is under investigation.

Brink said those directing traffic were allowing cars to cross the intersection two or three vehicles at a time.

“We couldn’t understand why cars in that intersection were still moving,” she said.

Brink said the riders had no idea there was an incident in the intersection and that it was another incident waiting to happen, almost.


“This rider, he could do nothing,” she said. “These riders need to have a clear path and that intersection was not clear.”

There was another collision on the cycling course involving a pedestrian and a competitor. Wagner said the cyclist picked up his bike, but went out of view of the cameras that watch the course. Wagner wasn’t sure if the cyclist continued on, but it appeared that way.

Wagner said Saturday evening no other collisions on the course were reported.

Original West Hawaii Today article HERE


A YouCaring page has been started to support Matt and his family.  You can find the link HERE.



Colorado Athletes in Kona: Amazing and Strong Women Represent Colorado

Kirsten McCay


In 2001, after I finished my first ironman triathlon, I wanted to qualify for the World Championships in Kona. I started watching it on TV every year and although it seemed like it would never be within my reach, I still secretly hoped that one day with enough dedication, persistence, consistency, and hard work, I could one day race in Kona.
Over the next 12 years, I did 10 ironman distance triathlons and typically placed between 20th and 40th in my age group. This was far from the place I needed to qualify for Kona, but I kept working toward my big dream of racing on the big island.


In 2013 when they announced a new ironman in Tahoe that was high altitude, hilly, and hard, I decided I was going to put everything I had into training and go for it! On July 1, 2013 I moved to Tahoe for the next 12 weeks to train on the course every single day.

Race day came, I placed third in my age group, which earned me a spot to the 2014 World Championships.
I had a hard race that year in Kona, mostly because I felt like I didn’t deserve to be there. I felt like it was a fluke that I even qualified in the first place because almost half the girls in my age group in Tahoe DNF’d from the cold and harsh conditions. I left Kona feeling defeated and I swore I would never do that race again!

But then two years ago I decided I wanted to try to qualify one more time. To be honest, it was mostly to prove to myself that I could. I made a two year goal to qualify at the 2017 Boulder Ironman.

I was aging up in 2017, so the first year I did Boulder in 2016 was just to see how the course was, how I placed, and to see what I needed to work on for 2017. That year I PR’d by over an hour and placed fifth in my age group This gave me the confidence to go for it in 2017.

Race day came, I ended up winning my age group, earning a spot to Kona, and here I am!!

I feel worthy, I feel deserving, I feel strong and fast and ready to have the best race that I can possibly have this year.
My goal this year is to have fun, to finish the race feeling like I truly gave it all I had, and to know that I deserve to be an athlete in the World Championships Ironman race.


Kristine Reinhardt

I always seem to be bringing up the rear these days, with never enough time to get it all done. I took up triathlons in 2014 when I joined my husband and friend on a “pinky swear” to sign-up for IRONMAN Boulder’s inaugural year (2014). Probably not one of the smarter things I have done because I was completely blind to what a challenge it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I knew all about IRONMAN, I just had never actually swam, biked or ran for anything. In my “dreams” I was always very fast and usually always won, but as I started training reality kicked in and I realized I just might be in over my head (this was no dream)! To make the commitment more meaningful, I decided to race for a cause through the IRONMAN Foundation. Well, I did race IRONMAN Boulder 2014, but I was far from first. In fact, I was second to last in crossing the finish line and hearing Mike Reilly call out “Kristine Reinhardt, you are an IRONMAN!” I had finished with 66 seconds to spare before a DNF! My coach at the time was, Tim Hola, and I remember him saying “you sure did cut it close.”

Well, I couldn’t have IM Boulder be my one and done. I unsuccessfully tried IRONMAN Cabo in 2015 and missed a bike cutoff. In 2016, I decided I would give IMAZ a try but under the IRONMAN Foundation flag. I really believe that racing for a cause was my calling. I started the year with contacting all my friends and family and encouraging them to give to a great cause while I raced as a back of the pack triathlete trying to make a difference. However, 2016 didn’t go as planned. The spring found me battling skin cancer and recovering from surgery and in the fall, my business partner of 27 years had a brain aneurism (he passed away this year). I never made it to the starting line of IMAZ! However, I was not deterred from finishing the task at hand – to raise money for the IRONMAN Foundation. In November I was notified that I was close to being the top fundraiser for the Foundation. Well, that is all it took. I spent two months contacting people every day selling them on why they should donate to IMF. As it turns out, I ended up being the #1 fundraiser for the Foundation in the Americas, which resulted in a slot to Kona! Unbelievable!

