Becky Piper: Xterra Nats qualifier, savagely attacked, comatose & paralyzed, and back to Xterra again – at local Lory race

By Sasha Underwood

Several years ago Becky Piper was attacked while living in Guam by would be armed robbers, severely beaten with a gun and left to die. Local naval doctors immediately evacuated her to San Diego for treatment. She is now partially paralyzed. Yesterday she completed Xterra Lory. What happened in between is remarkable and brought tears to my eyes watching her finish knowing all that she went through to even compete.  You can read about her account HERE.

Prior to the attack, Becky was an ultra-marathon runner. A friend of hers had mentioned the Xterra in Guam and essentially challenged her by saying because he was a guy he would be faster than her and would beat her time – which ignited a small fire in her. She trained and completed the 2013 Xterra Guam, finishing 2nd in her age group and qualified for the Xterra National Championships.  Oh, and her friend, did not even start because he didn’t train.

Shortly after that she was attacked.  When she finally emerged from her coma weeks later and barely started talking, she asked the doctors if she could resume racing. They explained that her paralysis may be permanent – to which she replied, “Ok, well that’s why there’s a Para Athlete division!” After spending some time with her I can only imagine her saying that in a matter-of-fact, upbeat, genuine way with that huge Becky smile of hers!

She is now paralyzed on her right side and uses a brace to walk. Within the past three years, she has become a USAT Coach with Team MPI, and she completed two sprint triathlons last year. Check out her accomplishments on her Facebook page!

When we met last year, I asked if she would be doing Xterra’s again. She explained that she would like to but wasn’t sure of which one would be suitable for her. I immediately thought of Xterra Lory – it’s such a great course for beginners and experts alike. A flowy bike course with a great climb of a run.

She signed up for Xterra Lory at the beginning of this year. I mentioned how I love that race but I can’t run anymore since my hip surgery in November, to which she replied, “then walk! I’m doing it!” Of course I signed up after that. Originally I was going to race the swim and bike portion and have my mom do the run.

Becky was nervous about the bike portion. She pre-rode the course a couple times and a few days before the race I asked her if she would feel more confident if I rode behind her on the bike course. She loved that idea so I planned to stay with her the entire race.

The Swim:

We put on our wetsuits to go do a quick practice swim. It was the first open water swim of the year for both of us – nothing like waiting until race day! Anna, Becky’s transition handler, and Sam, Becky’s husband, helped Becky into her wetsuit. The best part was watching them lift Becky up by either side and try to shake her into her wetsuit! I REALLY wish I had taken a picture of that!

The entrance to the lake was slick and muddy and several athletes slipped while entering. It was a good time to discuss a strategy for Anna to help Becky out of the water when she finished. The water was chilly and both Becky and I had a little cold water shock panic when we put our face in the water.  We were in wave seven so we had plenty of time to practice. By the second wave we were comfortable and I tried to stay slightly to her right and in front of her so she could follow me.

We finished faster than her projected time in under 30minutes!

The Bike:

Sam modified Becky’s bike so all of the shifters and brakes are on the left side. In addition, her bike is a full suspension, more of a down-hill, slack geometry and has a 27.5 wheel on the front with a 26 wheel on the back. Becky can’t stand up to get over obstacles or downhill sections so the wheels and geometry of the bike help put her in a better position to ride that type of terrain.

I had so much fun riding with her! Becky had named many sections of the bike course from pre-riding it. The first section she named ‘Bridges Galore’ (but later renamed it to ‘Why Will Becky’s Foot Not Stay On the Pedal’). Next came ‘Where Becky Endo’d’. Then ‘Holy Crap! Look At All the Uphill!’ And last but not least, ‘The Part I Only Saw Once Because the Other Time I got a Flat Tire.’

This girl would fall over, get back up, and do it again. Over, and over, and over again. I was so impressed with her tenacity and perseverance – all the while with a ginormous smile on her face. At one point she fell over, threw her arm up and with a grin from ear to ear said, “ta-dah!” I’m so glad I was there to help out when I could and put her foot back into her unruly pedal. By the end of the bike we pretty much had that down to a science.

Her family and friends were waiting for her at the bike finish cheering with excitement. Anna and Sam helped her transition, changing her biking brace to her running brace made with carbon fiber which is more comfortable and allows better mobility for hiking.

