Chrissie Wellington at IMKona 2017

303Triathlon caught up with 4-time Kona Champion and recent Ironman Hall of Fame Inductee, Chrissie Wellington to talk about them passionate nature of Colorado athletes, academics and environmentalists! She touches on her new passion for ultra running and the legacy she hopes to leave.

 

Women in Triathlon: WITSUP Brunch with Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae and Rachel “Joycey” Joyce

By Dana Willett

This morning Jen Findley and I were honored to attend a very special WITSUP Brunch in a foothills mansion high above the cacophony of the Kona Race Week activities at sea level.

An annual event celebrating women in triathlon, the sold out Witsup Kona Brunch featured triathlon legends Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae and Rachel “Joycey” Joyce, moderated by WITSUP “Chief,” Stef “Steffie” Hansen (who is quick to note, one may only address her by this moniker if you are an IRONMAN World Champion). This is the “fourth or fifth” year of the event (and one we will not miss in the future).

Sponsors Cervelo and Ceramic Speed were well represented with signage and prize drawing giveaways.

Our plates piled high with delicacies prepared by Stef’s “chef” husband Brett, we settled in to luxurious chairs as she opened the casual Q&A session by introducing “Two of the most wanted athletes in the world,” Rinny and Rachel.

Stef introduced Rachel, pointing out that the Boulder-based pro completed three IRONMAN races in just ten weeks (including winning IRONMAN Boulder!) after giving birth to her first child, Archie, just 13 months ago.

Rinny was next, asked about what it was like to be in Kona and not be racing: “Izzy is taking most of the focus – it’s very different being here without the anxiety of racing, and just supporting Tim (O’Donnell).”

It was then Rinny’s turn to ask Stef a question… In her trademark feisty and spirited way, Rinny asked Stef point blank if she plans to have kids. Once the room settled down after some barbs and an eruption of laughter, Stef admitted she’d “never been embarrassed on stage.”  She then turned serious: “I find the subject fascinating because it’s a dilemma for athletes – age groupers or pros – pregnancy affects sponsor relationships, requires a break from training and racing; it’s one of the biggest challenges in being a pro triathlete, and any working professional. It concerns me – what would happen with WITSUP? I’m not ready to compromise that. Not now. Eventually. But not until it can be my number one priority.”

There were many murmurs of agreement from the attentive audience, most of whom were women, some Kona athletes and some not, and a good smattering of supportive men.

“Moving on,” Stef commanded, slyly changing the subject. She asked Rinny what it has been like “getting back in shape after having a kid.”

Rinny responded that so far she’s had just two runs and two swims – and, she “pulled out sore” after 20 minutes on the run. “It’s gonna be tough,” she said, succinctly.

Rachel responded to the same question, saying, “It taught me patience. I remember my first swim – I was completely exhausted after just 1500 meters – it was so different from being so in shape before. I had to switch my mindset to looking forward, instead of back. I couldn’t rush it. I had to focus on,  ‘I’m better than I was last week.’

She continued, “It was hard work, especially the core strength. When I stood at the start line of my first race back I thought, ‘Wow, six months ago I was only walking around the block. You have to take baby steps. Don’t rush it.”

Stef then asked, “It’s similar to injury, then, taking it day by day, right?”

Rachel responded, saying it is similar to injury in that you need to look forward at your progress, and not wishing you were back to where you were before. Then she added, “You have all that, plus breastfeeding. Your body’s main function is to support another human. And the physical changes, like wondering, ‘when will my stomach stop jiggling?’ I felt like my legs weren’t attached to my top half – there was no ‘pop.’  It’s a foreign feeling. My body felt disconnected getting back into training. You have to be patient.”

Rinny was then asked if the past 6-7 weeks since Izzy was born have been similar to the rest she usually takes after Kona. Rinny replied dryly, “Well, this has been 6 or 7 weeks of doing nothing, and also I had a human come out of me.” The room erupted.

She continued, “My core is lost after having to make way for all the expansion. But I’m sitting here listening and trying to take lessons from what Rachel said. I’ll look ahead. Next year I want to be back here and be a contender.”

Stef paused dramatically, and commented, “The best contraception is talking with you two.”

