Women’s Wednesday: Pros v. Amos, Tri-Style – featuring Gwen Jorgensen, Alicia Kaye, aaaaaaaand Katie Macarelli!

Photo: Pro Velo Passion

By Dana Willett

A little back-history of Pro’s vs Amo’s:

These events go back to the summer of 2014 when we had the 1st “Pro’s vs “Amos” contest (“amos” is just a rhyming abbreviation for “amateurs”). There was a chocolate chip cookie bake-off followed by a dodge ball tournament. There was laughter and tears. *It was mostly the laughing and the cookies that inspired us to keep this “challenge” going.

Since then we’ve invited many strong, fun women to join in on the shenanigans. While the cast of women is ever changing (life happens), the spirit of this event never will. This will always be a somewhat silly celebration of the pure joy we all have for our sport.

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Pros & Amos: Tri-Style

In a digital-cyber-y version of 303’s famous Pros v. Amos challenges, we pit famous local “Amo” Katie Macarelli opposite a couple “Pro” athletes you may have heard of… Olympic World Champion Gwen Jorgensen & Professional Triathlete Alicia Kaye! And we’re talking about how Pros live their athletic lives and learn their lessons, compared to Amos… What it’s like as a female role model, mistakes they’ve made, and how they’ve overcome obstacles along the path to stardom… Read on to find out who’s a brainiac with multiple degrees… who hurdles barbed wire fences with ease… and who’s favorite prize ever was 20 pounds of steak.

Here’s some background:

GWEN JORGENSEN
Gwen Jorgensen is a professional triathlete from St Paul, MN. Gwen is a 2x Olympian, 2x World Champion (2014, 2015), and 17x ITU World Triathlon Series race winner. She also likes to read, try new foods, and hang out with friends and family.

Career Highlights:

    • 2016 Olympic Champion
      2015 World Champion
      2014 World Champion
      2012 U.S. Olympic Team Member
      2013 USA Triathlon’s Triathlete of the Year
      2014 USA Triathlon’s Triathlete of the Year
      2015 USA Elite National Champion
      2014 USA Elite National Champion
      2013 USAT Elite National Champion (Sprint and Olympic Distance)
      First USA Woman to win a World Triathlon Series race
      15-time ITU World Triathlon Series Winner
      2010 USAT Rookie of the Year
      2010 USAT Elite Duathlete of the Year

ALICIA KAYE
Alicia grew up in Canada and began participating in triathlon when she was 11 years old; she became a professional triathlete at the age of 14. Alicia spent her teen years racing triathlon while juggling her academic studies. While completing her undergraduate degree in Sport Psychology she met fellow triathlete and now husband, Jarrod Shoemaker. Since meeting Jarrod she has began racing for the United States and also completed her masters degree in Athletic Counseling. Some of Alicia’s proudest moments include winning Canadian Junior National Championships in 2001, and winning the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in 2013. In her spare time Alicia works as a mental trainer and runs a skincare company with her husband Jarrod, called Endurance Shield.

 

And our “Amo,” KATIE MACARELLI
Katie is a Colorado native who grew up on a dairy farm on the Eastern Plains. She got her start in the Colorado cycling scene competing in triathlons for about five years until she realized that running is the worst. She’s a mom of two teenage girls, a year-round bike commuter who hates driving but loves cyclocross. She is currently the marketing manager for Feedback Sports.

 

 

Here we go!
1. Have you ever googled yourself? Any oft-repeated MISconceptions out there that you’d like to clear up? Any rumor or tall tale that just keeps popping up on Wikipedia? Here’s your chance to set the record straight. And if not, give us your best pretend fake fact.

GJ:  I’ve googled my husband, Patrick Lemieux, but don’t google myself. I think one thing people may assume is that I come from a running background, however I actually come from a swimming background and didn’t start running until I was a junior in college.

AK: Yes, I’ve googled myself. It almost always just to find an image or to find articles written about a recent race. Maybe once every few years I’ll look to see if anyone is saying something mean or false, but I’ve never found anything truly negative.

