The 5th Annual Tri Boulder Sprint and Olympic Distance Triathlon is coming up and you don’t want to miss this race! This is a perfect tune-up race for the Boulder 70.3 which takes place in the same area 2 weeks later.
Compete in one of the fastest growing triathlons in Boulder. Swim in the beautiful Boulder Rez which is in the mid-70s right now, I swam in it with no wetsuit last weekend and it was perfect! Bike some of the smoothest (yay) and fastest (double yay) roads in Boulder. And run on the scenic dam trail which is a mostly flat and all packed dirt road. BBSC is a tri-friendly, professional race company that offers gender specific t-shirts, finisher medals, age group awards, Clydesdale and Athena categories, relays, race day child care, free entry into the reservoir, post-race food, and more.
This year I am doing the Olympic distance race and have already spent time on both courses and wanted to share with you what you are in for when you decide to do either of the races this year on July 23rd. I’m using the Olympic as a training race for USAT Age Group Nationals on August 12th. Either distance would be great for that or as mentioned above a tune-up race for Boulder 70.3 on August 6th.
SWIM: Currently the water in the reservoir is about 74 degrees. This is a great temperature that is warm enough for you to swim without a wetsuit if you don’t have one, but isn’t too warm to legally allow wetsuits if you are relying on that to help your swim time. The sprint course is a 750 meter clock-wise rectangle and the Olympic just doubles the distance out and back from the shore. There will be large buoys at each turn and small buoys for sighting. The swim is a wave start for safety and ease for beginner swimmers. Typically there are less than 100 people per wave.
BIKE: The bike course for the sprint is typically called the “Neva loop” and is basically a large loop around the NW part of Boulder. The sprint course is 17 miles, a little longer than the usual sprint distance, so if you are a cyclist, this race is for you! After leaving Reservoir Road, there is a very gradual climb for about 3 miles and then a fast rolling downhill for the next 10 miles. Once you are back on the Diagonal, it is another very slight incline for about 2 miles and then basically downhill (other than 2 short hills on the road back to the res) to the finish. The Olympic starts and ends the same way with a couple extra miles of slight incline rewarding us with several additional miles of declines! YAHOO!
RUN: The run for the sprint is primarily on dirt road and is a simple out and back around the res along the dam. There is a hill immediately when you leave transition, just remember it will be downhill on the way back when you need it the most. The Olympic is also an out and back, it just passes the sprint turn-around and goes an additional 1.55 miles slightly inclining to the 10K turn-around which will be fast for the return home to the finish line.
A great way to practice the swim and run is the Boulder Stroke & Stride which is a swim/run series held at the res every Thursday night. This will get you used to open water swimming, running up the beach, and that first hill on the run.
If you get to the Stroke & Stride, stop by and say “HI” to me at the “chip handout” table!!
Fear of swimming in open water? Nope. Fear of falling off your bike? Not that either. Fear of serious injury? Not even. Let’s face it. Most of us are more afraid of embarrassing ourselves, of looking stupid or clueless, than anything else. Never fear. There are ways to avoid all that in your first triathlon.
There are some tricks to having a fun and fulfilling, and yes, smooth and even elegant first triathlon. How do I set up my transition area? What’s this bodymarking all about? What time should I get there? Where do I exit the transition area with my bike and where do I bring it back in before the run leg starts?
If you are a runner or cyclist or swimmer and have never done a race with all this other stuff in it, how do you figure out the flow of the day, what to bring, where to put it and how to manage all this? Fortunately, there are ways to learn how before your first race.
Volunteer at a couple of races before you race your first one. You can learn a lot by volunteering. Volunteer for bodymarking to see how athletes arrive and get set up. Volunteer also for the transition area. Study how athletes lay out their gear. Walk through transition to experience how the athletes come into transition from the swim, how they exit with the bike, return with the bike, and leave transition on their run. Notice how athletes find their location in the transition area when they come in from the swim and bike. This is a key skill. If you’re in the transition area during a race, you will see a few athletes lost and bewildered as they scan the area for their gear. Learn how not to be one of them. Notice also how much camaraderie there is in the race. Everybody is cheering for everybody. Spectators and volunteers are cheering the athletes. Athletes are cheering the volunteers. Athletes are cheering each other. Triathlon might be the most positive, encouraging and friendly sport on the planet.
Attend a local triathlon club meeting. Many triathlon clubs have occasional evening events, group rides and runs and swim workouts. Try one. Show up, introduce yourself, explain that you are thinking about or signed up for your first triathlon, and then receive the love. Lots of folks will get you connected by introducing you around, inviting you to join them for workouts and open right up to get you what you need. Everybody remembers when they were first starting out and has empathy and advice. USA Triathlon has a club listing that will help you find your tribe.