The discussion then turned to race day strategies. Stef asked, “How do you switch off your usual ‘nice’ personalities  to “terminator” mode on race day?”
Rinny responded, saying, “When I started (as a pro) I struggled with my friendships with competitors, how to manage that. But I learned that when gun goes off it’s a war… you must be no one’s friend.”

Stef and Rachel joined in with some barbs, Stef saying, “The smack talk is starting now.” Rinny responded, “This year it’s ok because I’m just watching … but next year – looking at Rachel -all bets are off.”

Rachel commented, “You have to think of it that they’re just people I want to be ahead of – I’m very single-minded. It doesn’t matter whether you’re friends or not.”

Nodding agreement, Rinny added, “At that point in the race (during the run) we’re all suffering, so you feel bad. You want to say “sorry- but I’m going on ahead of you.”

The conversation went on to cover advice for the strong Queen K cross-winds (“Trust your bike – it was designed for the wind – try to relax into it”), descending from Hawi (Rinny: “Put it in the biggest ring and go for it!”), and Race Week nerves (Rinny: “I want that – it shows the race matters to you;” Rachel: “If I didn’t feel nervous I’d wonder what was wrong”).

And then the Hot Topic: For pro women after having a baby, they have to do so many races in order to get points for Kona… there is no current carry over or accommodation for maternity leave…

Rachel noted, “We want to have the best women and men racing in Kona. We need to work back from that. Despite fitness before giving birth, it just takes a long time (to get back in shape). We need to look at other sports and consider how to take maternity leave. It’s very complex – we need a statistician to sort rankings, and look at the possibility of carrying over points from the prior year.”

Rachel continues, “There isn’t an easy answer. Women need to not rush back and risk injury – we need to accommodate that.”

Agreeing, Rinny added, “We want the best athletes in their best form – whether it’s a point system or whatever. There are lots of different ideas, and we need to look seriously at the rules.”

Stef concluded the topic saying, “We need a better solution – there’s not a perfect solution, but there is a better way.”

After some talk about finding your “zone” on the Kona run (Rachel says, “The blanker and freer you can keep your mind the better… think about rhythm, nutrition, form”) and a possible 2-day race formula for Kona, like 70.3 worlds in Chattanooga (both women were in favor of it “to showcase the women’s race properly”), the discussion turned more philosophical.

 

If not triathlon, then what career would you want to pursue?
Rinny explained she studied physiology and kinesiology in college, and she would likely pursue those fields. Rachel, a former lawyer said, “I definitely like the law, but I’m not sure I’d go back to a law firm.”

And, finally, the most memorable moment over time on the Big Island?

“Winning in 2013 ,” Rinny answered without hesitation. “I had won in 2010 and then I had a couple of not-great years. Winning in 2013 validated that it wasn’t a fluke – the day flew by went perfectly. And it was also pretty special because Tim came in 5th. It was the most memorable.”
(Stef pointed out that they were engaged, noting the famous photo of Rinny jumping into Tim’s arms, laughing and saying “you needed the money for the wedding, right?”)

Rachel found her first time at Kona as the most memorable. “I didn’t yet identify as a pro triathlete – I felt out of depth.
I came 6th that year – I came in 4th off the bike, and I heard Greg Welch saying, ‘I think we’re going to see this one go backward…’ I thought, I’ll show you. It was so memorable. It was not my best race, but it ewas the start of a proper pro career.

Predictions for the pro field on Saturday? Rinny was quick to say, “I’ll answer that. I’d pick Rachel or Daniella for one and two, and then Heather (Jackson) or my dark horse pick – Lucy Charles. She’s my dark horse.”

 

Be sure to check out the WITSUP website for all the “Wahine Warrior” videos of Kona pro women!

IRONMAN Boulder champion Timothy O’Donnell talks with 303Radio: Fatherhood, Kona Strategy

Brought to you by Training Peaks:

Hear 2017 Ironman Boulder champion Timothy O’Donnell tell 303radio hosts Bill Plock and Rich Soares talk about being a father and preparing to race and how his 2017 season played out. Timothy shares how his Santa Cruz 70.3 race went and just life as a pro triathlete, being married to Mirinda Carfrae the motivation that comes from a family and some ideas on how he is gonna attack Kona in 2017 with the help of Mark Allen and Greg Bennett both of Boulder and using the Halo NeuroSport. Road to Kona through Boulder!

