A Lot More Than Meets the Eye at Tri in Alamosa–Cool Tie to Amelia Earhart and Farm That Built Pool

By Bill Plock

All races have a history, but the Splashland Triathlon in Alamosa, Colorado wouldn’t even be around if not for a few interventions of fate. It also has a connection to aviation legend, Amelia Mary Earhart—not to be confused with 9news personality, also a pilot, Amelia Rose Earhart. 

Lloyd “Butch” Jones Jr.–his dad greeted Amelia

In 1932 Amelia landed in the meadow next to the bike course that eventually passes through the Jones farm. Lloyd Jones greeted Amelia when she landed unannounced and helped her with accommodations and “guarded” her plane while she re-supplied in Alamosa. Somewhere presumably at the bottom of the Pacific ocean, Amelia’s plane rests with Leroy’s name and “Alamosa Colorado” autographed on it. But the farm hardly acts as just a backdrop for the race. 

The pool hosting the swim is filled by natural hot springs from a well on the farm.  This farm has been in the same family for over a 100 years. It’s now divided among the grandchildren of the original owners. Decades ago, they were drilling for oil and at about 2,500 feet down, instead of oil, they hit hot water. Long story sort of short, they made a pool.

Fast forward a few decades and a few refurbishments later to about 10 years ago when the race director Mike Bush couldn’t walk. He was confined to a wheelchair by a mysterious virus that crippled him. Mike grew up in Grand Junction and coincidently was offered a running scholarship at Adams State University (located in Alamosa) but decided to go to college in Greeley at the University of Northern Colorado. His wife is from Alamosa however, and they ended up moving there. Mike frequented the pool he now manages when he was unable to walk and found the warm water quite soothing from his ailment. 

Mike Bush in Yellow

Over time he regained his mobility and through a series of coincidences became manager of the hot springs pool. He wanted to improve access for people with disabilities. When he lived in Greeley he became fond of triathlons. So he decided to start one in Alamosa to raise money for equipment to make the pool more accessible. 

50 yard Hot Springs Pool

The Splashland Triathlon is part of the Southwestern Colorado Triathlon Series with races in Gunnison, Montrose and Los Alamos (NM). Because of COVID only the one in Alamosa happened this year. 

The Jones Farm and bike course

This race is unique in many ways with its high elevation of 7,500 feet, adjacency to the Sand Dunes, having the bike and run cut through a historic farm and its finish with a 400 yard swim in a warm pool.  With the race always in mid-october it’s often pretty chilly at the 9am start, so Mike decided to end the race with a swim in the 86 degree water. 

The finish line

Alamosa, in the heart of the San Luis Valley, is a great place to start many adventures with the Sangre Di Cristo Mountains to the East, the San Juan Mountains to the West, the Collegiate range to the North or as a getaway to the “Land of Enchantment,” a.k.a New Mexico, just to the South. 

Normally 303Triathlon is in Kona during mid-October, so we had to visit the Sand Dunes to get some barefoot in the sand feeling! 

Angela Naeth, Tim Don in at Daytona, Will Sam Long Get a Golden Ticket? Still 8 more Slots Open

By Bill Plock

Will Boulder’s Sam Long find the Golden ticket to race in Daytona? The “top” 80 triathletes were invited weeks ago and now 12 others have been invited via the Wildcard selection. Eight slots remain and will be awarded in the next week. It feels like the PTO is taking a page from Willy Wonka handing out Wildcards like a golden ticket making their way around the world. Who will be Charlie and get the last golden ticket to race the most lucrative triathlon on the planet? There is a million bucks on the line and no doubt the pro’s want a shot at the prize, especially in 2020. 

The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) is certainly doing its best to make the triathlon season competitive, fun and lucrative with the PTO 2020 Championship at CHALLENGEDAYTONA®  

Today Angela Naeth received a golden ticket. We just interviewed Angela on the 303 Endurance Podcast being released tomorrow so check that out! She has had a very interesting career with some great accomplishments and has overcome a huge challenge with Lyme’s disease. Angela grew up in a small town in a very remote part of British Columbia so learning of her journey is fun and interesting.

