Becky Piper: Xterra Nats qualifier, savagely attacked, comatose & paralyzed, and back to Xterra again – at local Lory race

By Sasha Underwood

Several years ago Becky Piper was attacked while living in Guam by would be armed robbers, severely beaten with a gun and left to die. Local naval doctors immediately evacuated her to San Diego for treatment. She is now partially paralyzed. Yesterday she completed Xterra Lory. What happened in between is remarkable and brought tears to my eyes watching her finish knowing all that she went through to even compete.  You can read about her account HERE.

Prior to the attack, Becky was an ultra-marathon runner. A friend of hers had mentioned the Xterra in Guam and essentially challenged her by saying because he was a guy he would be faster than her and would beat her time – which ignited a small fire in her. She trained and completed the 2013 Xterra Guam, finishing 2nd in her age group and qualified for the Xterra National Championships.  Oh, and her friend, did not even start because he didn’t train.

Shortly after that she was attacked.  When she finally emerged from her coma weeks later and barely started talking, she asked the doctors if she could resume racing. They explained that her paralysis may be permanent – to which she replied, “Ok, well that’s why there’s a Para Athlete division!” After spending some time with her I can only imagine her saying that in a matter-of-fact, upbeat, genuine way with that huge Becky smile of hers!

She is now paralyzed on her right side and uses a brace to walk. Within the past three years, she has become a USAT Coach with Team MPI, and she completed two sprint triathlons last year. Check out her accomplishments on her Facebook page!

When we met last year, I asked if she would be doing Xterra’s again. She explained that she would like to but wasn’t sure of which one would be suitable for her. I immediately thought of Xterra Lory – it’s such a great course for beginners and experts alike. A flowy bike course with a great climb of a run.

She signed up for Xterra Lory at the beginning of this year. I mentioned how I love that race but I can’t run anymore since my hip surgery in November, to which she replied, “then walk! I’m doing it!” Of course I signed up after that. Originally I was going to race the swim and bike portion and have my mom do the run.

Becky was nervous about the bike portion. She pre-rode the course a couple times and a few days before the race I asked her if she would feel more confident if I rode behind her on the bike course. She loved that idea so I planned to stay with her the entire race.

The Swim:

We put on our wetsuits to go do a quick practice swim. It was the first open water swim of the year for both of us – nothing like waiting until race day! Anna, Becky’s transition handler, and Sam, Becky’s husband, helped Becky into her wetsuit. The best part was watching them lift Becky up by either side and try to shake her into her wetsuit! I REALLY wish I had taken a picture of that!

The entrance to the lake was slick and muddy and several athletes slipped while entering. It was a good time to discuss a strategy for Anna to help Becky out of the water when she finished. The water was chilly and both Becky and I had a little cold water shock panic when we put our face in the water.  We were in wave seven so we had plenty of time to practice. By the second wave we were comfortable and I tried to stay slightly to her right and in front of her so she could follow me.

We finished faster than her projected time in under 30minutes!

The Bike:

Sam modified Becky’s bike so all of the shifters and brakes are on the left side. In addition, her bike is a full suspension, more of a down-hill, slack geometry and has a 27.5 wheel on the front with a 26 wheel on the back. Becky can’t stand up to get over obstacles or downhill sections so the wheels and geometry of the bike help put her in a better position to ride that type of terrain.

I had so much fun riding with her! Becky had named many sections of the bike course from pre-riding it. The first section she named ‘Bridges Galore’ (but later renamed it to ‘Why Will Becky’s Foot Not Stay On the Pedal’). Next came ‘Where Becky Endo’d’. Then ‘Holy Crap! Look At All the Uphill!’ And last but not least, ‘The Part I Only Saw Once Because the Other Time I got a Flat Tire.’

This girl would fall over, get back up, and do it again. Over, and over, and over again. I was so impressed with her tenacity and perseverance – all the while with a ginormous smile on her face. At one point she fell over, threw her arm up and with a grin from ear to ear said, “ta-dah!” I’m so glad I was there to help out when I could and put her foot back into her unruly pedal. By the end of the bike we pretty much had that down to a science.