The Pros racing the Boulder Peak

At present, there are 35 professional triathletes racing Sunday’s Peak – including some big names and out of state folks.

303 reached out to them and asked a few questions, including:

  1. Why are you racing the Peak?
  2.  If you have raced the Peak before, what is your favorite memory?
  3. How does the Olde Stage climb/descent fit into your race strategy?
  4. Any messages for other pros in the field?

Here are some of their responses:

Justin Metzler

  1. The Peak is the perfect opportunity to put some really hard training to good use. This is my fourth season as a PRO and I have almost exclusively raced the 70.3 distance. I have some international 70.3 races coming up on the calendar and with the Peak in my backyard, the chance to race full gas against some of the strongest guys in the world was too good of an offer to pass up on. As I have gotten older the pressure to perform and get results has gotten more significant every season. I was reflecting on when I was having the most fun racing. That was in 2014 when I did a few Olympic non-drafting races. I’m looking forward to 2hr of very intense suffering on Sunday. It is racing in it’s purest form and is a whole lot of fun.
  2.  This is my first time racing the peak!
  3.  I think it will be full gas from the minute we hop on the bikes to the apex of the Olde Stage climb. If you are not prepared to ride at or above your threshold for the entire segment, you will likely get spit off the back and never be able to regain contact with the front of the race. My #1 goal is to not over think this race. If I swim with the front and make it up Olde Stage with the front of the race, I will be in a very good position to have a solid result.
  4.  Bring it! The start list is looking quite strong but a lot of athletes are in unique situations. Charbot, Shoemaker, Long just raced IM Boulder. Von Berg and Deckard just got back from Europe. West and Dye have both done a lot of races lately. I have not raced since early June. I have been here in Boulder training hard as ever. I am fitter than I have been in a long time and I am looking forward to seeing what that means come Sunday.

Matt Chrabot

  1. It’s been a while since I’ve raced an Olympic Distance event and I’m glad it’s in my home area.
  2. Yes in 2014 and I won.
  3. Hopefully I can make up any lost ground from the swim by quickly popping up the climb. It’s a power climb so the bigger guys won’t be at a disadvantage and the smaller guys won’t gain as much.
  4. Best of luck and I’ll see you out there.

Kelly Williamson

  1.  Sounded like fun, seeing that I do mostly IM and 703 distances – and convenient to Colo Springs where I live.
  2. Last time I raced this (2006ish?) I did Mt Evans the day prior – so what I remember was that it was a pretty crappy race for me but it was a fun and clearly challenging weekend.
  3. I only know of this Olde Stage road by name, so I guess I’m going in  with eyes wide open; and I can’t say I have much of a race strategy except to go as hard as I can for as long as I can.
  4. Let’s play nice in the swim. We’re all going in the same direction. 🙂

Kaisa Lehtonen

  1. I am currently coached by Siri Lindley so I am training here in Boulder for the most of the summer with Siri and some other Team Sirius athletes.  Our main goal for this season is obviously IM World Champs, but Boulder Peak triathlon gives a great opportunity to put some speed in this “Ironman machine” :)! I have never done a non drafting olympic distance race before and I am super excited to see how it feels. Boulder is an amazing place to train in and the route of Boulder Peak Triathlon is just stunningly beautiful and hard at the same time and it will be super cool to test how I can manage the altitude, the heat and the old stage climb!
  2. I have not raced in here before. But it seems that the race has big traditions behind it so it is a huge honor to do the race that so many of the worlds best athletes have done during the last decades.
  3. I usually do love the climbs on the bike. However as I have never raced or trained at altitude before, here in Boulder the climbing seems to feel… let’s say not so enjoyable with a little less oxygen than normal. I will do my very best on the climb, but I will decide according to how I feel on race day if I will put my all into the climb or if I will save a little more energy for the later parts of the race.
  4. It is super exciting to toe on to the start line with you and it is great to see that so many of the very highest level olympic distance athletes will be doing this race.

Drew Scott

  1. I love racing in a hometown event and this race in particular has a lot of good memories for me. It’s been nearly 3 years since I’ve raced in Boulder so this one was a no brainer for me!
  2. My best memory is definitely winning the amateur race in 2011. It was just as I was getting into triathlon and completely unexpected for me so that made it even more special.
  3. Olde Stage is such an iconic climb in this race and I think really defines the whole event. This will be my 8th time racing the peak so I would like to think I’ve learned a few things about the ideal way to attack this course :). The race is usually sorted out by the top of Olde Stage so it helps to be very aggressive in those early miles on the bike.
  4. Haha…I won’t stir the pot. Lets see what happens on Sunday!

