*What kind of bike do you ride? Ventum One (special blue paint)
*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? Ironman AZ
*How many Ironman races have you done? 15
*How many times have you raced Kona? 3X (including a DNF which I still can’t get over)
*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island – if you have not been – what non-race activity are you most excited about? snorkeling with my kids (4 of them)
*What is your favorite bike training route? I live in east denver so i head out east towards 36/gun hill road and that area
*What is your favorite post workout/post race treat? peanut butter and ice cream
*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? I just moved to denver a year ago so everything about training at high altitude blows me away
*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year? I wish I could be less boring but Daniella Ryff and Jan Frodeno
*What kind of bike do you ride? Ride QR PR5 black/red
*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? Qualified at Ironman Los Cabos last November
*How many Ironman races have you done? I’ve completed 33 ironman races
*How many times have you raced Kona? This is my 14th trip to Kona with 13 finishes; had to drop last year on bike due to kidney stone, couldn’t ride in the “fetal” position.
*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island – if you have not been – what non-race activity are you most excited about? Enjoy snorkeling with spinner dolphins
*What is your favorite bike training route? Favorite bike training route is the serpentine ie Jay to 36, down neva 63rd, up nelson to 36 down st vrain to 75th up hygiene to 36 down to Ute hwy and back via 75th
*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? Not being injured heading into Kona
*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year? I think Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf will win again, they’re looking strong this year, especially after World’s in South Africa.
*What kind of bike do you ride? Dimond, easy to spot, a beam bike
*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? Kona, won AG last year
*How many Ironman races have you done? 24
*How many times have you raced Kona? 13
*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island – if you have not been – what non-race activity are you most excited about? Swimming in open water with the fish, and sometimes dolphins.
*What is your favorite bike training route? For a short high intensity workout the extreme south end of Alii Dr, all new road with wide shoulder and some hills that will get your attention.
*What is your favorite post workout/post race treat? A Guinness at Quinn’s (across the street from the King Kam) and ice cream at a new (last year) ice cream parlor behind Lava Java.
*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? Started to develop arthritis in my joints in mid 40’s. Never dreamed I could complete a Marathon even after 4 years of short course racing. The knees somehow hang in there, just.
*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year? (Remember…we have several Colorado pros on our Team!) I would have to root for Rinni since I met her in Boulder when she first came here. And for similar reasons Matt Charbott who is a neighbor.
*What kind of bike do you ride? Trek Speed Concept with a custom paint job. Quite distinctive. Black with red maple leaves cascading down the top and down tubes (I am Canadian in CO for 15 years)
*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? IM Boulder
*How many Ironman races have you done? 4
*How many times have you raced Kona? First timer!
*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island – if you have not been – what non-race activity are you most excited about? I am a diver so I would have to say anything SCUBA related. After the race we are staying on the island for a week and taking our kids on a Manta dive and a dolphin swim. I am pretty excited for them to do both of these things. Since they have given so much for me to be able to race and train, I love to give them whatever experiences I can that will reward them for their sacrifices.
*What is your favorite bike training route? For TT riding I really love the stretch of road between Sedalia and Palmer Lake. For road riding and climbing I love to do a loop from Morrison up to Meyers Gulch to Turkey Creek to Bear Mountain then down to Evergreen and back to Morrison.
*What is your favorite post workout/post race treat? Probably ice cream. Though I don’t drink very much during training and race season so a cold beer gets in there after a race every once in a while and is very much enjoyed.
*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? There isn’t just one! My road to Kona is a story unto itself that spans my 17 years in triathlon and began when I told the friend who introduced me to the sport “Are you nuts?! I am never going to do THAT race!!! (Hawaii)” And now, here I am.
*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year? (Remember…we have several Colorado pros on our Team!) I’m Canadian so I have to pull for my boy Lionel though it is likely not the smart choice. Similarly, I would love to see Lucy Charles breakthrough and win even though I know it will likely be the Swiss automaton yet again (Ryf).