I have spent 2017 working with an amazing coach, Alison Freeman, from D3 Multisport. I have the best support system anyone could ask for in my incredible husband and 5 kids! We will be making the journey to Hawaii as a family and Alison. Crossing the finish line in Kona will prove that Anything is Possible!

Read the D3Multisport team highlight HERE


Cheryl Weill


Kona’s oldest female competitor this year is swimming in a fountain of youth

Among those getting the senior citizen discount, most say old age began in their 60s. But don’t tell 72-year-old Cheryl Weill that. 60? That’s when she learned how to swim.

“I first became aware of Ironman in the 1980s,” Weill reflects, “but at the time I was busy with my career in neuroscience. I didn’t get serious about triathlon until 2004.”

Weill, who had been a runner and cyclist since her college days, decided to use her newfound free time in retirement to finally indulge her multisport interests. “A friend I met cycling encouraged me to give it a try. All I had to do was become a swimmer, so at 60 years of age, I started swimming.”

Weill jumped into the pool and discovered a fountain of youth. She gets a lot of energy from the people who surround her: As one can imagine, there aren’t too many other 70-year-old triathletes training with her. “I train with a local Masters swim group,” says Weill, who lives in Fort Collins, Colo. “My partner also does triathlons, and sometimes I can train with her, but she is 55 and faster than me.”

Some might assume her age also offers an advantage in Kona qualifying. After all, she was the only person in her age group at Ironman Maryland in 2016, automatically earning a Kona spot simply for finishing. But that only distracts from her 13:59:02 finishing time, a respectable performance at any age.

Reposted from

Colorado Athletes in Kona: Meet Ben and Mike

Ben Kleeman


My road to triathlon began in 2002.   I started running and later biking to lose weight gained secondary to too many calories and a sedentary lifestyle.    At the start of my weight loss I was pushing 225 pounds (current weight 146).   I decided to give triathlon a go while living in St. Louis in 2007 and quickly learned despite being a high school lifeguard, I could not swim.   Nevertheless, I was hooked.

My road to Colorado began with the Boulder 70.3 in 2011.   My future wife, Kelly, and I traveled to Colorado early and I tried to get in as much “Colorado” as we could during this trip.   We went horseback riding in RMNP, ATV riding near Vail, hiking around The Springs, and saw the Flaming Lips cover Dark Side of the Moon at Red Rocks.    We also spent a significant amount of time in and around Boulder trying to soak up as much of the experience as possible.   The Boulder 70.3 went well despite all my computers failing during the bike and run.    Kelly, who serves as my coach (motivational, nutrition, and anything else as needed) and my biggest fan, met me at the finish to inform me of my result, a 23 min PR and first sub 5-hour finish.   Our trip to Colorado was perfect.   Once again, we were hooked.    We were so hooked in fact, we set the plan of moving to Colorado in motion immediately and made the move three months after the Boulder 70.3.

The journey to Ironman began during our honeymoon at IM Cozumel in 2013.    IM Cozumel went much better than expected for both of us.  We left the island in high spirits with some new friends and good finishes under our belts.  I signed up for the inaugural IM Boulder expecting good results 9 months after Cozumel, but was disappointed with a disastrous result, at least in my mind.   The 2014 IM Boulder triathlon was so disappointing I left the sport to pursue other interests.   

