303Radio Talks with Tim Hola before Ironman 70.3 World Championships

303Triathlon recently caught up with Tim Hola before he headed to Chattanooga Tennessee for this past weekend’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

Tim lives in Highlands Ranch with his wife Nicole and two children, Connor and Spencer. Triathlon has been in the Hola family since his dad, Ken Hola, introduced Tim to it at age 20. Tim has always been competitive and he believes the height of one’s achievement is a product of the height of one’s goals. Tim talked about his goals for this season and the results that led to a USAT National Championship and qualifying for both the 70.3 and Ironman World Championships.

Tim cranked out a 4:38:23 finish at 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga this weekend and will now set his sights on Kona in mid-October. This will be Tim’s 16th Ironman on the big island of Hawaii, showing he has the formula for training and competing at the highest level, while balancing work and family.

Tim competes at near-pro level, yet he is a working age-grouper facing the responsibilities and prioritization challenges of those who do triathlon for the passion and not for the paycheck. He gives us insights into how balancing his passion for triathlon with other priorities of a working age grouper and father. When it comes to balance, Tim describes the importance of “knowing your priorities, meeting your partner’s needs and communicating”.

Check out the complete interview.

Butterfield’s Orderly Results: Tyler Scores Another Step Up At Ironman 70.3 Worlds

September 12, 2017 – Professional triathlete Tyler Butterfield logged another world-class performance to score seventh place at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sunday in Chattanooga, Tennessee, his best 70.3 World Championship finish to date. The result marked Butterfield’s steady progression through the top ten at the championship event, having finished ninth in 2013,, eighth in 2015, and now seventh in 2017, and bodes well for his fitness in the final five-week lead into the Ironman World Championship on October 14th in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. His corresponding Kona finishes in those years were his best to date—seventh in 2013 and fifth in 2015—showing a pattern of success when tackling the 70.3 Championship prior to the Ironman World Championship, his primary focus for several years now.

Butterfield clocked 25:20 in the 1.2-mile swim, emerging with the main group of men containing all the key contenders outside of swim leaders Ben Kanute, the eventual second- place finisher, and Javier Gomez, prolific triathlon champion and silver medalist at the Olympic Games, who went on to win.

Ten men—including Butterfield and Ironman world record holder Tim Don—rode in the chase pack, with hard-charging Sebastian Kienle, a two-time victor at the race, coming from behind. Entering T2, Butterfield was in third; within 30 seconds a flurry of six other top rivals flew in and out of transition and quickly sorted themselves out on the road ahead, with Butterfield now running in sixth. Gomez, known for his spectacular run speed, made quick work from further back in the field to knock off every forward challenger and claim the world title. Butterfield held steady and strong, and ultimately crossed the line in seventh with a 1:17:32 half marathon and 3:56:22 finish time.

“I wasn’t able to put in my usual attacks on the bike. It was hard enough just being there! Racing at this level gets more and more competitive every year. I looked around and everyone in the group was a world title holder, world record holder, or at least someone who has won a lot of races. You can’t just get away from these guys whenever you like,” said Butterfield.

“I also wanted to wait and test my run,” he continued. “I wanted to really get a feel for my run fitness in advance of Kona—something you can’t fully gauge outside of a race environment. I haven’t had the opportunity to get in the run training I’d like for a number of years—partly because of injury, but now, looking back, also because of where we lived.”

For more information please visit Butterfieldracing.com

Since the family’s move from their mountain home to a farm in rural Boulder County, Butterfield has been able to run straight out the door, rather than spend time driving to and from town. Living at a lower altitude (5,600 feet, as opposed to 7,400 feet) has also allowed him to cope with a higher workload. Additionally, he has found that the convenience of being able to go home between sessions has helped his recovery.

“I was a little disappointed with my run, considering the training I’ve had. It was solid, but nothing special. Really, I should be running only a little slower than that for an entire marathon if I want to be in the mix in Kona,” said Butterfield, who averaged 5:55 minute miles in Sunday’s race. “I’m not sure if I was still a little tired from the training. I certainly gave this race the respect it deserves and came in tapered, but I think I may have carried in a bit too much long-term fatigue. I’m hoping I can get in the remaining training I need in the next five weeks, as well as shake some of the residual tiredness from my Kona overload. It’s kind of hard to do both at once—get fitter and fresher—but I’ll try.”