Practice your newfound skills. A few weeks before your first race, do some transition practice. Set up your bike on a trainer and practice riding, jumping off, removing your helmet (yes, wear your helmet and sunglasses on the stationary bike), getting out of your bike shoes and into your running shoes and running a quarter mile. Do five or six repetitions until you can get off the bike and into your run in less than 15 seconds. Also, set up a situation where you can exit the water (pool or open water) and get on to your bike, and do five or more repeats to get smooth and quick. This will help you get used to the feeling of running out of the water, as the sudden shift from wet and prone to upright and running is not something you experience in everyday life. Triathletes talk about brick workouts, when you go straight from the swim to the bike, or straight from the bike to the run, simulating race day. Do some. Imagine now trying to figure out all this for the first time in your life on race day. Give yourself a break and come to the race prepared to transition.
You have a lot to do in your first triathlon. Fortunately, you can gain valuable experience by finding some other local triathletes who can help and encourage you, by practicing transition skills and by volunteering for a couple of races. You will get a good feel for the sport, meet some wonderful and helpful people, have a good sense of what to do on race day, and get ready for one of the most wonderful events in your life.
These events go back to the summer of 2014 when we had the 1st “Pro’s vs “Amos” contest (“amos” is just a rhyming abbreviation for “amateurs”). There was achocolate chip cookie bake-off followed by adodge ball tournament. There was laughter and tears. *It was mostly the laughing and the cookies that inspired us to keep this “challenge” going.
Since then we’ve invited many strong, fun women to join in on the shenanigans. While the cast of women is ever changing (life happens), the spirit of this event never will. This will always be a somewhat silly celebration of the pure joy we all have for our sport.
Pros & Amos: Tri-Style
In a digital-cyber-y version of 303’s famous Pros v. Amos challenges, we pit famous local “Amo” Katie Macarelli opposite a couple “Pro” athletes you may have heard of… Olympic World Champion Gwen Jorgensen & Professional Triathlete Alicia Kaye! And we’re talking about how Pros live their athletic lives and learn their lessons, compared to Amos… What it’s like as a female role model, mistakes they’ve made, and how they’ve overcome obstacles along the path to stardom… Read on to find out who’s a brainiac with multiple degrees… who hurdles barbed wire fences with ease… and who’s favorite prize ever was 20 pounds of steak.
Here’s some background:
GWEN JORGENSEN Gwen Jorgensen is a professional triathlete from St Paul, MN. Gwen is a 2x Olympian, 2x World Champion (2014, 2015), and 17x ITU World Triathlon Series race winner. She also likes to read, try new foods, and hang out with friends and family.
2016 Olympic Champion
2015 World Champion
2014 World Champion
2012 U.S. Olympic Team Member
2013 USA Triathlon’s Triathlete of the Year
2014 USA Triathlon’s Triathlete of the Year
2015 USA Elite National Champion
2014 USA Elite National Champion
2013 USAT Elite National Champion (Sprint and Olympic Distance)
First USA Woman to win a World Triathlon Series race
15-time ITU World Triathlon Series Winner
2010 USAT Rookie of the Year
2010 USAT Elite Duathlete of the Year
ALICIA KAYE Alicia grew up in Canada and began participating in triathlon when she was 11 years old; she became a professional triathlete at the age of 14. Alicia spent her teen years racing triathlon while juggling her academic studies. While completing her undergraduate degree in Sport Psychology she met fellow triathlete and now husband, Jarrod Shoemaker. Since meeting Jarrod she has began racing for the United States and also completed her masters degree in Athletic Counseling. Some of Alicia’s proudest moments include winning Canadian Junior National Championships in 2001, and winning the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in 2013. In her spare time Alicia works as a mental trainer and runs a skincare company with her husband Jarrod, called Endurance Shield.
And our “Amo,” KATIE MACARELLI Katie is a Colorado native who grew up on a dairy farm on the Eastern Plains. She got her start in the Colorado cycling scene competing in triathlons for about five years until she realized that running is the worst. She’s a mom of two teenage girls, a year-round bike commuter who hates driving but loves cyclocross. She is currently the marketing manager for Feedback Sports.
Here we go! 1. Have you ever googled yourself? Any oft-repeated MISconceptions out there that you’d like to clear up? Any rumor or tall tale that just keeps popping up on Wikipedia? Here’s your chance to set the record straight. And if not, give us your best pretend fake fact.
GJ: I’ve googled my husband, Patrick Lemieux, but don’t google myself. I think one thing people may assume is that I come from a running background, however I actually come from a swimming background and didn’t start running until I was a junior in college.
