USA Triathlon Foundation and Professional Triathletes Organisation team up to provide COVID-19 Relief Fund Grants

From USA Triathlon

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The USA Triathlon Foundation, in partnership with the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO), is now accepting applications for its second round of COVID-19 Relief Fund donations, with $55,000 in grant funding available. The relief fund provides financial support to members of the U.S. multisport community who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals and organizations may apply for funding starting today, through Monday, March 15.

A portion of the funding was raised through the PTO 2020 Championship Sweepstakes at CHALLENGEDAYTONA, in which past and present professional triathletes from around the globe — including Jan Frodeno, Dave Scott, Daniela Ryf, Mark Allen and Lucy Charles — donated their time and merchandise in a global, 10-day-long prize draw. In addition, the PTO itself contributed to the relief fund by donating all proceeds from its pay-per-view livestream broadcast of the PTO 2020 Championship.

Complete eligibility information and application materials for the COVID-19 Relief Fund can be found at usatriathlonfoundation.org. All applications are reviewed by a seven-member independent grant committee that includes USA Triathlon Foundation Trustees; coaches; race directors; age group athletes; paratriathletes; pro triathletes; and PTO members Matt Hanson and Jackie Hering. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives,” Hanson said. “The multisport community has been a haven for many seeking new challenges, a social outlet, healthier lifestyles, and an all-around way of life — but the sport has definitely not been immune to the impacts of the pandemic. Many individuals lost their training outlets, and many businesses were put under extreme financial pressure. I applaud USA Triathlon, the PTO and CHALLENGEDAYTONA for working to help give back to the triathlon community, and I look forward to reviewing the applications for these funds.” 

The Foundation will make all selections, announce grant funding recipients and distribute funds by the week of March 29. Grant applications up to $5,000 will be considered. The Foundation may not be able to support every eligible request for funding. In its first round, the relief fund distributed more than $110,000 in grants to multisport organizations and individuals.  

“The USA Triathlon Foundation is grateful for the generosity of the Professional Triathletes Organisation and the individual athletes and donors who gave time and resources to support the COVID-19 Relief Fund,” said David Deschenes, USA Triathlon Foundation Executive Director. “We are proud of the impact the fund has made so far through grants at the grassroots level, and we look forward to providing additional relief as the multisport community continues to grapple with and rebound from COVID-19’s effects.”

“2020 was an incredibly challenging year on many fronts,” said Charles Adamo, Executive Chairman of PTO. “The PTO and its member PTO Professionals were grateful to have the opportunity to harness the interest in Professional Triathlon as a chance to ‘play it forward’ with this fundraising initiative to support those in the sport most in need. We are grateful of the partnership with USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation and their fantastic efforts to keep the sport going during these difficult times.”

The Foundation welcomes applications from USA Triathlon-certified race directors and race management organizations; USA Triathlon-certified coaches and clubs; and other individuals and organizations who have been impacted by the pandemic.

Funds may be used to support programs and events that have been rescheduled or postponed due to COVID-19, or to create new programs and events that will encourage participation in multisport activities. All requests must help advance the mission of the USA Triathlon Foundation, which is to transform lives through sport by providing opportunities to swim, bike and run for all.

Donations in support of the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund are being accepted on a continual basis. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to donate today, or to learn more about the USA Triathlon Foundation and the programs it supports.

About the USA Triathlon Foundation
The USA Triathlon Foundation was created in 2014 by the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as an independent tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. Under the leadership of its Trustees and Committee members, the Foundation serves as a means to create a healthier America through triathlon and seeks to transform lives by opening up new pathways to the sport for all, especially those who are otherwise underserved. The USA Triathlon Foundation operates with the belief that every child should have the chance to participate, every paratriathlete should have the opportunity to compete, and every aspiring elite athlete should be able to chase his or her Olympic dream. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $1.9 million has been provided to worthy causes and organizations that support its mission. Donations to the USA Triathlon Foundation ensure America’s youth are introduced to the benefits and fun of a multisport lifestyle, athletes with disabilities receive the training, support and gear to be able to participate and excel, and the best aspiring young athletes have a chance to pursue their Olympic Dreams. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to learn more and donate today.

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).

About the Professional Triathletes Organisation

The Professional Triathletes Organisation is a not-for-profit entity representing the body of professional triathletes and seeks to showcase the passion, talents, determination, struggles and achievements of the dedicated professionals who strive to realize the highest levels of the sport and inspire all those who are a part of the triathlon community.