In 2016 I began training for marathons and started feeling the itch to race IM again.   This time around, I began to take training more seriously.   I hired a friend, Boulder native, and professional triathlete Colin Laughery to guide this effort towards racing the 2017 IM season.  We chose IM Boulder and IM CDA as our plan A and B races.   The 2017 IM Boulder was an epic defeat with the dreaded DNF.   IM CDA was only a couple months after Boulder.   I needed big changes to prevent this perpetual cycle of training well and racing poorly.  These changes came from many places.   My primary training and race strategy was handled by coach Colin.   Nutrition and CDA course specific advice came from my friend Alison Freeman who is also a tri coach in Boulder.   My swim coach Dave Scott helped me with race strategy as well.   Most importantly, Kelly kicked up her efforts as my motivational coach to try and break this mental block and help me mentally prepare for race day.  I approached IM CDA with one goal, to have fun racing again.  The swim went ok and the bike went well.   I learned I was in 12th in my age group off the bike from my wife who was proving to be instrumental again.   Going into the last lap of the three-lap run, my Kelly informed me I was only a couple minutes back from 5th place and 4th place was struggling.   I was hurting at this point in the race, and her support and information was just what I needed to kick it up a notch.   I knew there were extra slots in IM CDA this year and 4th place may be just enough to qualify.  I hustled up and caught 5th place at mile 20 and went into 4th place at mile 24 which was good enough for a spot for Kona!   All my friends and family were following the race and elated with the result; however, no one was more excited than my wife and biggest fan who met me at the finish.  I met my goal.  I had fun racing again but with a secondary bonus of a trip to the Big Island!

Ironman racing requires sacrifice.  The greatest sacrifice comes not from the athlete but from the family and friends.   Without the support of friends and family, Ironman is not possible.  Thank you to all of my friends and family who have supported me in and out of competition throughout the years.    And most importantly, thank you to my beautiful wife Kelly, for being with me for every step in this journey.  It has been fun.


Mike Breyer

This will be my 4th trip to Kona (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017). I still feel like a rookie – but this year I feel I’ve finally worked out some of the gremlins in my race prep and plan. Who knows though, I felt that way last year and still managed to make a mess out of my race!

I’m an ER doctor in Denver and came across triathlon about 8 years ago when I was miserably out of shape. I climbed out of the pool one day about 40 pounds overweight and someone suggested a local triathlon. I bought a road bike and raced 20 days later. I was terrible but I was hooked.

I’m self-coached. I read a little but mostly just listen to my body and my mind as to what I want to do on any given day. Most days that means ride my bike. I believe sustainability and consistency are the most important ingredients to finding some success in this sport. Be happy training. Or you won’t do it. And it’s incredibly important (at least for me) to do something nearly every day.

I’m now 44 years old and set PR’s this year for Ironman (9:53 at IM Boulder, 2nd in my AG to get my Kona slot) and Half-Ironman (4:19 at Boulder 70.3, 3rd in my AG – in case you didn’t know, Steve Johnson and Tim Hola are really fast). I try to be active every day and enjoy the journey.

I feel very fortunate to have such a great group of friends, training partners and support system to be able to do this sport. And, of course, to live in Colorado. Good luck to everyone out there!


Colorado Athletes in Kona: Boulder to Kona Athletes

Dave Moore

In 2009, Dave Moore discovered a fellow officer was recovering from stage four cancer, which created multiple complications and a huge financial burden for her. As long as he could remember, Dave was a fan of Ironman and aspired to one day compete in a triathlon. It was at that time Dave decided to merge the two and form a triathlon team of over 30 officers and fire fighters to compete at a local sprint triathlon as a charity fund raiser for his friend. Dave was hooked on triathlons and by 2010, had completed his first Boulder 70.3 and his first 140.6, the Beach 2 Battleship.

In January of 2017, Dave was notified that he would be receiving a slot at the Kona Ironman World Championships thanks to Boulder Ironman and the team at 303 Triathlon. This is truly a dream come true for Dave, as he has always had the goal of competing at Kona. Dave and his wife Wende will be celebrating their 20th anniversary in Kona with their three boys.


Heather Hagan

My Kona journey came as a huge surprise blindsiding me on December 23rd. I was notified via a Facebook Live video from Dave Christensen that I was selected to race Ironman World Championships as part of the contest The Road To Kona Goes Through Boulder. I think there were a few of us from the ten selected that didn’t even know about the contest!


I was tagged on a Facebook video by someone with a comment that only read, “Hey coach Heather you should check this video out.” I started watching the video while multitasking in the kitchen not really knowing what the context was. I was registered for Ironman Boulder so I thought it may be a video about training for Boulder. About 7 minutes in to the video Dave said he needed to get to the point and announce the first two winners to compete in Kona. That’s about the time I started feeling anxious! Dave announced my name and I started sweating then crying. What the hell just happened!

