U.S. OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST GWEN JORGENSEN TO TRANSITION FROM ELITE TRIATHLON

Jorgensen won the United States’ first-ever Olympic gold in triathlon. Photo by Delly Carr.

From USA Triathlon

Two-time ITU World Champion to pursue professional marathon racing

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — U.S. Olympic gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen today announced her plans to officially transition from professional triathlon and pursue a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the marathon. Jorgensen, who last year in Rio de Janeiro earned the United States’ first-ever Olympic gold medal in the sport of triathlon, makes the announcement after not competing in the 2017 season to give birth to her first child in August.

“Gwen will be forever remembered crossing the finish line in Rio to claim the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics, a true watershed moment in the history of USA Triathlon,” said Barry Siff, President of the USA Triathlon Board of Directors. “But she has also personified the ultimate role model for all athletes by continually giving back to the sport through efforts like the Gwen Jorgensen Scholarship. On behalf of every triathlete in the U.S., I wish Gwen — as well as her husband Patrick, and their new son Stanley — great joy, success and happiness in every possible way.”

“USA Triathlon brought me into this sport, and now I’m incredibly privileged to step away at the top, with an Olympic gold medal. Though my near-future training will be focused on winning gold in the marathon in Tokyo, I will always be a part of the USA Triathlon family and look forward to embracing every opportunity to help grow the sport of triathlon. In fact, I hope this new adventure in running will play a big part in doing exactly that,” Jorgensen said.

“Gwen has left an indelible mark on triathlon in this country and lifted the sport’s profile to unprecedented heights through her remarkable career over the past eight years,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “As a highly accomplished athlete who is yet so balanced in other areas of her life, Gwen has always served as a tremendous ambassador for USA Triathlon and will be sorely missed. We fully support her decision to pursue new dreams as a full-time marathon runner, and wish Gwen and her family nothing but continued success in this exciting new chapter.”

A standout runner and swimmer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jorgensen was recruited into the sport in 2010 by USA Triathlon through its newly developed Collegiate Recruitment Program (CRP). That year she balanced work as a Certified Public Accountant at EY (formerly Ernst & Young) with training during her first season as an elite triathlete. She was named the 2010 USA Triathlon Rookie of the Year after a standout season in which she earned three podium finishes as a pro.

Jorgensen made the choice to pursue triathlon full-time in 2011, and claimed three ITU World Cup podiums. She qualified for her first U.S. Olympic Team in 2012 and was one of the United States’ top medal contenders in London, but suffered a flat tire on the bike and finished 38th overall.

Her 2013 season included a USA Triathlon Elite National Championship title, three ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS) victories and a bronze medal at the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships.

Jorgensen went on to post a record-breaking 2014 season in which she became the first woman in ITU World Triathlon Series history to win eight career WTS events and five in one season. She claimed victory at the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and earned the overall world championship title, becoming the first U.S. triathlete — male or female — to win a world title since 2004. Jorgensen’s 2014 season also included a win at the inaugural Island House Triathlon, a two-day stage race in the Bahamas.

In 2015, Jorgensen went undefeated in seven WTS starts and extended her win streak to 12. She became the first U.S. athlete to win back-to-back ITU World Championships, and punched her ticket to the 2016 Olympic Games with a victory at the Rio de Janeiro ITU Qualification Event. She capped her historic season with a successful defense of her title at the Island House Triathlon.

Though her win streak was broken with a silver-medal finish at ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast in April 2016, Jorgensen earned two more WTS gold medals and a bronze as she built toward the Rio 2016 Olympic Games that August. She also helped the United States capture its first-ever ITU Mixed Relay World Championship title in June 2016 alongside teammates Ben Kanute, Kirsten Kasper and Joe Maloy.

As the heavy favorite in Rio, Jorgensen outran defending Olympic champion Nicola Spirig of Switzerland and claimed the gold medal, becoming USA Triathlon’s first-ever Olympic champion. She covered the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run in 1 hour, 56 minutes, 16 seconds, crossing the line 40 seconds ahead of Spirig. Jorgensen went on to place second at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final that September and take silver in the overall 2016 WTS rankings.

“It has been both a pleasure and an honor to work with Gwen over the years and to see her evolve from a newcomer in the sport to dominating the world’s best fields in Olympic-distance triathlon,” said Andy Schmitz, USA Triathlon High Performance General Manager. “Her accomplishments have permanently raised the bar within our U.S. National Team Program — for both women and men. And I have no doubt that her strong commitment to excellence will translate to a tremendous career in marathon racing.”

Shortly after the 2016 Olympic Games, Jorgensen announced her plans to run the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, as well as her intention to start a family with husband Patrick Lemieux. Racing in her first-ever marathon, Jorgensen placed 14th in the elite women’s field with a time of 2:41:01.

