Rocky Harris Named USA Triathlon Chief Executive Officer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Rocky Harris, a multifaceted professional sports executive and collegiate athletics administrator, today was announced by USA Triathlon President Barry Siff as the new Chief Executive Officer for the National Governing Body.

Harris, who was named to SportsBusiness Journal’s prestigious “Forty Under 40” list in April, spent the past five-plus years as an athletics administrator at his alma mater, Arizona State University, and comes to Colorado Springs with two decades of experience across professional and collegiate sports, as well as the corporate sector. An age-group triathlete, Harris has been instrumental in helping grow triathlon at the collegiate level and has been recognized for developing and implementing innovative initiatives throughout his career.

“The USA Triathlon Board of Directors is unanimously enthusiastic about welcoming Rocky to help lead our sport forward here in the U.S. and on the international stage,” said Siff. “Rocky brings 20 years of demonstrated leadership in key areas consistent with our new strategic plan: building collaborative partnerships, listening and working closely with key constituents and stakeholders, and being an inspiring leader of people. His passion for triathlon is extremely high, and we are confident he can help grow our sport in an effort to make a healthier America.”

“I want to thank Barry, the USA Triathlon Board of Directors and members of the hiring committee for the opportunity to work with a sport I’m truly passionate about and to serve the triathlon community,” Harris said. “I look forward to furthering a culture of excellence at USA Triathlon and working alongside the talented staff already in place who share my belief in triathlon’s special ability to bring people with different backgrounds together from across the world. The chance to take a sport I love and make it accessible to all communities and relevant to all generations, as well as build upon USA Triathlon as an inspirational and innovative brand, will be an exciting and fulfilling challenge. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made at ASU and confident the athletics department is set up for long-term success under Ray Anderson’s leadership.”

Harris and the USA Triathlon Board of Directors have already identified a number of priorities to advance the organization’s strategic plan, including creating collaborative partnerships within the sport and enhancing technology to engage new audiences. Additionally, Harris will look to collaborate with the High Performance department in support of the U.S. National Team, and find ways to increase value for members, coaches, race directors, clubs, elite athletes, volunteers, officials, corporate partners and others touched by the sport.

Harris’ role at ASU evolved throughout his tenure, with his most recent position as Chief Operating Officer, a role that included direct oversight of the strategic planning, implementation, administration and day-to-day operations of Sun Devil Athletics.

“Simply put, Rocky is not only one of the best administrators I have worked with in my career, but he is also one of the most well-rounded individuals I know,” ASU Athletics Director Ray Anderson said. “He is passionate, genuine, dynamic and strategic, and his unique skill set and perspective will undoubtedly help him flourish in this new role.”

READ MORE AT USA TRIATHLON

TrainingPeaks Endurance Coach Summit Brings Coaches to Boulder

Photo by Raeleigh Harris
Simon Butterworth of D3 Multisport
Photo by Raeleigh Harris

By Will Murray

More than 208 coaches converged in Boulder during the first week of August to attend the 2017 TrainingPeaks Endurance Coach Summit.

Held at the University of Colorado and co-sponsored by USA Cycling and USA Triathlon, this 3-day event focused on the business and science of coaching endurance athletes. Keynote speakers included six-time Ironman champion Dave Scott, USAT running coach Bobby McGee and Dirk Friel from TrainingPeaks.

Participants had the opportunity to listen to talks in sports physiology and coaching business. In this year’s format (2016 was the inaugural summit) there were 20-minute business roundtables, where coaches could break into small groups to hear quick presentations on business law, running a multi-coach business, enhancing your social media presence and using TrainingPeaks’ coach referral program.

Dave Scott
photo by Raeleigh Harris

The University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center showed off its facility with small-group sessions on swimming, strength training, running and cycling biomechanics and nutrition.

Networking opportunities were built into the design throughout. Roka hosted a swim workout and Dave Scott a run workout, both on Friday morning before sessions began. Retul hosted a pre-conference networking session at their new facility on Airport Road in Boulder.

Coach Raeleigh Harris said, “The summit showcased the best coaching methodology, technology and leadership available to us today, all in one location. Total immersion into this setting was invaluable moving forward in development of Coaching services and supporting platforms.”