The Run:

I originally was going to do the run with Becky but I forgot my running shoes. Fortunately my mom, who was already planning to run, ran with her instead.  Becky described her run as an attempt to get over rocks. She fell a few times, ended up with a mysterious scrape down her entire length of her arm, and has a bruised and skinned knee… but she did it. She explained that my mom gasped the first time she fell but by the 5th time she was unphased. That’s just what happens. You fall, and then you just get back up.

Becky’s friends and family ran with her through the last 200 yards leading up to the finisher’s chute. I personally could not hold back the tears of joy, knowing what I know about Becky, knowing how meaningful it is to train and overcome obstacles and push through no matter the odds or what life throws at you… knowing what it feels like to cross the finish line of my first 5k, 10k, Marathon and Ironman… the feeling is the same and I couldn’t help the tears from flowing. Looking around there was not a dry eye among us.

Becky is incredibly motivating, inspiring and her up-beat, nothing-can-get-me-down attitude is infectious. I am honored to have raced with her and call her my friend. I look forward to watching her race the Boulder Half Ironman in August!

 

 

 

 

EVERYTHING you need to know about IRONMAN Boulder – Race Director Video

Hey athletes! Check out this new IRONMAN Boulder race day information video. It’s packed with great answers that every athlete will benefit from. We are still requiring attendance to at least one scheduled athlete briefing!

Highest Tri in the World – 106 West – “still has faint heartbeat”

Early this morning, various news sources, including 9News and the Summit Daily, reported this year’s 106 West Triathlon had  been cancelled.

Human Movement, owned by Powder Corp (sic), decided to cancel the race and focus on events closer to Copper Mountain, 9News reported.

However, 303’s Bill Plock pulled out his reporter’s notebook and asked some questions, revealing there is more to the story…

By Bill Plock

For ten years Jeff Suffolk, president of Louisville’s Human Movement, worked on bringing the 106Degree Triathlon to life in 2016. It was an epic event. (Full review below.) From being the first time humans could legally swim in Dillon Reservoir to being the highest altitude triathlon in the world, the 106 offered something unique.

But, according to Jeff, it’s not dead yet: “It has a faint heartbeat,” he told me this afternoon. The realities are a few very vocal people influenced officials to want to reroute the bike course and confine it to the Reservoir roads and trails.  Jeff said, “Yes, we could’ve had a three loop bike course, but that would simply take all the ‘epic-ness’ out of it.” Jeff went on to praise local officials who last year went out of their way to make the bike course very free of any traffic and with plenty of room for racers.

Human Movement was purchased in 2015 by Powdr, the owners of Copper Mountain and many other resort properties. The strategic vision is for Human Movement to focus on races and events that enhance the experience of their resorts. Events such as obstacle mud races and ninja courses, the kinds of events Human Movement also produces.

The 106 being in Summit county surely had some reach into the Copper Mountain community, but with its indirect impact, the race really needed to remain epic to afford the expense of keeping it going, and when the bike loop was dramatically changed it made it hard to continue with the same model.

Jeff said they could still pull it off this year, but because it looks bleak, he decided to refund money to athletes so they could shore up the race schedules and not be left in limbo wondering. “If it does indeed happen, it will probably be sort of last minute from a training perspective, and I just didn’t think that was fair,” says Jeff.

So stay tuned, crazier things have happened, the highest triathlon in the world may happen again someday!

106 Degree West Tri: Highest Tri in the World Recap

 

 

Tri Coach Tuesday: Ladies, 5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Mountain Bike

by Elorie Slater, Co-Owner of Sports Garage

There are so many stories women are told, most notably the stories they tell themselves, along the path to becoming a self-identified female mountain biker. Often these stories are presented as well-intentioned advice.

This spring I needed a new bike – a position that should have inspired only excitement. I was born-again in mountain biking on my last bike (The Perfect Bike) and I love it still, despite the fact that during vigorous rides the thing now sounds like that street performer playing about 10 instruments simultaneously. Entering into the new bike selection process actually inspired mild PTSD. You see, before The Perfect Bike I suffered through a series of ill-fitting, twitchy, poorly set up, under or over-geared machines, each of which I acquired because I believed a story. Retracing this history has helped me identify five key questions that every rider, especially women, should be asking themselves when shopping for a new mountain bike.