She announced her pregnancy in January of 2017, and welcomed baby boy Stanley Allen Lemieux on Aug. 16.

Known for her strong run, it was a common sight for Jorgensen to make up significant deficits on competitors coming off the bike. In June of 2016, she overcame the largest deficit in ITU World Triathlon Series history in Leeds, England. Trailing Bermuda’s Flora Duffy by 1 minute, 40 seconds at the start of the run, she ran a 33:29 10k and won the race with a 51-second margin over Duffy.

Jorgensen leaves a legacy in the sport through the Gwen Jorgensen Scholarship, which she launched in 2014 to assist junior draft-legal triathletes and paratriathletes in their pursuit of excellence in the sport. More than $90,000 has been awarded to date in conjunction with the USA Triathlon Foundation, which contributes a matching grant. The recipients of the 2017 scholarship will be announced on Nov. 10. Gwen has also directly supported female development athletes by volunteering as a mentor coach at the USA Triathlon Junior Select Camp in Colorado Springs.

For Jorgensen’s personal announcement on Facebook, click here. For her complete career results and bio, visit usatriathlon.org.

Leadville Silver Rush 50 Race Recap

By Guest Contributor Cassie Cilli

Leadville, Colorado probably isn’t on your tourist destination list this summer. This one street town popular for mining and its lawless past lost its fizzle in the 50’s and ultimately pittered out in the early 80’s. That’s when Ken Chlouber came up with the now infamous Leadville Trail 100. Regardless of what sport you are in, even if you aren’t in running or can barely move at all, chances are you’ve heard of “THE Leadville”. They’ve created their own niche of events including mountain biking and ranging distances from a 10K to marathon to a 50 miler, you know, in case you weren’t feeling like signing up for a hundred. This past weekend, concluded the Silver Rush 50. A race the website claims “will leave your lungs burning, heart pounding and eyes completely amazed!” Well, I’m here to tell you it lived up to its description.

What I love most about Leadville besides the “Oh and Ah!” of the surrounding mountains, is the people. Nothing is more bone chilling than hearing Ken and Merilee, the original founders of the race, come say their epic spiel of how “you’re stronger than you think you are, and you can do more than you think!” At the end of it they scream at you to “dig deep!!!” and then gun goes off! I’ve heard this 3 times now and it still gets to me. Mind you, they come to every race and recite this motivating speech. That’s pretty amazing. There’s as many volunteers as they can dig up that are out there all day, all darn day! They’re feeding you, watering you, taking off your disgusting shoes to bandage your even more disgusting feet, they spray you with sunblock, and tell you everything is going to be ok! One aid station even had amazing eighties music blaring and men in neon tights! Serious dedication right there.

There’s more than that though. It’s the moment when you really do feel like your heart is about to beat through your chest over the last climb, and you come into a beautiful meadow of columbine flowers and your body relaxes and your heart calms down as you take in the view. Then you trip over your own feet and fall into a small stream and laugh your butt off about it cause it’s just so darn pretty out here nothing matters (sorry to the person behind me as this happened, I’m not crazy I was just giggle high!). It’s when you’ve hit the turn around and it dawns on you you’ve still got twenty five more miles to go, and someone comes up behind you tells you how strong you look! And you’re like “really?! I’m about to barf all over myself! But awesome, I’ll keep going!”

It’s that dreadful moment you don’t think you can really go any farther, and you remember a conversation you’ve had early on with a stranger. A conversation I will never forget. A young woman asked me if it was my first time doing this and I said it was, and it was hers as well. She was nervous as she had been pregnant and sick and hadn’t trained but only 5 weeks. I was slightly confused and asked about the baby. She had lost it unfortunately 5 weeks ago, that’s why she didn’t have time to train. “This can’t be as painful as burying my baby” she said to me. I immediately teared up and embraced her. If this doesn’t bring you to your knees and put things into perspective I don’t know what will. Her words echoed in my head all day. I saw her again around mile 40, she told me how fresh I looked and I yelled at her that I better see her at the finish. Which I did, as I was leaving, she probably had a dozen or so family with her to support her. One of the most amazing memories I will cherish forever. And that’s why we are all out here, to prove to ourselves we have the discipline, the determination and the desire to finish something like this, that we are able to dig deep.

At the end of the day we all are suffering. Whether you’re in the lead chasing that course record, or you’re struggling to put one foot in front of the other… it’s going to hurt. What makes ultra running, is the community. It’s that connection you share with someone even for a moment of mutual pain, a swap of your life story, a high five, an “Are you ok?!”. What makes Leadville special is coming in to that finish line and getting your medal and a huge embrace from Merliee, as if she’s your own mother, who’s also been there all day hugging 335 other finishers. And that’s the Leadville experience. What we all chase… a finish.

