Could an American Win in Kona This Year?

From Triathlete.com
by Susan Lacke

The last time an American won the Ironman World Championship, My Big Fat Greek Wedding was showing in movie theaters. Kelly Clarkson had just won the first-ever season of American Idol, and the world was gearing up for the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT. That was the year that American Tim DeBoom won in Kona with a time of 8:29:56. DeBoom’s time would be considered slow by today’s pro standards, set by a wave of Australian and German athletes who have inched ever closer to the sub-8 mark, leaving Americans in their dust. In the women’s race, the drought has lasted even longer, as an American hasn’t won since 1996.

Could 2018 be the year the USA takes back the Kona crown? This year’s American athletes provide some of the best odds for a Kona win since…well, Kelly Clarkson won American Idol. The top bets for an American victory in Kona:

Women

American Heather Jackson. Photo: Oliver Baker

Heather Jackson
The 2016 third-place finisher is hungrier than ever for the win. Her 9:02:29 finish in Kona last year was less than a minute behind third-place finisher Sarah Crowley, and the experience fueled her all-in mentality for 2018. Her wire-to-wire win at Ironman Lake Placid in July, where she clocked a 9:18:49, shows she’s in top form and ready to rumble.

Linsey Corbin
With 11 appearances on the Kona start line, Corbin has more experience at this race than anyone else in the pro ranks, male or female. Within those years are three top-ten finishes and countless lessons on mastering the Kona game. She’s the fastest American female in history, holding an Ironman record of 8:42:42. Her recent “back-to-basics” approach to training has focused on consistency, recovery, and balance. She went ahead and nabbed her Kona 2019 spot with a win at Ironman Wisconsin in September. Will the decision to race such a late 140.6 help or hurt her Kona chances? We’ll find out!

Jocelyn McCauley
In only her first pro race at the Ironman World Championships, McCauley finished 10th place in 9:21:08. She backed up that breakthrough race with a third-place finish at Ironman New Zealand in March, and has been laser-focused on Kona since, taking the lessons she learned in her rookie year to improve for her second go-around. She looked sharp at Ironman 70.3 Santa Rosa, where she finished fourth in a strong field that included three-time Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae.

Sarah Piampiano
Piampiano hasn’t finished off the podium in 2018—in five 70.3 and full starts this year, she’s taken five top-three finishes, including a win at 70.3 Lima and second place at Ironman Brazil. Can she keep the trend rolling in Kona? It’s certainly feasible—a look at her performance since turning pro in 2012 has shown a strictly upward trajectory, and Piampiano shows no signs of letting up.

Sarah True
The two-time Olympian made the jump to racing Ironman this year, and what a jump it was: True nailed her first-ever attempt at the distance, taking second place at the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt with a time of 9:05:19. The first-place finisher? Defending Ironman world champion Daniela Ryf. True, who will be making her Kona debut this year, is a dark horse, but her history at both short-course and the 70.3 distance shows she’s got the chops to take on big names and high stakes.

 

Men

Ben Hoffman. Photo: Oliver Baker

Ben Hoffman
Hoffman is the closest America has come to the top step of the podium in recent years, taking second place in 2014. Though he’s had some stellar races since, including a sub 8-hour performance at Ironman South Africa in 2017, this year has been a bit of a mixed bag. A bike crash during the Cape Epic mountain bike race derailed his plans to defend his title at Ironman South Africa; Hoffman struggled from the start of the race and finished in a personal worst time of 12:06:48. He finished second at both 70.3 Boulder and 70.3 Santa Cruz.

Timothy O’Donnell
With his third-place finish at Kona in 2015, O’Donnell is most recent American male to podium. His 8:00:54 performance at this year’s Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship was good enough for fourth place in a strong field that included many Kona qualifiers for this year. His superpower in Kona seems to be heat management—where others wilt on the bike and run, O’Donnell thrives.

Andy Potts
At 41 years old, Potts is the elder statesman of the race, but he can still mix it up with the young guns. Potts was the top American finisher at last year’s World Championship, clocking an 8:14:13 (including a blistering 2:50:27 marathon) to take seventh place. He’s come close to the top spot before, finishing fourth in 2014 and 2015, and is known for tweaking his routine to accommodate what he learns each time he races Kona. Will 2018 be the year he finally cracks the code?

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Andy Potts: Balancing Triathlon and Family

Throughout my career, I have had the privilege to travel the world and watch you share the joy of racing and an active healthy lifestyle with your families. Regularly, I am asked about how I balance training, racing, my coaching business, and family. I gotta say, it’s not easy but it pales in comparison to the juggling act most of you have to do. I have the luxury that I don’t have a job that involves commuting, a boss, or the daily management of people. I’m lucky that when I’m training, I am working. With that, here are a few tips I have picked up over the years that could benefit anyone trying to manage it all.

1. Have a routine but don’t let your routine stress you out

Training for a triathlon is time-consuming and mentally demanding. Add in juggling a schedule, work/life and the schedule of your family makes it tougher. I have found that you have a set schedule, there is one less thing that you have to think about and by getting into a weekly rhythm you can focus on your workout instead of juggling activities. If you know that you have certain time blocks everyday and specific dates for each workout, then it makes it easier to pack your bags, have everything you need and be ready to train. Further, it allows others(like your family), to plan as well.