*What kind of bike do you ride? Trek Speed Concept, black with red letters
*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? Lake placid IM where I won the 45-49 age group
*How many Ironman races have you done? 5 full and 7 half’s (70.3)
*How many times have you raced Kona? Once before last year
*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island – if you have not been – what non-race activity are you most excited about? SUP around the coast and drinking Kona coffee
*What is your favorite bike training route? A modified Lariat loop: Morrison-Kittredge-Evergreen to Golden
*What is your favorite post workout/post race treat? Vanilla milkshake
*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? I was able to enter the Loveland Lake to Lake triathlon sprint relay with my two sons, my 11 yr old on the swim and 8 yr old on the run with dad to hang out in transition. My boys were the youngest two racing that day. As this was their first timed triathlon event, I offered to accompany them during the race. My 11 yr refused, saying he didn’t want me to slow him down in the water and wanted me to save my legs to “go super hard” on the bike. My 8 yr old wanted to run the last mile alone to finish the race like his older brother did the swim. Surprisingly, we won the sprint relay and came in 13th overall with a time that would have won my age group. This was by far my favorite race of the season and triathlon experience for that matter and I was tremendously proud of my boys and grateful for my wife’s support that day. Also, it was great to meet Rich that day and appreciate his coverage of the event and interview – my boys felt on top of the world!
*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year? (Remember…we have several Colorado pros on our Team!) I’m routing for Tim Don and Miranda Carfrae, both truly inspiring athletes in different ways
JOHN VAN SOEST
*What kind of bike do you ride? Bike – older (~2009) black, silver and white Cervelo P3 on Zipp 808
*Where did you qualify for the Ironman World Championships? I’m racing via a legacy slot
*How many Ironman races have you done? Kona will be number 15
*How many times have you raced Kona? This will be my first time racing in Kona. I’ve been twice to spectate
*What is your favorite non-race activity on the Big Island – if you have not been – what non-race activity are you most excited about? My favorite activity is tough, maybe swimming with dolphins
*What is your favorite post workout/post race treat? pizza or a shake
*What was one unexpected occurrence on your path to Kona? – I’d have to say it isn’t triathlon specific. I lost my mother in January and father in April which has just created a lot of load on top of training and racing in Ironman Maastricht, which I did in August, and prepping for this.
*Who do you think will win the pro men’s and women’s races this year? (Remember…we have several Colorado pros on our Team!) I’d love to see Mirinda and Tim win together! I think Patrick Lange and Daniela are tough to overlook.
By Bill Plock, Publisher/President of 303Endurance Network
KONA….It’s a powerful word, especially in the triathlon community. No other amateur event evokes the same recognition and credibility that comes with competing at the Ironman World Champions in Kona. 303Triathlon is excited to bring you 30 days of stories, athlete interviews, podcasts, pictures and of course up to the minute coverage of the race on October 13th.
It started 40 years ago. The stories and legends have many Colorado ties. The “Iron Wars” between Boulder’s Dave Scott and Mark Allen, come to mind. The last American male to win at Kona, Tim DeBoom resides in Boulder as well.
This year, 38 amateurs and nine pro’s from Colorado will compete and we plan to bring you their stories and share the experience overall. We have many coaches, industry leaders and personalities we hope to catch up with on the Big Island and give you their insights and why’s.
Colorado has a strong pro field. Ben Hoffman, a native growing up in Grand Junction finished second a couple of years ago has aims at the podium. As does new (ish) mom, Mirinda Carfrae (3x World Champion) and her husband Tim O’Donnell along with Tyler Butterfield, Matt Chrabot, Kirsty Jahn, Lesley Smith, Tim Don and Andy Potts.
As amateurs, Colorado has more per capita athletes than any state and the third most overall. We will share stories from athletes such as Diana Hassel and Simon Butterworth who will defend their titles as best in the world in their age groups along with those from others vying to meet their goals and make their Kona dreams come true.
We have an exciting list of sponsors who make this coverage possible; Infinit Nutrition, Couer Sports and Boulder’s Base Performance will be at our side. 303 will have five people, all Ironman Finishers bring you “boots on the ground” coverage; Bill Plock, Khem Suthiwan, Rich Soares, Kim Welk and Alison Freeman.
You will find part of our 303Triathlon page dedicated to Kona coverage and please like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for even more. Our hope is to bring you behind the scenes, introduce you to some remarkable people, companies and organizations all celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Ironman World Championships!
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.
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.
My road to triathlon began in 2002. I started running and later biking to lose weight gained secondary to too many calories and a sedentary lifestyle. At the start of my weight loss I was pushing 225 pounds (current weight 146). I decided to give triathlon a go while living in St. Louis in 2007 and quickly learned despite being a high school lifeguard, I could not swim. Nevertheless, I was hooked.