It seems the PTO is stirring up the pro triathlon circuit and maybe some fun rivalries will come out of this recipe for wanting to make pro triathlon a better followed sport. The vision is to make the profession more lucrative and more on par with other sports. Having an event like Challenge Daytona will definitely create some buzz. 

What’s interesting about Challenge Daytona is all types of triathletes are vying for the prizes; short course, ITU and long course champions will all be on the start line. No doubt winning Kona at the IRONMAN World Championships will not be replaced as coveted award, but with an event like Daytona, the monetary stakes are higher and it’s very hard to predict who will win. In Kona its a pretty small field of probable winners. But in Daytona it’s hard to know who the favorites are. 

Today we are interviewing Norwegian Olympian Kristian Blummenfelt who holds the world record time for a IRONMAN 70.3 distance. Daytona will be the same distance, so he must be a favorite. But then factor in someone like Tim O’Donnell the fastest American in Kona last year. The list of other athletes with amazing accomplishments is staggering. So many could win. 

And back to Sam Long, if he gets in; he has had an amazing year winning IRONMAN Cozumel 70.3 and the Bear Lake Triathlon earlier this summer with a solid list of pro’s. Check out this video from the Bear Lake Triathlon,

Let’s hope Sam gets the golden ticket—keep buying those chocolate bars Sam!!

Here is some commentary from the PTO and Executive Chairman Charles Adamo about the selection of the first 12 wildcards over the past couple of weeks.

The Professional Triathletes Organisation first selected Vincent Luis, Nicola Spirig, Kristian Blummenfelt and Georgia Taylor-Brown as wildcards for the PTO 2020 Championship at CHALLENGEDAYTONA®

Charles Adamo, Executive Chairman of PTO, commented, “It certainly was not a difficult decision for the non-athlete members of the PTO Board to select these four world-class athletes to join the already star-studded starting line at the PTO 2020 Championship.  With Luis and Taylor-Brown being the reigning World Triathlon Champions, Blummenfelt holding the middle-distance world record, and the pure greatness of Spirig, there is little doubt they will challenge for the title. It will be an exciting prospect for triathlon fans around the world to see these athletes doing battle against the sport’s middle- and long-distance stars.”

The Professional Triathletes Organisation then announced that Tim Don, Flora Duffy, Gustav Iden and Jessica Learmonth have been selected as wildcards for the PTO 2020 Championship at CHALLENGEDAYTONA®.

Charles Adamo, Executive Chairman of PTO, commented, “The second round of wildcard selections were as easy to make as the first. With these four tremendous world-class athletes added to the mix, the PTO 2020 Championship will have an unprecedented field.”

Adamo added, “No one better than Tim Don exemplifies the resilience and integrity of our sport. His comeback from a horrific bike accident is an inspiration to us all. The first championship event run by PTO professionals would not be the same without this seasoned statesman on the start line. While Don brings the experience and breadth of a 20+ year career, Learmonth and Iden, with their recent stellar performances, bring the speed and power of youth, and what can’t you say about the versatile, multi-world champion Flora Duffy? There isn’t any format, distance or style of swim, bike and run she doesn’t excel at. We all look forward to seeing her whiz around the iconic race venue.”

Tim Don, commented, “I am grateful to have been awarded a wildcard spot. After over twenty-five years in the sport, it is great that professionals have their own organisation and now, a championship.  It is an honour for me to be competing alongside my fellow professionals in the PTO 2020 Championship, and while the competition will be tough, the camaraderie will be even greater as professionals unite to make our sport better.”

Charles Adamo, Executive Chairman of PTO, commented “Our third round of wildcard selections is filled with Olympic medallists and a gritty Canadian. With Britain’s Jonny Brownlee and South Africa’s Henri Schoeman joining Jonny’s brother, Alistair, and Javier Gomez on the start line, the star-studded field will have every men’s Olympic medal winner from both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Sweden’s Lisa Norden, silver medal winner in the 2012 London Olympics, will join previously announced wildcard selection Nicola Spirig, who denied Norden gold by 9/1000th of a second. Canadian Angela Naeth just missed out on an automatic qualifying spot, but her stellar career and her remarkable comeback after being diagnosed with Lyme disease has earned her a wildcard place.”

