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).

IRONMAN World Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Postponed

The triathlon world now has their answer. The World Championship race and 70.3 World Championship are both postponed.

There will be two editions of the IRONMAN World Championship with the postponed race taking place February 6, 2020 and the second October 10, 2020. The date of the 70.3 race has yet to be determined.

Here is the official press release from IRONMAN

IRONMAN ANNOUNCES 2020 IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AND IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AND IRONMAN 70.3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HAVE BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO IMPACT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

  • Decision made after careful consideration with local partners and based upon inability to host qualifying events as well as current international border and travel restrictions in Hawai`i and New Zealand
  • 2020 IRONMAN World Championship rescheduled for February 6, 2021
  • New 2021 date options for 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship to be determined with local and national officials

TAMPA, Fla. (May 14, 2020) – IRONMAN today announced in conjunction with host city partners and authorities in Hawai`i, United States and Taupō, New Zealand, that due to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2020 editions of the IRONMAN® World Championship and IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship cannot take place on their originally scheduled dates. The IRONMAN World Championship will now take place on February 6, 2021 returning to its historic original race month and marking 40 years since it first took place in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawai`i. While a new date for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has not yet been determined, teams are working diligently with local and national officials and authorities to secure a date for early 2021.
 
IRONMAN has been closely monitoring the situation and guidance by the Hawaiian and New Zealand governments regarding mass gatherings, border and travel restrictions and other COVID-19 related issues to assess the feasibility of hosting the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship and 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Additionally, as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact events around the world, both world championship events have seen a majority of their respective qualifying events postponed or unable to take place in 2020, impeding the ability to produce and host truly competitive world championship events. Based on these factors and circumstances beyond our control, coupled with a mission to give athletes and communities as much preparation time as possible, it is clear the world championship events cannot proceed as planned in October and November, respectively.
 
Similar to 1982, there will be two editions of the IRONMAN World Championship in a single year (February and October) to accommodate athletes who qualify during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
 
As a result of the continued impact of COVID-19, the qualifying window for the 2020 edition of the IRONMAN World Championship has been extended to provide further qualification opportunities. The most up-to-date information on overall qualification details for the IRONMAN World Championship can be found at www.ironman.com/im-world-championship.
 
The IRONMAN World Championship is the pinnacle of endurance sports with athletes from all over the world coming to Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i after qualifying at events on six continents. Each year more than 94,000 athletes vie for coveted slots to the IRONMAN World Championship with approximately 2,500 athletes making it to the starting line on race day. In 2019, the IRONMAN World Championship generated a total economic impact of $72 million USD per a study conducted by Markrich Research. In addition to tourism, IRONMAN and the IRONMAN Foundation have provided a total of $1.9 million USD in grant funding to the Kailua-Kona region since the inception of the IRONMAN World Championship.

“The IRONMAN World Championship has been a cornerstone in showcasing our island’s attributes to the world for decades. We fully support their decision to postpone these races, and we feel that it is the right thing to do to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our community,” said Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawai`i Visitors Bureau. “It also allows supporting industries to prepare the resources necessary to maintain the high standard the event has created over the years. We look forward to welcoming them back when the time is right and will do our best to assist with the transition.”
 
“The County of Hawai`i supports IRONMAN’s difficult decision to postpone the October 2020 IRONMAN World Championship event to early 2021. We look forward to welcoming the athletes, their families and supporters in early February of 2021,” said Harry Kim, Honorable Mayor for Kona. 
 
The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has grown in stature and popularity since its inception in 2006 and is now the culmination of over 100 events. Every year more than 200,000 athletes compete annually for a place among the world’s best with over 5,000 athletes ultimately making it to the two-day event. Based on past economic impact studies, the 2020 edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is expected to create a total impact reaching $20 million NZD for the host city and region.
 
Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas said the postponement was expected given the effect COVID-19 was having on New Zealand and indeed the world. “This was no doubt a difficult decision, but the most important thing is that we as a community are ready to welcome these athletes when the time is right. We are proud to be home to the iconic IRONMAN New Zealand triathlon and are ready to showcase exactly why that is to the rest of the world. Bring on 2021.”
 
For more information and event details for the IRONMAN World Championship, please visit www.ironman.com/im-world-championship. Further updates on the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship can be found at www.ironman.com/im703-world-championship.
 
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.

Grant Application Window Now Open for USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund

From USA Triathlon

The USA Triathlon Foundation is now accepting applications for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, which will provide financial support to members of the multisport community who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals and organizations may apply for funding starting today, May 14, through May 31. 

Complete eligibility information and application materials can be found at usatriathlonfoundation.org. The Foundation will make all selections, announce grant funding recipients and distribute funds by mid-June.