AK: Yes, I’ve googled myself. It almost always just to find an image or to find articles written about a recent race. Maybe once every few years I’ll look to see if anyone is saying something mean or false, but I’ve never found anything truly negative.
KM: I work in the digital marketing realm, so of COURSE I have. The only misconception I’ve ever found was an article that listed me as living in Portland. I’ve never actually been to Portland, but it sounds lovely. *I generally disregard everything past page 5 on google, because it’s like reading the comments on Pinkbike. It will just make you mad and/or confused.
2. How has your rise to fame affected your performances? Has there ever been a time when the spotlight really helped you? Or worked against you?
GJ: I am an introvert, so it took some time to get used to the media attention and fans walking up to me. I now enjoy being able to share my experiences, but still need my alone time to recharge.
In 2012, after I qualified for the Olympics I had a bunch of media engagements lined up for the week of a WTS race in San Diego. I did an all day photo shoot along with other media the week leading into the race and I believe this contributed to my poor performance. I think I almost finished dead last.
AK: I had my breakout year in 2013 winning the Lifetime Series and Toyota Triple Crown. I thought it would be this ultra grand moment where everything would change. But life went on as normal, the money and/ or result didn’t change any of my relationships- we were just able to make a big fat mortgage payment instead;) What was interesting was in 2014 I really struggled to find purpose and meaning after achieving all my goals in 2013, trying to replicate them again in 2014 was an entirely different experience.
KM: I’m not famous, but I do find it hard to get to the start line to any race because I often stop to hug, heckle and/or say hello to friends. As it turns out, missing the start of a race directly impacts your performance.
3. Please provide five single-word adjectives that best describe you and what makes you tick.
KM: Enthusiastic. Loud. Empathetic. Droll. Indefatigable. (You said single-word, so I didn’t think I could use “over-caffeinated”)
4. Have you experienced being asked media questions different from your male counterparts that you attribute to gender? What’s your best example?
GJ: Can’t think of one off the top of my head, but I also try not to read into questions too much. I also have a poor memory so may have been asked something but have forgotten. I do believe there should be equal prize money for men and women (which there is in ITU which I love).
AK: This is a great question, I think our sport is pretty good about equality but the biggest gender difference I notice is that it’s ALWAYS the male winners picture in a newspaper article. Media outlets within our sport tend to include pictures of the women’s winner and why is the men’s race always written about first?
KM: No, because the media isn’t interested in me. However, I’ve been in many eye-rolling situations as a female working in a male dominated industry. I feel our industry (and society in general) is getting better about this but I still got called “Hon” only a few months ago by a guy my age who was visiting our office. I can assure you that I’m not his “Hon.”
5. What is the best PRIZE you’ve ever won, in your entire life of racing (maybe it was that 2nd grade field day ribbon…)?
GJ: Any prize that involves food! In 2015 I won a gravel road race and won 20lbs of steak.
AK: I won a race down in Tobago a LONG time ago, back in 2005 I think. The trophy was a beautiful wooden carved sea turtle, it’s still hanging on my wall at home.
KM: I won a pair of Tough Girl socks and a pint glass for 3rd place in my first ever Cx race (I raced it on my full suspension Yeti 575). I was instantly in love with cyclocross and bought a Cx bike about 4 months later
6. Race Day prep – name three best practices you always adhere to the night before a race… and three things you always avoid. What is your best example of a time you didn’t follow your own rules, and things fell apart?
GJ: Don’t try anything new (once I ate out in Japan and tried a dish I’d never had before and got food poisoning)
-Relax/put my feet up
-Avoid: unnecessary stress, being on your feet all day, and new foods.
AK: I don’t go to bed until I feel sleepy, I eat the same thing (chicken and rice) and I prepare everything the night before leaving race morning to be fairly stress free. Three things I always avoid the night before a race are any foods that contain caffeine, any foods high in fiber, anything my body isn’t used to.
KM: Hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Race prep. That’s funny. Here are my “3 best practices”:
-Start looking for my wetsuit at about 10 pm. and run a load of laundry.
-Eat a bowl of Peanut Butter Panda Puffs and pack my bag in the dark so I don’t wake my family.
-Get a good, solid 4 hours of sleep.
Three things I avoid (due to life in general plus an incessant desire to self-sabotage):
-Consistent, focused athletic training.
-Having enough ______________ to make success an option (fill in the blank with any of the following: sleep, water, food, peace of mind, clean clothes, gas in the car etc)
Best example of things falling apart:
An example where things went wrong: Pretty much every race I’ve done since I turned 35. Recently, I had to hop a barbed-wire fence and run through a ditch to find the start-line. Good thing I grew up on a farm.