Once upon a time…

Story #1: “ You’re not experienced enough for clipless pedals.”

I learned everything the hard way: started riding legit singletrack at  30 in daisy dukes, on a twenty-five dollar cult of poverty hardtail I picked up at a yard sale. Among the first crew I rode with was a guy who told me, “You’re not experienced enough for clipless pedals. It will be years before you’re ready for that”. So when I shopped for my first full suspension mountain bike – an aluminum Gary Fisher – I set it up with heavy steel Primo pedals. I rode the dog out of the Fisher. A year later I moved to Colorado and received the unexpected “gift” of a pair of SPD’s. I spent the next three months the victim of repeated SPD falls, picking gravel out of my knees, grafting skin to my elbows, and resisting the urge to kick my bike over every cliff.  I should have come out of the gates with clipless pedals and learned the entire skillset from the get-go.

Story #2: “A light-weight bike with a smaller wheel is better for smaller riders.”

Not long after recovering from that bout of SPD-itis, I was bit by the carbon bug, perhaps an even more serious malady. I started shopping for a new bike again. At that time, 26” rigs still took up as much space in bike shops as 29-ers. I had traded my dukes in for a chamois and figured out hydration packs.  At just under 5’5″, fully geared up and soaking wet, I weighed in at about 125. The staff at a trusted bike shop explained that light-weight, nimble 26” bikes suit smaller riders: strength to weigh ratio, turning radius, blah, blah, blah. So I got one. That bike was the lightest, steepest, twitchiest, race set-up on the trail. I was lightning fast…when I was upright. I scored insane endo style points that year. And then one day I rode a friend’s 29” bike. The longer wheelbase added confidence and stability to the equation, even in switchbacks. Descending, I felt like a tractor. Despite my size, I’m a big wheel girl. I should have done test rides on both wheel sizes before making my buying decision.

Ladies, it’s not just bad advice from others. Most of these are stories we also tell ourselves. If I had a nickel for every lady rider that came in SG and said “I’m pretty small so I need to demo a 27.5,” I would ride gold-plated wheels. And don’t get me wrong – I’m not telling women that they shouldn’t ride a smaller wheel or should replace her factory-installed dropper. I’m telling all mountain bike shoppers that discovering your own riding style and analyzing your own preferences is a valuable investment of time.

When shopping for a new bike, find all your opportunities to demo. And someone – whether yourself or an expert at a shop you trust – should ask the five following questions:

1. What’s your favorite part of riding?
2. Can you describe the trail that you feel most confident on or enjoy the most, and why?
3. Do you have a riding goal or dream destination that you are working towards?
4. Are you more nervous about climbing or descending?
5. Do you ever (truly in your heart of hearts) intend to take big hits?

Complete article at Sports Garage here

Primal Colorado Bike Expo

The Primal Colorado Bike Expo is the annual kickoff event for cycling in the state of Colorado! In its third year the expo will bring together all things cycling and Colorado; pairing industry professionals, recreational riders, biking enthusiasts and utilitarian’s with the latest products, consumer trends, screaming deals, organized rides, clubs & teams, advocacy groups and cycling destinations.

The two day festival and consumer show will also include BMX flatland and aerial stunts, a kid zone, adult big wheel races, learn to ride clinics, strider course, sprint competitions, demo area, antique bicycle display, a fashion show, incredible programming, live entertainment, beer garden, food trucks and more!

A portion of the event proceeds will go to support the Colorado High School Cycling League, Trips for Kids Denver Metro and Wish for Wheels.

 

Friday Events Include:

2:00 P.M.

SHOW OPENS *Early Bird BONUS – Prizes for first 50 visitors; Colorado Classic Community Tent

2 – 8:30 P.M.