After the initial shock wore off I started looking at the calendar to decide whether or not I could realistically do two Ironman races in 4 months. I know plenty of people do it but I wasn’t sure I could. The decision wasn’t difficult but it was terrifying. I competed in two Ironman races 6 weeks apart in 2014 and it didn’t go well. I completed Ironman Canada Whistler then DNF’d after completing the bike in Ironman Chattanooga. My heart just wasn’t in the race. I knew I did not want to feel depleted by such a short recovery like last time.

Fast forward to present day! My training is going well and I feel as prepared for the challenge. My race day goal is to cross the finish line. I know it is a privilege to be selected from the contest to participate in the World Championships among the best triathletes in the world. I will hold my head high and do my best!



I’m looking forward to time on the beach after race day with friends. I am coaching two other athletes racing Kona and supporting 11 total athletes from Balanced Art Multisport. We ended up having several athletes qualify at late season races so it will be fun having so many BAM kits on the course. I will be in my ambassador team Coeur Sports kit with BAM in spirit!



Heather’s athletes – Reiko Donato (KQ Chattanooga,) and Kayla Bowker (KQ Arizona.)

Colorado Athletes in Kona: Here’s to Repeat Appearances

Eric Walker

My competitive career began at age 10 when my dad and I ran in my first 5K. I owe it all to my dad, he was really into running marathons and fostered my love of running. Fast forward, age 29; I had just graduated from Chiropractic school and suddenly had time train and run marathons. Shortly after getting into Spin classes to cross train, I completed my first triathlon.

My favorite triathlon distance is definitely the full 140.6, it is physically challenging but more importantly it is mentally challenging. I qualified for Kona for the first time in 2015 and had a good race, but there were definitely some learning moments during it too!

This year I am looking to put those learning moments to good use and have a more successful race. I draw a lot of inspiration and motivation from the older age group triathletes- I am watching YOU 70-85 year old’s! Thank you for inspiring me! It is inspiring to watch this group push the limits of athleticism- they are competitive and pretty darn quick! Good luck to all the other Colorado athletes, see you in Kona!


Briana Boehmer


How did I get involved in Triathlon? – I ran in college (Division I) and succumbed to a lot of injuries my Junior and Senior years . As part of my rehab I would have to cross train A LOT so upon graduation I got this crazy idea in my head that I might as well do a triathlon since I had basically been training for one. I was hooked. I didn’t take up Ironman racing until over 10 years later…until then I thought the distance was absolutely BONKERS! In 2013 after a long break from Triathlon I decided to start with Half Ironmans then a full in 2014.


I qualified for Kona this year at Ironman Frankfurt where I came in third overall and notched a new PR of 9:40. This will be my second time to the Big Island.


My WHY – I lost my mother when I was just a little over 1 year old. I have always had a sense of urgency with life because of this event. It is a sense that moments cannot be wasted because you never know when you may have reached your last one. That is why while racing is something I love, I devote my time to many other things. I’ve never defined myself by sport, rather it is a part of what helps me live life to the fullest. I currently am the COO of a local fitness start-up and am involved with the Leeds Business School at CU helping young entrepreneurs in their endeavors. I’ve been involved in start-ups/running business for almost 15 years now. Not squandering moments and challenging myself to reach – that is what I strive for each day. Kona will be no different – I will race knowing that the day and the moments within it are something I am lucky to have.



I am a part of Vixxen racing and will have teammate Liz West to share this years Kona with (pretty awesome!). My coach is Rachel Joyce and I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to be able to race “with” her at Kona. Hoping while I am on my way out on the Queen K,  I see her cruising into the finish in the lead 🙂 She is the absolute BEST 🙂

Colorado Athletes in Kona: Michelle Hildebrand

I started my journey into triathlon 10 years ago through the Team in Training for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Having no real background in endurance sports I was a typical middle of the packer to start and over the years moved from Olympic distance to 70.3 and eventually to Ironman in 2011 at Ironman Wisconsin. After this first one, I fell in love with the longer distance and have raced an Ironman each year since then. This is also the distance I excel at the most since I don’t have much raw speed but can push hard over the long haul.