PTO 2020 Championships in Daytona, Million Dollar Purse; Will Recent IM Cozumel Champ Sam Long Be Chosen?

In Daytona on December 5th and 6th there is a triathlon festival–the Challenge Daytona Triathlon. There are two days of racing finishing with the PTO Pro Championship. One million dollars will be awarded to top male and female finishers. Pros are invited based on qualifying points and below is a list of the top 40 male and female pros who have qualified. In addition, 10 men and 10 women will be awarded “wildcard” spots. If you are curious how that will work, here is a link to the process: https://protriathletes.org/pto-2020-championships-wildcard-selection-criteria/

The Wildcards will be chosen next week. It will be interesting to see if recent 70.3 IRONMAN Cozumel winner and Boulder native Sam Long gets an invite. On Sams YouTube page in his Cozumel race review he alludes to hopefully being invited to Daytona. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7LaidPWcAs

Charles Adamo, Executive Chairman of the PTO, commented,“These will be very sought-after openings and the non-athlete members of the PTO Board will have some very difficult decisions to make, particularly as the ITU season is ended and many of the Olympic distance superstars, like Nicola Spirig and Kristian Blummenfelt, are relishing this unique opportunity to have a crack at the PTO 2020 Championship. In addition, the wildcard selection process will allow the PTO to invite some of the young and up-and-coming athletes, giving them a chance to cut their teeth in a championship field. With the top 40 PTO World ranked professionals and the wildcard selections, the field for the PTO 2020 Championship at CHALLENGEDAYTONA® will be one of the strongest fields ever assembled for our sport. It will be exciting to see the best athletes doing battle for the spoils.”

This race is lining up to be a very iconic event with the swim and shorter distance races held inside the track and a spectacular middle distance ride that hugs the coast for a bit. Imagine doing the 5k run of sprint or most of the bike on a race track?? Here is a link if you want to learn more or register. https://challenge-daytona.com

In the pro field there are notable Colorado ties: Tim O’Donnell, Miranda Carfrae, Lesly Smith, Ben Hoffman, Andy Potts, Rudy Von Berg, Sam Appleton, and many others seen training and racing in Colorado over the years.

This video shows the courses:

Watch this to see what Olympian Rowdy Gaines thinks of swimming INSIDE of the Speedway…

The Pro Men in order of rank

Frodeno, JanGER1
Brownlee, AlistairGBR2
Kienle, SebastianGER3
Sanders, LionelCAN4
Skipper, JoeGBR5
Hoffman, BenUSA6
Von Berg, RodolpheUSA7
Wurf, CameronAUS8
Currie, BradenNZL9
Gomez, JavierESP10
O’Donnell, TimothyUSA11
Heemeryck, PieterBEL12
Dreitz, AndreasGER13
Weiss, MichaelAUT14
Aernouts, BartBEL15
Dapena Gonzalez, PabloESP16
Hanson, MattUSA17
Appleton, SamAUS18
Beals, CodyCAN19
Clavel, MauriceGER20
Angert, FlorianGER21
Baekkegard, DanielDEN22
Reed, TimAUS23
Nilsson, PatrikSWE24
Amberger, JoshAUS25
Starykowicz, AndrewUSA26
Trautman, MattZAF27
Koutny, PhilippSUI28
Phillips, MikeNZL29
Russell, MatthewUSA30
Amorelli, IgorBRA31
Boecherer, AndiGER32
McNamee, DavidGBR33
Kanute, BenUSA34
Funk, FredericGER35
Potts, AndyUSA36
Van Berkel, TimAUS37
Weiss, BradleyZAF38
Llanos, EnekoESP39
Goodwin, GeorgeGBR40
Van Lierde, FrederikBEL41
Burton, MattAUS43