7. If you’re a Pro, do you ever find yourself wishing you were an Amateur? And if you’re an Amateur, every wish you were a Pro? Why?
GJ: I love what I do and am thrilled to be able to also make it my living. I do hate training when the body is tired and it is pouring rain outside.
AK: I went pro at such an early age that I almost can’t remember what it’s like to race as an amateur. Triathlon has been my life since I was 14 years old, and I began participating in them at 11. I think what I’ll miss when I don’t race as a pro someday is a clear course!
KM: Nope. Waaaaay too much pressure. I race because it helps me conquer my fears, which is a good example for my daughters and other women. Oh, and also: its good preparation should things go south and we find ourselves in a post-Apocalyptic scenario. If I had to do that as a job, I’d undoubtedly get fired.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Triathlon today announced six winners of the 2016 Multisport Awards presented by Garmin, which recognizes USA Triathlon members who fueled the multisport lifestyle in the 2016 season:
Spirit of Multisport Award: Nancy Reinisch (Glenwood Springs, Colo.)
The Spirit of Multisport Award recognizes individuals who illustrate the positive spirit of the sport through acts of sportsmanship and leadership in multisport, with no deference to athletic ability. This award was given to Nancy Reinisch, a longtime triathlete, coach and cancer survivor from Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Reinisch has competed in 97 triathlons over the past thirty years, and is hoping to reach 100 this summer to earn her place in USA Triathlon’s Century Club. She is the co-founder of the Roaring Fork Women’s Triathlon Team, where she has led 60 women each summer for the past 18 years to their first experience with the sport. She is also the creator of the Mother’s Day Mile, an immensely popular local race that raises thousands of dollars each year for the Advocate Safehouse Project of Garfield County.
Reinisch also trained, coached and guided visually-impaired paratriathlete Nancy Stevens for two years, ultimately resulting in a gold medal for Stevens in the women’s visually-impaired division at the ITU Triathlon World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2006.
A two-time survivor of advanced breast cancer, Reinisch authored and published the 2008 book Chemosabee: A Triathlete’s Journey Through the First Year of Breast Cancer. She is a professional psychotherapist and the founder and facilitator of the Valley View Hospital Cancer Coffee Walk and Talk Group.
WOW! In all the years I have done the Loveland Lake to Lake Triathlon, this year had BY FAR the best weather. In fact, I even got a little chilly out on the bike course!
Typically the late June race sees hot, sunny, and 90 degrees by the end of the race, and athletes are fighting for tent shade and popsicles. This year, temps only got into the low 70s and it was mostly cloudy the entire day. I even went to my car to grab my sweatshirt while waiting for awards!
Over 650 athletes lined up at the start of the 17th Loveland Lake to Lake race. There were 303 finishers in the Olympic Distance, 281 finishers in the Sprint Distance, and 29 finishers in the Aquabike.
The course saw record splits with the cooler temps and hardly any wind on the bike course.
Here are your 2017 champions:
Olympic Male: Robbie Wade 2:10.36
Olympic Female: Lindsey Knast 2:27.04
Sprint Male: Ryan Poland 1:07.35
Sprint Female: Tess Mattern 1:17.16
Aquabike Male: Thomas Birner 1:54.01
Aquabike Female: Heather Christiansen 2:02.06
You can find ALL race results HERE.
We also saw several first timers, teens, Athletes in Tandem partnerships, and other athletes with outstanding stories and triumphs. This is definitely a great race for first-timers as there are volunteers and local supporters out until the very last athlete finishes. AND plenty of post-race food for even the final finisher.
I love this race because there are so many local teams and participants. I feel like I personally knew over half the athletes racing. This event happens without fail every single year and is the only race at this venue. It is the only triathlon in Loveland, the only race in Lake Loveland, and the only triathlon that uses the beautiful and challenging Horsetooth Reservoir as part of its bike course.
The Race Director since inception, Peggy Shockley, was seen all day making sure the race ran smoothly (and it did) and making sure the athletes were happy with their race experience.
I talked with several athletes (both first timers and veterans of the race) throughout the day and out of all the feedback, the two statements I heard most were “the post-race food is amazing” – it was catered by local Fort Collins health food restaurant “Rainbow”- and “the feel during this race is very friendly and supportive.” Both absolutely true AND have been this was every single year since the race began.
From packet pick up the day before through awards and clean up race day, there are so many helpful, friendly, and passionate members of the local Northern Colorado community ready and willing to lend a hand wherever it was needed to make the entire race experience easy, fun, and memorable.
One other positive perk of this race is the free race day photos! You can find a TON of them taken by 303 Triathlon on the Lake to Lake facebook page and more official finishing photos HERE.