Her family and friends were waiting for her at the bike finish cheering with excitement. Anna and Sam helped her transition, changing her biking brace to her running brace made with carbon fiber which is more comfortable and allows better mobility for hiking.

The Run:

I originally was going to do the run with Becky but I forgot my running shoes. Fortunately my mom, who was already planning to run, ran with her instead.  Becky described her run as an attempt to get over rocks. She fell a few times, ended up with a mysterious scrape down her entire length of her arm, and has a bruised and skinned knee… but she did it. She explained that my mom gasped the first time she fell but by the 5th time she was unphased. That’s just what happens. You fall, and then you just get back up.

Becky’s friends and family ran with her through the last 200 yards leading up to the finisher’s chute. I personally could not hold back the tears of joy, knowing what I know about Becky, knowing how meaningful it is to train and overcome obstacles and push through no matter the odds or what life throws at you… knowing what it feels like to cross the finish line of my first 5k, 10k, Marathon and Ironman… the feeling is the same and I couldn’t help the tears from flowing. Looking around there was not a dry eye among us.

Becky is incredibly motivating, inspiring and her up-beat, nothing-can-get-me-down attitude is infectious. I am honored to have raced with her and call her my friend. I look forward to watching her race the Boulder Half Ironman in August!

 

 

 

 

Weekend Preview: IRONMAN Boulder Weekend

Triathlon Events

Thursday June 8th

 

Stroke n Stride

Boulder Reservoir


Meet Kyle & Brent Pease and Get Inspired

Golden


Storytime with Mike Riley

Boulder


Friday June 9th

 

IM Boulder Opening Ceremonies

City Park Bandshell, Boulder


Saturday June 10th

 

United Health Care IRONKIDS Fun Run

Boulder High School, Boulder


Alison Dunlap Beginner MTB Skills Clinic

Colorado Springs


Sunday June 11th

 

IRONMAN Boulder

Boulder


IRONMAN Boulder Watch Party

Boulder Reservoir


XTERRA Lory Pre-ride

Lory St. Park, Ft. Collins


Alison Dunlap Beginner MTB Skills Clinic

Colorado Springs


USAT Athena & Clydesdale National Championships

Grand Rapids, Michigan



Cycling Events

Thursday June 8th

 

BVV Track Night

Erie


Haute Route Recon

Boulder


Friday June 9th

 

MTN Enduro

Vail


Saturday June 10th

 

Death Ride Tour VIII

Silverton

 

The DEATH RIDE Tour VIII Ride to Defeat ALS is a fundraising event to support the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the ALS Association along with the Blazeman Foundation, WAR on ALS.  The DEATH RIDE Tour covers 235 miles over three days with about 16,500 feet of elevation gain.This is very challenging bike tour and designed only for cyclist who have trained.  Every year, 5,000 individuals in the United States are diagnosed with ALS. Through cycling tours and your generous donations, our non-profit organization raises funds to help combat this serious illness.

 

Face book page here


Alison Dunlap Beginner MTB Skills Clinic

Colorado Springs


Ride the Rockies

June 10-17


WP Epic Single Track Granby Ranch XC

Winter Park


Salida Big Friggin’ Loop

Salida


Best on Hess

Castle Pines


Take a Kid MTN Biking Day

Boulder


Sunday June 11th

 

Death Ride Tour VIII

Silverton

The DEATH RIDE Tour VIII Ride to Defeat ALS is a fundraising event to support the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the ALS Association along with the Blazeman Foundation, WAR on ALS.  The DEATH RIDE Tour covers 235 miles over three days with about 16,500 feet of elevation gain.This is very challenging bike tour and designed only for cyclist who have trained.  Every year, 5,000 individuals in the United States are diagnosed with ALS. Through cycling tours and your generous donations, our non-profit organization raises funds to help combat this serious illness.

Face book page here


Death Ride Challenge

Durango


Avista Women’s Weekly Ride

Louisville


Alison Dunlap Beginner MTB Skills Clinic

Colorado Springs


Ride the Rockies

June 10-17


Ridge on 38 Criterium and Beerfest

Wheat Ridge


USAC Talent ID Road Camp

Golden


BRAC Level 2 Junior Camp

Golden


Art by Bike Tour of Loveland

Loveland


Ibis Demo at Full Cycle

Boulder

Without Limits 2017 Colorado Tri Race Recap

By Kirsten Smith

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Colorado morning than on June 3rd for the running of the Without Limits/5430 Sports Colorado Triathlon.