The Pro Women in order of rank

Ryf, DanielaSUI1
Charles-Barclay, LucyGBR2
Crowley, SarahAUS3
Haug, AnneGER4
Adam, TeresaNZL5
Lawrence, HollyGBR6
Lester, CarrieAUS7
Jackson, HeatherUSA8
Philipp, LauraGER9
Moench, SkyeUSA10
Sodaro, ChelseaUSA11
Piampiano, SarahUSA12
Bleymehl, DanielaGER13
Kahlefeldt, RadkaCZE14
Findlay, PaulaCAN15
Simmonds, ImogenSUI16
Salthouse, EllieAUS17
McCauley, JocelynUSA18
Watkinson, AmeliaNZL19
Hering, JackieUSA20
Seymour, JeanniZAF21
Carfrae, MirindaAUS22
Steffen, CarolineSUI23
Svensk, SaraSWE24
Frades Larralde, GurutzeESP26
Pallant, EmmaGBR27
Corachan Vacquero, JudithESP28
Kessler, MeredithUSA29
Jerzyk, AgnieszkaPOL30
Smith, LesleyUSA31
Wells, HannahNZL32
Lehrieder, CarolinGER33
Morrison, KimberleyGBR34
Stage Nielsen, MajaDEN35
Tondeur, AlexandraBEL36
Genet, ManonFRA37
Visser, ElsNED38
Annett, JenCAN39
Vesterby, MichelleDEN40
Siddall, LauraGBR43
Watkinson, AnnahZAF44

Boulder Based BASE Looking for Athletes to Join Team

What happens in 2021 in regards to racing opportunities is probably a guess at best. This past season saw a few smaller triathlons happen in Colorado; and that may be the future of racing in the short term. But as athletes look ahead to 2021, participating in an active, fun, motivating triathlon club might be more important than ever. With group workouts, club challenges and social gatherings typically small enough meet local health mandates, important socializing and group motivation make being part of a club more advantageous than ever.

Screen from the BASE’s Team’s Facebook page–all kinds of fun!

In Boulder, Matt Miller of BASE Performance has been building a national team over the years with more than a thousand members across the country with hundreds located in Colorado. A large number live in the Boulder/Longmont area and gather at the company headquarters in Gunbarrel for group rides, both inside and out, runs, parties and informative gatherings. There is an extensive indoor cycling studio where groups meet for training rides.  

In 2021 BASE will have many more opportunities for locals to be involved in group workouts, social gatherings complete with substantial discounts and access to popular brands and products like Quintana Roo, Garmin and Normatec to name a few and of course BASE nutrition. BASE also has an extensive line of clothing that teammates proudly wear (it’s nearly impossible to go to triathlon anywhere and not see quite a few BASE kits.) 

Click here https://www.baseperformance.com/blogs/base-performance/p-strong-join-the-2021-base-team-and-family-p-strong to learn more.

You will see information on their national camp, other teams within the team like their gravel bike team or adaptive team. There is something for everyone. 

Says Matt Miller, “If you want to get to know some other amazing athletes who have the same interest as you, click on the link. Join the team. You will not be disappointed. Come to some of our camps. Attend the holiday party. Or just join the Facebook group for the chatter and fun. You will love it. You can email me directly if you have any questions.  matt@baseperformance.com

Sister Madonna, Para Triathletes, Hola and Chilton Bring the House Down at Last Call Triathlon in Loveland

By Bill Plock

About 30 minutes before the Last Call Triathlon started, a cold wind blew in from the North, tossing tents, paddle boards and casting a little doubt on what kind of day it might become. Instead, the day turned into one of the most inspirational and electric days seen at a sprint triathlon in quite some time. 

Melissa Stockwell

USA Triathlon sent some of their para olympic and olympic hopeful athletes to compete. As an added bonus one of them, Kyle Coon was guided by Olympian Andy Potts and came in 11th overall.  Melissa Stockwell, Kendall Gretsch, Hailey Danisewicz also competed for team USA.

Tim Hola with Rich Soares before the Race

In a close mens race, Tim Hola beat Scott Tonder by 10 seconds with Gabe Fels coming in third just 21 seconds later. For the women Brook Chilton won by 93 seconds over Maricarmen Farias and Megan Doherty was third a little under two minutes back. 