In 2014, I reached the podium at the inaugural Ironman Boulder but missed Kona by one spot which was unfortunately the same story in 2015 at Wisconsin. Coming that close was heartbreaking but served as great motivation to keep pushing. Last year at Ironman Chattanooga in record heat, all of the cards fell into place and I finally grabbed that elusive slot to Kona. I’ve always been an athlete who loves the heat and a challenging course so lets see how the lava fields compare… hopefully the winds will be kind this year!

Training for Ironmans year after year is not easy while balancing a full time job but I’ve been fortunate to have the support of friends in Rocky Mountain Tri Club and the Tribella team, boyfriend Bill Ludington who has supported me every step of the way and local coach Steve Johnson to push me beyond what I thought was possible.

My journey to Kona has been a long one and it will make my first time on the big island even sweeter! Hopefully I can be an example to other middle of the packers that qualifying for the World Championships is possible with lots of hard work and dedication.

Colorado Athletes in Kona: D3Multisport Coaches NINE Athletes in Kona

by Melanie Ricci, D3Multisport


Coaching 9 talented athletes who have all earned slots to the 2017 Ironman World Championships is the most honored role we could have, and it’s a pleasure to turn the spotlight on the following Colorado athletes who earned this race in their own unique and respected ways.

Lisa Plunkett coached by Dave Sheanin (50-54 AG & on the D3 Elite Team)

Kristine Reinhardt coached by Alison Freeman (50-54 AG)

Casey Fleming coached by Laura Marcoux (18-24 AG & on the D3 Elite Team)

Greg Lindquist coached by D3 Head Coach Mike Ricci (35 – 39 AG)

Patrick Martinez, training plan by D3 Multisport (35-39)

D3 Coach Simon Butterworth is self coached (70-74 AG)


And while these three athletes do not have 303 area codes, they do have Colorado ties through D3, family and friends!

Steve Nabity coached by Brad Seng (60-64 AG from Omaha, NE)
Valerie Osband training plan from Mike Ricci (18-24 AG from London, UK)
D3 Coach Julie Dunkle coached by Mike Ricci (50-54 AG from Encinitas, CA)


We interviewed the coaches and athletes about their route to qualifying, favorite workouts and expectations as they head into Kona. Following are highlights from each athlete-coach interview.

Lisa & Dave

Coach Dave is most proud of Lisa’s tenacity over the years, sticking to her Kona dream through all kinds of distractions. He is proud of how she has believed in herself as she has earned her slot through the Ironman Legacy Program. Lisa has successfully completed 15 Ironman events and is a D3 Elite Team athlete. At first, the quest for Kona was simply about the Legacy Program but he has seen breakthroughs on the race course in recent seasons that have him absolutely convinced that this year’s trip to Kona is her first of many.

Lisa is most excited to experience all of it – all that Kona has to offer an athlete. She is excited to be there experiencing the big day and appreciates her long brick workouts and the hot races she’s experienced this summer to get her ready.

Kristine & Alison

Coach Alison describes Kristine with these three words: Determined. Brave. Persistent. Coach Alison recognizes that Kristine works hard at swimming, she works hard at cycling, she works hard at running, she works hard sorting through her fueling, and she works hard finding time for training. She always does her best. And that was crystal clear when she earned the honor of being the top fundraiser for the Ironman Community Foundation and thus a slot in the Ironman World Championships this October.

Her fundraising success doesn’t even begin to demonstrate her amazing ability to get things done. She has persevered through challenges many of us cannot even fathom. She is the managing partner of a global real estate firm with 350 employees. And the best part, with a family of five by her side, Kristine is headed toward a lifelong dream. She was recently recognized as the D3 Athlete of the Month.

Casey & Laura

Coach Laura is incredibly proud of Casey for her relentless motivation and work ethic, but is the most proud of Casey for getting outside of her comfort zone and challenging herself to be mentally tough. Mont Tremblant was Casey’s first full Ironman, and she overcame a few race day hurdles by staying level-headed when things went wrong (including her power meter not working). She made adjustments to her race plan, didn’t make any excuses, and never gave up. Her focus during training was to let go and learn how to not be as obsessed with metrics, let go of a little bit of control, and try to develop more of a “feel” rather than relying only on numbers. This lesson ended up being what saved her race at Mont Tremblant when her power meter stopped working, and allowed her to win her age group and qualify for Kona.