Emceed by Barry Siff, President of USA Triathlon, this even earned coaches 12 CEUs. Training Peaks plans to bring this event back to Boulder in 2018.

Raeleigh Harris and Mitchell Reiss
Photo by Raeleigh Harris

USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships to Draw 4,000 Triathletes to Omaha This Weekend

Nation’s top amateur triathletes to compete for national titles in sprint and Olympic-distance events

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — More than 4,000 amateur triathletes are registered to compete at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, happening this Saturday, Aug. 12, and Sunday, Aug. 13, at Levi Carter Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Age Group Nationals weekend is USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running National Championship event. Also held in Omaha in 2016, the event will feature two days of competition with national titles up for grabs on each day.

Races begin at 7 a.m. CT each day, with the Olympic-Distance National Championships on Saturday and the Sprint National Championships on Sunday. The Olympic-distance event, which has been held annually since 1983, features a 1,500-meter swim, non-drafting 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run course. Athletes in this race qualified to compete based on a top age-group finish at a previous USA Triathlon Sanctioned Event. The Sprint National Championships, which have no qualifying criteria, will feature a 750m swim, non-drafting 20k bike and 5k run.

On both Saturday and Sunday, athletes will be competing for national titles in their respective age groups. Top finishers in each age group will also earn the opportunity to represent Team USA at the 2018 ITU Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Gold Coast, Australia, in their respective race distances.

The top 18 finishers (rolling down to 25th place) in each age group of Olympic-Distance Nationals will automatically earn a spot on Team USA.

Sprint-distance competitors must finish in the top six in their age groups to secure a spot for the Sprint World Championships, which will feature a draft-legal bike leg. Athletes can also qualify for the Sprint World Championships by finishing in the top-12 in their age groups at the Draft-Legal World Qualifier in Sarasota, Florida, on Oct. 7, 2017. More information about Team USA qualification for the sprint race is available at usatriathlon.org.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia are represented by the competitors in this weekend’s field. The youngest athlete on the start list is 14 years old, and the oldest is 88.

In total, 16 national champions from 2016 will be back to defend their Olympic-distance age-group titles.

Colorado Athletes Racing both the Sprint and Olympic distance events:

Lena Aldrich
Kathleen Allen
Tea Chand
Julia Gorham
Ellen Hart
Michele Hemming
Heidi Hoffman
Barbara Kostner
Melissa Langworthy
Kimberly Malinoski
Nancy Mallon
Stephanie Meisner
Tatiana Morrell
Karen Rice
Dorothy Waterhouse
Karen Weatherby
Sandi Wiebe
William Ankele Jr
Michael Boehmer
Simon Butterworth
Alan Carter
George Cespedes
Kirk Framke
Jim Fuller
Joseph Gregg
Daniel Haley
Jim Hallberg
Tom Hennessy
Tim Hola
Grant Johnson
Thomas Murray
David Pease
Erik Peterson
Kevin Sheen
Vincent Trinquesse
Nathan Turner
Gary Waterhouse
Andrew Weinstein
Lockett Wood

Mother/daughter racing Sprint
Christy & Hannah Croasdell

Average women’s age 54
Average men’s age 46

Becky Piper – Paralyzed on right side, completes Ironman 70.3 Boulder

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid to not try.”
That’s Becky Piper‘s motto.

Yesterday, Becky was able to check another monstrous goal off her list – the Boulder Ironman 70.3.

A tremendous achievement for any able-bodied soul, Becky had to work harder than most, both physically and mentally, because she is paralyzed on her right side.
Just four years ago she was an accomplished runner and XTERRA athlete, living in Guam with her husband Sam, stationed in the military there. During a home invasion, she was beaten, and according to doctors, was with an hour of dying. But she didn’t die. She survived, and learned to talk and eat and walk again.
She GOT BACK UP.
In June, 303 reported on Becky’s “comeback” off-road triathlon at XTERRA Lory:
Becky Piper: Xterra Nats qualifier, savagely attacked, comatose & paralyzed, and back to Xterra again – at local Lory race

We followed her closely yesterday as she tackled the next goal on her list, IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder.
303’s Para-Tri ambassador Sasha Underwood is a close friend of Becky’s, and frequent training partner and guide. She was at every turn of Saturday’s race, and was overwhelmed with pride and emotion as Becky hit each milestone.