Brook Chilton, Maricarmen Farias, Megan Doherty

But perhaps the story of the day was 79 years separating the youngest athlete from the oldest. Lilah Bohm is 11 years old and Sister Madonna Buder crossed the line at 90 years young. 

That cold wind nearly kept Sister Madonna from finishing and after taking some time to warm up after the chilly swim she finished the race. Sister Madonna has completed 45 IRONMAN’s including 22 trips to Kona for the World Championships. In an interview before the race Sister Madonna shared how doing a triathlon is a way to “be part of God’s gift of the beautiful outdoors.”  

Sister with Race Director JB Tobin

She stuck around signing autographs and her nephew, Mitch Galligan from Denver coming to watch her race for the first time, said, “seeing the community and how people respond to her, she has always been an inspiration in the family, but it really makes it a reality seeing this out here today, it’s pretty cool!”

Much more to come on Sister Madonna and her exclusive interview with 303 prior to the race. 

For all race results please go HERE

Video Interview with Kyle Coon and Andy Potts

The Black Hills, a Triathlon, Bike Ride and Buffalo

By Bill Plock

Is there anything better for triathletes or cyclists than a road trip triathlon or the promise of new roads and trails?

Well in 2020, yes any triathlon or bike adventure is wonderful, but there is something special about loading up the car and busting a move to somewhere new to swim or explore different roads and soak in the air somewhere new. 

About six hours northeast of Denver, the Black Hills rise mysteriously from barren plains and grasslands immediately resembling the mountains here in Colorado–at the least the front range. In my opinion, the very underrated or under-recognized Black Hills remind me of Colorado back in the 70’s. A time when Glenwood Canyon was still a two lane highway, and when you had to go over Loveland pass to get to Summit county. Yes I’m dating myself, but I do miss the open roads and uncrowded trails.

In these times, people from around the country are flocking to the mountains in record numbers both in Colorado and South Dakota. The hills known for buffalo and Presidents are alive and well. I can just hear Julie Andrews walking through the grasslands now singing at the top of her lungs. I can see the buffalo turning their heads in a “what the hell is she doing look” as turkeys scatter for cover and antelope prance away.

 Real Estate is selling fast here as people move from the coasts to work on line and as their kids learn at their side in coffee shops and other places. There are very few masks in South Dakota and people congregate in shops and restaurants like they did before March. Agree or disagree, that’s just the way it is here.

I can remember my very first triathlon 12 years ago. Wow, time has flown. It was in Steamboat and not only was the adventure in doing a triathlon, but also in adding a bit of a road trip. There was a group of us and we even got fun henna tattoos to “psych” up for the trip. We rented a house and made a long weekend of it. 

I was heading to the Black Hills for a family reunion and it just so happened to be the same weekend as the Wildlife Loop triathlon in Custer State Park. I took the 303 Trailer and decided to check it out. The story this past weekend, for me at least, wasn’t the race but the feel of it. 

It started with texting race director Brandon Zelfer and asking him if I could park near transition, but that I was getting in late and wanted to make sure it was cool. He wrote back, “there should be plenty of room, no worries.” Thinking there might be a “village” and gates and cones I just didn’t know what to expect. Clearly he wasn’t too worried about it and for good reason as I would find out.

I rolled in about 10:30—finally. Stockade Lake, is DARK. I found the “beach” area and you would hardly know there was going to be a triathlon in the morning. The bike racks were up but that was about it. 

The water was lit by the stars and the tranquility of it struck me. I parked overlooking the lake back up the main road a few hundred yards. Settling in and wondering what the area will look like upon sunrise I heard a truck peel off towards the lake. Soon, giggles and splashing followed and I knew a group of teens from town were frolicking in the water. I remembered some glory days of my own with my friends and loved the nostalgic feeling. The event was starting to feel a bit magical, or at least different. 