Kid Zone
Demos & Test Rides
Adult Big Wheel Races
Spin-Off Competitions hosted by Inspired Training Center
Beer Garden & Food Trucks brought to you by Planet Cyclery
Bicycles for Humanity Bike Drive (donate your gently used bike)

  • Feedback Omnium Warm-Up / Cool-Down Tent; Lot G
  • Nowear BMX Flatland & Aerial Stunts; Demo Area
  • Bikepacking & Bike Touring by Bob Williams of Beer & Bike Tours; Colorado Classic Community Tent
  • Basics of Bike Care by Bikes Together; Colorado Classic
    Community Tent
  • White Line Cycling Events presents Friday Night Lights at Mile High Stadium – Criterium Race & Street Sprints (racing begins on both courses simultaneously at 3:00 PM)
  • How to Fix a Flat Tire by Katie Macarelli of Feedback Sports and Shelley Hartman of Liv Bikes; Colorado Classic Community Tent
  • Nowear BMX Flatland & Aerial Stunts; Demo Area
  • The Wheelmen – High Roller Engagement; Demo & Exhibitor Area

2017 Ironman Boulder Bike Course REVEALED

By Bill Plock

Ironman Boulder’s bike course is now THREE loops (passing through the Boulder Reservoir four times!), potentially faster, and should be tons of spectator-friendly fun!

(maps below!)

Ironman continues to refine this course, and after listening to athlete feedback proclaiming they want a more connected and spectator-friendly bike ride, the new course will feature three loops, passing through the reservoir area four times giving racers that extra boost of crowd energy. There, family and friends will be able to cheer and hang out at the beer garden, listen to music, swim in the lake and enjoy the time (and amazing views!) while waiting for their athlete to pass through.

IM Boulder Race Director Tim Brosious and Pro Triathlete Chris Leiferman

Food trucks will be there along with other entertainment and features still being planned. Shuttle buses will run throughout the day for easy transport between the Reservoir and downtown Boulder.

The course could potentially be faster, especially as racers will head east from Highway 36 on St. Vrain road with its nice downhill instead of on Highway 66 like the last three years. The three loops will still utilize most of the same roads as previous years, but on the last lap racers will spend time on a closed Four Mile Creek bike path for a couple of miles before dropping riders onto a few streets heading into T2.

An added plus? No Railroad crossings!

Pro Triathlete, Chris Leiferman, competing this year and who led the group on Saturday, said he “likes the bike path near the end as it’s quiet and will give everyone a chance to stretch out a bit and relax before hitting the run.”

Poppy Sports owner Melanie Mitchell, who isn’t currently signed up, says she is more tempted now after riding the course because, “Three loops mentally seems more attainable than 112 out in the middle of the plains.  Having done the 70.3 it is very familiar territory and training will be easier to ramp up mileage doing loops of the course.

Tim Brosious, the new race director (don’t worry Dave Christen will be around too—he is a regional director now), says, “This is a celebration day not only for the athlete but also for the families, friends, and supporters who have taken on extra responsibilities over the past year to make sure their athlete has a memorable day and crosses the finish line with a sense of fulfillment and pride.

Join the Strava Team Colorado group and get out and practice the loops and see how you stack up with others doing the same.

303Radio podcast featuring North American Race Director Dave Christen and new Ironman Boulder Race Director Tim Brocious, discussing Ironman Boulder features, course preview, and Team Colorado:

Check out all the photos from our 303Radio Podcast HERE.

Here is the official course map!

 

Breaking News: IRONMAN forming “Team Colorado” for IM Boulder

Thinking about IRONMAN Boulder? Already signed up? Look here on 303 to find out about IRONMAN’s new Team Colorado to make this your best and most memorable Ironman ever! Opportunities for exclusive training with professional triathletes, one-of-a-kind IRONMAN Team Colorado gear, and more. Stay tuned this week for big announcements!

Boulder Race Director Who Lost Legs After Accident Returns To The Gym

craig-towler-workoutUpdate on Craig Towler, Boulder race coordinator, on his recovery since losing both legs when he was hit by a drunk/distracted driver last summer.

From CBS4

If anyone knows life can change in a moment’s notice, it’s Craig Towler. The Boulder man lost his legs when an accused intoxicated, distracted driver hit him. For the first time since the accident Towler spoke to CBS4’s Jennifer Brice.

“Your body is such an amazing tool,” said Towler.

It’s a tool the 29-year old has leveraged his whole life.

He enjoys hiking, biking, races and being outdoors. Towler believes if you treat your body right, “You can watch yourself get stronger.”

LINK: Gofundme Page To Help Craig Towler

Stronger … that’s a word with a lot more meaning these days. Towler and I began to talk about the accident that took his legs.