Butterfield indeed appears to be on track for another impressive race on the Big Island, as evidenced by a steady pattern of improving results. His 2017 regular season performances started with fourth at Ironman 70.3 Dubai, then third at the Ironman North American Championship, followed by second at Ironman 70.3 Monterrey, and finally a win at Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. This pattern of improvement also shows in his Ironman 70.3 World Championship progression—ninth in 2013, eighth in 2015, and seventh in 2017—and in his Kona performances, where he finished seventh in 2013 and fifth in 2015.

“I guess I like to keep my results orderly,” joked Butterfield. “In all seriousness, I do like the steady progress upward. It’s rewarding to see the results of all the hard work, as my entire family sacrifices year-round to help me be the best I can be. Hopefully with the focused training I’ve had so far and the time remaining, I can continue to improve all the way into Kona.”

Butterfield now heads back home to Colorado for his final Kona training block, with five short weeks remaining until the Ironman World Championship.

Q&A with Rachel Joyce/WFT Kona Silent Auction Fundraiser

Westminster

 

Silent Auction WFT Kona fundraiser hosted by Jamie along with special guest Rachel Joyce. Winner of Ironman Boulder 2017 and 2nd place finisher at Kona in 2013 & 2015. Rachel will do a speical Q&A at the start of the night.

As you most of you know Women for Tri blessed me with a unique opportunity to race Kona this year in memory of my hero and sister who lost her battle to Ovarian Cancer on April 9th.

I have lot’s of fun items to bid on and hope you can come join us for a night of fun to hopefully top off the last of my fundraising.

 

Event details here

Women’s Wednesday: Overcoming Obstacles – 303’s Kirsten McCay’s journey from disordered eating to the Kona World Championships

303Triathlon is super proud of Kirsten McCay

She has overcome a lot in her life, and is now reaping the reward of the Big Island.

Kirsten McCay from Big to Little on Vimeo.

Father-Son Agar Team tackles Ironman 70.3 Boulder

Jeff & Johnny Agar with Ironman Regional Director Dave Christen

By Kim Welk

Jeff and Johnny Agar of Rockford, Michigan will be among the faces in the Ironman Boulder 70.3 event on Saturday.  Jeff and Johnny are a father-son team.  Johnny is 23 and was born with cerebral palsy.  Johnny is an athlete. On his website, Johnny defines athlete as – “a person who is proficient in sports and other physical exercise.”  He goes on to state that “Now that I have crossed the finish line, I feel like I am officially an athlete.”  Jeff and Johnny have completed 5Ks to Marathons and sprint to 70.3 triathlons.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Jeff and Johnny as well as his Mom Becki, Sisters Annie and Grace and Coaches Thad Beaty and Nicole Serraiocco to talk about the race.

This is the family’s first visit to Colorado.  After driving 17 hours from Michigan they were happy to settle into their home away from home for the week.  Johnny enjoyed the opportunity to visit a park with his Aunt and Uncle and fish in the stream where he caught several brown trout.  He also hopes to get to the Olympic Training Center while he is here.  The family also plans to go to a Colorado Rockies baseball game.  They all expressed how much they like Colorado and how excited they are to be here.

Jeff and Johnny have been getting their training in since arriving.  Yesterday was a preview of the swim at the reservoir and a brief look at the bike course.  They have also driven the bike course and looked at targets using Best Bike Split software to determine their strategy for race day.  The goal for both Jeff and Johnny is to manage the matches that they will use on the course and ensure that there are enough matches left for Johnny to walk the last ½ mile of the run course and cross the finish under his own power.  For Jeff – this means controlling power output on the bike, hydrating properly to limit the impacts of the altitude and applying his training with confidence.  For Johnny – he too needs to ensure that he is properly hydrated, he has to shift around in the chariot to keep his feet awake so they are ready to walk and he says his most important job is to remind his Dad about his cadence!  He looks forward to the ice cream post race!

As most triathletes know, mindset is equally as important as the skills needed to swim, bike and run.  Johnny’s mindset is an inspiration.  He believes that failure is part of the process.  He has received encouragement from his family, his coaches and his friends every step of the way.  His sister Annie said “if he failed it was not because of the fact that he had cerebral palsy it was because he did not try hard enough.”  And Johnny agrees – he takes ownership and does not make excuses.  Johnny is not worried about not doing it, he is worried about “not trying.”

Race morning will involve many checklists.  Johnny said that he doesn’t sleep because he is so excited for the event so when it is time to get rolling he is waking the family up.  His Sisters commented that their job is to get themselves to the car so that he stops herding them to go!  Jeff said the set-up takes much longer for them with all of the equipment and referring to the checklists often is a must.  He said there is only one time that you show up at a race without a life jacket!