My road to Colorado began with the Boulder 70.3 in 2011. My future wife, Kelly, and I traveled to Colorado early and I tried to get in as much “Colorado” as we could during this trip. We went horseback riding in RMNP, ATV riding near Vail, hiking around The Springs, and saw the Flaming Lips cover Dark Side of the Moon at Red Rocks. We also spent a significant amount of time in and around Boulder trying to soak up as much of the experience as possible. The Boulder 70.3 went well despite all my computers failing during the bike and run. Kelly, who serves as my coach (motivational, nutrition, and anything else as needed) and my biggest fan, met me at the finish to inform me of my result, a 23 min PR and first sub 5-hour finish. Our trip to Colorado was perfect. Once again, we were hooked. We were so hooked in fact, we set the plan of moving to Colorado in motion immediately and made the move three months after the Boulder 70.3.
The journey to Ironman began during our honeymoon at IM Cozumel in 2013. IM Cozumel went much better than expected for both of us. We left the island in high spirits with some new friends and good finishes under our belts. I signed up for the inaugural IM Boulder expecting good results 9 months after Cozumel, but was disappointed with a disastrous result, at least in my mind. The 2014 IM Boulder triathlon was so disappointing I left the sport to pursue other interests.
In 2016 I began training for marathons and started feeling the itch to race IM again. This time around, I began to take training more seriously. I hired a friend, Boulder native, and professional triathlete Colin Laughery to guide this effort towards racing the 2017 IM season. We chose IM Boulder and IM CDA as our plan A and B races. The 2017 IM Boulder was an epic defeat with the dreaded DNF. IM CDA was only a couple months after Boulder. I needed big changes to prevent this perpetual cycle of training well and racing poorly. These changes came from many places. My primary training and race strategy was handled by coach Colin. Nutrition and CDA course specific advice came from my friend Alison Freeman who is also a tri coach in Boulder. My swim coach Dave Scott helped me with race strategy as well. Most importantly, Kelly kicked up her efforts as my motivational coach to try and break this mental block and help me mentally prepare for race day. I approached IM CDA with one goal, to have fun racing again. The swim went ok and the bike went well. I learned I was in 12th in my age group off the bike from my wife who was proving to be instrumental again. Going into the last lap of the three-lap run, my Kelly informed me I was only a couple minutes back from 5th place and 4th place was struggling. I was hurting at this point in the race, and her support and information was just what I needed to kick it up a notch. I knew there were extra slots in IM CDA this year and 4th place may be just enough to qualify. I hustled up and caught 5th place at mile 20 and went into 4th place at mile 24 which was good enough for a spot for Kona! All my friends and family were following the race and elated with the result; however, no one was more excited than my wife and biggest fan who met me at the finish. I met my goal. I had fun racing again but with a secondary bonus of a trip to the Big Island!
Ironman racing requires sacrifice. The greatest sacrifice comes not from the athlete but from the family and friends. Without the support of friends and family, Ironman is not possible. Thank you to all of my friends and family who have supported me in and out of competition throughout the years. And most importantly, thank you to my beautiful wife Kelly, for being with me for every step in this journey. It has been fun.
This will be my 4th trip to Kona (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017). I still feel like a rookie – but this year I feel I’ve finally worked out some of the gremlins in my race prep and plan. Who knows though, I felt that way last year and still managed to make a mess out of my race!
I’m an ER doctor in Denver and came across triathlon about 8 years ago when I was miserably out of shape. I climbed out of the pool one day about 40 pounds overweight and someone suggested a local triathlon. I bought a road bike and raced 20 days later. I was terrible but I was hooked.
I’m self-coached. I read a little but mostly just listen to my body and my mind as to what I want to do on any given day. Most days that means ride my bike. I believe sustainability and consistency are the most important ingredients to finding some success in this sport. Be happy training. Or you won’t do it. And it’s incredibly important (at least for me) to do something nearly every day.
I’m now 44 years old and set PR’s this year for Ironman (9:53 at IM Boulder, 2nd in my AG to get my Kona slot) and Half-Ironman (4:19 at Boulder 70.3, 3rd in my AG – in case you didn’t know, Steve Johnson and Tim Hola are really fast). I try to be active every day and enjoy the journey.
I feel very fortunate to have such a great group of friends, training partners and support system to be able to do this sport. And, of course, to live in Colorado. Good luck to everyone out there!
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.
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