Personally I had a great race. I met my goals of a fast run, a strong finish, and a fun morning with 650 of my best friends! If I am in town, I always make this race a part of my June racing schedule. You can stay updated on next year’s race on the Loveland Lake to Lake website.
Twenty age-group national champions crowned in Arkadelphia, Arkansas
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – Deanna McCurdy (Littleton, Colo.) and Dane Baldini (Bentonville, Ark.) raced their way to overall titles on Sunday at the USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championships, held at DeGray Lake and Iron Mountain in conjunction with XTERRA Gator Terra.
The course covered a 1500-meter swim, 32-kilometer mountain bike and 10-kilometer trail run. Athletes battled heavy rain and muddy conditions, racing over deep woods single-track featuring steep climbs and descents, large banked turns and more.
McCurdy was the top finisher for the women, clocking in at 3 hours, 5 minutes, 22 seconds to claim the overall win and the women’s 40-44 age-group title. She crossed the line more than 10 minutes ahead of Courtney Kaup (Richmond, Vt.), who placed second overall in 3:16:00 and successfully defended her women’s 35-39 title. Jane Zeigler (Tulsa, Okla.) rounded out the overall podium in third with a time of 3:18:04.
“It was so much fun. Running and biking upstream made for an exciting day,” McCurdy said. “The bike was a blast, it was a roller coaster out there. In Colorado we’re used to climbing for miles and miles, but here it was fast, it was flowy. The run course was fun, splashing through puddles. You just had to be a kid. If you think about how much it hurts and how tired you are, your race is over. But if you just play, it’s an adventure.”
Baldini had the fastest time of the day, with a final time of 2:49:34. In addition to the overall title, he also claimed the top spot in the men’s 30-34 age group. Baldini finished nearly four minutes ahead of runner-up Ryan Terry (West Sacramento, Calif.), who took the men’s 35-39 title in 2:53:33. Marcus Barton (Waxhaw, N.C.) was third in 2:55:30, successfully defending his men’s 45-49 title.
“I’ve been racing here seven years now, and this is the best venue around,” Baldini said. “The single track is fast, there’s a little bit of climbing which helps me out, and man, that run course was perfect for me. A little bit of road, a little bit of dirt. I got a nice lead and made sure second place couldn’t see me – that way they’d have to really pick it up.”
In total, twenty athletes captured age-group off-road national titles at DeGray Lake on Sunday. The top 18 finishers in each age group, rolling down to 25th place after applying the age-up rule, qualify to represent Team USA at the 2018 ITU Cross Triathlon (Off-Road) World Championships. The top-20 off-road triathletes per age group in the USA Triathlon off-road triathlon annual rankings as of Dec. 31, 2017, will also qualify for the World Champions
Note to Key USA Triathlon Stakeholders Greetings, I hope this finds you well and enjoying the start of a new season.
As an important stakeholder within the USA Triathlon community and the multisport industry as whole, I wanted to personally make you aware that Rob Urbach has left his position as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, to pursue other professional opportunities. Under Rob’s leadership, USA Triathlon experienced much success and rolled out several major new initiatives. Please join me in thanking Rob for his contributions to the organization over the past six years, as we wish him all the best in future endeavors.
The Board of Directors is excited to move forward with its newly developed strategic plan. Our focus is on the growth of triathlon in the United States, as well as a dedicated emphasis on our members and key constituent groups that include race directors, coaches, clubs, elite athletes, officials, and our triathlon family partners. We are encouraged by the organization’s overall success, the dedicated USA Triathlon staff, our strong position as innovators within the industry, and the enthusiasm from our hundreds of thousands of triathletes across the United States.
We are now beginning a comprehensive search to identify a new CEO, and you can expect to receive the announcement as soon as a decision has been reached. In the meantime, thank you for all that you do every day to make our sport so great.
Barry Siff President, USA Triathlon Board of Directors ITU Executive Board CAMTRI Executive Board
During a drive to Boulder recently to meet up with fellow cyclists for a ride, I learned that the USA national women’s ice hockey team is in negotiations with their national organization, USA Hockey, to ensure their equitable treatment in pay, resources, and coverage. It is 2017, and still, industries and organizations struggle with treating and paying women and men equally. One of the most persistent issues facing women today continues to be pay equity, spanning women’s hourly wages to prize winnings to professional sports teams. Women continue to earn less than men for the same work, with women of color receiving even less than white women. According to a study recently released by the American Association of University Women, if pay rates continue to progress at the pace they are today, then women will not reach parity with men until 2152. 1 Let’s just pause and digest that. Twenty-One- Fifty-Two. One hundred and eighteen years from now.