Jeff and Johnny will have their coaches on sight to support them throughout the day.  They embrace the opportunity to learn and grow from observing this team at work and to gather information to carry forward to the next goal.  The Agars are hoping for an invitation to return to Kona and Johnny will continue to train towards his ultimate goal of completing a 5K on his own and “give his Dad a break!”

Here is a great video taken Wednesday by coach Nicole Serraiocco:

To learn more about Team Agar, visit their webpage – www.TeamAgar.com.

As the writer of this article, receiving the opportunity to cover Team Agar at this race is a gift that is amazing.   There were so many valuable life lessons learned in our brief conversation.  I look forward to a continued friendship with the family and following Johnny and Jeff’s journey and celebrating each milestone along the way.

Look for additional information throughout the weekend on Team Agar’s journey as well as their race recap.  Until then as Johnny says – “one step at a time!

Tri Hearter: Reflections on IRONMAN Boulder’s Epic Nature

Warren Mine

By Bill Plock

About 20 minutes after the last person crossed the finish line at IRONMAN Boulder, it hit me. That feeling of wow, what a great day. The next day at the awards ceremony it bowled me over just what had happened. The epic nature and vibe of an IRONMAN comes down to thousands of moments, some inspiring, others mesmerizing and many simply beautiful that causes the ultimate appreciation and respect for the race and the athletes. At some point it just becomes overwhelming if you let it–in a good way.

I was walking with 73 year old Warren Mine of California (the oldest to complete IM Boulder in 2017) to help him retrieve his bike talking about his race (his 20th+ IRONMAN) when champion Tim O’Donnell walked by on his way to get his bike. I kind of shook my head in disbelief and reflected. What a crazy sport I thought. Here is one of the top athletes in the world, having just won the race, simply going to pick up his bike, limping a bit and commenting how his legs hurt–like everyone else’s. When LeBron finishes a game I’m guessing he doesn’t even pick up his basketball shoes. The mingling of pro’s and amateurs all aiming for the same goal, with the same vulnerabilities, the same dedication and similar dreams and hopes sets triathlon apart. It endears all of us triathletes. It builds bonds and communities and lasts a lifetime.

To spectate IRONMAN Boulder for the first time convinced me more than ever that through this endeavor lives are changed. Relationships begin, are cemented, and are celebrated by a common event experienced uniquely for everyone. I parked myself for over two hours photographing hundreds of Colorado athletes as they entered the run course from T2. The relief and smiles to be on the run leg permeated most, and their hopeful gaze for a good run was greeted by hundreds of cheering people lining Boulder Creek. Hours passed. I walked miles, taking more pictures, cheering and remembering my runs on this creek for the past three IRONMAN Boulders. All I could think about was the love and support I always felt and that was the only thing I missed about not racing. It’s addictive and appreciated. I thought how lucky all these people were to experience it–especially first timers. They will never forget it.

Champion Tim O’Donnell awards finisher medals during the magical midnight hour

Later that night, during the last hour of the race, I simply sat a few feet from finishers who were greeted by Tim O’Donnell and his wife and three time IRONMAN World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae. The unofficial triathlon king and queen of Boulder graciously medaled each of the final age groupers. Most gazed in disbelief or were too dazed and confused to grasp the significance–but once they understood who was putting their arms around them, the smiles beamed.

To witness the tears, the joy, the pain, the end, and really the beginning of a new journey for so many sticks in my mind. Tears came to my eyes many times.

But no race is complete without recognizing those who win and rise above. Those who persevere the most, overcome amazing challenges and earn one of the toughest and most coveted entries in all of sport–a chance to compete in Kona. A spot reserved for the top 2%. The dreams of the athletes, their families and coaches hang in the balance of getting a spot.

It’s not as clear cut as you might think. Going into the awards all that is known is that 40 spots are awarded. They are then divided among all age groups proportional to how many people raced in the age group.

Some age groups have one entry, others as many as three of four. But not every athlete chooses to go or some have an entry from

EK Endurance Sports, Vixxen Racing & BTC Elite Coach Eric Kenney

an earlier race so their spot rolls down. Each time an athlete’s name is called and there is no response, some athlete hoping and waiting erupts in emotion–some show it more than others and it is wonderful to witness (you must be present to claim a spot). The tension can be thick.