In the morning, with a little fog rising off the lake athletes began to trickle in. With the sunrise came a spectacular view. We were only at 5,300 feet of elevation but it felt more like the triathlon was set somewhere much higher, like maybe in Evergreen or Steamboat.

It turns out about 175 athletes competed in either the Olympic or Long Distance (half Iron) race. This course was tough with a very hilly one or two loop bike course and run. The bike course took riders on a scenic loop through Custer State Park—appropriately named the Wildlife Loop. 

Local triathlete, Kirsten McCay who won her age group and loves this triathlon said, “My favorite things about this race are the challenging but scenic bike course, the laid back atmosphere, no time limit for the course so everyone can finish, and the cash prizes for the top 3 overall men and women.” $800, $400 and $300 are given to the overall winners—not bad! 

During the race a couple of buffalo decided to graze along the road providing the most unique backdrop I had ever seen. Then a few miles down the road, a herd of wild sheep meandered around, antelope appeared and deer were all over. Turkeys roam the Black Hills as do the 1,400 Buffalo.

If you decide to try this triathlon, be sure to save time to explore the Black Hills. There are numerous towns to visit and you will meet some amazingly friendly and welcoming people. There is an awesome bike trail, the Mickelson trail that threads a 100 miles through the Black Hills from Edgemont to Deadwood. It’s an old railroad bed with gradual elevation changes on smooth dirt and crush gravel. It’s very smooth and almost doable on a road bike, but something with a bit wider tires will be more comfortable. It’s a big deal and draws cyclists of all sorts. There are numerous cabins and small “resorts” that cater to people who want make it a multiple day outing.

check out this website for trail info and lodging for riders: https://www.mickelsontrailaffiliates.com/trail-info

You will ride by the Crazy Horse Sculpture and In Hill City there is an old steam train that winds to the base of Mt. Rushmore and the town of Keystone. You could depart the trail and race it on your bike on a parallel road—I think most people would beat the train. Or spend the night in Hill City, lock your bike and take a relaxing train ride.  

All in all, check out the Black Hills for an adventure, triathlon or not, but keep it secret! 

Lookout Mountain Triathlon, a Record Broken and Good Day to Race

The Lookout Mountain triathlon last weekend had many side stories, like most any race of any kind. With COVID and safety protocols and procedures, athletes were really racing themselves more than ever with the swim start of splitting a lane with another athlete and only 12 people on deck at a time really spreading the race out. There were minimal athletes on the road and trail passing each other. Transition was roomy and very little overlap took place. 

Sophie Linn

Four athletes over the age of 80 completed this hilly race at an altitude of 7,000 feet. Also finishing was world ranked Australian ITU triathlete and former standout in track and field at the University of Michigan, 25 year old Sophie Linn. She shattered the women’s course record and finished second overall. She crushed the swim completing the 550 yards in 6:34. Coming in second to Sophie was Lakewood born and familiar finisher around here, Kirsten McCay, 48 years old and mother of a 2 year old. Jake Bamforth was the overall winner. 

Kirsten McCay (on right)

About 25 cadets from Air Force joined in the fun and overall the atmosphere was electric and vibrant despite athletes leaving the scene pretty much right when they finished. 

Dave Scott, His Career, His Coaching, Training, Covid and Amazing Insight

Boulder’s Dave Scott ran his first Ironman in 1980 and finished in 9:24:33, nearly 2 hours faster than the previous win, with ABC Wide World of Sports broadcasting the event from Kona for the first time. Scott’s time and approach is widely considered to have changed the Ironman from a test of endurance to a race. Scott returned in 1982 and finished second. In 1983, Scott won in what was Mark Allen’s first Ironman. In what would become a renowned rivalry, Scott would win three of the next four Ironmans over Allen.

He was the Roger Bannister of triathlon… the first person to go under 10 hours, 9 hours and 8:30 in Kona. Dave Scott’s personal triathlon journey paralleled the early history of the Ironman Triathlon.