Becky is everything I strive to be; sheer grit, tenacious, positive, gracious, kind, courageous, strong, an amazing sense of humor, and she’ll probably kill me for saying this but she is inspiring – but not because she has a disability .. it’s because she finds a way to do anything and everything whether it’s racing, or becoming a USAT coach, she doesn’t accept “no” or “can’t” and nothing can stop her.

Sasha captured these pivotal moments of Becky being carried out of the water by her husband, and the crowning moment of crossing the finish line, just behind the similarly-inspiring story of Team Agar.
Swim exit video:

Finish video

Read today’s Times-Call article for more on Becky Piper, including the special Allard Brace she uses, her husband’s tough love, and this observation:


Becky Piper said she hopes news of her first Ironman 70.3 reaches someone who is living with a mobility issue.

“I just want to get the word out that if you have foot drop, then your life and your quality of life isn’t over,” she said. “There’s tools out there and there is technology out there to improve your quality of life. And not to give up. Don’t give up.”

 

 

Lifetime Fitness no longer sanctioning races with USAT – USAT Responds

Early in July, Life Time Fitness announced

“Continuing its commitment to grow the sport of triathlon, the Life Time Tri Series, produced by Life Time®, Healthy Way of Life, introduces new athlete-friendly innovations and format changes to make the sport simpler, more accessible and more exciting for new and veteran athletes.”

The new innovations include some barbs against triathlon’s governing body, USAT:

A Simpler Experience

No Hidden Fees: Finally, all-inclusive race registration pricing, which includes insurance and race registration fees – and no requirement for a USA Triathlon membership.

Coach Support: Expert coaches provide free, online training programs upon registration, as well as face to face race insights at every event.

New Officiating: No more surprises. Life Time Tri will utilize IRONMAN® and ITU rules assessment, including implementing penalty tents. 

A week later, Slowtwitch published a story, “More on the Life Time Changes

“Life Time confirmed to Slowtwitch that USA Triathlon is out. Not only will USAT’s rules not be used, and pass-thru annual and one-day memberships not be charged to registrants, the races will not be sanctioned by triathlon’s U.S. governing body.“

Around the same time, Bob Babbit hosted Breakfast with Bob at the New York City Triathlon with an update from Scott Hutmacher on LifeTime Tri’s newly announced initiatives. Hutmacher says the breadth of the LifeTime company covers the insurance, which means USAT sanctioning is not necessary. He also states, “we have no animosity with USAT.”

 

USA Triathlon’s president, Barry Siff, responded to LifeTime’s decision with this letter to USAT members:

Dear USA Triathlon Key Stakeholder:

Greetings, I hope this finds you well and your season has so far proven to be both rewarding and enjoyable!

I am writing to address last week’s announcement by Life Time Tri that it will no longer sanction its eight races with USA Triathlon. This announcement resulted in the circulation of misinformation, as well as several questions being posed to us. None of these items are new, and we have addressed them many times over the years.

However, as we continually strive to communicate openly and proactively with our community, I wanted to once again clarify some specific points:

The benefits of sanctioning with USA Triathlon are many.

  • Experience – USA Triathlon has sanctioned more than 40,000 races over the last 35 years, delivering athlete peace-of-mind by ensuring, among other things, industry-wide safety standards and high-quality event criteria.
  • Event Services – USA Triathlon offers an experienced and expert team to support race directors and event production companies with questions and issues, as well as provide certification, best practices, educational opportunities, and other resources.
  • Risk Management – Sanctioning ensures unmatched insurance protection designed specifically for multisport events – not gym memberships – to cover the event, the athlete, and the venue at the most nominal cost possible. Athletes (and their families) and race directors who have unfortunately needed to utilize this general liability and excess medical coverage, including in the tragic circumstances of catastrophic incidents, can personally attest to its irreplaceable importance. The costs incurred by USA Triathlon and our policy providers to cover claims and defend against unwarranted lawsuits have saved race directors tens of millions of dollars over the years.