The COVID-19 Relief Fund has raised more than $94,000 to date and is expected to raise $100,000 by May 17. The first $20,000 in donations were matched dollar-for-dollar by USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris and his wife, Elizabeth Harris ($10,000), and a combination of the USA Triathlon Foundation Board of Trustees and the USA Triathlon Board of Directors ($10,000).

“The USA Triathlon Foundation is overwhelmed by the generosity of donors nationwide who have chosen to give back to the multisport community through the COVID-19 Relief Fund and by participating in the USA Duathlon Virtual Run-Bike-Run presented by TOWER26,” said David Deschenes, USA Triathlon Foundation Executive Director. “Now, we are eager to extend this support to deserving individuals and organizations who have struggled during this crisis. We look forward to helping offset the financial burden that many within our community are now facing, as we all eagerly await the day when racing returns and we can again swim, bike and run.”

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.

Grant applications up to $5,000 will be considered. The Foundation may not be able to support every eligible request for funding. 

Donations for USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund grants will be accepted through May 31. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to donate today, or to learn more about the USA Triathlon Foundation and the programs it supports. 

Additional COVID-19 resources and updates from USA Triathlon are available at usatriathlon.org/covid-19. USA Triathlon continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19, while following the guidance of local authorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), when making decisions regarding the status of USA Triathlon events and programs.   


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).

Need some inspiration? Here’s a feel-good story to warm your heart.

Chris Nikic can swim, bike, and run just like the rest of us, but he is one unique guy. This past Saturday he became the first athlete with Down Syndrome to complete a 70.3 race. So awesome!!! Now he has the goal of finishing IRONMAN Florida later this year.

From https://www.facebook.com/chris.nikic

How 20-year-old Chris Nikic is breaking down barriers

From USA Triathlon
By Emily Randolph

To watch Chris Nikic compete in a triathlon is a heartwarming and encouraging experience. 

The 20-year-old with Down syndrome loves the swim and enjoys the final sprint to the finish line and into his parent’s arms. 

But his favorite part? His ritual? 

Well, that’s all the hugs he stops to give spectators, fellow race participants and his family. There’s no stopping him in it — he sneaks in as many hugs as he can get.

“I like to be around people and encourage them,” Chris said.

He just loves people, and it makes him feel good to go and give them a big hug. It’s the natural thing for him to do, and he loves the reaction people give him – how much they enjoy it.

Chris is just an all-around happy guy. He laughs at everything, even his coach yelling at him, and his joy is contagious. 

“It’s hard to yell at him when he is laughing and having so much fun,” his father, Nik Nikic, said. “He brings sunshine to a room.”

Triathlon has allowed Chris, a Florida native, to be a part of a group and display his competitiveness. He’s no longer isolated. He’s a triathlete and he wants to beat his friends, just like the rest of us. 

After seeing Chris at races, people have rallied around his inspiration because they have a friend or family member with Down syndrome. He is now part of the triathlon community, and has inspired more people like him to start.

“You can do things you never thought possible,” said Chris, who wants to show fellow Down syndrome community members they can do triathlon, too.

Chris has completed six sprint triathlons and one Olympic-distance race. The Challenge Daytona was his favorite.

He started competing in triathlons when he was 16, but lost two years due to ear surgeries, and when he came back to the sport a year ago, he was barely able to swim a lap in a pool, could barely run 100 yards, and had a hard time riding his bike. 

“He’s gone from barely being able to do anything,” Nikic said, “to running an Olympic-distance triathlon.”

His goal now? To complete an IRONMAN. 

Chris is using triathlon and IRONMAN training as a path to independent living. The sport is a vehicle to challenge him to learn to be the best he can be. Multisport, in its nature, helps Chris with learning and keeps him from getting bored. It is believed Chris would be the first athlete with Down syndrome to complete an IRONMAN. 

Read the full original post here

Team USA Age Group Athlete & Coloradan Sue Reynolds Releases “The Athlete Inside: The Transforming Power of Hope, Tenacity and Faith”

All proceeds from book’s first year of sales will benefit the USA Triathlon Foundation

Click HERE to check out the 303Endurance Podcast with Sue Reynolds.

From USA Triathlon

The USA Triathlon Foundation and Fortress Press today announced that “The Athlete Inside: The Transforming Power of Hope, Tenacity, and Faith,” by Team USA age group triathlete Sue Reynolds, is available for purchase today.

The debut book follows Reynolds’ four-year journey as she lost 200 pounds, transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle to that of a triathlete who competes at ITU Age Group Triathlon World Championships. Reynolds began her fitness journey as a grandmother in her late 50s, proving that it’s never too late to transform your life.