The women’s hockey team’s requests to USA Hockey go beyond pay equity: “The women say there are pervasive, possibly illegal inequities in how USA Hockey treats male and female players — in terms of equipment, meals, hotel accommodations, staffing, marketing and PR, among other things.” 2 The women’s team (two time World Championship winners and Olympic gold medalists by the way) refused to defend their title and play in the upcoming World Championships unless USA Hockey compensated them equitably. In response to the boycott, instead of addressing what appear to be fairly blatant inequalities between the men’s and women’s teams, USA Hockey decided to ask alternate women hockey players to stand in when the World Championships start this Friday, March 31st in Michigan. 3 Satisfyingly, many of their requests were rebuffed, as the alternates stood in solidarity with the women of Team USA. 4Fourteen senators, 5 the National Hockey League Players Association, and other major sports players’ unions have also come out in support of the women’s requests for equity, urging USA Hockey to do the right thing. 6 7 After months of negotiation, and 14 days since the team announced their boycott, an agreement was finally reached yesterday.
The experience of the USA women’s hockey team is not unique. We have seen equality requests emerge in other sports such as tennis and soccer. Serena Williams earned over $200,000 less than Roger Federer when they both won a major U.S. tennis tournament, the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio, a few weeks before the U.S. Open in 2015. 8 And while U.S. Tennis is doing marginally better than other sports in terms of addressing gender equity (all Grand Slam tournaments have equal prize purses), comments from players such as Novak Djokovic, that men deserve to be paid more, 9 represent a pervasive, yet unspoken, perspective across many professionals sports.
After the U.S. women’s soccer team won the World Cup in 2015, it was widely publicized that the pay they received was far less than what the men received for not reaching the World Cup final. Justifications abound as to why this was, many resting on how “complicated” 10 these things are. Couple that with their pay overall, and the picture of gender inequality in sport comes into focus. According to ESPN: “Much of the disparity in wages between the men’s and women’s [soccer] teams stem from the different ways the players are paid. The women earn salaries while the men are paid based on national team appearances, results and other factors.” 11 These “other factors” include the heightened level of air time and sponsorships that men’s soccer receives over women’s; a systemic problem that justifies (for some) the lesser position of women’s sports to men’s across many disciplines.
Several women’s U.S. soccer team members filed a suit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in March 2016, alleging disparate pay and treatment after losing a case in federal court. The EEOC complaint is still pending. The women’s team is paid about one fourth of what the men’s team receives despite their tremendous success. 12 They have four Olympic gold medals under their belt and three World Cup titles, far more than the men’s team. In fact, the 2015 World Cup final between Japan and the USA was the most watched soccer game ever in U.S. history across both the women and men’s teams. 13 Any argument that women’s soccer is not as “exciting” as men’s is ludicrous given their success. Such an argument rests on false, and sexist, assumptions that women’s sport carte blanche is not as good, entertaining, or captivating as men’s. Frankly, viewer excitement bears no relevancy to the pay the players receive because it does not correlate to the level of work women invest in training and competing at that level. Equal pay for equal work, not equal pay for equal viewership.
Equitable treatment, recognition, and pay has lagged behind for many more women’s teams and athletes. And sadly, the trajectory has been similar for triathlon. Ironman only provides 35 slots to women elites at Kona, versus 50 for men. The hashtag #50womentokona has become a social media rallying cry. Tri Equal, a non-profit organization committed to advocating for equitable treatment and representation of women, has attempted to work with Ironman to rectify this discrepancy. Sadly, efforts have been unsuccessful. This past week, the new Super League Triathlon competition series was launched absent a women’s race. Chris McCormack, an Ironman World Champion who spear-headed the TV friendly initiative shared as justification for the lack of a women’s race that many of the pro-women were off this year because of pregnancy, and that they just had to get going with the event instead of simply talking about it. 14 An unnamed woman Olympian and Ironman podium finisher stated: “there’s enough depth in women’s triathlon that we could have some racing that’s equally compelling to the men’s…I know that I’m not alone in my disappointment in the lack of transparency.” 15
Liz Blatchford, a two time Ironman World Championship podium finisher, shared her frustration on Instagram: “While we have been told women’s racing is coming, I can’t really accept that their SHOWCASE event should have gone ahead without women…I strongly feel that having a women’s event should never have been a negotiable factor.” She rounds out her critique with: “Equality delayed is inequality accepted.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
We have much work to do. Onwards.
Lisa Ingarfield, PhD is a runner, triathlete, and RRCA certified coach. She owns Tri to Defi Coaching and Consulting and provides organizational communication evaluation and consulting services. She is a freelance writer specializing in issues affecting women, particularly in sport and is a member of Vixxen Racing’s 2017 women’s triathlon team.