2. Establish expectations and communicate regularly

Critical for any relationship and a family tri relationship is establishing expectations and communicating if you need to change your schedule or needs. When my wife knows that I won’t be around on specific days/times, she can plan her life and my kids’ life around that. Conversely, my wife can let me know her expectations and needs for me so that I can plan my training around that. The key is being clear and establishing a routine. In our house, my family knows I swim early. The expectation is that I won’t be there when they wake up but I will be there during breakfast to get everything ready for school and then get the kids to school while my wife heads off to the cupcake shop. Similarly, I also spend time with my kids explaining to them what I am doing in my training and why. This lets them understand why I am going out on a 4 hour bike ride or in my training cave for hours at a time instead of going with them to the park.

3. Be in the moment

Andy's son greets him at the finish line

A lot of folks try to do too much. Too much at work, too much with their family and too much training. What ends up happening is they ‘fail’ at everything or are always guilty that they aren’t living up to their expectations. What I try to do is really be in the moment for whatever I am doing. If I am training, I am singularly focused on training as I would be doing a disservice to myself and to my kids if I didn’t give 100% to my training. Similarly, when I am with my kids, I am not feeling guilty that I am not training- I am 100% dedicated to my time with them. It makes everything I do more impactful and I can provide a higher quality experience in everything I do, which is what matters in the end.

 

4. Brick/Combo workouts

The best way to get in multiple workouts in a day is to brick your workouts. The typical brick is bike/run but you can easily swim/bike or swim/run as well. The goal here is to minimize the prep time and clean up time. Instead of splitting workouts and having to prepare and clean up twice, you can save thirty to sixty minute by doing it once. Really want to get crazy, you can swim/bike/run most days like me :).

 

Original article on Infinit Nutrition here

AN EVENING OF CHAMPIONS AND INSPIRATION: ANNUAL IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BROADCAST PREMIERE

Event to take place on December 5th at New World Stages in New York City with proceeds supporting The IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2017) — On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, IRONMAN and The IRONMAN Foundation will host an “Evening of Champions and Inspiration” at the IRONMAN® World Championship Broadcast Premiere presented by UnitedHealthcare, taking place at New World Stages in New York City. Sharing the hosting duties for the evening’s affair will be “The Voice of IRONMAN” and this year’s IRONMAN Foundation Ambassador Team Captain, Mike Reilly along with veteran national sports broadcaster and multiple IRONMAN® 70.3® finisher Shannon Spake, as they introduce guests to the magic of the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship, which took place on October 14 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.

The red-carpet gala will feature a premiere screening of the annual NBC broadcast that captures the fierce competition and compelling storylines of the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship and a moderated Q&A panel from athletes featured in the show. Event attendees will get a first look at the broadcast special before it airs on NBC, December 9th from 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET (check local listings for time and channel).

The event will also include food and cocktails and a meet-and-greet with inspirational age-group athletes as well as current and former professional athletes. 2017 IRONMAN World Champion Patrick Lange will be joined by top American finishers Heather Jackson, Andy Potts, Liz Lyles and Ben Hoffman and IRONMAN Foundation Ambassador athlete Tim O’Donnell. Special guests will include original 1978 IRONMAN finisher Dave Orlowski as well as renowned sports commentator and long-time narrator of the NBC Show, Al Trautwig.

“We are excited to return to New York City to screen the IRONMAN World Championship NBC special ahead of its premiere on December 9th. Every year this broadcast special gives viewers an extraordinary view into a truly amazing event and this year’s IRONMAN World Championship is no exception,” said Christopher Stadler, Chief Marketing Officer for IRONMAN. “We are honored to work with The IRONMAN Foundation as we continue to grow this red-carpet event and silent auction to a larger audience than we have ever had before.”

The IRONMAN Foundation, the charitable arm of the IRONMAN organization, has provided more than $50 million in support since inception. Proceeds from the evening will benefit The IRONMAN Foundation’s Community Fund, which provides grant funding to nonprofit organizations in race communities where IRONMAN events are held.

In addition to the funds raised from the event’s ticket sales, The IRONMAN Foundation will hold a silent auction with a variety of unique items including this year’s IRONMAN World Championship finish line tapes, Hawaiian Ukuleles autographed by Professional IRONMAN athletes, and tickets to a Broadway Musical, just to name a few. Online bidding will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 29 and is open to event attendees and the general public by visiting the following link – IRONMAN Foundation Silent Auction.

There will also be an opportunity to bid during the live auction at the premiere on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to race at the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i as well as the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.

“The IRONMAN Foundation is honored to benefit from this event, which exemplifies excellence and inspiration in the sport of triathlon. Funds raised will allow us to continue to leave a tangible impact in the communities where IRONMAN events are held across the world,” said David Deschenes, Executive Director of The IRONMAN Foundation.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the event, please visit www.ironmanfoundation.org/konapremiere/. For more information on IRONMAN and The IRONMAN Foundation, please visit www.ironman.com and www.ironmanfoundation.org. For media related inquiries, please contact press@ironman.com.