I did my first triathlon when I was twelve years old on a whim, It was called the “YMCA Strong Kids Triathlon” and I only knew it existed because my neighbors were signed up. I did not do another triathlon for a handful of years following that first one as I needed some time to forget about how I almost drowned and threw up simultaneously during the 100 meter swim. As a high school runner and swimmer it was on my radar as a possible progression of my athletic career. At the University of Colorado I raced on the triathlon team for 4 years and solidified my love of the sport. I always said I would never race an Ironman but following Every Man Jack team camp in February I softened to the idea as it provided a great opportunity to spend more time with my teammates. Later my Dad mentioned he would love to go to Hawaii and I was pretty much sold. A few months later I was on the start line at Ironman Santa Rosa.
Olympic is my favorite distance to race, short and sweet.
This will be my first time racing in Kona and I am super excited to be doing so as a member of the Every Man Jack Triathlon Team
Iain started his endurance sports journey back in 2010 during a family vacation to Machu Pichu where he realized that through his focus on a Corporate career that the fitness of his youth had long since dissipated, so started a commitment to fitness and running and in turn Triathlon. Iain now lives in Boulder Colorado where he is Managing Director at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a non-profit working to hasten a transition to a clean energy system. Iain has completed the last 5 Boston Marathons, 5 full Ironman events with his second appearance at Kona coming up in 2017.
The masses of triathletes collected in Kona for IRONMAN World Championships collectively grieved yesterday as word of Tim Don‘s bike crash spread like wildfire… From the Slowtwitch Party to the annual Training Peaks gathering, there were many speculations that Tim’s back was broken… that he was unconscious… that, no matter what the severity, he was out of the race.
Leave it to “The Don” to hit the social airwaves in a timely fashion, complete with his dry humor, posting an Instagram video for fans and followers. Suffice it to say, to see the predicted top-ten contender sitting up and talking, cracking jokes, was reassuring. A Great Britain native who lives and trains in Boulder, the Colorado community especially was eager for news. In the video Don jokes that he was simply working on his new “aero look” with his neck brace, seeking to gain an advantage over Jan (Frodeno), Sebby (Kienle) and Patrick (Lange)…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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 🙂
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.
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)
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.
Patrick and wife Tiffany welcomed baby girl, Aurelia Rose Martinez, who arrived September 22nd. She joins other new arrivals this past year including Rachel Joyce’s son, Tim O’donnell & Rinny Carfrae’s daughter, Tyler & Nikki Butterfield’s son and Mary Beth Ellis’ baby girl.
Congratulations to all!!
My first triathlon was my freshman year in college. I didn’t have enough money to enter so I asked people around me to sponsor me and I had to borrow gear from roommates and friends. I also did another sprint my senior year in college. My roommate and I had a bet from a professor of ours that we couldn’t beat him. We were cocky varsity track athletes that just came off of good season of track and field. We were 400m trained though but we didn’t think about that. Our professor was…round and didn’t look like he worked out much. He destroyed both of us in the swim and we never saw him again. Very humbling but very inspiring at the same time.
I’ve seen the Ironman triathlon on tv since I was very little. I remember watching it with my mother throughout the years and every year we keep saying, “these people are crazy”. A couple years of watching the “crazies”, we wanted to be one of those crazies. My mom started doing marathons and I took up running also. I always thought how cool it would be to make it to Kona. Twelve years after college, I finally bought myself a new bike, got a wetsuit, and joined a triathlon team. I did a 70.3 that year and I was instantly hooked. The dream of becoming an Ironman came alive once again. Not that anything like that ever really goes away. Summer of 2017 I finally was able to complete the Boulder Ironman, finally making me an IRONMAN!
I have NEVER been to Kona! I am actually able to go to Kona this year because I won a bid spot by signing up for Boulder. I am very honored to take part in Kona though. I also know that I will/am making a lot of people angry about it. I have some friends who have been doing Ironman for 10+ years and still have not made it to Kona and I get in before I even became an Ironman for the first time.