Endurance Exchange Silent Auction benefitting the USA Triathlon Foundation

Join us in supporting the USA Triathlon Foundation 

Unique Experiences. Olympic Memorabilia. One-of-Kind Items. Travel.

Looking to support a great cause? Check out the Endurance Exchange Silent Auction benefitting the USA Triathlon Foundation. Proceeds from the auction will support the Foundation’s mission to transform lives through sport for all, to include supporting our Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes competing at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

The auction will close at 12:00PM EST on Sunday, January 31st. Packages are available for all interests and budgets starting out at Cases of Vice Wine all the way up to VIP Spectator Package for the IRONMAN World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Have questions about the auction items or want more information about the Foundation? Please contact Dave Deschenes at Dave.Deschenes@usatriathlonfoundation.org.

Dear Dave

Dear Dave,

When we first met, little did I know that I was talking to a legend. It was December of 2017 and we were at the IRONMAN World Championship NBC Broadcast Preview Party in New York City. I remember your big smile and infectious energy as you made your way around the room talking to various guests. When you told me who you were and your connection to IRONMAN, I was completely floored. Here I am, talking to the guy who finished 3rd at the 1st ever IRONMAN in 1978.

December 2017 – New York City

From that moment on, our paths crossed at various events and activities due to our invovlement with the IRONMAN Foundation. We dug up weeds to help restore sacred grounds on the Big Island, volunteered our time with Paradox Sports in Boulder with their adaptive climbing program, and so many other fun times. I’ll admit, up to that point I only knew you from your accomplishment as being the 3rd badass that ever finished an IRONMAN.

It was time to head back to Kona in October of 2018, and you reached out to me to see if I was also headed back to the Big Island. Somehow we connected the dots and realized we were both on the same flights from Denver to Honolulu, and then Kona. The travel angels were doing their magic, I got upgraded to a First Class seat, and there you were sitting in First Class as well. With a little bit of shuffling, our flight attendant made sure we got to seat next to each other.

Thank you United! It was a great ride!!!

It was during that flight that I had the privilege to really get to know you. That 9 hour flight flew right by in a blink of an eye. We talked about life, love, triathlon, and everything under the sun. You told me about your service in the Marines, leading to your post on the Island of Oahu where this crazy idea of swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles was cooked up.

Dave heading out on the bike leg of the 1st ever IRONMAN – Oahu, Hawaii

I’ll never forget learning about the nuances of your experience racing self-supported. The bike you rode was borrowed, you threw a $20 bill into the pocket of your jean shorts to buy food and drink along the way, one of your “aid stations” was a grocery store that you ran into quickly for fear that your bike would get stolen because you left it outside, and on the run your friends showed up with handups of beer.

You never hid how you felt about how the sport of triathlon has morphed from this grassroots bandit-like fun culture where finishing was a feat in itself to the now technology ridden profit-driven sport of the privileged few. Despite all these changes, your spirit and love of the sport never unwavered. You were extremely humble about all your accomplishments and had the upmost respect for the sport, how it made you a better person, and gave back to you personally in so many ways. Seeing the excitement in your eyes when the cannon went off on the Kailua Bay pier for the swim start even after 40 years since it all began gave me faith that maybe someday I would love racing long distance again.

I also remember you telling me about your battle with cancer and all the infusion treatments you had received. In fact, you missed going to Kona in 2017 because you were too ill and got stuck in Los Angeles to complete a round of infusions. No one would ever suspect that you were “sick” from interacting with you. Your spirit and energy definitely didn’t reflect that, which is something I really admired about you. You always rose to the occasion but took the time to yourself to recharge when needed. One thing that you did mention that I’ll never forget that even though the cancer suppressed your immune system, you were always willing to take that chance to be around people because you loved the energy of race week and race day on the Big Island. Nothing would make you miss being part of the fun!

You fought an amazing fight my friend. That battle is now over and you’ve cross the finish line of life. The way you lived is how we should all aspire to live. To the fullest. Dave Orlowski-style. Now you’ll live on forever in each and every one of us who’ve been blessed and lucky enough to have been part of your journey.

E hoʻomaha me ka maluhia my friend.

Kou kaikuahine me ke aloha,
Khem

Help Support Team USA Athletes via the Giving Games

The postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games has impacted many American triathletes and paratriathletes. USA Triathon has teamed up with several U.S. Olympic and Paralympic National Governing Bodies (NGBs) to launch the Giving Games, an effort to support and sustain U.S. sport organizations and their athletes on their journey to the postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralymic Games in 2021.