 

Pants on Fire – Cheating in Endurance Sports

From Marathon Investigation
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Runner Disqualified After Claiming 2nd Place in Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon

The initial 2nd place finisher of the Ft. Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon was disqualified Sunday night. She cut the course.

Splits:

10K – 44:22
13.1 – 1:21:46

These results would equate to a 7:09 minute/mile pace for the 1st 10k and a 5:25 minute/mile pace for remaining 11.08 kilometers.

After the race, she denied having cut the course. She approached other runners and race officials to defend her time. She was on the podium to accept the 2nd place award.

Shortly after the race she posted this to her Strava account.

One member commented on the lack of data. This entry was posted manually and was not linked to any GPS data.

Later that afternoon, she made another Strava entry. This one shows that she did indeed travel the entire course.

She had this labeled as a run, and the total time almost matches her original time for the 1/2 marathon. The cadence data is more consistent with what you would expect on a bike ride, not a run. Also, through the Flyby screen, I was able to confirm that she actually covered this course in the afternoon – long after the race was complete.
Read the full article…

 

RELATED – Age Group Triathletes doping – From Slowtwitch
Ironman AG Champ Gets 4yr Doping Ban
The IRONMAN® Anti-Doping Program announced that American age-group athlete Holly Balogh tested positive for a prohibited substance and has accepted a four-year suspension. Ms. Balogh’s positive sample was collected at the 2016 IRONMAN® North American Championship Texas, which took place on May 14, 2016. Her 4-year suspension commenced, according to Ironman’s release, on July 11, 2016.

Balogh’s sample tested positive for the presence of an exogenous testosterone and/or its metabolites, according to Ironman, which was confirmed by Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) analysis. Ironman noted that Ms. Balogh did not apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

Read the full story…

Racing Burnout and Mid Winter Blues

By 303 Ambassador Marty Rosenthal

I am often asked, “Aren’t you going to burn out?” “Don’t you need a break?” “How can you enter 2 or 3 full distance Ironman races in a year? I need to take a year off after each race.” My reply is typically No, No and it’s easy….

Truthfully, I think it is all a mindset and how one goes about their training and racing. Quite simply, I love it! I love to train and I love to race. I enjoy the comradery. I like staying healthy and fit. I am humbled by the challenges and obstacles that many have overcome to just make it to the starting line of any race, let along a full distance triathlon. I am in awe and inspired by the thousands of people that stand besides me at that starting line.
I believe that people shouldn’t race, if they don’t love it. Why put yourself and your family through months or years of stress and training if you don’t truly love it and desire to be a part of it? Why get monkey butt for hour upon hour of riding unless you love taking it all in and feeling alive. I could not image enduring anything for 10+ hours let alone 2 hours if I didn’t find enjoyment and satisfaction in what I am doing. There is no medal they could give me after crossing a finish line that would be worth it, if I didn’t relish in taking flight and flying to finish with a smile on my face.

Training and racing are times for us to truly be free and experience life and explore our minds our souls and wonderful regions of this world we might not otherwise get the opportunity to experience. This is why for the 3 years that I have been racing, I’ve done it non-stop and toed the line for 7 Ironman races and a countless number of sprints, Olympic distances and half ironman races.

Mindset is not the only way to keep the mid winter blues from destroying your training. I like to mix things up. So besides
just doing triathlons, adding cross training into my routine, is extremely helpful and an essence of me staying fit and having fun. Hitting the slopes, snowshoeing, going to the rock climbing gym, trail running are just a few ways in which I like to stay active in the winter. Another favorite activity for me to do is to enter in ½ marathons in warmer climate cities and plan a great 3 day weekend with my wife. It gives us some great quality time to share together. Visit a city we may not have been to before. Forget about PR’s and racing and age grouping and just enjoy being with one another and having fun running together. Screaming for more cowbell, flying to the finish and sharing Bloody Marys afterwards.

 

Broomfield runner reaches goal of 50 marathons

Lucy West runs near her home in Broomfield in late December. Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

From the Times Call

Broomfield runner Lucy West has turned Lake Link Trail, and other paths that intertwine in Broomfield, Louisville and Lafayette, into an outdoor health club.

Along the trails lined with trees, she’s made friends and woven herself into the scenery.

Frank Bowling, another Broomfield marathon runner and friend of West, met her about four years ago because the two run the same trails — usually going the opposite direction.

“She’s a fixture on the trails and she’s kind of a legend for anyone who knows her history,” he said. “All people who walk or run the trails in this part of the city know her.”

Last year, West reached her goal of running 50 marathons before she turned 60 in February, which meant running four in 2015. She tackled the Boston Marathon in April, Colfax in May, Revel the Rockies in July and Loveland Marathon in September.

In 2016, she ran another four.

“Now my new goal is to run at least 75 before I turn 70,” she said. “My husband thinks I can do 100, but he doesn’t have to run them.”

Few things keep West away from the trails she runs five to six days a week….

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