Coach Eric Kenney and his athlete Liz West

In the female 30 to 34 age group, local athlete, Team Vixxen Racing member, Elizabeth West, was third in her age group with two spots up for grabs. She is coached by Eric Kenney of EK Endurance. I knew how anxious Eric was, hoping to see her dream come true. If you know Eric, you know he wears his heart on his sleeve.

As Mike Reilly began to announce that age group I was nervous. My personal connection and empathy for Liz and knowing how close she has been in past years and remembering how I felt missing a spot by one place two years ago, put a lump in my throat in anticipation. Mike called the first name. Silence. He called it again. More silence.

Tears swelled in my eyes and I gazed not at Liz, but at Eric a few feet away, standing alone to the side. He crumpled to a knee and couldn’t fight the tears. That moment will last a lifetime. Liz hugged many and tears came to her as well and her mom sat crying; it was simply beautiful.

Ironman Boulder is over, dreams are cast and inspiring stories will be told for a long long time.

IRONMAN World Championships

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

 

The inaugural Hawaiian IRON MAN Triathlon was conceptualized in 1977 as a way to challenge athletes who had seen success at endurance swim, running and biathlon events. Honolulu-based Navy couple Judy and John Collins proposed combining the three toughest endurance races in Hawai’i—the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, 112 miles of the Around-O’ahu Bike Race and the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon—into one event.

On February 18, 1978, 15 people came to Waikiki to take on the IRONMAN challenge. Prior to racing, each received three sheets of paper with a few rules and a course description. The last page read: “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!”

In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Along the Kona Coast, black lava rock dominates the panorama, and athletes battle the “ho’omumuku” crosswinds of 45 mph, 95-degree temperatures and a scorching sun.

The IRONMAN World Championship centers on the dedication and courage exhibited by participants who demonstrate the IRONMAN mantra that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.® On October 14th, over 2,000 athletes will embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN.

 

Event details here

Ironman: Calling All Women Who Tri

Women For Tri is looking for one inspirational woman to tell her story, raise support, and inspire other women to Tri as she represents us at the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii!

The purpose of the Women for Tri IRONMAN® World Championship Slot 2017 is two-fold: (1) to support a female IRONMAN triathlete who embodies the spirit of Women for Tri at the 2017 IRONMAN® World Championship, and (2) to raise at least $25,000 in support of Women for Tri charitable programs. Do you want to make a tangible positive impact on the lives of female athletes like yourself?

Apply here by April 15, 2017 at 11:59pm.

11 Ways to get to Kona

For long-course triathletes, the IRONMAN World Championship is the pot of gold at the end of a rewarding season of training. Here’s your roadmap.

Every year, more than 2,200 hard-working athletes have the chance to compete at the iconic IRONMAN World Championship on the Island of Hawai’i. It was there that Dave Scott and Mark Allen battled head to head in 1989’s “Iron War.”

It was there that IRONMAN legend Paula Newby-Fraser earned her historic eight victories. It continues to be where thousands of athletes have overcome illness and injury, fighting through their own—or sometimes others’—mental, emotional, and physical hardships.

The historic finish line on Ali’i Drive has become synonymous with big dreams, and even bigger accomplishments. It is the place where the IRONMAN mantra, “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”, pulses to the beat of the Hawaiian drum.

And we want to help you get there.