KM: ​I work in the digital marketing realm, so of COURSE I have. The only misconception I’ve ever found was an article that listed me as living in Portland. I’ve never actually been to Portland, but it sounds lovely. *I generally disregard everything past page 5 on google, because it’s like reading the comments on Pinkbike. It will just make you mad and/or confused.

2. How has your rise to fame affected your performances? Has there ever been a time when the spotlight really helped you? Or worked against you?

GJ: I am an introvert, so it took some time to get used to the media attention and fans walking up to me. I now enjoy being able to share my experiences, but still need my alone time to recharge.
In 2012, after I qualified for the Olympics I had a bunch of media engagements lined up for the week of a WTS race in San Diego. I did an all day photo shoot along with other media the week leading into the race and I believe this contributed to my poor performance. I think I almost finished dead last.

Photo: Finisher Pix

AK: I had my breakout year in 2013 winning the Lifetime Series and Toyota Triple Crown. I thought it would be this ultra grand moment where everything would change. But life went on as normal, the money and/ or result didn’t change any of my relationships- we were just able to make a big fat mortgage payment instead;) What was interesting was in 2014 I really struggled to find purpose and meaning after achieving all my goals in 2013, trying to replicate them again in 2014 was an entirely different experience.

KM: I’m not famous, but I do find it hard to get to the start line to any race because I often stop to hug, heckle and/or say hello to friends. As it turns out, missing the start of a race directly impacts your performance.

 

3. Please provide five single-word adjectives that best describe you and what makes you tick.

GJ: Stubborn. Disciplined. Focused. Driven. Foodie.

AK: Even-tempered. Leader. Brave. Disciplined. Joyful.

KM: Enthusiastic. Loud. Empathetic. Droll. Indefatigable. (You said single-word, so I didn’t think I could use “over-caffeinated”)

4. Have you experienced being asked media questions different from your male counterparts that you attribute to gender? What’s your best example?

GJ: Can’t think of one off the top of my head, but I also try not to read into questions too much. I also have a poor memory so may have been asked something but have forgotten. I do believe there should be equal prize money for men and women (which there is in ITU which I love).

AK: This is a great question, I think our sport is pretty good about equality but the biggest gender difference I notice is that it’s ALWAYS the male winners picture in a newspaper article. Media outlets within our sport tend to include pictures of the women’s winner and why is the men’s race always written about first?

KM: No, because the media isn’t interested in me. However, I’ve been in many eye-rolling situations as a female working in a male dominated industry. I feel our industry (and society in general)​ is getting better about this but I still got called “Hon” only a few months ago by a guy my age who was visiting our office. I can assure you that I’m not his “Hon.”

5. What is the best PRIZE you’ve ever won, in your entire life of racing (maybe it was that 2nd grade field day ribbon…)?

GJ: Any prize that involves food! In 2015 I won a gravel road race and won 20lbs of steak.

AK: I won a race down in Tobago a LONG time ago, back in 2005 I think. The trophy was a beautiful wooden carved sea turtle, it’s still hanging on my wall at home.

KM: I won a pair of Tough Girl socks and a pint glass for 3rd place in my first ever Cx race (I raced it on my full suspension Yeti 575). I was instantly in love with cyclocross and bought a Cx bike about 4 months later

6. Race Day prep – name three best practices you always adhere to the night before a race… and three things you always avoid. What is your best example of a time you didn’t follow your own rules, and things fell apart?

GJ: Don’t try anything new (once I ate out in Japan and tried a dish I’d never had before and got food poisoning)
-Relax/put my feet up
-Do openers
-Avoid: unnecessary stress, being on your feet all day, and new foods.

AK: I don’t go to bed until I feel sleepy, I eat the same thing (chicken and rice) and I prepare everything the night before leaving race morning to be fairly stress free. Three things I always avoid the night before a race are any foods that contain caffeine, any foods high in fiber, anything my body isn’t used to.

KM: Hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Race prep. That’s funny. Here are my “3 best practices”:

-Start looking for my wetsuit​ at about 10 pm​. and run a load of laundry.
-Eat a bowl of Peanut Butter Panda Puffs and pack my bag in the dark so I don’t wake my family.
-Get a good, solid 4 hours of sleep.