This year’s sold out event of 800 participants featured a sprint distance triathlon, an Olympic distance triathlon, an Olympic distance aqua bike, and relays in both distances. This year the race also added a “first timers” wave capped at 50 athletes for a low-key, safe, and positive first swim experience, and on-site child care for kids ages 5-12 in the form of a mini-camp with activities, games, and snacks.

We couldn’t have asked for better conditions for the race this year. The water temp was 67 degrees (up almost 7 degrees from the previous weekend), the air temp was low 60s in the morning and low 70s in the afternoon, partly cloudy, and only a slight breeze to keep you cool when the sun popped out from behind the clouds.

This year I did the sprint race. The swim waves were small and spread out by 3 minutes so the swim was never too congested, great for both the competitive and non-swimmer. The bike course is a little longer than your average sprint (17 miles rather than 12) but the course was well marked, smooth, swept, never too congested, with plenty of volunteers and spectators to keep you motivated along the way. The run was an out and back on packed dirt around the reservoir with an aid station full of helpful and encouraging volunteers to make sure you had everything you needed.

The finish line at a Without Limits race ends with a slip-n-slide. YES! You read that correctly! A slip-n-slide! I have yet to master the art of sliding all the way to the pool at the end, but it’s a fun (and refreshing) way to end your race! And the resident race announcer, Ainslie, is another perk with this race. He is great at making me feel like I am important and a superstar when I finish my race.

I want to make sure to mention how easy and stress-free Without Limits makes their events. Every single staff member and volunteer I came across was friendly, helpful, and seemed genuinely happy to be a part of the race. Packet pick up was a breeze as there are several options for pick up a couple days leading up to the race so the lines race morning are short. The race T-shirts we got this year were AMAZING! Probably my all-time favorite race shirt as they are super soft cotton, long sleeved hoodies, and blue! Like a super worn shade of blue, which I personally LOVE!

Every finisher got a medal (which doesn’t always happen at smaller, shorter distance races) and the age group and overall awards were also fabulous. The top 3 finishers in all categories (including relays, aqua bike, Athena, and Clydesdale) got a glass vase (or carafe, however you look at it). Without Limits always has functional and unique awards!!

I spent an hour before the race and three hours after the race walking around, taking pics, and chatting with hundreds of athletes from the first-timer to the elite. Unanimously, everyone I spoke with would agree that this is one of the best local races of the season and this year the weather, water temp, and post-race activities made it a positive, memorable experience by all!

Summer OPEN Weather Alert

SUMMER OPEN WEATHER ALERT (5/19 at 2:50am):

 


We hope you’re enjoying a warm morning coffee while looking out the window and going “really Colorado?!?!” We have some good news and some bad news to share. As you know our staff loves to embrace the “extreme” more than anyone I know, but there’s also a fine line between “safe extreme” and “reckless extreme”. It’s a line we flirt with often while trying to err on the side of giving you the safest possible race experience that leaves you smiling. On Tuesday morning we were on pace for record warm Summer OPEN temperatures with one reading of 64 degrees (this didn’t event come from Lance’s magic thermometer), Thursday morning (peak storm) the temperature plummeted to 54 degrees, then late last night at 11pm we took another reading. This one shocked even us coming in at 45 degrees, yes 45 degrees! We tried the magic thermometer that likes to round up and still 45 degrees! Even with sunshine, wearing two wetsuits, and some extra holiday weight a 45 degree water temperature far exceeds that line of “reckless extreme” On that note we’re unfortunately cancelling the swim portion of tomorrow’s triathlon. So what happens now and is this that bad news you alluded to earlier?

The swim will be changed to a 1.5 mile run: We will kick things off with a 1.5 mile run in exchange for the 1/2 mile swim. When transition closes we’ll proceed to CR 26 and line you up outside the main blue gate to head eastbound. Run waves will take off every 3 min. On the return of your run you’ll enter back in the main venue area as if you’re heading into the finish line – continue through the finish line right into transition as the same end where the “swim in” is normally located to start the bike. The bike portion and 5k run remain unchanged.