Between July 24th and August 9th (the original dates of the Tokyo 2020 Games), the USA Triathlon Foundation is conducting a direct fundraising campaign, asking for your support to fund our athletes and their mission to transform lives though sport by providing resources to swim, bike, and run for all.

“The COVID-19 pandemic forced the elite domestic and International Triathlon Union (ITU) racing seasons to be put on pause, removing many U.S. triathletes’ sole source of income via prize money and sponsor incentives,” said David Deschenes, USA Triathlon Foundation Executive Director. “The postponement of the Tokyo Games adds another year of costs for athletes including travel, coaching expenses, training facilities and equipment. USA Triathlon is proud to take part in Giving Games, providing a unique opportunity for Olympic and Paralympic fans across the country to give back to the athletes who will inspire them next year in Tokyo.”


Unlike most Olympic and Paralympic sports around the world that receive government funding, U.S. athletes rely heavily on their community for philanthropic and sponsor support. Adding to the physical and emotional toll that a delay in competition places on their shoulders, their revenue streams and future racing plans are now under threat.

“With the majority of competitions canceled or postponed, it’s challenging as a professional athlete — who relies on prize money as a source of income — to maintain financial stability and offset personal cost,” said Renée Tomlin, U.S. National Team member and Tokyo Olympic hopeful in triathlon. “It’s a privilege to compete for Team USA, and that is never taken for granted; however, financial sustainability is pertinent in the pursuit of excellence at this level. The Giving Games offers a unique, interactive platform for those with the means to share and support Olympic and Paralympic athletes affected in these difficult times.”

“America’s athletes need our support to compete in 2021,” said Max Cobb, Chair of the National Governing Bodies Council. “At a time when America feels extraordinarily divided, this is an opportunity to come together in our common love of country and sport for the pursuit of success on the world stage, raising funds to directly support our athletes and our sports that sustain them, and their dreams, during this critical next year.”

All funds raised will either be a direct donation to a specific sport or provide general support for all sports, which will be equally divided among the participating sports organizations.

Fans and donors who wish to support USA Triathlon and its athletes directly can make a gift at this link. All proceeds will support U.S. Olympic and Paralympic triathlon hopefuls by funding high-performance initiatives and grant programs.

Olympic and Paralympic fans may also contribute to Giving Games in the following ways:

  • Take the Giving Games quiz to find the sport that best matches you, and make a donation to that organization
  • Enter to win one of 10 sweepstakes packages from Omaze
  • Help set the World Record for most donations made in 24 hours
  • Compete in the Medal of Giving by donating directly to a sport. At the conclusion of Giving Games, each sport will award a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal to the top three donors.

Giving Games will actively raise funds for athletes and their sports organizations during the original window of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: July 24-Aug. 9.

Though recognized and supported by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, the National Governing Bodies are separate organizations. The Giving Games initiative is not associated with or endorsed by the USOPC or U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation (USOPF), and funds raised through the Giving Games initiative are used to directly aid the National Governing Bodies and the athletes they support.



About Giving Games
Giving Games, taking place July 24 – August 9, 2020, is a fundraising initiative that brings U.S. sports organizations together and implores Americans to help sustain our athletes’ journeys. The initiative was started to help fill the gap of time that currently sits empty due to the postponement of the Tokyo Games. All funds raised will either be a direct donation to a specific sport or general support of all of the sports which will be equally divided among the participating sports organizations. Comprising multiple fundraising activations, Giving Games works to sustain our athletes and sports during an unprecedented time of need. For more, visit givinggames2020.com.

About the USA Triathlon Foundation
The USA Triathlon Foundation was created in 2014 by the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as an independent tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. Under the leadership of its Trustees and Committee members, the Foundation serves as a means to create a healthier America through triathlon and seeks to transform lives by opening up new pathways to the sport for all, especially those who are otherwise underserved. The USA Triathlon Foundation operates with the belief that every child should have the chance to participate, every paratriathlete should have the opportunity to compete, and every aspiring elite athlete should be able to chase his or her Olympic dream. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $1.9 million has been provided to worthy causes and organizations that support its mission. Donations to the USA Triathlon Foundation ensure America’s youth are introduced to the benefits and fun of a multisport lifestyle, athletes with disabilities receive the training, support and gear to be able to participate and excel, and the best aspiring young athletes have a chance to pursue their Olympic Dreams. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to learn more and donate today.

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors – as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation – USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).

Media ContactsCaryn Maconi, Communications Manager
719-955-2828 | caryn.maconi@usatriathlon.orgChuck Menke, Chief Marketing Officer
719-955-2827 | chuck.menke@usatriathlon.org

USA Triathlon Operation CO>COVID-19 a Success!