Rodolphe Von Berg

  1. I am racing the Peak because it is an iconic Boulder race, and now that the steep Old Stage climb is back on the bike course, it is a big attraction for me, it makes the race more exciting for everybody.
  2. I have never raced the Peak!

 

Alicia Kaye

  1. I am racing Boulder Peak because I love the opportunity to race at home. Though I’m not a full time Boulder resident, I spend nearly half the year here and the opportunity to sleep in my own bed and then get to race a competitive, well run event with prize money cannot be beat!
  2. This is my first time racing Boulder Peak!
  3. Since Olde Stage is fairly early into the 25mile bike, I’m not sure how much it’ll split up the field. I’ve never raced a non-draft Olympic distance event with this difficult a climb. I’m hopeful it’ll split things up enough that we get an honest bike race before hitting the the run!
  4. Let’s put on a show ladies!!

 

Jason West

  1. It’s a great opportunity to race some of the best athletes in the world right here where so many of us train. The course is also very difficult, something you don’t really see that often, so it makes it very exciting.
  2. Nope
  3. Difficult climbs are definitely spots where you can take a lot of time out of people, but you also need to play it really smart because it is just one section of the whole ride. The decent can also be pretty quick, so being a little gutsy there could pay off.
  4. Bring your A game!

Dan Feeney

  1. I am racing the Peak because I moved here two years ago and love the opportunity to have a pro olympic distance race in my (new) hometown!
  2. I am most looking forward the Olde stage since I love climbing and fast descents. As a lighter athlete, I prefer these to the flat and fast roads around the res.

Kennett Peterson

  1. I really enjoy all of Without Limit’s races and the effort they put into making such awesome events. I think it’s great that they’re brining back a pro field and prize money to Peak, and I want to support that by showing up. Also, it’s just two miles from my house, which means I can ride there. That’s a huge bonus.
  2. I’ve never raced it.
  3. When I was a bike racer I did a lot of my intervals on Olde Stage. I’ve probably ridden it close to 200 times at this point, so I know how to pace it: start out as hard as you can and gradually go harder. The descent takes like 39 seconds so it won’t really factor into any position gain or loss.
  4. After the Olde stage descent make sure to go left on Left Hand.

Brittany Warly

  1. I am racing Boulder Peak because my coach and I thought it would be a fun way to mix up my ITU draft-legal racing with a local non-draft race and to get back on the TT bike. Also because I went to school at CU Boulder and I was a proud member of the Colorado Triathlon Team, I thought that racing in Boulder in front of family and friends would be a great way to reconnect with those I haven’t seen in a year since graduating, plus it is always a blast racing in front of the Boulder crowd and having my family watch me race! I have nothing to lose, and I am excited to be racing against some of the best girls in the sport and to give it my all on race day.
  2. This is my first year racing as a professional, but I have raced Boulder Peak a few times in the age group and collegiate category. My favorite memory has been racing in front of my teammates and friends, and getting cheered on the whole way. In addition, I have so many memories training on the Boulder roads, throwing down with my teammates, so I always have visions of those experiences while I race, which motivates me to push harder.
  3. I am excited to be racing Old Stage for the first time! I am a strong climber and fearless on the descents, so I know that I can take advantage of this, while saving my legs for the run.
  4. I hope my racing speaks for itself 🙂

Will Jurkowski

  1. I’m racing Boulder Peak because I can ride my bike to the start – I live in Boulder only a few miles from the Res.
  2. I raced Peak once before, in 2014, as an amateur. I remember hearing about the Olde Stage climb but it wasn’t in the race that year from the flooding in Lefthand and the roads being torn up.
  3. The Olde Stage climb has meant specific preparation with lots of reps up the climb and understanding how hard I can push at various points to maximize my effort.
  4. Not really…

 

Jarrod Shoemaker

  1. I am so happy that Boulder Peak is back! I spent the first 11 years of my career chasing the ITU circuit around the world and only raced a handful on non-drafts in the US. I switched over to non-draft racing last May and have generally been training for long distance now, but I cannot pass up an opportunity to race on such an iconic course and race. I am so excited that Lance and the Without Limits team are working hard to bring this race back for the Pros.
  2. Have not raced before.
  3. I am excited to race a race with a nice climb, I am not as much of a climber as I used to be, and would love to be riding a road bike instead of a TT bike up and down it, but that being said I am just going to be smart about it. This race is basically a long climb from the Res to the top of Olde Stage about 25km long.
  4. I think it is so much fun to race against people that you know and train with. Cam Dye and Jason West are two of my training partners and are nailing the non-draft Olympic distance right now. I am just going to go out there and see how I can do!