This did come with some good timing and some bad timing. I found out I am going to Kona a week after Christmas 2016. My wife and I booked our flights, our hotel, and we were set to go for a second “honeymoon”. A week later my wife pulls me aside and says, “Patrick, I cannot go to Kona with you this year.” Horrified, I have 2 million reasons why she couldn’t go to Kona, none of them really good, so my face must have dropped. Then she followed it with, “We’re having a baby!”. I cried. I cried because it was good news and cried because I was so glad it was none of the things I was thinking. Our baby is due September 27th, 2017. So I will be skyping her at the finish line while she is taking care of our baby. Some people may look down on that, that I am I going leaving my wife and new born baby. My wife and I have a great relationship. I told her that I didn’t need to do this also. Her response was, “yes you do!” Again, followed by, “but you won’t be doing this for a long time.” We both support each other and we both realized how big of deal Kona actually is. This is why I’m so proud and honored that I get to go. My mother will also be going with me to Kona and I hope to make her proud as well. I’m so glad I get to share this with my family. My baby will not know what happened that day but I hope that I will be able to show my love of life and sport with baby. So even after the Kona ironman, you’ll see baby and I running with the jogging stroller around our neighborhood.
If you asked me in college I would have said anything more than 2 laps around the track is stupid. Here I am today with a dozen or so marathons, Pikes Peak Ascent race, bike rides that have taken me 500+ miles, and one Boulder ironman. So to answer the question, my favorite race depends on the year. I try to push my boundaries of what I thought possible. I have found a love of doing things that scare me and Ironman scares the crap out of me. So right now, Ironman is my goal and my distance that I have fun doing. It’s hard to do something like this and not have fun. you have to put in too much effort and time to not have fun. I do know that training for an Ironman comes with sacrifice though. Mostly with time. So with a baby on the way I realize that my time will be used elsewhere. Not because I have to, but because I want to. i want to be a good father, a good husband, a good brother, and a good son. Family is my next big priority in life. I’m sure I will get back into track and field though since I’m 3 years away from being 40 so I can enter the masters field.
I have been training with D3 Multipart coaching out of Colorado. I have very little time to meet up as a team or to do group functions so I’m mostly training by myself. My wife tells me all of the time that she thinks I need friends to ride with or run with. I’m a cranky old man when it comes to training. I really enjoy going by myself and not having to sync up with somebody elses schedule, or pace, or drama. Don’t get me wrong, I love running and being active with people but I guess I’m very picky with who. Especially this year. My wife and I bought a house last year so we are constantly doing fixer upper projects. I decided last year that I missed coaching track so I got hired on to be a track coach as well. And my work pulls me away a lot during the summer since we are such a small town and we are required to wear a lot of hats. Sometimes I wear my cranky old man hat though a lot if I have to work too much and miss a training session. With coaching track, it almost became impossible to have a free minute. I would have to get one workout in before work, meaning 4:30am-6am. Get to work at 7am to work an 8 hour day to coach track by 3:30pm. I coach track from 3:30pm-5:30pm, then only to come home to get a second workout in, finishing around 8:30pm-9pm. This was a rough time in the Martinez household. My wife and I hardly got to see each other during this period, not to mention I was exhausted most days out of the week. Again, bring out the cranky old man hat for me. I always told my wife that she comes first and I don’t want to do this if it interferes with us. After that time my wife and I made sure we went on dates more and spent time with each other. I had to miss a few workouts to do this but my wife is the one who is going to be with me for life and I want to make sure of that.
So how is training going? I would say as best as it could be with making sure my family feels like I’m not ignoring them. I am proud of everything I go through to try to get my workouts in. I may not be able to get every workout but I make sure I try my best to work around the schedule. I also know that the regular type A personality types are cringing at me saying that but I am proud of what I am doing. I feel like I am putting in a lot of extra effort to make this happen and I also don’t like to do things to just finish. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but when I finish, I want to make sure I can say to myself, “I trained my best, and I did my best in this race ”. Sure after years and years of training I could probably do better, but I do not have that kind of time, which why this trip to Kona makes it even that much more special.
Originally my mother, father, sister, wife, father-in-law, and mother-in-law were all going to travel to Hawaii with me. Now that we are having a baby, it will just be my mother, father, and sister going with me while my wife’s family will be staying with her to watch over her and take care of her while I’m gone.