Proceeds from the book’s first year of sales will benefit the USA Triathlon Foundation and help support its mission, which is to transform lives through sport by providing opportunities to swim, bike and run.

“Sue Reynolds is one of the USA Triathlon Foundation’s most inspiring ambassadors, and we are honored that she has chosen to donate proceeds from ‘The Athlete Inside’ to the foundation to support our mission,” said David Deschenes, USA Triathlon Foundation Executive Director. “Sue’s story of self-belief and perseverance teaches us that we are all capable of much more than we may think. Her commitment to give back through this initiative will help us encourage others and continue to transform lives through sport, just as Sue experienced.”

From her first walk to the neighbor’s mailbox to earning a personal best finish of sixth in her age group at the 2017 ITU Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Reynolds discovered the joy of conquering fear and pride to find that the best version of herself had been there all along.

“I wrote ‘The Athlete Inside’ in hope that my story and the proceeds from the book would help others,” Reynolds said. “The kindness of so many people within the triathlon community had helped me so much, especially as a beginning triathlete, and I wanted to extend that kindness to others. The USA Triathlon Foundation was a perfect fit for the book’s proceeds. I love the Foundation’s mission, to help others transform their lives through triathlon. The USA Triathlon Foundation’s work is making a difference in people’s lives.”

Since 2014, Reynolds has competed in six USA Triathlon National Championship events and represented Team USA on the world stage on four occasions, finishing no lower than 12th in her age group.

“Sue Reynolds has inspired many in the USA Triathlon family by sharing her transformative journey, and ‘The Athlete Inside’ provides an even bigger platform to reach those both within and outside the multisport community,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “Her infectious personality and incredible determination are evident as she shares how she tapped into the strength she had all along.”

The book is now available for purchase at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndiebound and Broadleaf Books.

Media RequestsTo receive a copy of “The Athlete Inside” or to interview Reynolds, please contact Mallory Hayes of Fortress Press at hayesm@1517.media.

To donate to the USA Triathlon Foundation, or to learn more about the foundation and the programs and individuals it supports, visit usatriathlonfoundation.org.

What others are saying about “The Athlete Inside”:

Bob Babbitt, Challenged Athletes Foundation Co-Founder, USA Triathlon and IRONMAN Hall of Famer
“Sue Reynolds changed her perception of herself, and this book will help you do the same. Her message is simple: If this 335-pound grandmother can changer her life for the better, so can you!”

Gwen Jorgensen, 2016 Olympic Triathlon Gold Medalist
“Sue Reynolds shows how sport changed her life by telling a story familiar to me — one of discovering untapped talents, finding a trusted team and using focus and discipline to achieve goals.”

Joe Maloy, 2016 U.S. Olympian, USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program Manager
“No matter what you weigh, what you’ve been told or how many birthdays you’ve had, ‘The Athlete Inside’ is a powerful reminder that each of us is capable of athletic achievement. Sue’s example inspires both courage and vulnerability, two necessary ingredients for anyone thinking about taking that first step to fulfillment.”

Brittany Bearden, Sports Dietitian, Dallas Mavericks
“Sue’s journey exemplifies the power of consistency is far greater than perfection in achieving big goals. Anyone striving to improve in life, health or sport can learn from Sue’s stick-with-it-ness through doubts, struggles and setbacks. Read this book, surround yourself with support and go achieve your goals.”

Matt Fitzgerald, Endurance Sportswriter, Bestselling Author and Nutritionist
“Sue Reynolds’ incredible story of personal transformation is proof there’s an athlete inside each and every one of us, and it’s never too late to find him or her. If she can do it, you can too!”

Ronald Hoffman, Host of the Nationally Syndicated Radio Program ‘Intelligent Medicine’
“Sue Reynolds offers a remarkable, inspiring story about personal transformation. I love sharing her accomplishments with my radio listeners!”

Jane Rubietta, Author, ‘Worry Less So You Can Live More’
“An astounding journey of determination from a single decision, repeated day after day. Sue Reynolds’ journey — and success — is accessible to every single person. Because success is a daily decision, and today is a new day. Regardless of your end goal, Sue demonstrates the possibility of achievement.”

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).

About Fortress Press
Fortress Press, an imprint of 1517 Media, publishes relevant and influential works that help shape the thought of general readers, clergy, students and scholars across faiths. We are committed to catalyzing conversations that matter. For more information please visit Fortresspress.com.


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303Endurance Podcast with Sue Reynolds:
“No Excuse. Whatever It Takes. Find a Way.” After Losing 200lbs at age 62, Now 4 World Championships, Listen Here