Three things I avoid ​(d​ue to life in general plus an incessant desire to self-sabotage):
-Dialed logistics. ​
-Consistent, focused athletic ​training.
-Having enough ______________ to make success an option (fill in the blank with any of the following: sleep, water, food, peace of mind, clean clothes, gas in the car etc)

Best example of things falling apart:
An example where things went wrong: Pretty much every race I’ve done since I turned 35. ​Recently, I had to hop a barbed-wire fence and run through a ditch to find the start-line. Good thing I grew up on a farm.

7. If you’re a Pro, do you ever find yourself wishing you were an Amateur? And if you’re an Amateur, every wish you were a Pro? Why?

GJ: I love what I do and am thrilled to be able to also make it my living. I do hate training when the body is tired and it is pouring rain outside.

AK: I went pro at such an early age that I almost can’t remember what it’s like to race as an amateur. Triathlon has been my life since I was 14 years old, and I began participating in them at 11. I think what I’ll miss when I don’t race as a pro someday is a clear course!

KM: Nope. Waaaaay too much pressure. I race because it helps me conquer my fears, which is a good example for my daughters and other women. Oh, and also: its good preparation should things go south and we find ourselves in a post-Apocalyptic scenario.  If I had to do that as a job, I’d undoubtedly get fired.

Want to know more about Alicia, Gwen and Katie?

Follow their careers:

Alicia Kaye

Gwen Jorgensen

Katie Macarelli – Feedback Sports

The Pros racing the Boulder Peak

At present, there are 35 professional triathletes racing Sunday’s Peak – including some big names and out of state folks.

303 reached out to them and asked a few questions, including:

  1. Why are you racing the Peak?
  2.  If you have raced the Peak before, what is your favorite memory?
  3. How does the Olde Stage climb/descent fit into your race strategy?
  4. Any messages for other pros in the field?

Here are some of their responses:

Justin Metzler

  1. The Peak is the perfect opportunity to put some really hard training to good use. This is my fourth season as a PRO and I have almost exclusively raced the 70.3 distance. I have some international 70.3 races coming up on the calendar and with the Peak in my backyard, the chance to race full gas against some of the strongest guys in the world was too good of an offer to pass up on. As I have gotten older the pressure to perform and get results has gotten more significant every season. I was reflecting on when I was having the most fun racing. That was in 2014 when I did a few Olympic non-drafting races. I’m looking forward to 2hr of very intense suffering on Sunday. It is racing in it’s purest form and is a whole lot of fun.
  2.  This is my first time racing the peak!
  3.  I think it will be full gas from the minute we hop on the bikes to the apex of the Olde Stage climb. If you are not prepared to ride at or above your threshold for the entire segment, you will likely get spit off the back and never be able to regain contact with the front of the race. My #1 goal is to not over think this race. If I swim with the front and make it up Olde Stage with the front of the race, I will be in a very good position to have a solid result.
  4.  Bring it! The start list is looking quite strong but a lot of athletes are in unique situations. Charbot, Shoemaker, Long just raced IM Boulder. Von Berg and Deckard just got back from Europe. West and Dye have both done a lot of races lately. I have not raced since early June. I have been here in Boulder training hard as ever. I am fitter than I have been in a long time and I am looking forward to seeing what that means come Sunday.

Matt Chrabot

  1. It’s been a while since I’ve raced an Olympic Distance event and I’m glad it’s in my home area.
  2. Yes in 2014 and I won.
  3. Hopefully I can make up any lost ground from the swim by quickly popping up the climb. It’s a power climb so the bigger guys won’t be at a disadvantage and the smaller guys won’t gain as much.
  4. Best of luck and I’ll see you out there.