By Khem Suthiwan

Their journey began the evening of Friday, June 19th at 6:30pm MT, at the Utah-Colorado border just west of Grand Junction. Their goal, to complete a 483-mile relay ride across the state of Colorado while raising money for the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund and the Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado.

Over the course of 483 miles, the riders averaged 20 mph, climbed nearly 23,000 feet of elevation with their highest point at Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet of elevation. Just before 8:00pm and beating the sunset, all nine riders joined together for the final mile to the Kansas-Colorado state line.

We were able to catch up to them within a few hours of the finish. All the athletes and crew were in great spirits, looking forward to seeing the state line.

At a rider exchange spot with about 20 miles to go, a deputy from the Sheriff of Cheyenne County pulled over with flashing lights. His first words were “You guys are obviously part of some sort of bike team.” The crew immediately jumped in to tell the deputy about the relay ride, and that if he wanted to talk to someone in charge, the CEO (Rocky Harris) is coming down the road about to finish his current leg of the relay. Many laughs were exchanged and his handcuffs made an appearance for fun. At the next rider exchange stop, the deputy offered up a donation to the crew. A great gesture to an already amazing day.

The participating riders included:

• Kyle Coon, Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful 
• Hailey Danz, Rio 2016 Paralympic Silver Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful
• Kendall Gretsch, PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Nordic Skiing Gold Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful
• Kevin McDowell, Tokyo Olympic Hopeful
• Jack O’Neil, U.S. Paratriathlon Junior Development Team Member
• Melissa Stockwell, Rio 2016 Paralympic Bronze Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful, Team Toyota Athlete
• Renée Tomlin, Tokyo Olympic Hopeful
• Alex Libin, Elite Triathlete and Guide for Kyle Coon 
• Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon Chief Executive Officer

The team had set a goal to raise $20,210 in reference to the postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will take place in 2021. At the time of their finish, $21,568 had been raised with donations still rolling in. Donations are still being accepted at usatriathlonfoundation.org.

Get ready: National Triathlon Week is coming!

Are you ready for National Triathlon Week? Starting June 22, join the multisport community in celebrating the sport of triathlon by sharing your experiences, inspiring stories, advice and support on social media using the hashtag #TriWeek.

From USA Triathlon

National Triathlon Week is a nationwide initiative to celebrate the sport of triathlon and all of the members of the multisport community. It is taking place from June 22-28, 2020. This week is geared toward education, celebration and participation in the multisport lifestyle. The schedule for the week features a new theme each day, with a spotlight on all of the components that make this sport so great. National Triathlon Week, or #TriWeek, is a celebration of not only triathletes, but all members of the multisport community — including officials, coaches, race directors, families and friends of triathletes and more.

There are many ways to get involved in National Triathlon Week! Whether you have 5 minutes or a full day, you’ll find a way to join the celebration. Check out the Get Involved page for ideas on how to share your excitement for the sport of triathlon, and be sure to use the hashtag #TriWeek on social media. This is your chance to share your story and compete against friends and triathletes across the country for daily prizes.

New to triathlon? Visit mytimetotri.com to get started today! Triathlon is an amazing sport, and we want to share it with you.

National Triathlon Week is for everyone, and we want to celebrate with everyone! We look forward to hearing your best stories and advice, seeing your favorite photos and sharing the multisport lifestyle all week long!

Follow and like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for special feature content throughout the week and details on you can be eligible to win some amazing prizes from our partners. 

National Triathlon Week Prize Giveaways and Discounts

Winners selected June 22-28, 2020, unless otherwise noted. Check out our social pages and engage with our giveaway posts to be entered to win one of the day’s special prizes, listed below. You can also find discounts on your favorite triathlon gear all week long at the USAT Store

Monday, June 22: Time to Tri Day

USA Triathlon-branded Newton Running Shoes, Training Peaks 6-month subscription (4)

Tuesday, June 23: Olympic & Paralympic Day

Hyperice Hypervolt, Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor

Wednesday, June 24: Swim Day

ROKA goggles, KT Tape Pro Extreme Black

Thursday, June 25: Bike Day

Rudy Project Defender Sunglasses, Rudy Project Strym helmet

Friday, June 26: Run Day

Science in Sport $50 Gift Card (3), CURREX RunPro Insoles, CURREX BikePro Insoles