West Chester first hosted rising youth and junior triathlon stars in 2012 and is a prime location for the National Championship event, with more than 20 of the 38 active High Performance Teams within a day’s drive of the venue. Youth & Junior Nationals is scheduled for Aug. 5-6, 2017, and tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in August from 2018-21. The event has sold out for the last four years, with more than 700 athletes ages 7-19 competing for national titles annually. The two-day event is contained within Voice of America Park and supported through a strong partnership with the Butler County Visitors Bureau and other community organizations. Click here to read more on this continued partnership in West Chester, Ohio.
Age Groups and Distances
All athletes must be between the ages of 7-19 as of December 31, 2017.
USA Triathlon anticipates 600-plus youth and junior competitors in attendance, including athletes from Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. In addition, National Championship titles will be awarded to the top youth club (non-drafting events).
Saturday, August 5
Youth Elite National Championship (draft-legal) 13-15-year-olds: 375m swim, 10k bike, 2.5K run
Junior Elite National Championship (draft-legal)
16-19-year-olds: 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Sunday, August 6
Youth National Championship (non-drafting)
7-10-year-olds: 100m swim, 5k bike, and 1k run
11-15-year-olds: 200m swim, 10k bike, 2k run
(No qualification required)
Mixed-Team Relay (draft-legal) Athletes must be 13 to 19 years old as of December 31, 2017 to compete with a team.
USA Triathlon is thrilled to call West Chester, Ohio home to the Youth and Junior National Championships for the sixth consecutive year! In an unprecedented five-year agreement, West Chester, Ohio will host Youth and Junior Nationals at Voice of America Park through 2021.
Basketball… “Flat, Challenging” times in Tri … and Lance Armstrong:
“I went from the stars to the ground, seemingly overnight”
The Monday morning start of Day 2 at TBI began early, with a group workout at the local Dallas YMCA, put on by ACTIVE. Following an old-school basketball lay-up drill, Arch led participants through four, 7-minute “Tabata” sets and had us all sweating and dreading sitting on sore glutes later in the day, but smiling goofy endorphin-induced grins. (Only the first three sets were physical – the fourth set was a mental “Triku” writing exercise… we may – or may not – hear more about those submissions later in the conference.)
By 8:00 a.m. the breakfast crowd was ushered into the presentation hall for a few opening remarks by TBI President Richard Adler. Citing registration data, Adler pointed out 41% of this year’s TBE attendees are race producers, followed by those in the technology field, and manufacturers with 15% each. And then a large “other” category, that includes coaches, tri clubs, city representatives, advertising/marketing entities, sponsors… a good cross-section of the industry.
This year’s conference theme is “profitability and success in triathlon,” and Adler referenced data presented by Gary Roethenbaugh yesterday and reiterating the current “flat” triathlon climate makes for “challenging times.” However. The entire purpose of this conference is to collaborate and share ideas; TBI is, at its core, a “sounding board and connector of resources.”
And then a hush fell over the room as Lance Armstrong was ushered down the center aisle, red carpet style, haloed by a bright spotlight, led by Slowtwitch publisher Dan Empfield. As they walked Empfield referred to Armstrong as his “very good friend,” and Armstrong made reference to Empfield being his “first sponsor” (Empfield was Lance Armstrong’s first bike sponsor, with Quintana Roo, the bike brand Empfield founded).
Empfield opened the session with an air of caution and assertive direction, launching immediately into Armstrong’s The Forward Podcast, and skipping any preamble about the cycling world or doping or other obvious precursors. Admitting he is “very jealous” of Armstrong’s podcasts because “they are so good,” Empfield asked about:
Toughest interviews (“Seal was very emotional and dark; he and I did the dance and it came off…“)
Favorite interview to date (Michael Morton – wrongfully convicted for killing his wife: “He is my favorite by far, so far. He went to prison for 26 years for a crime he didn’t commit. And then DNA evidence proved his innocence and he was exonerated. His views on the people who put him away – what he wanted to do to them – for 15 years he had a plan for every one of them. Shoot & bury. Burn. Drown… And then he found God. . . The guy is amazing. Really cool guy.“
As Armstrong mentioned Sean Penn (whom he hangs out with in Aspen), biographer Hunter Thompson, Johnny Depp, Bo Jackson, Brett Favre (a “good friend”), Malcolm Gladwell (If he does a tri, “Who’s going to make the swim cap to go over that ‘fro of his?”) … Empfield points out, “These guys are all friends – you just call them up.” And later in the interview, regarding Armstrong’s residence in Aspen, “there’s a posse, and you’re in it.” Empfield continues, “You can hang with these people and talk with these people in a way a CNN interviewer couldn’t… I mean, a presidential historian and rock stars…”
Armstrong revealed his techniques for landing an interview with someone he finds compelling: “I grab coffee in the morning and read the newspaper. I see who’s in town… send a DM to a mutual acquaintance and get a cell phone number…” He goes on to point out how public most personal information is, saying, “You can find out about anybody’s life – start with Wikipedia, and then go to YouTube… There’s still some secrets out there, but very few.”