Kelly Williamson

  1.  Sounded like fun, seeing that I do mostly IM and 703 distances – and convenient to Colo Springs where I live.
  2. Last time I raced this (2006ish?) I did Mt Evans the day prior – so what I remember was that it was a pretty crappy race for me but it was a fun and clearly challenging weekend.
  3. I only know of this Olde Stage road by name, so I guess I’m going in  with eyes wide open; and I can’t say I have much of a race strategy except to go as hard as I can for as long as I can.
  4. Let’s play nice in the swim. We’re all going in the same direction. 🙂

Kaisa Lehtonen

  1. I am currently coached by Siri Lindley so I am training here in Boulder for the most of the summer with Siri and some other Team Sirius athletes.  Our main goal for this season is obviously IM World Champs, but Boulder Peak triathlon gives a great opportunity to put some speed in this “Ironman machine” :)! I have never done a non drafting olympic distance race before and I am super excited to see how it feels. Boulder is an amazing place to train in and the route of Boulder Peak Triathlon is just stunningly beautiful and hard at the same time and it will be super cool to test how I can manage the altitude, the heat and the old stage climb!
  2. I have not raced in here before. But it seems that the race has big traditions behind it so it is a huge honor to do the race that so many of the worlds best athletes have done during the last decades.
  3. I usually do love the climbs on the bike. However as I have never raced or trained at altitude before, here in Boulder the climbing seems to feel… let’s say not so enjoyable with a little less oxygen than normal. I will do my very best on the climb, but I will decide according to how I feel on race day if I will put my all into the climb or if I will save a little more energy for the later parts of the race.
  4. It is super exciting to toe on to the start line with you and it is great to see that so many of the very highest level olympic distance athletes will be doing this race.

Drew Scott

  1. I love racing in a hometown event and this race in particular has a lot of good memories for me. It’s been nearly 3 years since I’ve raced in Boulder so this one was a no brainer for me!
  2. My best memory is definitely winning the amateur race in 2011. It was just as I was getting into triathlon and completely unexpected for me so that made it even more special.
  3. Olde Stage is such an iconic climb in this race and I think really defines the whole event. This will be my 8th time racing the peak so I would like to think I’ve learned a few things about the ideal way to attack this course :). The race is usually sorted out by the top of Olde Stage so it helps to be very aggressive in those early miles on the bike.
  4. Haha…I won’t stir the pot. Lets see what happens on Sunday!

Rodolphe Von Berg

  1. I am racing the Peak because it is an iconic Boulder race, and now that the steep Old Stage climb is back on the bike course, it is a big attraction for me, it makes the race more exciting for everybody.
  2. I have never raced the Peak!

 

Alicia Kaye

  1. I am racing Boulder Peak because I love the opportunity to race at home. Though I’m not a full time Boulder resident, I spend nearly half the year here and the opportunity to sleep in my own bed and then get to race a competitive, well run event with prize money cannot be beat!
  2. This is my first time racing Boulder Peak!
  3. Since Olde Stage is fairly early into the 25mile bike, I’m not sure how much it’ll split up the field. I’ve never raced a non-draft Olympic distance event with this difficult a climb. I’m hopeful it’ll split things up enough that we get an honest bike race before hitting the the run!
  4. Let’s put on a show ladies!!

 

Jason West

  1. It’s a great opportunity to race some of the best athletes in the world right here where so many of us train. The course is also very difficult, something you don’t really see that often, so it makes it very exciting.
  2. Nope
  3. Difficult climbs are definitely spots where you can take a lot of time out of people, but you also need to play it really smart because it is just one section of the whole ride. The decent can also be pretty quick, so being a little gutsy there could pay off.
  4. Bring your A game!

Dan Feeney

  1. I am racing the Peak because I moved here two years ago and love the opportunity to have a pro olympic distance race in my (new) hometown!
  2. I am most looking forward the Olde stage since I love climbing and fast descents. As a lighter athlete, I prefer these to the flat and fast roads around the res.

Kennett Peterson

  1. I really enjoy all of Without Limit’s races and the effort they put into making such awesome events. I think it’s great that they’re brining back a pro field and prize money to Peak, and I want to support that by showing up. Also, it’s just two miles from my house, which means I can ride there. That’s a huge bonus.
  2. I’ve never raced it.
  3. When I was a bike racer I did a lot of my intervals on Olde Stage. I’ve probably ridden it close to 200 times at this point, so I know how to pace it: start out as hard as you can and gradually go harder. The descent takes like 39 seconds so it won’t really factor into any position gain or loss.
  4. After the Olde stage descent make sure to go left on Left Hand.