Saturday, June 27: Race Day

Hand & Stone Massage and Facial $110 Gift Card (3), Amp Human PR Lotion Starter Kit, Pilates for Sports Free 3-month Trial

Sunday, June 28: Community Appreciation Day

2XU Triathlon Prize Package, featuring a pair of 2XU MCS Run compression Tights, a pair 2XU Power Recovery Compression Tights, a pair of 2XU Recovery Socks, a pair of Full-Length 2XU VECTR Socks, a pair of 2XU Vectr Socks and a 2XU Run Belt


New this year, National Triathlon Week will also include a #TriWeek Virtual Challenge presented by TOWER 26, as well as a #TriWeek Triathlon Tournament to determine the best all-time moment in U.S. triathlon history. The complete schedule, along with ideas for how to participate are at  usatriathlon.org/triweek. Get pumped!

Boulder’s Dede Griesbauer and Kennett Peterson dominate the IRONMAN VR10 Pro Challenge Weekend

DEDE GRIESBAUER (USA) AND KENNETT PETERSON (USA) TAKE TITLES DURING THE IRONMAN VR10 PRO CHALLENGE WEEKEND

– Over 16,000 athletes from 130 nations registered to compete in IRONMAN VR10 an IRONMAN 5150 Olympics distance simulation
 
– More than 3,000 age group athletes register to compete in the inaugural IRONMAN Virtual Racing Championship Series
 
– More than 105,000 people from around the globe have now joined IRONMAN Virtual Club platform

The 10th edition of the IRONMAN® VR™ Pro Challenge saw a United States sweep with Dede Griesbauer winning the women’s race and Kennett Peterson taking the top honors in the men’s race as eight top triathletes battled it out over the course of two days. Mixing up the format, athletes took on a 3 km run through the Eagle Trail in Boulder, Colorado before hopping on their trainers. From there, athletes began their 40 km bike ride in Gerry Boyle Park on a portion of the newly offered IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman bike course, utilizing Official Virtual Cycling partner ROUVY’s augmented reality.

In the closely contested professional women’s race, Dede Griesbauer (USA) fought her way into the top spot with an impressive performance, finishing the 3 km run and 40 km bike in an overall time of 1:07:53, while Lindsey Jerdonek (USA) finished in second place with a combined time of 1:08:42. Danielle Mack (USA) took third position with a finishing time of 1:10:09 and Rachel Olson (USA) rounded out the group with a time of 1:11:19.

The full broadcast of the women’s IRONMAN VR10 Pro Challenge can be viewed, HERE.

Professional women’s results: 

  RUN TIMEBIKE TIMEOVERALL TIME
1. Dede GriesbauerUSA00:12:2100:55:321:07:53
2. Lindsey JerdonekUSA00:11:0800:57:341:08:42
3. Danielle MackUSA00:12:0000:59:571:10:09
4. Rachel OlsonUSA00:11:2600:59:531:11:19

On Sunday, it was the professional men’s turn to take to the road for a 3 km run and the trainers for a 40 km bike. Despite some technical difficulties (and nearly oversleeping the start of the race) Kennett Peterson (USA) emerged victorious, completing the IRONMAN VR10 Pro Challenge in an overall time of 1:02:05. Professional triathlete, Tyler Butterfield (BMU), came in second with a time of 1:03:58, while Joe Gambles (AUS) finished third in a time of 1:04:46. Andre Lopes (BRA) rounded out the men’s group clocking a time of 1:05:30.

The full broadcast of the men’s IRONMAN VR10 Pro Challenge can be viewed, HERE.

Professional men’s results: 

  RUN TIMEBIKE TIME OVERALL TIME 
1. Kennett PetersonUSA00:09:1300:52:521:02:05
2. Tyler ButterfieldBMU00:09:0800:54:501:03:58
3. Joe GamblesAUS00:09:3600:55:101:04:46
4. Andre LopesBRA00:09:2300:56:071:05:30

In total, over 16,000 athletes from more than 130 nations and all 50 states set out to participate in IRONMAN VR10. IRONMAN VR10 requires athletes to complete a 3 km Run, 40 km Ride, and 10 km Run between Friday, June 5 at 2 p.m. ET (6 p.m. GMT) and race close this evening, Sunday, June 7 at 7:59 p.m. ET (11:59 p.m. GMT). Competitors who race in the Classic Division can do so anywhere, indoors or outdoors, can complete the three segments in any order and are not required to do the segments consecutively.
 