It means the most to my mother and me though. We are cut from the same clothe and think the same way and dream the same way. I’m so glad she can come along to see this. it will be very special to have her there at the finish. Pretty sure my dad and sister just want a vacation but I’m really glad they will be there also. It was very special to have them cheer me on in Boulder.
What I am looking forward to the most in Kona is going down the same road and streets of the greats that I used to watch on TV with my mother. I’m looking forward to the crowd and looking forward being able to say hi to my baby at the finish. Even if it is over Skype. Mostly I’m looking forward to taking part and being able to take my mother with me.
Thank you all so much for this opportunity. I will be telling my baby daughter this story until she’s sick of it. Then when she’s sick of it, I’ll sit her future dates down to tell the story to. If they can ac semi-interested, they will be in good with me. Curfew will still be before 6pm but I’ll like them a little more.
Started in triathlon 21 years ago with my first Ironman race, IM Canada, Penticton. Swore I’d never do another after the race but got a spot to Kona at the roll down and the rest is history. Just finished my 30th Ironman race in Santa Rosa this year after having done Ironman Texas and Ironman Brazil earlier this year. This will be my 13th Kona, as always going in with just time goals, placement is secondary. I’ve enjoyed 2 age group wins and 3 2nd place finishes so now it is to see what the day brings. No guarantees for any race, so much has to go right on any given day.
I plan to continue in the sport for the foreseeable future, at least until I’m 70 which is getting pretty close. Have an ambitious plan to race Ironman Hamburg , Ironman Copenhagen and Ironman Vichy next year, and yes that is 3 Ironman races in 3 weeks. I have done most of the domestic races so now look forward to destinations and travel.
This sport has taken on new meaning as my daughter (and partner) are also racing Ironman. We did IM boulder and IM Cozumel last year. At Boulder we were in the youngest and oldest categories. Great fun.
I was lucky in the gene department. My father was an avid swimmer, a below the knee amputee and huge inspiration. Mother skied in her youth, not too common back in the 1930’s. My grandfather was a top Cricket player and my Great Great Uncle designed the first bicycle gear. I established that I was a good athlete in HS playing Rugby, winning the schools Track and Field Championship more than once and representing Ireland at the Junior World Fencing Championship. Then I got lazy, or putting it in a better spin, got busy with a career after coming to NY to University.
When I met my future wife Ingrid, I was flying. On our first date I took her to dinner in the Catskills by plane. Flying gradually was overtaken by sailing and I conned Ingrid into quitting her job and spending a year sailing down the East Coast and wintering in the Bahamas. During that trip I got back into a routine of running, a great way to check out all the towns and islands we visited.
At 45, I mentally plotted the trend line of by body weight and did not like what I saw, 200lb+ was in the offing despite reasonably consistent running. We found ourselves with a pool in our condo complex when we returned to land living and my new boss had a bike for sale. Dave and Mark had their War and I got interested. I finished 4th in my AG in my first Tri, Seacrest Oyster Bay Tri on Long Island, with I think the fastest bike split, certainly the top 2. I was hooked, that was ’91.
During the first few years I stuck with sprints then I learned that the ITU Worlds would be in Perth in 1997. Visiting Oz was a very early bucket list item for me. Racing at Nationals in ’97 I learned humility, I only just made the team. After that the sport had me hooked, and reeled in. I was on team USA for the next three years racing in Lausanne, Canada and once more in Perth. Then my work career changed and I was working from home. IronMan was no longer an insane idea.
When I coach now, I try hard to convince my athletes that several years of racing sprints and olympic distance is the best approach to preparing for an IM. It worked for me, I qualified for Koan my first go in Lake Placid in ’01. 9/11 had just happened and that whole experience in Kona was one I will not forget. What was most incredible was when Tim DeBoom won it seemed like everyone there was an American. Perhaps Madame Pele was expressing her anger at us Humans for 9/11, she served up the worst wind conditions ever, 55mph gusts, it is still the worst day.