It was the Fourth of July. Towler was on foot in front of his home when a driver hit him from behind.

Towler was pinned between two cars.

“After I felt the impact I was still conscious,” said Towler. “I looked down at that point and I knew it was severe.”

Read the full article

Kona 2016 “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time” – Race Recap

img_2568By Michael Breyer

For those of you who do Sufferfest Videos (confession: I’m not one of you, but Khem is so I get called upstairs not infrequently when there’s something funny on the screen while she’s working out) – you know “It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time” is never true.

I was fortunate to punch my Kona ticket more than a year ago at Wisconsin and got to prepare for the race without the specter of actually needing to qualify for it.  But there was one big problem: and as typical it all started at mile 11 of the run…
It’s heeeeeere

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Kona Week is insane.  And this time there was no escaping it.  The last 2 trips to Kona we stayed about 4-5 miles south on Ali’i Dr at a secluded VRBO.  A great lanai, peace and quiet, away from the craziness of downtown Kona – a cute and charming beach town that gets over-run by people like me and (Richard) Byyny the second week of October.

img_2501
The famous Banyan tree on Ali’i

 

 

But this time we opted for staying at the King K Marriott – the host hotel and headquarters.  And sure enough, day 1 there’s multi-time Kona winner Paula Newby-Frazer in the lobby chatting with one of her athletes, a gaggle of pro’s hanging by the pool, Craig Alexander being Craig Alexander.

It was all a bit intimidating but I’m just an age-grouper who got a ticket to the show by the skin of his teeth so I chose to ignore much of it and hop on my bike with Byyny.

Byyny is also insane.  36 hours before we race and there we are biking the Queen K in the heat of the day when the winds are also the worst, him with a Go Pro that he jerry-rigged to his aero-bars (and then to mine) as we pound out some watts and hope the semi’s miss us (they did).

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Then we swam at his resort (hint: not the Marriott)…  PS: we both swam 1000m.

swim-compareHere’s the data from the swim:

 

 

Kona atmosphere – It’s just off the hook.  Go to Lava Java, order some pancakes, grab a seat and I guarantee within 20 minutes you’ll see at least 4 pro’s and Dave Scott.  I chatted with all the founders of Cervelo over a latte at Evolution who to my great surprise still didn’t offer to put me on a new P5x for free..

All the industry people are there, everyone is ripped, no one is taking this race lightly, no one is up past 8pm and everyone is out for a practice run on Ali’i by 5am, 6 at the latest.

Kona is a celebration of all things triathlon, which has its good and bad, but the key word is celebration.  Unbridled love and passion for our sport.  If you’re not excited there’s something wrong with you.

img_2517Build – There are only 3 disciplines to triathlon and I’m pretty bad at 2 of them.  I knew I didn’t have the motivation to work on my swim and historically I bleed time on the run so after Whistler I decided to try to run 500 miles in 10 weeks.  It took me seven.  I read a bunch about how to do this safely and then I abused my Treadmill with the following plan:
50% at slower than Ironman pace30% at Ironman pace20% at threshold or VO2 max pace (those days were rough)
As it’s me I also got a little crazy and competitive with it.  One morning, I woke up and ran a marathon on the Mill.  26.2 miles on the TM – thank you Royal Tenenbaums, US Open Tennis coverage and Ke$ha for getting me through that one.  At least 1, sometimes 2 long runs of 18+ miles/week.  I hurt my left quad once and had to take 3 days off, then 2 weeks later my right quad (2 days off) and finally after one run I slipped getting out of my hot-tub and thought for a minute I broke my hip.  I was a mess but by the end of it I finally had something I never had before – a running base.
img_2486*New yellow bike shoes – bad idea as you’ll soon find out

Raceday

Swim I thought I had a good swim.  Clean water, didn’t take too much contact, followed one guy for the majority of it, conserved energy.  And yet I came out and had another crummy time, perhaps because I don’t swim.  K2 I’m enrolling us in swim lessons at the Y this winter.