The bad news: There’s no bad news. The sun will be out tomorrow and we still get to kick off the endurance season with 400 of our closest friends who love the multisport lifestyle. It’s an adventure racing in these changing conditions and still a race tomorrow we know you’ll embrace with a smile and determined effort.

Follow-up questions: If you have more questions please keep checking social media as our team will have limited access to e-mail while setting up for the duathlon. Please be sure to help us spread the news so everyone is alerted to the situation and thank you all for your patience.

The Without Limits Crew

Weekend Preview: Summer OPEN and Colorado Bike Expo a GO!

Triathlon Events

Friday May 19th

Primal Colorado Bike Expo

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver

Rain, Shine or Snow.  This event will happen.

The Primal Colorado Bike Expo is the annual kickoff event for cycling in the state of Colorado! In its third year the expo will bring together all things cycling and Colorado; pairing industry professionals, recreational riders, biking enthusiasts and utilitarian’s with the latest products, consumer trends, screaming deals, organized rides, clubs & teams, advocacy groups and cycling destinations.

The two day festival and consumer show will also include BMX flatland and aerial stunts, a kid zone, adult big wheel races, learn to ride clinics, strider course, sprint competitions, demo area, antique bicycle display, a fashion show, incredible programming, live entertainment, beer garden, food trucks and more!

A portion of the event proceeds will go to support the Colorado High School Cycling League, Trips for Kids Denver Metro and Wish for Wheels.


Saturday May 20th

 

Primal Colorado Bike Expo

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver

Rain, Shine or Snow.  This event will happen.

The Primal Colorado Bike Expo is the annual kickoff event for cycling in the state of Colorado! In its third year the expo will bring together all things cycling and Colorado; pairing industry professionals, recreational riders, biking enthusiasts and utilitarian’s with the latest products, consumer trends, screaming deals, organized rides, clubs & teams, advocacy groups and cycling destinations.

The two day festival and consumer show will also include BMX flatland and aerial stunts, a kid zone, adult big wheel races, learn to ride clinics, strider course, sprint competitions, demo area, antique bicycle display, a fashion show, incredible programming, live entertainment, beer garden, food trucks and more!

A portion of the event proceeds will go to support the Colorado High School Cycling League, Trips for Kids Denver Metro and Wish for Wheels.


Summer OPEN Sprint Tri

Union Reservoir, Longmont


Team Colorado Weekly Ride

Boulder


Ft. Collins Children’s Tri

Ft. Collins


Ft. Collins Spring Triathlon & Duathlon

Ft. Collins


Sunday May 21st

 

Tri the Rock

Castle Rock


Vixxen Racing: Find Your Feisty Run & Recovery

Boulder


The Original Meowler – Cancelled

Gunnison



 

Cycling Events

Friday May 19th

 

Primal Colorado Bike Expo

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver

Rain, Shine or Snow.  This event will happen.

The Primal Colorado Bike Expo is the annual kickoff event for cycling in the state of Colorado! In its third year the expo will bring together all things cycling and Colorado; pairing industry professionals, recreational riders, biking enthusiasts and utilitarian’s with the latest products, consumer trends, screaming deals, organized rides, clubs & teams, advocacy groups and cycling destinations.

The two day festival and consumer show will also include BMX flatland and aerial stunts, a kid zone, adult big wheel races, learn to ride clinics, strider course, sprint competitions, demo area, antique bicycle display, a fashion show, incredible programming, live entertainment, beer garden, food trucks and more!

A portion of the event proceeds will go to support the Colorado High School Cycling League, Trips for Kids Denver Metro and Wish for Wheels.


Friday Night Lights

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver


Rapha Ride

Boulder


Grand Junction Off Road

Grand Junction


Kokopelli Trail Mtb Trip

Loma t0 Moab


Saturday May 20th

 

Primal Colorado Bike Expo

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver

Rain, Shine or Snow.  This event will happen.

The Primal Colorado Bike Expo is the annual kickoff event for cycling in the state of Colorado! In its third year the expo will bring together all things cycling and Colorado; pairing industry professionals, recreational riders, biking enthusiasts and utilitarian’s with the latest products, consumer trends, screaming deals, organized rides, clubs & teams, advocacy groups and cycling destinations.