Luck is part of the equation of getting to Kona, it certainly is part of my story. A big part of that luck is having Ingrid at my back. Until recently, there were a lot of US athletes much faster than I but I managed to pick races were they had chosen not to go. As a result, I have qualified every year since 2001 when I wanted to go, 13 times now. Sadly, some of those great athletes are no longer with us. Steve Smith will be one I will always remember, fought cancer just as hard as he raced, he has many world titles.
We retired to Colorado in 2005, it was Ingrid’s suggestion but I had no problem with that. I met my head coach Mike Ricci, D3 Multisport, shortly after arriving along with Barry Siff. I could not have fallen into better company, that lead to coaching sessions with Bobby McGee and help from many new friends. With all this help and encouragement I moved from finishing in the upper teens to striking distance of a podium finish in 2006.
In 2009, my bike failed me and I road a borrowed bike getting to T2 at 5:15 and was the last person to leave T2. It will always be the best race of my life, I ran down Alii with super start Lou Hollander, then I think 79. Lou retired two years ago after trying to finish at 86. The rest of the night was rather like being at the finish line at Midnight but for 5 hours and I got to talk with these amazing people for who finishing was truly the only goal. Aging up is great, at 65 I finished third in Kona, and second at 66. Hitting 70 last year I took second. I am dreaming of big things again this October 14
I grew up in rural Georgia playing competitive basketball and tennis but quickly transitioned to mountain biking/kayaking/mountaineering once arriving to Colorado in the late 90’s, and I didn’t look back. In sports, I always seemed to be able to keep up with and often lead the “pack” without training. Getting after it just off the couch was my routine and I had never considered any training or exercise regimen outside of the particular sporting event. “Practice” as Allen Iverson had famously dismissed, wasn’t really in my vocabulary as well. In 2013, after putting on some pounds over the years while starting a family, the “pack” I had easily kept up with was moving far too fast for my sedentary ways. I became content with the refuge of my couch after having some epic bonks on supposedly easy excursions. During this year, I was shocked when my seemingly healthy father in his early 60’s required urgent cardiac arterial stenting, placement on multiple medications, and underwent cardiac rehabilitation. Upon my own personal physician follow up and testing shortly thereafter, I realized that I was not the prime picture of health I imagined to be. Though in my early 40’s, I had arteries of a 65 year old, was categorized as overweight and obese for my height, and was started on cholesterol medication therapy. I was floored and processed this wake up call in regards to my longevity as a husband and father.
In retaliation, I purchased a road bike, made a commitment to my health, and took up triathlon in the summer of 2014 – which changed my life forever. Other than swimming after fallen beers off a raft or chasing down kayaking gear in rivers, I never had formally learned to swim. My first training swim left me demolished after 4 lengths, and it hit me that it would be a long road to regain fitness. I embraced the mantra of exercise “practice” through triathlon training. Within 6 months of adopting the triathlon lifestyle, I had lost 30 pounds, had normal to low cholesterol levels, and was taken off all medications. My friends had suggested my transformation was “historic” and wondered where the sedentary Beckman had wondered off to. My new lifestyle and fitness not only saved my health, but also brought new life and energy into a 15 year Emergency Medicine career where I was facing burnout.
After my first triathlon in 2014, the Boulder 70.3 IM, I was hooked to triathlon. From there, I continued to race over the next 2 years despite injury setbacks including a clavicle fracture from a neighborhood bike accident (2014), right knee injury during my first full distance IM in 106 degree record heat in CdA (2015), and left knee injury in a bike accident during the Boulder Ironman (2016). After three straight years of injury, one might say I was a little crazy to return… I was drawn back to triathlon not only for the love of the combined sport and methodical training regimen I had adopted, but to keep good on the promise I made to maintain my health and fitness I fought so hard to achieve. Furthermore, the process of working through intense physical and mental obstacles in rehab brought fortitude, humility, patience, and experience of how to train smarter and recover stronger. In the spring of 2017, I began working with coach Tim Crowley who brought perspective, efficiency, and wisdom to my training and racing regimen and was able to carry this forward to my first Kona qualification at Ironman Canada in July 2017.