He also acknowledges the timing of his Forward podcast, saying, “I couldn’t have done this kind of platform five years ago. . . I went from the stars to the ground seemingly overnight, and all of my platforms went away. That was a humbling experience. The podcast is my first platform, my first offensive move, the first place I’ve gone back to to give people a place to go. . . I’m blown away at the success it’s had.”
When asked about the “corporatization” of sport, making big business out of triathlon or other endurance sports, he was clear, saying whether it’s Ironman or New York Road Runners or the Boston Marathon, “we still have millions willing to pay to play.” But. ASO/Tour de France is “much more evil” than Wanda Sports. “The business model of pro cycling is 100 years old and not sustainable. There is turmoil there. They want to control as much as they can and cast a shadow over all the other events. The Tour is too big – but they are the only one, and the only thing people care about.”
“I wish there were more players and riders who had a bigger voice in pro cycling.”
Armstrong’s latest venture, WEDU Sport, was touched on but not well defined. According to the trademark application, WEDU will incorporate monitoring & tracking (“Computer software and computer application software related to tracking, monitoring, planning, compliance and motivation”), clothing, and “athletic competitions, triathlon events, athletic coaching services.”
When Empfield asked about the new brand, Armstrong provided an explanation for the name, saying, “WEDU is an answer to a question: Who does 100X100’s in the pool or runs Rim2Rim? Who wants to do that? Who would be crazy enough to do that? The answer is WEDU. That is the brand. There is space for more events in the endurance world. Also, monitoring and tracking – GPS, Strava, wearables – allowing athletes to train better, smarter, and injury free.”
Later in the interview he added on the subject of WEDU: “We’ll provide events, content, and training. Similar to Endurance Nation – we’ll sell plans. And WEDU may be an app.”
And what about that subject of doping? Empfield raised the subject, and Armstrong elaborated, saying first, “It will never change.” He said there will always be cheaters Whether traditional doping, or course cutting, or mechanical doping with engines. He did an obstacle course race, and when he missed an obstacle he had to do 180 burpees. “I did all 180 burpees,” he said. “But how many people really do them? It’s the honor system. If they have to do 30 burpees, how many do 30? No one. They do 22.”
What about just letting letting drug testing go – just “chilling” – and letting athletes do what they will do? “Just chilling is not an option,” Armstrong insists. “I don’t have a lot of credibility on this.” (crowd chuckles) “You laugh, but it’s true. Should we test athletes? I’m probably not the guy to ask. But if it’s my kids, I say test them.”
And, on the future of triathlon: “Who knows? Who would have thought there would be the Tough Mudder and events like that? We just don’t know… You never know what the next event is. What will provide relevance and motivation? For Type A motivated people, what are you going to give them in ten years?”
He speaks about the return of his Aspen mountain bike race in 2017 (the 2016 event ended up being “a party at my house” since he missed the permitting deadline), his preference for century rides over Gran Fondo’s, because they are untimed and easier to permit, and “alternative” events in general. He then adds, solemnly, “I want all of the ships to rise.”
Also: Jimmy Buffett & Margaritaville. “When you stay there, he is making money off of you from the minute you wake up until you go to bed. From music to blenders to everything… I really respect what he’s done with his brand.”
Finally: Empfield circles back to the Forward podcast. He notes that listeners are asked to rate the show, one star to five. “There are no 2s, 3s or 4s. Only 1s and 5s. Is this a metaphor for how people view you?” Armstrong responds, “I was an asshole for a very long time. I understand that.”
As Armstrong left the room (for 1.5 hrs of post-appearance interviews in the outer hallway), the TBI sessions continued with discussions covering the Future of Triathlon (“Triathlon has plateaued. But it’s stable. Flat is the new ‘up’.” – Chuck Menke); Sponsorships; Diversity in Triathlon moderated by Sara Gross (“Diversity brings innovation, and that’s what triathlon needs now”); and the USAT State of the Union address by Rob Urbach (which began with, “Do you remember the first time you made love?”). Late afternoon sessions allowed participants to choose between topics including Working with Municipalities, Retailer Relationships, Understanding Millennials, and Triathlon Teams.
The Ron Smith Reception and Awards Celebration filled the evening, with winners announced in multiple categories. Be sure to check out 303Triathlon’s twitter feed for all the details on the day’s presentations and events.