  1. Standard qualification: Every year, age-group athletes compete in full-distance races globally for one of only a handful of highly coveted slots to the IRONMAN World Championship. This route demands a lot of blood, sweat, and sometimes tears, as athletes compete against their fellow age-groupers for slots. Each of the 40 full-distance IRONMAN races in the 2017 qualifying series offers a different number of Kona qualification slots, which are then divided up according to the size of their respective age-group
  2. Qualify in China: Once again, this year our IRONMAN 70.3 races in China will be the only half-distance events where athletes can qualify for Kona. Pick a race, and get planning, you’re in for a treat:IRONMAN 70.3 Liuzhou: April 1, 2017—30 qualifying slots.
    IRONMAN 70.3 Qujing: August 27, 2017—30 qualifying slots.
  3. IRONMAN Legacy Program: The IRONMAN Legacy Program, now in its sixth year, rewards our most loyal athletes with a chance to compete in Kona. These athletes became eligible for selection based on a) completed a minimum of 12 full-distance IRONMAN races; b) never started the iconic IRONMAN World Championship; c) have completed at least one IRONMAN event in each of the 2015 and 2016 seasons; and d) be registered for an IRONMAN event in 2017. This year, we have added 100 additional Legacy slots to the annual 100, for a total of 200.
  4. IRONMAN Kona Drawing benefiting The IRONMAN Foundation: This year, The IRONMAN Foundation is offering a drawing for 10 slots, with a suggested (tax deductible) donation of $50.00 to benefit the Foundation’s charitable giveback in communities around the world. The drawing will begin on Friday, February 24, 2017, and finish on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 12 pm ET . Selected athletes will be announced on Friday, March 31. Click here to enter the drawing.Related Article: 39 Things You Didn’t Know About Kona
  5. Physically Challenged Open/Exhibition Division Drawing: To honor the vision of IRONMAN co-founders, John and Judy Collins, IRONMAN remains committed to providing athletes of all abilities a means of entry to the world’s most challenging and prestigious one-day endurance event. Through the Physically Challenged Open/Exhibition Division Drawing, five physically challenged athletes from around the world will be drawn to receive entry to the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship. Further guidelines and registration information can be found at ironman.com/pcdrawing.
  6. IRONMAN Foundation annual Kona auction: Beginning on April 1, 2017, one slot will be auctioned off each week for five weeks on eBay. The first four slots will benefit the IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund and will be 100 percent tax deductible less the value of the race registration (minimum opening bid of $25,000). Visit the IRONMAN Foundation website for more information. For the second year, The IRONMAN Foundation will offer a fifth slot (also 100 percent tax deductible) with 100 percent of the funds going to support Women For Tri — a program of the IRONMAN Foundation that works to increase female participation at all levels of triathlon (minimum opening bid of $25,000).
  7. Women For Tri slots: The Women For Tri initiative will also allocate one additional slot to a female triathlete who both a) embodies the spirit of Women For Tri through a compelling personal story that motivates and inspires other women to “Tri”; and b) raises or contributes at least $25,000 to the Women For Tri charitable, tax-deductible effort. This slot will be distributed via an application process. Additional details are available at the IRONMAN Foundation website.
  8. IRONMAN Executive Challenge: With 25 slots set aside for the IRONMAN World Championship, IRONMAN XC creates a true competition among peers at XC qualifying events, with top performers awarded IRONMAN World Championship slots. The program brings together executives at select events around the globe for a unique and ultra-personalized IRONMAN race weekend experience. This turn-key program streamlines all logistics surrounding an IRONMAN event and provide a white glove level of service. Additionally, family and guests experience VIP treatment throughout event weekend with a front row seat to all the action.
  9. Bonus Kona slots: This year, bonus slots to the IRONMAN World Championship were allocated to a few select races in different regions. Ten lucky athletes won the chance to race at Kona via a drawing relating to IRONMAN Boulder, taking place on June 11. IRONMAN Australia, taking place on May 7, 2017, provided a similar promotion with 10 entries to Kona. In the coming weeks, information will be provided on on a special opportunity for athletes racing at IRONMAN Maastricht – Limburg on August 6, 2017.
  10. Japan to Whistler to Kona! This year, an additional 20 qualifying slots to the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawai’i, are up for grabs for Japanese nationals racing IRONMAN Canada. These slots will be allocated based on the athlete’s Age-Group Ranking upon conclusion of the race. Click here for more information.
  11. IRONMAN 70.3 Hawaii, Honu to Kona: Thanks to the Island of Hawai’i Visitor’s Bureau, 10 Kona slots are on offer to anyone who registers for IRONMAN 70.3 Hawaii by May 1, 2017. Click here for more information.

Ironman Quest for Kona New TV Series Casting Call

Begin your IRONMAN journey and star in your own 30-minute show.

The series, scheduled to air in the fall of 2017, will profile ten athletes from around the world as they embark on the path to qualifying for the most iconic single-day endurance event, the IRONMAN World Championship which takes place in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i.

Each episode will feature one charismatic and engaging contender as they take on a specific IRONMAN qualifying event, capturing the breathtaking scenery, local culture and unique athletic challenges that each setting presents. While not every athlete may ultimately qualify, each will show that IRONMAN is about persevering, enduring and being a part of something larger than themselves, proving that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE®.

Self-shot footage will be utilized to capture each person’s real-time journey as a supplement to the broadcast content. “IRONMAN: Quest for Kona” takes aspirational athletes and puts their mission front and center, inviting viewers to experience the personal highs and lows of each pursuit.
Casting for the new series is now open globally. Consideration for the first round of selections are due no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on February 6, 2017