A pair of unlikely training partners — one from a small town in Montana, the other from a village in India — took the first two places Sunday in the Cherry Creek Sneak 10-miler. How Seth Garbett and Kailas Kokare became friends and roommates is an even more improbable story.
Garbett, who won Sunday in 51 minutes, 55 seconds, ran for Montana State after growing up in Darby, a town of 500 near the Montana-Idaho border by the Continental Divide. Kokare, who was second in 54:14, grew up poor in the hills near Mumbai and lost his right hand when he was a year old after placing it in a fire while his mother was distracted.
They met last summer through a mutual friend. When Kokare needed a place to stay, Garbett and his wife invited him to move in with them.
The CU Triathlon Team’s inaugural auction was a great success! It was a fun night with some competitive bidding, a presentation and Q&A by professional triathlete Cam Dye, and a raffle. All of our items were sold and the money we raised will help us with our goal of taking more athletes to our national championship race in April.
We would like to thank everyone who attended, Cam Dye for speaking, all our sponsors and other companies for donating to the auction, and Colorado Multisport for being a phenomenal venue. We are still fundraising for our journey to nationals through our crowdfunding page: c-fund.us/exx. Our campaign will be open until April 27th, and every donation, big or small, helps our team.
The team had a very successful St. Patrick’s Day weekend at the Mountain Collegiate Triathlon Conference Championship race. This was our first race of the spring semester, and we had three men in the top 5 (Timmy Winslow 1st, Roy Madrid 2nd, and Jack Toland 4th), and two women in the top 5 (Paisley Sheehan 3rd, Cassidy Hemp 4th). Timmy also won the individual men’s conference omnium and Paisley came in second place in the individual women’s conference omnium. Both our men’s and women’s team won the race as well as the team conference omnium.
On top of the great results, the Havasu Triathlon is always a fun race for the team. We road trip 14 hours to Arizona, get cozy with seven teammates in a minivan, and always come back to Boulder with lots of adventures and stories. We camp at Crazy Horse Campground and befriend the retired spring breakers who are living in their campers with a lakeside view.
The Havasu Triathlon course is certainly a memorable one. The two standout segments on the bike course are the Neighborhood and the Box. The Neighborhood is a hilly out and back through – you guessed it – a neighborhood, and is a great place to see teammates zoom past. The Box is the most infamous segment of the race with several short but very steep hills. The run course is flat and fast but contains an infamous flight of stairs that are uneven and climb up about two stories to the London Bridge.
This year, a good portion of our men’s team took the theme of “Havastache” to heart, growing mustaches and racing with Pit Viper sunglasses. These guys turned the heads of racers and spectators alike with their unique fashion sense (though the word “fashion” is up for debate). While we are a team who loves to compete and succeed, we are proud of our team spirit and always look to have fun, especially while we are racing.
Now that we are back from Havasu, we are gearing up for Nationals in a month, starting with our annual Spring Break Training Camp. This year we’ll be holding a local camp, completing a vigorous set of workouts designed by our loving coaches to challenge us both mentally and physically. From there, we’ll be settling into race-specific preparation, doing our best to make sure the entire team is ready to take on the competition in Tuscaloosa!
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Obviously he can’t transport bikes to both races, so this is where you come in.
Go to the Pro Bike Express website and register for bike transport for your respective event. The race with the most registrations will decide who gets the best bike transport and support. Pretty simple. Spread the word, tell your friends, and make it happen!
The middle of winter is an unusual time for a national championship… but this virtual event is a good way to check your FTP and overall fitness.
Even if this race might feel out of your league, any Zwift race can really test your fitness and push your limits.
Although you likely don’t want to be in great shape in February, it shakes up some competitive bike juices. If you are a triathlete, one of the best ways to get faster is to do a bike race with roadies. What better way than in a Virtual Championship!
About the Race:
The biggest one-day race of 2018 is almost here!
Zwifters from across the globe will battle for a year’s worth of bragging rights and the right to wear the National Championship jersey for 12 months.
Zwifters in 15 countries will battle it out. There will be a men’s race and women’s race in each. Each race will have just one winner.