Brittany Warly

  1. I am racing Boulder Peak because my coach and I thought it would be a fun way to mix up my ITU draft-legal racing with a local non-draft race and to get back on the TT bike. Also because I went to school at CU Boulder and I was a proud member of the Colorado Triathlon Team, I thought that racing in Boulder in front of family and friends would be a great way to reconnect with those I haven’t seen in a year since graduating, plus it is always a blast racing in front of the Boulder crowd and having my family watch me race! I have nothing to lose, and I am excited to be racing against some of the best girls in the sport and to give it my all on race day.
  2. This is my first year racing as a professional, but I have raced Boulder Peak a few times in the age group and collegiate category. My favorite memory has been racing in front of my teammates and friends, and getting cheered on the whole way. In addition, I have so many memories training on the Boulder roads, throwing down with my teammates, so I always have visions of those experiences while I race, which motivates me to push harder.
  3. I am excited to be racing Old Stage for the first time! I am a strong climber and fearless on the descents, so I know that I can take advantage of this, while saving my legs for the run.
  4. I hope my racing speaks for itself 🙂

Will Jurkowski

  1. I’m racing Boulder Peak because I can ride my bike to the start – I live in Boulder only a few miles from the Res.
  2. I raced Peak once before, in 2014, as an amateur. I remember hearing about the Olde Stage climb but it wasn’t in the race that year from the flooding in Lefthand and the roads being torn up.
  3. The Olde Stage climb has meant specific preparation with lots of reps up the climb and understanding how hard I can push at various points to maximize my effort.
  4. Not really…

 

Jarrod Shoemaker

  1. I am so happy that Boulder Peak is back! I spent the first 11 years of my career chasing the ITU circuit around the world and only raced a handful on non-drafts in the US. I switched over to non-draft racing last May and have generally been training for long distance now, but I cannot pass up an opportunity to race on such an iconic course and race. I am so excited that Lance and the Without Limits team are working hard to bring this race back for the Pros.
  2. Have not raced before.
  3. I am excited to race a race with a nice climb, I am not as much of a climber as I used to be, and would love to be riding a road bike instead of a TT bike up and down it, but that being said I am just going to be smart about it. This race is basically a long climb from the Res to the top of Olde Stage about 25km long.
  4. I think it is so much fun to race against people that you know and train with. Cam Dye and Jason West are two of my training partners and are nailing the non-draft Olympic distance right now. I am just going to go out there and see how I can do!

Sam Long

  1. I’m racing the Peak because it’s the best Olympic distance event around. I love the climb on Olde Stage Road–it makes the race honest and fair. BP also got me into triathlon so I am stoked to revisit as a pro. I haven’t done an Olympic in years so it is gonna be fun to try the distance again.
  2. Crushing people’s souls on Olde Stage
  3. The climb fits in because it gives me space to catch the faster swimmers. It also allows me to push the descent and use my bike handling skills to my advantage.
  4. yeehaw!

Annika Pfitzinger

  1. I’d heard a lot about Boulder Peak over the years, even before I started racing triathlons, and decided this year would be a good time to test myself on Old Stage!
  2. This is my first time racing Boulder Peak but it hopefully won’t be my last.
  3. I’m going to work the uphill so that I lose as little as little time as possible on the descent! I’m not a very big person and my descending still needs a little work.
  4. This is my first official race as a pro and it sounds like I picked a great race to start with!

Cam Dye

  1. I am really excited to be back racing the Peak. It was the first race that I did when I was 15, and growing up in Boulder it has always been a special race to me. This year it will be even more special as it will be the first time that my kids have seen me race.
  2. Winning the race in 2012

 

Lindsey Jerdonek

  1. I can’t find a single reason NOT to race here at home.
  2. The crowd support on Olde Stage is awesome so that will help me up the punishing climb!
  3. Go hard. Be aggressive.
  4. I’m looking forward to a hard race, especially with my training partners, Paula and Alicia, in the field. They are incredible, hard-working athletes and I hold a lot of respect for them in approaching the Peak.