Swim Time: 1:17 Swim Pace: 2:00/100mRank: AG: 228/254, OA: 1792/2316 (At least I beat 26 guys in my AG out of the drink)

finisherpix_1369_113786
T1 – So those new yellow bike shoes in the picture from before?  For the life of me I could not get them on after the swim.  Plus the pier is super long and you have to run ALL the way around it to fetch your bike, which I proceeded to run past.  Twice.  14 Ironman races and I still make all the mistakes.
Time: 5:24 (!)
Bike – Hopped on my bike and re-grouped mentally.  Swim doesn’t matter, neither does T1.  But you know what matters?  The bike.

img_2479*Okay, let’s geek out for a minute.  2015 Trek SC 9.9, rode Zipp 808 in the back, 303 in the front (for those of you who will KQ in the future: take it from me do not ride anything deeper than about 50mm there), new Ossymetric rings (56/42) which looks like a large square dinner plate and supposedly improves power, 25mm Continental GP4000S II tires with latex tubes and an extra water bottle on the frame.  It’s fast.

I was going along, minding my own business, averaging 24.6mph through the first 18 miles on 250 watts when the winds hit.  They always hit you at Kona but some years are worse than others (2004, 2014 among the worst, 2013 among the best).  The fact that they started up so early was a bad sign.  Primarily a headwind with some cross and it’s Kona so we’re not talking about a little 5 mph breeze.  Lean the bike into the wind and focus.  Keep the wattage the same.  My speed over similar terrain dropped from 25mph to 15mph.  It’s demoralizing but I took a breath, smiled and told myself it’ll get better which is typically true but as this is Kona there’s also a chance it’s not.

img_2549We did get a bit of a tail wind at around mile 48 as we began the climb up to Hawi, about 12 miles away.  Got to see the pro’s shooting down from Hawi – Frodeno, Kienle and Hoffman leading the men, Ryf a couple of suburbs away from her competition.  Bunch of motorcycles with tech support, NBC cameras, 2 helicopters, pace car – it was quite the procession.  Then the top male AGer’s who all look like pro’s.

Finally, the turn around at Hawi and pray you survive the descent.  The wind was blowing hard and a couple of huge wind gusts knocked me and my bike several feet to the side – it was downright frightening.  I can’t imagine how some of the smaller athletes or those who rode deeper front wheels fared.

img_4461*Jen Schafner – local lawyer, fellow Genesee resident, 3x Kona Qualifier, Coeur-sponsored and Koz’s wife – not to mention AG winner of Louisville last year and total BAMF.  Getting the work done on the Queen K.  And unless your name is Austin Johnson, John Anderson or Gwen Jorgensen, she also runs A LOT faster than you.

You get back on the Queen K (the same road that had the bad head/cross winds before) hoping for respite but knowing what’s more likely in store and sure enough.. winds had changed direction so you get more head/crosswinds all the way home.  Re-think my sub-10 hour goal – I knew I needed perfect conditions to go 9-something and these were anything but.  Kept my head down, cadence high, system hydrated. Say a little prayer.
Bike Time: 4:59Bike Pace: 22.42mphNormalized Power: 247wRank: AG: 86/254, OA: 543/2316

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All the pros sign this placard in the King K hotel lobby

T2- And I couldn’t get my stupid yellow bike shoes off.  It took 3 volunteers about 2-3 minutes to rip them off my feet.  Unbelievable, I’m such an idiot.
Time: 6:07 (!!)

Run – I did the math and knew I needed about a 3:30 marathon to get under 10.  That’s a tall order for me – I may have some run fitness but it’s largely been untested and I knew it was pretty fragile.  Still, a 3:30 is 8-min miles so I tried to go out on Ali’i – a down and back of 10 miles that’s pretty flat – at a pace under that.  I was holding 7:45s.  Ran up the hill at Palani and high-fived Greg Welch who was announcing people on it.  Crowds were so big.
Turned onto the Queen K at Mile 11 to start the final 15 miles.

It was 89 degrees in Kona, and it was humid.  They say it’s at least a few degrees hotter on the Queen K.  Looked down at my watch – 7:54 average pace.  2 hours left and I set out to destroy myself to stay under an average 8-min pace.  I’ll save you the gory details and fast forward about 110 minutes but it wasn’t pretty.  I turned myself inside out to try to make it but by the time I climbed back up to Palani, my pace was 8:12 and I knew my chances to go sub-10 were over.  But I never gave up and while I may need new knees in a few years, I’m going with it was all worth it.