The 3,000 athletes who registered for the new IRONMAN Virtual Racing Championship Series are bound by a different set of rules over a four-week long regulated age-group competition designed to reward top-performing athletes in a structured and competitive virtual environment. Athlete’s overall standing are based upon their top three performances in aggregate over a four-week period. Athletes competing will have the opportunity to earn race slots to the 2020 edition of the IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship with a total of 75 qualifying slots allocated across age groups for top performers.
 
IRONMAN VR10 leaderboard updates can be found by visiting the IRONMANVR Facebook Page.
 
Bringing the IRONMAN community together virtually, the IRONMAN® Virtual Club™ continues to grow and now has more than 105,000 members on the platform with thousands completing IRONMAN Virtual Club Challenges since its recent launch.
 
Full details and specifics regarding the IRONMAN Virtual Club are available on www.ironmanvirtualclub.com. For questions about the IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series, athletes can email ironmanvr@ironman.com. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com.


Related Articles and Interviews:

Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team to Ride Across Colorado to Benefit COVID-19 Relief, Care & Share Food Bank

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – MAY 27: Paralympian and former U.S. Army Officer Melissa Stockwell cycles during a training session on May 27, 2020 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Athletes across the globe are now training in isolation under strict policies in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

From USA Triathlon

Nine U.S. elite triathletes training for the postponed Tokyo Paralympic and Olympic Games, along with USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris, will cycle a combined 483 miles across the state of Colorado starting Friday, June 19, in a 24-hour relay challenge dubbed “Operation CO>COVID.” 

The ride, which is supported by Toyota vehicles, was fully planned and executed by members of the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team including Kyle Coon, Hailey Danz, Kendall Gretsch, Allysa Seely, Melissa Stockwell and Howie Sanborn (Sanborn will not participate in the ride due to injury). The squad normally trains out of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, but the training center’s athletic facilities have been closed since mid-March due to COVID-19. 

The event is designed to drive awareness and donations for the USA Triathlon Foundation, which will then distribute proceeds equally between two causes: the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund, which provides grants to members of the multisport community impacted by the pandemic, and the Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. Donations are being accepted at usatriathlonfoundation.org. The team has set a goal to raise $20,210 in reference to the postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will take place in 2021.

In addition to the paratriathlon resident team and Harris, participants in the challenge also include U.S. Olympic hopefuls Kevin McDowell and Renée Tomlin; up-and-coming 17-year-old paratriathlete Jack O’Neil; and elite triathlete Alex Libin. Libin will serve as a sighted guide for Kyle Coon, who is visually impaired.

“The Tokyo postponement left us all wanting to do something to both test ourselves physically and to give back to the community,” said Stockwell, a U.S. Army veteran and Team Toyota athlete who won a bronze medal in paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. “The idea to ride our bikes 483 miles across the state of Colorado accomplished both. Instead of racing in Tokyo, we will be racing the sun to finish our ride before sundown and raising money to give back to the community for COVID-19 relief. We look forward to completing these miles as a team and making a small difference.”

“Our paratriathlon resident team came up with Operation CO>COVID as a unique challenge for themselves, but more importantly, because they wanted to give back to our community during this unprecedented time,” Harris, CEO of USA Triathlon, said. “I am incredibly proud to ride alongside this group of individuals who, even when faced with the disappointment and uncertainty of an Olympic and Paralympic Games postponement, are still motivated to support others whose livelihoods have been threatened due to COVID-19.”

“It’s incredible to see the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team come together for such a great cause,” said Dedra DeLilli, group manager, Toyota Olympic and Paralympic Marketing. “We’re inspired by the athletes’ motivation to go above and beyond to create a positive impact for both the multisport community and the local community where they train. We can’t wait to follow the team’s ride, and our Toyota employees all over the country will be cheering them on.”

The ride will cover 483 miles in total distance, gaining nearly 23,000 feet of elevation as it extends from the Utah-Colorado state line in Montrose, Colorado, to the Colorado-Kansas state line at U.S. 40 and CR 57 (near the town of Arapahoe, Colorado). The route travels from the Western Slope up into the Rocky Mountains, cresting Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet of elevation before descending into the Front Range via Colorado Springs and into the Eastern Plains. To view the complete route, click here.

Athletes will be divided into three teams of three, with each person covering up to four different segments ranging from 3-15 miles at a time. The first riders will begin cycling from the Utah-Colorado state line in the evening (exact time TBD) on Friday, June 19, with a goal to be at the Colorado-Kansas state line 24 hours later on Saturday, June 20. 

Toyota support vehicles will transport the rest of the athletes and their gear along the route, stopping to swap riders after each segment. The athletes must collectively maintain an average of 21 miles per hour in order to successfully cross the state within 24 hours. 