The two day festival and consumer show will also include BMX flatland and aerial stunts, a kid zone, adult big wheel races, learn to ride clinics, strider course, sprint competitions, demo area, antique bicycle display, a fashion show, incredible programming, live entertainment, beer garden, food trucks and more!

A portion of the event proceeds will go to support the Colorado High School Cycling League, Trips for Kids Denver Metro and Wish for Wheels.


Robidoux Quick & Dirty

Scotts Bluff, NE

The 2nd Annual Robidoux Quick and Dirty will be held on Saturday May 20, 2017.  This is a 75 mile gravel race held in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska, and is run through the heart of the Wildcat Hills.  You can race it and gather a cash prize, or you can take your time and make it an adventure ride.  Either way, the route takes you through piney woods and high plains grasslands nestled in a bluff system left behind by a retreating sea 70 million years ago.  Look for fossils and cows; this is open range country.  You won’t be the first to test your mettle through these parts.  You’ll be riding on the Oregon Trail for much of the route, retracing the very steps of the Western immigrants.  The race is named after Antione Robidoux, who built a trading post during the 1840s, selling tack and grog to immigrants as they crossed over Robidoux Pass on the way to their demise or Oregon, which ever came first.  In later years, immigrants struggled over the more direct Mitchell Pass.  You’ll be riding over both.

The route is run primarily on excellent, fast gravel roads.  Route finding will be straightforward to allow riders to focus on putting power to the pedals.  It’s a hilly course though, with over 4,000 feet of climbing in 75 miles.  The course is 88% gravel and 12% asphalt, with the final 5 miles climbing up over Mitchell Pass and through the Scotts Bluff National Monument.


M&M: An Urban Bike Event

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver


Ride.Rock.Rally Hill Climb

Boulder


Superior TT & TTT

Superior


Pony Xpress Gravel 160

Trinidad


VIDA Mtb Clinic

Boulder


Dirty Double Fondo 200km

Salida


Gravalanche Series Finale

Boulder


Ride of Silence

Woodland Park


Kokopelli Trail Mtb Trip

Loma t0 Moab


Rapha Ride

Boulder


Grand Junction Off Road

Grand Junction


Sunday May 21st

 

McKee Classic Bike Tour

Loveland


Morgul Bismark Road Race

Superior


Santa Fe Century

Santa Fe, NM


Kokopelli Trail Mtb Trip

Loma t0 Moab


Rapha Ride

Boulder


Grand Junction Off Road

Grand Junction

Boulder Peak: Don’t Miss Out

The Boulder Peak Triathlon has been an iconic Colorado triathlon for decades.  Several months ago, Lance Panigutti of Without Limits Productions acquired the race and is thrilled to have it as part of his race line up for 2017.  This year athletes have the opportunity to race The Peak as a stand alone race or sign up for the 5430 Series which includes the Colorado Tri on June 3rd, Boulder Peak on July 9th and 5430 Triathlon on Sept 17th.  Details and registration for all of these races can be found here.

Barry and Jodee Siff, original organizers of the Boulder Peak, will be partnering with Lance for this years race and recently released this statement:

Dear Friend of Triathlon,

 

Jodee and I were thrilled when Lance Panigutti called us and asked if we would partner with him on the Boulder Peak Triathlon and the 5430 Triathlon Series.

 

The Boulder Peak was consistently sold out with over 1,600 athletes each year, plus one of the top pro fields anywhere!  It was the race to be at!  One year, Inside Triathlon Magazine ranked it as the 3rd Best Triathlon in America!  We want to bring that back to Boulder!  But, we need your help.

 

Please consider joining your friends and fellow triathletes on July 9th at the Boulder Rez, and let’s make it a party … just like those good old days!  Swim in the Rez, ride up Olde Stage, and run on the dams to a loud and festive finish line. We are even bringing back one of the best pro fields in the sport by having a $20,000 pro prize purse. The pros will go off first thing in the morning, and be at your finish line when you arrive … adding to the party atmosphere.