For anyone who doesn’t think adrenaline is a real thing, give an Ironman everything you have and then once you cross the finish line try to to walk.  How the legs can go from running to needing to be propped up by 2 people and hauled off to a lounge chair is a little beyond me.
Run time: 3:35 Run Pace: 8:13/mi
Total Time: 10:04 Rank: AG: 72/254, OA: 491/2316

Afterward – Found Byyny who looked like I felt.  He asked me to get him some pizza and broth.  img_2542No problem, it’s like 100 feet away in the athlete’s post-race area, let me get my walker and I’ll be back in about 45 minutes.  I returned a few minutes later only to discover Byyny and my thermos filled with delicious Kona coffee had vanished into thin air.  I looked everywhere for him and more importantly my thermos then thought maybe I was confused and left him somewhere else.  I started asking around if anyone had seen a 45yo male with a finisher’s medal around his neck who looked younger than stated age but as this was Kona that didn’t help narrow it down much.  I finally found him in the medical tent getting IV fluids so I texted his wife to come fetch him so I could begin my 2-hour walk back to my room 250 yards away.

We all rallied for a beer later and to see the Midnight Finishers.  A son finishing with his Dad.  A double arm amputee coming down the finishing chute.  Old guys, young ones, everyone freaking the you know what out.  It’s dark, it’s actually raining, it’s still warm out and Kona is going bonkers.

img_2566And then hung out with Miranda Carfrae.  And by hanging out I mean I snapped a photo as she talked to other people and signed autographs for them. Rinny is a total class act.

So that’s all I got.  3rd Kona and with the new slot rules making it more difficult to get in I’m not sure when or if I’ll make it back but either way that’s okay.  It’s been so much “fun” and I’ve appreciated every minute of it, even through all the suffering. Special thanks to everyone – ALL our families, friends and loved ones – for supporting, cheering us on and tolerating us!  Wheat Ridge Cyclery for the last minute work on the Breyermobile, as well as Team Timex, Team DGBG, RealRyder and 303Triathlon for all your support.  And good luck to the Wondercouple in Maui in 2 weeks… K2 please don’t drown.

Til’ next year,

Breyer

p.s. And finally: not to get political on everyone but with all the election garbage going on – a little video to restore some faith in humanity.

Boulder, Colorado BEST place to be an Ironman

Photo by Kristina Jensen

IRONMAN.com just published their list of the top ten places to “be an Ironman.” They scoured the globe, looking to answer the question, “Where are the best places to be an IRONMAN? What cities offer the perfect blend of training partners and racing opportunities?”

And – no surprise – earning its “triathlon mecca” moniker, Boulder, Colorado landed #1 on the list . . .

by Jennifer Ward Barber

We know where young people want to live, and what town attract healthy outdoorsy types. But where are the best places to be an IRONMAN? What cities offer the perfect blend of training partners and racing opportunities?

The cities that follow are home to the top IRONMAN athletes in the U.S. Read on to find out why.

1. Boulder, Colo.

At the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder, Colo. benefits from altitude and beautiful scenery. Many professional triathletes call town home base for all or part of the year.

“Living and training in Boulder is a triathlete’s dream,” says Pam Schuckies, Team Captain for the Newton Foundation Racing Team and member of the Boulder TriClub. “It’s not unusual to cross paths with an Olympian or an IRONMAN World Champion running on a trail or out on the road cycling.”

Train: “Since it’s so dry, it doesn’t feel so cold and can be hovering around 32 degrees and it is still pleasant to go out for a run, especially if it’s sunny. We actually have a lot of sunshine here year round,” says Schuckies.

Race: There are lots of events to compete in locally, from low-key local duathlons, triathlons and aquathons, to famous events like Bolder Boulder and Boulder Peak Triathlon and Boulder 70.3. And of course Boulder is proud to host the inaugural IRONMAN Boulder in 2014.

Live: Gain an advantage through proximity to world-class coaches and other resurces such as physical therapists, massage therapists and nutritionists who specialize in athletes. Rub shoulders with the pros and provide home-stays for a professional triathlete. (Schuckies has hosted Australia’s Tim Reed, German Faris Al Sultan, and American Jenna Shoemaker.)

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