On February 18, 1978 on the shores of Oahu, Hawai`i, 12 amateur athletes swam, biked, and ran 140.6 miles in a single day—a feat that had never before been accomplished. They didn’t know it yet but they were pioneers; as they crossed that very first IRONMAN finish line in Kapiolani Park, they became the world’s first IRONMAN triathletes.
Their achievement would go on to launch many more races across the world, as well as a lifestyle sport and an iconic brand. It also ignited a compelling idea: That with passion and determination, ANYTHING is POSSIBLE. Finishers of IRONMAN triathlons are still known for relentlessly positive, deeply passionate, and thoroughly inspiring.
To help celebrate 40 years of IRONMAN racing across the globe, we are excited to make available 40 commemorative slots to the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. Eligible athletes who register for any of our open 2018 IRONMAN events globally by January 14th, 2018 will be automatically entered for a chance to purchase one of these 40 commemorative slots.
To see terms and conditions for the 40 Kona slots for 40 years promotion click here.
During an IRONMAN, the things spectators along the course yell at you, the signs you see, and the the mantras you repeat to yourself can significantly impact your race. We chatted with 20 athletes to learn some of the weirdest, funniest, or most inspirational messages that friends, family members, and fellow athletes have shared with them while racing an IRONMAN event.
1) Ryan Hamm, M 18-24 , USA – part of the Coast Guard in North Carolina and races as a member of the US Military Endurance Sports program.
“The funniest, most inspirational thing I’ve heard while racing is, ‘The race has just begun.’ The timing of this saying was perfect—about 14 miles into the marathon portion of an IRONMAN. At first I laughed and thought, ‘What the heck do you think I’ve been doing for the past seven plus hours?’ Then I realized, ‘Hey, they’re right. Just forget about everything you’ve done, and all the pain. It’s just a half marathon. No biggie.'”
2) Matthew Greg Reese, M 45-49, USA – 13-time IRONMAN finisher who raced at the IRONMAN World Championship this year.
“The story that sticks with me was during the 2016 IRONMAN North American Championship. I was about 10 miles into the run (right before the monsoon that stopped us in our tracks for 30 minutes), and I was struggling, so I grabbed a drink at an aid station and was walking slowly. This volunteer came up to me and was super positive, encouraging, and doing everything he could to get me going. ‘Hey man, you’re almost there!’ ‘You are doing great!’ ‘What do you need?’ ‘Are you OK?’ ‘You are awesome,’ etc. I was thanking him and he was walking alongside me the whole time, just never giving up and wanting me to start running. He was saying things like, ‘You’ll make it, trust me.’ I think he believed I was a first-timer, so eventually he said, ‘I’ve done an IRONMAN and I know you can. Is this your first race?’ I responded, ‘Nope, this is number ten.’
Maybe it was the combination of his being tired, standing in the pouring rain, and the amount of effort he put into encouraging me, but I think he felt a little duped after I said that. He (gently) shoved me forward and yelled, ‘OMG, screw you! Get outta here!’ and stormed back to the aid station (laughing the whole time). It was so spontaneous and from the heart that I started howling in laughter—and it got me running again.”
3) Michael Pierson, M 50-54, USA – 12-time IRONMAN finisher who races often with his wife, Susan…
For triathletes who hate the running part, there’s a new sport that offers a path to glory
When I proudly told friends that I had qualified for the world championships in aquabike this past August, at age 60, I faced blank stares and concerned questions.
“How does the bike move in the water?”
“Do you practice on a stationary bike in the pool?” my brother-in-law asked.
The answer is that aquabike is a relatively new sport in triathlon, a race that normally includes a swim, bike and run. In aquabike, you get to skip the run.
While races vary, the most common distance is a 1.2-mile swim and a 56-mile bike ride. “Swim, bike, done,” enthusiasts say.
While the number of participants in triathlons has declined in the past few years, aquabike is growing rapidly, partly by appealing to older athletes with running injuries.
“It’s growing like a weed,” says Chuck Graziano, a director of USA Triathlon who has a titanium knee and competes in aquabike. “It doesn’t include the pounding of running. It can be age-related, injury-related, or people who just prefer not to run.”
Indeed, the number of aquabike races sanctioned by USA Triathlon, the sport’s governing body, has more than doubled in five years to 562 races with 5,160 aquabikers last year.
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!