Casey is a D3 Elite Team athlete and credits those Team workouts for her Kona preparation. She says, “I love working out with my team of friends (who are all mostly faster than me) because they push me harder than I would ever be able to go alone! I’m most looking forward to the legendary Queen K winds, of course! Bring on the suffering!”

Greg & Mike

Coach Mike shared that Greg is more prepared mentally than he’s ever seen him and that’s what he is most excited to see play out on race day. Greg and his wife welcomed their new son, Andy, a few months prior to the race last year, and this past year has been about helping him balance this new and important responsibility along with his training. One of the many things I respect about Greg is that he gives 100%. From the time the gun goes off, he’ll race smartly and strategically. He is invested all the way through a race. I know Greg will capitalize on his experience from last year and we’ll see a strong race from him on October 14th.

Greg qualified for his second trip to Kona at Ironman Texas earlier this year. With two Kona races on his race resume, he looks forward to time with his entire family under one roof again (his wife and son, his parents, and his brother’s family). He is looking forward to improving upon last year’s time and will enjoy the fun of racing. He values his long Saturday rides in the mountains with friends knowing that those days are all part of the equation for a successful day in Kona.

Steve & Brad

Coach Brad admires Steve’s grit and commitment to the process. When he first started coaching Steve a few years ago, the swim was a big hurdle for him. He has worked through his initial fear of the water and continues to improve. One of Steve’s strengths has become his run. After a serious water skiing accident tearing his hamstring, the run has become a weapon for him as he consistently has one of the top run splits in his age group.


Steve qualified for his 2nd trip to Kona at Ironman Brazil this past year where he finished first in his age group. He knows Brad’s VO2 Max bike workouts have him ready to face the challenges the bike course is going to toss him.

Valerie & Mike



Valerie won her age group in her first Ironman at Ironman Switzerland this year to earn her slot to Kona. She purchased an Ironman Switzerland specific pre-built training plan from Coach Mike and is moving forward to Kona using a Custom Training Plan he developed specific to her needs. She shared that “the Bike 6 x 8′ Zone 5 workouts are painful but worth it.” Valerie is ready to take in the atmosphere of race week and the race itself. Just being part of it all is something she’s ready to celebrate.

D3 Coach Julie & Mike

Julie continues to raise the bar for herself with new and challenging goals. Coach Mike says it challenges him as well because he needs to be more and more creative with her workouts. To meet her goals for race day, he’s actually had to develop some workouts that push Julie to another level, mentally as well as physically. Although these workouts are pretty hard, they build confidence for what she can sustain during a race and ultimately help her achieve her goals. He says, “I’m very excited to see all this hard work come together for Julie. We’ve been strategic about her workouts going into Kona and we both know she’s been tested in training and is ready for a fantastic race.”

Julie earned her 6th spot to race Kona at Ironman Boulder this past June. She is most excited about the magical final mile down Alii Drive to the finish line! Coach Mike gave her ‘the hardest bike workout ever’ in preparation for Kona, and to get it done, she kicked it off with 10 F-bombs, donuts and red bull. Here it is: 30′ to warm up, then 2×20′ at 80%, with 10′ recovery. Then ride 10×3′ at 90% of FTP with 3′ recovery. Ride easy for 20′, then ride 15×1′ on, 1′ off at 100% of FTP. Remainder of ride is easy – aero bars – no harder than 75% of FTP.

D3 Coach Simon Butterworth


Simon is returning to the Ironman World Championships for his 13th time. This is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself. He has finished in the top three in his age group three different times in Kona. His experience racing this course is unparalleled. He qualified for 2017 at Ironman Cozumel in 2016. Simon’s favorite workout in preparing for the race has been a long SBR day: 3800m swim, 100 mile ride, 10k run and no idling around between each. Simon also happens to be gifted at short course racing and is the 2017 70-74 USAT Sprint and Olympic Champion.

See Simon’s Colorado Athletes in Kona feature HERE




Patrick Martinez is also a D3 athlete.  See his bio HERE






We are truly excited for these athletes and their important day on October 14th. We are also excited for the camaraderie that develops over the week that these athletes come together in Kona. With team workouts and coach meet-ups, we know this group of 9 will be ready to toe the line, and ready to race with strong desire, determination and discipline!


As you turn the corner toward the off-season and look ahead to your 2018 race season, you can get powered up with desire, determination and discipline too! Visit the D3 Multisport website here.