Sam Long

  1. I’m racing the Peak because it’s the best Olympic distance event around. I love the climb on Olde Stage Road–it makes the race honest and fair. BP also got me into triathlon so I am stoked to revisit as a pro. I haven’t done an Olympic in years so it is gonna be fun to try the distance again.
  2. Crushing people’s souls on Olde Stage
  3. The climb fits in because it gives me space to catch the faster swimmers. It also allows me to push the descent and use my bike handling skills to my advantage.
  4. yeehaw!

Annika Pfitzinger

  1. I’d heard a lot about Boulder Peak over the years, even before I started racing triathlons, and decided this year would be a good time to test myself on Old Stage!
  2. This is my first time racing Boulder Peak but it hopefully won’t be my last.
  3. I’m going to work the uphill so that I lose as little as little time as possible on the descent! I’m not a very big person and my descending still needs a little work.
  4. This is my first official race as a pro and it sounds like I picked a great race to start with!

Cam Dye

  1. I am really excited to be back racing the Peak. It was the first race that I did when I was 15, and growing up in Boulder it has always been a special race to me. This year it will be even more special as it will be the first time that my kids have seen me race.
  2. Winning the race in 2012

 

Lindsey Jerdonek

  1. I can’t find a single reason NOT to race here at home.
  2. The crowd support on Olde Stage is awesome so that will help me up the punishing climb!
  3. Go hard. Be aggressive.
  4. I’m looking forward to a hard race, especially with my training partners, Paula and Alicia, in the field. They are incredible, hard-working athletes and I hold a lot of respect for them in approaching the Peak.

Siri Lindley: Her Philosophies, Boulder Peak, Mirinda Carfrae and Believe Ranch

303Radio hosts Rich Soares and Bill Plock had the opportunity to talk with Siri Lindley, accomplished pro triathlete, USAT Hall of Fame inductee and coach.

 

 

 

Join them as they talk about everything from Siri’s start in triathlon, her first race, coaching and her newest project Believe Ranch & Rescue.  And watch for her along the Boulder Peak Triathlon course.

 

 

 

 

 

Also, don’t miss hearing Siri speak at the “Get Psyched for the Peak” party at Colorado Multisport Wednesday night, along with 5430 founder Barry Siff, pro triathlete Cameron Dye, Skirt Sports owner Nicole Deboom, and Mental Skills coach Will Murray.

 

Legendary pro triathlete & coach Siri Lindley says Boulder Peak is “best of the best”

Siri Lindley – Kona, 2014 (Photo: Bill Plock, 303Triathlon)

303Radio hosts Rich Soares and Bill Plock had the opportunity to interview legendary pro triathlete and coach Siri Lindley yesterday and talk about her passion for the Boulder Peak race. Siri calls the Boulder Peak Tri the “best of the best” compared to all other races – worldwide.

“Truly, of all the iconic races that I’ve been to around the world, like Escape from Alcatraz, Wildflower, Lake Geneva in Switzerland… I seriously think the Boulder Peak triathlon is the best of the best as far as the energy, the atmosphere, the passion that people have in this area for the sport, and for getting out there and pushing their limits…”

Take a listen to this teaser!

And be sure to tune in tomorrow when the full hour interview with Siri Lindley is being released – she discusses her Colorado roots, her days as a pro triathlete, coaching Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae, her Sirius Athletes, and her new Believe Ranch & Rescue charity.

Also, don’t miss hearing Siri speak at the “Get Psyched for the Peak” party at Colorado Multisport Wednesday night, along with 5430 founder Barry Siff, pro triathlete Cameron Dye, Skirt Sports owner Nicole Deboom, and Mental Skills coach Will Murray.