The participating athletes include:

  • Kyle Coon, Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful 
  • Hailey Danz, Rio 2016 Paralympic Silver Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful
  • Kendall Gretsch, PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Gold Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful
  • Kevin McDowell, Tokyo Olympic Hopeful
  • Jack O’Neil, U.S. Paratriathlon Junior Development Team Member
  • Allysa Seely, Rio 2016 Paralympic Gold Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful 
  • Melissa Stockwell, Rio 2016 Paralympic Bronze Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful, Team Toyota Athlete
  • Renée Tomlin, Tokyo Olympic Hopeful
  • Alex Libin, Elite Triathlete and Guide for Kyle Coon 
  • Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon Chief Executive Officer

FOR MEDIA: 

  • All riders are available for interviews leading up to the event date, and photos and video b-roll of athletes are available upon request.
  • Interviews, video and photo opportunities are possible during the ride itself but must be requested and coordinated in advance, as the relay is continuous and transport vans will be in motion throughout the day.
  • For all in-person coverage, members of the media must wear masks and maintain six feet of distance from athletes and support staff.
  • To request interviews or media materials, please contact Caryn Maconi, USA Triathlon Communications Manager, at caryn.maconi@usatriathlon.org or 443-534-5954.

To learn more about Operation CO>COVID, or to make a donation to the USA Triathlon Foundation, visit usatriathlonfoundation.org.


About the USA Triathlon Foundation
The USA Triathlon Foundation was created in 2014 by the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as an independent tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. Under the leadership of its Trustees and Committee members, the Foundation serves as a means to create a healthier America through triathlon and seeks to transform lives by opening up new pathways to the sport for all, especially those who are otherwise underserved. The USA Triathlon Foundation operates with the belief that every child should have the chance to participate, every paratriathlete should have the opportunity to compete, and every aspiring elite athlete should be able to chase his or her Olympic dream. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $3 million has been provided to worthy causes and organizations that support its mission. Donations to the USA Triathlon Foundation ensure America’s youth are introduced to the benefits and fun of a multisport lifestyle, athletes with disabilities receive the training, support and gear to be able to participate and excel, and the best aspiring young athletes have a chance to pursue their Olympic Dreams. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to learn more and donate today.

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).
– usatriathlon.org –

Sip, Relax, and Enjoy! Free Virtual Wine Tasting with USA Triathlon!

In April, the USA Triathlon Foundation announced their partnership with The Vice Wines and their limited edition “Tri Blend” luxury wine, and we could not be more excited about it! To help get you as excited as we are, we are inviting you to a private virtual wine tasting with the founder and winemaker, Mr. Malek Amrani

On June 17 at 5p.m. (PT), join Mr. Amrani as he walks us through an experiential and educational evening about The Vice Wines and the Tri Blend. Learn about the inspiration behind the blend, the process of selecting each varietal and the best ways to enjoy and taste the wine. 

Also joining the wine tasting are special guests, Katie Zafares, 2019 ITU World Series Champion, 2016 Olympian and the inspiration behind the Tri Blend and Amy Dixon Paralympic National Team athlete, Tokyo Paralympic hopeful and sommelier. 

“The Tri” is a blend of 16% Petite Sirah, 54% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Franc. The inspiration behind the precise blending is the percentage of total race time spent on each distance – swim, bike, run – by Zaferes en route to her victory at the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne, but also racing in the age group world championship with his fellow Team USA members.

There is NO charge to register for the wine tasting. All that you will need is a bottle of the Tri Blend which can be purchased below. 

Interested in joining us for this special evening? Register NOW. 

To be able to participate in the Virtaul Wine Tasting you will need a bottle of the Tri Blend.

As a USA Triathlon Member you receive 25% off your purchase while using code: USAT25

All proceeds of the Tri Blend are donated back to the USA Triathlon Foundation. 

The Inaugural Endurance Conference to Benefit USA Triathlon Foundation as Charity Partner

Free, athlete focused virtual conference set for June 5-7

Katie Zaferes, 2019 ITU World Triathlon Series champion and 2016 U.S. Olympian, is scheduled to speak at the virtual event.

From USA Triathlon

The USA Triathlon Foundation was announced today as the charity partner for Endurance Conference, a new virtual conference for athletes that is set to take place June 5-7. Endurance Conference is founded and created by Juan Lopez Salaberry, a sports marketing executive and member of USA Triathlon’s amateur Team USA. The inaugural event is free and open to the public, and it will be completely carbon-neutral in commitment to sustainability.