Other points of clarification:

  • The cost for a USA Triathlon one-day membership is not a “hidden fee” as alleged by Life Time. Race directors are strongly encouraged to always notify athletes in advance about the requirement for either USA Triathlon annual or one-day membership. 
  • Utilizing USA Triathlon Rules and Certified Officials does not result in “surprises” for athletes. In fact, just the opposite. Implementing penalties mid-race (i.e., penalty tents) actually does the following: 
    • Removes the ability for any due process or realistic appeals by athletes – The process of assessing USA Triathlon penalties does not interfere with the athlete during competition, but instead allows the athlete to address any concerns about the violation after completing the race, and may result in the penalty being rescinded should a mistake be determined. 
    • Threatens on-course safety – For sprint- and Olympic-distance age-group races, having officials on motorized vehicles directing athletes in real time to penalty tents can significantly decrease on-course safety, particularly on the bike leg. Short-course races for at-large age-group athletes differ considerably from long-course races, elite races, or age-group world championship races where penalty tents can all be more effectively integrated.
  • Regardless of claims to the contrary, customized event offerings such as the ability for athletes to choose their own wave/start time or have greater access to transition areas, are already being implemented at other sanctioned races and are not new concepts. There are many examples currently within USA Triathlon’s 4,000-plus sanctioned races where these approaches and other innovations have been successfully offered. Our goal as a sanctioning body is to be flexible and accommodate event-specific requests whenever possible, provided they do not compromise safety or the quality of experience for the athlete. 

For competitive athletes, sanctioned races provide coveted points for USA Triathlon Regional and National Rankings (comprised of more than 37,039 athletes in 2016), including USA Triathlon All-American status. And only sanctioned races provide the opportunity to qualify for USA Triathlon National Championships and the chance to represent your country at ITU Age Group World Championships as a member of Team USA.

As the official National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of triathlon in the United States, we are responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We are dedicated to supporting and growing youth and women’s participation in our sport. Our commitment to paratriathlon is perhaps the strongest and most successful in the world. We help educate first-time triathletes, as well as race directors, coaches and officials. And we have a very strong Safe Sport program, helping protect our members, including the most vulnerable.

The fees for one-day and annual memberships are recirculated back into the sport to accomplish all of this – and more – while fulfilling our mission to advance and promote the sport of triathlon. For example, this year we will award $60,000 in youth grants, directly assist high school programs and state championships in significant ways, and continue to support our NCAA Emerging Sport for Women initiative in order to reach full championship status.

Change for the sake of change is not a compelling strategy. Ultimately, the sport loses as a whole . . . a “strategy” that is not good for anyone.

As always, we welcome feedback, questions and concerns, so please feel free to contact me personally at barry.siff@usatriathlon.org. Our commitment to you and our great sport is unwavering, and we thank YOU for being such an important part of it.

Sincerely,

Barry Siff
USA Triathlon President
ITU Executive Board Member
CAMTRI Executive Board Member

Tri Boulder Race Preview

By Kirsten McCay

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!!

And I hope to see you all out there on the 23rd.

How to not be embarrassed at your first triathlon

BY Will Murray

From USA Triathlon

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.

Women’s Wednesday: Pros v. Amos, Tri-Style – featuring Gwen Jorgensen, Alicia Kaye, aaaaaaaand Katie Macarelli!

Photo: Pro Velo Passion

By Dana Willett

A little back-history of Pro’s vs Amo’s:

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 a chocolate chip cookie bake-off followed by a dodge 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.

Career Highlights:

    • 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.

Photo: Finisher Pix

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.

GJ: Stubborn. Disciplined. Focused. Driven. Foodie.

AK: Even-tempered. Leader. Brave. Disciplined. Joyful.

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
-Do openers
-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 ​(d​ue to life in general plus an incessant desire to self-sabotage):
-Dialed logistics. ​
-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.

Want to know more about Alicia, Gwen and Katie?

Follow their careers:

Alicia Kaye

Gwen Jorgensen

Katie Macarelli – Feedback Sports

Colorado Triathlete honored with Spirit of Multisport Award from USAT

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.

Read about the other five recipients HERE

Race Recap: Loveland Lake to Lake Triathlon

By Kirsten McCay-Smith

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.

See you at the lake in 2018!