Besides the return of the classic race – complete with Olde Stage and, hopefully, the Devil chasing you up it – you’ll enjoy:

  • Beer from Ska Brewing
  • Post-race food from Noodles & Co.
  • Awesome, enthusiastic aid stations
  • Top-notch Zorrel long-sleeve t-shirts
  • Boulder Peak pint glass
  • Jodee’s hand-crafted awards for the top 3 overall age group and pro finishers
  • Sunglasses, Timex watches and swim goggles for age group podium winners
  • Barry will return to help announce and do the Awards Ceremony
  • Great raffle prizes

… and maybe a few other surprises!

 

Yes, that’s just a “taste” of what it means to have 5430 Sports back in town, together with the awesome Lance Panigutti Without Limits Team.

So, please register here.  And, hey, spread the word!

Thanks so much.  See you in July!  Jodee and Barry.

Rueter-Hess Reservoir hosting swim race in July

By Joe Rubino, The Denver Post

For years, slow-filling Rueter-Hess Reservoir has tantalized endurance athletes living in the metro area. With a maximum capacity of 75,000 acre-feet of water east of Interstate 25 in Douglas County, the possibilities for swimming or triathlons there were enough to drive the average Ironman crazy in the otherwise dry portion of the Front Range.

“For probably the past five years I have been fielding calls from area residents suggesting we host a triathlon there,” professional race organizer Lance Panigutti said. “I think everyone in the community was really just looking at it saying, ‘OK, what’s it going to look like?’ It’s huge.”

In July, Panigutti and 150 athletes will finally get the up-close look they’ve been waiting for when his Without Limits Productions hosts the Parker Open Water Swim. The event, set for 7 a.m. July 29, will be the first time a sanctioned swim race is allowed at Rueter-Hess. Paniguitti organized a successful cyclocross race on a piece of property just north of the reservoir this fall, establishing a relationship with Rueter-Hess owner, the Parker Water and Sanitation District.

“It’s definitely been a long time coming,” Panigutti said. “It’s going to be a simple swim event. We’re marketing it as breaking the ribbon so to speak of being the first people to swim there legally.”

There will be two race options: a 1.2-mile loop and a 2.4-mile loop. Panigutti said he expects everyone to be done and out of the water by 9:30 a.m. and anticipates very little impact to the rest of the reservoir property.

Tickets went on sale to the general public Wednesday, March 15. Some slots are reserved for members of the Altitude Multisport Club. The collective of amateur endurance athletes from the south metro area has been aching for nearby events since an Arapahoe County road use rule change caused the cancellation of several triathlons at Aurora Reservoir last year. . .

Read the full story

 

303Triathlon Rueter-Hess Reservoir OWS story here

303 Calendar event details here

Stroke & Stride Series

Boulder Reservoir

 

The Boulder Stroke & Stride enters its 16th season in 2017, and offers Boulder area athletes a fun 1-lap 750 Meter Swim, or 2-Lap 1500 Meter swim in Boulder Reservoir, followed by a 5k run on the reservoir dam on 9 Thursday evenings throughout the summer. Many participants make their open-water swimming debut in the beginner-friendly Stroke & Stride 750 meter event, while more seasoned athletes get the thrill of starting alongside some of the top athletes in the world in the 1,500 meter swim. 250-400 participants enjoy the Stroke & Stride every week!  Live timing, great post race food, Boco Gear visors and pint glasses for 6-pack entries, and series prizes are just the beginning!

 

Event details and registration here

Stroke & Stride Series

Boulder Reservoir

 

The Boulder Stroke & Stride enters its 16th season in 2017, and offers Boulder area athletes a fun 1-lap 750 Meter Swim, or 2-Lap 1500 Meter swim in Boulder Reservoir, followed by a 5k run on the reservoir dam on 9 Thursday evenings throughout the summer. Many participants make their open-water swimming debut in the beginner-friendly Stroke & Stride 750 meter event, while more seasoned athletes get the thrill of starting alongside some of the top athletes in the world in the 1,500 meter swim. 250-400 participants enjoy the Stroke & Stride every week!  Live timing, great post race food, Boco Gear visors and pint glasses for 6-pack entries, and series prizes are just the beginning!

 

Event details and registration here