Note: Endurance Conference is not affiliated with Endurance Exchange, an in-person triathlon industry conference created and co-hosted USA Triathlon and Triathlon Business International (TBI) that held its inaugural event Jan. 23-25 in Tempe, Arizona.

The event will combine different voices in the sport of triathlon, featuring world champions and Olympians, world-class coaches, community leaders, managers and more, with the intention to provide a pure athlete-focused educational experience.

The lineup of confirmed speakers includes: Katie Zaferes, 2019 ITU world champion and 2016 U.S. Olympian; Timothy O’Donnell, 2009 ITU long distance world champion and multi-time IRONMAN World Championship podium finisher; Andy Potts, IRONMAN 70.3 world champion and 2004 U.S. Olympian; Allysa Seely, 2016 Paralympic gold medalist and three-time ITU paratriathlon world champion; Grace Norman, 2016 Paralympic gold medalist and two-time ITU paratriathlon world champion; Chris Hammer, 2016 U.S. Paralympian; Sebastian Kienle, 2014 IRONMAN world champion and 2012-2013 IRONMAN 70.3 world champion; Angela Naeth, Canadian elite triathlete and community leader; Wesley Johnson, 2019 Team USA Awards Paralympic Coach of the Year; Dr. Tekemia Dorsey, Founder of the International Association of Black Triathletes and USA Triathlon Board Member; Tommy Zaferes, elite triathlete and professional ITU photographer; and Justin Lippert, five-time USA Triathlon age-group national champion and first-year elite.

Endurance Conference is free to attend, but participants must register in advance at enduranceconference.com. Donations are encouraged; all proceeds will support the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund, which provides grants to those in the multisport community who have been impacted by COVID-19 including race directors, coaches and clubs. The fund has raised more than $110,000 to date, and grant applications are now being accepted at usatriathlonfoundation.org.

“The USA Triathlon Foundation is honored to be selected as the charity partner for Endurance Conference, an innovative event that will bring athletes together virtually to learn from each other and network during this unprecedented time,” said David Deschenes, USA Triathlon Foundation Executive Director. “We are proud to continue driving support for those in our multisport community whose livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19, and to support those who keep our industry strong so we can enjoy the multisport lifestyle as we know it.”

The schedule for Endurance Conference, as well as the list of presenters, is now available at enduranceconference.com. The conference will kick off with opening remarks from Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO, on Friday, June 5. The event will continue on Saturday and Sunday, offering the chance for athletes of all levels to connect with speakers, be inspired and gain insights on how to perform at the top levels of the sport.

Endurance Conference, happening exclusively online, will not only avoid carbon emissions and support those who are still at home, but will also offset emissions of those who register by planting trees in partnership with One Tree Planted.

“The aim is to raise awareness about the importance of respecting and caring for our environment, which provides a safe-haven for us to practice the sport we love,” said Salaberry, founder of Endurance Conference. “2020 can be a year where we can all come together for what’s important to us, the environment we live in and the people that make it special. It’s important for us to launch this event by supporting those that need us.”

With the hopes of maximizing fundraising, Endurance Conference is partnering with brands to provide value back to the community in exchange for tax-deductible donations toward the COVID-19 Relief Fund. For information about how to partner with the event, and other questions related to Endurance Conference, please email hello@enduranceconference.com.



About Endurance Conference
Endurance is a conference created for athletes and their development. Since its inception in the midst of the global crisis in April 2020, Endurance conference has been on a mission to unite and support the triathlon community with our most important challenges, our world and our people. The first carbon-neutral event of its kind is hosted exclusively online to support those in the sport most impacted by COVID-19.

About the USA Triathlon Foundation
The USA Triathlon Foundation was created in 2014 by the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as an independent tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. Under the leadership of its Trustees and Committee members, the Foundation serves as a means to create a healthier America through triathlon and seeks to transform lives by opening up new pathways to the sport for all, especially those who are otherwise underserved. The USA Triathlon Foundation operates with the belief that every child should have the chance to participate, every paratriathlete should have the opportunity to compete, and every aspiring elite athlete should be able to chase his or her Olympic dream. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $3 million has been provided to worthy causes and organizations that support its mission. Donations to the USA Triathlon Foundation ensure America’s youth are introduced to the benefits and fun of a multisport lifestyle, athletes with disabilities receive the training, support and gear to be able to participate and excel, and the best aspiring young athletes have a chance to pursue their Olympic Dreams. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to learn more and donate today.

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors – as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation – USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).