Bob Babbitt, Triathlon historian & Ironman Hall of Fame inductee

Listen to the podcast Here: 303 and Dave Scott

Scott has stated that he is most proud of his performance in 1994. Another second-place finish, Scott was 40 years old at the time so his race was considered to be a revolutionary feat. Two years later, Scott finished fifth overall. 2001 was his last foray into the Ironman. The 47-year-old Scott had back problems due to some last minute bike changes, which forced him out of the race.

Ironwar

In 1989, the rivalry between Scott and Allen reached a peak in what has alternately been called the “Ironwar” and “The Greatest Race Ever Run.”[5] Scott has stated “I never focused my goals on Mark Allen or what I had to do in the swim or the bike compared to Mark Allen. Ultimately, the competition level sometimes dictated that. After many years of racing, in 1989, we had a very very close race. It seemed like we were bouncing off of one another. It was influenced by our competitive natures.” Allen ultimately won with Scott placing second and both broke Scott’s course record.

Dave talks about taking care of your heart and the damage that can be done with regular long hard workouts. 

Lookout Mountain Triathlon and the Historic Ties to Race Director, Paul Karlsson

By Bill Plock

Paul Karlsson has had a huge impact on multisport in Colorado for years. Not only was he a founder of what became a very prestigious, national race, The Boulder Peak, he also has produced other races such as the Xterra Indian Peaks and the Lookout Triathlon. He has put on events all over the state including Evergreen and Aspen. Did you know that The Peak awarded Kona spots once upon a time?

But Paul has impacted many lives through teaching Colorado history and now business classes at Arvada West High School. He coached the swim team at Columbine when the tragedy happened and had been signed up to do IRONMAN Lake Placid that year and because of the shooting, IRONMAN switched is entry to Kona to show support. He has coached swimming at various clubs in the Western metro area, including at Mt. Vernon Country Club, the host of the upcoming Lookout Triathlon.

Here is a video interview with Paul after our course preview sitting on the deck of Mount Vernon Country Club. I think the fun of this race is it’s simply different, and it’s cool to feel Paul’s connection and passion to its location.

We rode the bike and run course the other day. The bike course traverses the top part of Lookout Mountain. It leaves the country club to the north with fast decent down Highway 40 and a steep climb up Paradise Road followed by a loop around the Boetcher Mansion and back to Mount Vernon.

The run puts you on dirt roads winding around the Country Club property and is mostly in the shade of the trees as you run past dozens of homes–including Paul’s parents home and his childhood home. Its a fun tour!

Check this triathlon out for a very friendly and low stress pool swim followed by a short but challenging bike and run. A triathlon bike would not be my first choice for this course by the way. It’s pretty much either up, or down.

Register here: https://www.racedirectorsolutions.com/LandingPage@2886/DigDeepSportsLLC/Home

Mark Allen Shares Thoughts on Training, Keeping Motivated and His Love of Surfing

He was named Triathlete of the Year six times by Triathlete magazine, and in 1997 Outside magazine dubbed him The World’s Fittest Man. Inducted into the Ironman Triathlon Hall of Fame in 1997. He has also been inducted into the USAT Hall of Fame and the ITU Hall of Fame. He was named by ESPN as “The Greatest Endurance Athlete of All Time.” He’s quoted as saying “The only bad race is one you don’t learn something from.”  Our guest today is of course Mark “the Grip” Allen.

Listen to the podcast Here: https://303endurance.libsyn.com/mark-allen-why-and-how-to-train-during-covid

Interview with Grip:

Mark “The Grip” Allen (born January 12, 1958) was voted in an ESPN poll as the “Greatest Endurance Athlete Of All Time.” Mark is a six-time winner of the IRONMAN® World Championship, the winner of the inaugural ITU Triathlon World Championship, a ten time undefeated winner of the Nice International Triathlon, and the the holder of one of the longest records in endurance sports with his 2:40:04 marathon split set in 1989. That record stood for 27 years.

Mark is also the holder of a record 21 straight wins at every multi-sport distance and discipline that lasted over two seasons starting at the end of 1988 and continuing through the end of 1990. He resides in Santa Cruz, California and is the founder of Mark Allen Coaching. Mark’s passion is coaching athletes at all levels of the sport.