VEGA JOINS IRONMAN `OHANA AS TITLE SPONSOR OF THE 2019 IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

TAMPA, Fla. (June 13, 2019) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Group company, is excited to announce a new partnership with plant-based nutrition brand, Vega, as the title sponsor of the 2019 IRONMAN® World Championship, the most iconic one-day endurance event in the world. As the leader in premium plant-based sport nutrition, Vega joins the IRONMAN `Ohana as the Official Recovery Nutrition partner of the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship in addition to title sponsor.

The IRONMAN World Championship is the pinnacle of endurance racing with over 95,000 athletes competing to qualify at more than 40 global IRONMAN® events each year. Athletes who qualify for the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship will be entitled to a special offer on Vega® products. Additionally, Vega products will be available in the IRONMAN Village, on-course and in the athlete recovery zone at the Vega IRONMAN World Championship on Saturday, October 12, 2019 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.

“We are coming off a historic year in Kona that celebrated 40 years of racing in Hawai`i with our largest international field, record-smashing times and unparalleled live coverage. The level of competition rises every year and our IRONMAN athletes are always looking for the best performance nutrition to help them reach top performance. The collaboration with Vega for the IRONMAN World Championship is a perfect fit, bringing a partner dedicated to high performance nutrition that won’t compromise quality,” said Matthieu Van Veen, Chief Revenue Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “Co-founded by a professional triathlete, Vega offers a vast range of products that focus on meeting the high standards that top triathletes from around the world expect with everything they do to prepare and compete. We are glad to welcome Vega to our `Ohana.”

Vega has been a pioneer in the plant-based nutrition industry since 2001. Vega co-founder Brendan Brazier knew that dialing in his nutrition was the competitive advantage he needed as a professional triathlete. Through trial, error, and experimentation, Brazier developed new products that helped him recover between training sessions better than any supplement he’d tried. Today, Vega has grown to include specialized sport nutrition, providing fueling options for before, during and after workouts or competition.

“We know that nutrition is the key to unlocking athletic excellence and what better way to demonstrate the power of plant-based sport nutrition than at Kona – the pinnacle of endurance sport,” says Samantha Taylor, VP of Marketing, Vega. “While this is a new partnership for us, the synergies between IRONMAN and Vega date back many years when co-founder Brendan Brazier launched Vega at the height of his pro triathlete career. Brendan’s vision for creating a product that enables athletes to feel and perform their best continues to be our driving inspiration today, as more than ever, athletes are looking for a competitive edge in their sport through plant-based nutrition.  Recently having achieved NSF Certified for Sport® for our Vega Sport® line we continue to innovate and enhance our formulation to support athlete needs. We’re honored to be a part of IRONMAN’s `Ohana and we’re looking forward to bringing our premium plant-based sport nutrition to those attending this iconic race.”

Two core products in the Vega Sport® line include Premium Protein and Recovery, both of which have no artificial flavors or sweeteners and are NSF Certified for Sport®, Gluten-Free, Vegan Certified and Non-GMO Project Verified.

  • Vega Sport® Premium Protein is formulated to help rebuild muscle after a tough workout and is packed with 30 grams of plant-based protein, BCAAs, 2 billion CFU of probiotics (bacillus coagulans), and tart cherry to support recovery.
  • Vega Sport® Recovery is formulated to help replenish glycogen stores so that athletes can stay ready for whatever comes next and includes 16 grams of carbohydrates, electrolytes and B vitamins.

The 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship will enjoy 20 hours of comprehensive live race day coverage globally via IRONMAN NOW™ on Facebook Watch – www.facebookwatch.com/IRONMANnow and through regional television coverage, including NBC Sports in the United States. Last year’s IRONMAN World Championship live coverage included everything from the early morning body marking to the final hour finish-line celebration and saw nearly 20 million total views on Facebook Watch.

Event information for the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship can be found at www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/world-championship.aspx. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. For more details aboutVega and their full product offering, visit www.myvega.com. Media-related inquiries should be directed to press@ironman.com and media@myvega.com.  

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Tri Coach Tuesday – I Will Be Fearless Today

From USA Triathlon
By Courtney Culligan

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Triathlon can be an intimidating sport. The idea of training for and completing three sport disciplines for one race can feel overwhelming for many people. Even the most experienced triathletes can let their worries get in the way of optimum performance. With proper training, support and mental preparation, those worries can fade away as you swim, bike and run your way to that finish line. It’s an amazing experience and one of great accomplishment. For athletes new to the sport or ones considering doing a triathlon for the first time, the importance of mental training is often overshadowed by the emphasis put on physical training in swimming, cycling and running. But, the physical and the mental must work together for the best outcome.

USA Triathlon Ambassador – Courtney Culligan

As an ambassador for USA Triathlon, when I go out into the community to encourage athletes to try a triathlon, I often hear these doubts: “I’m not athletic enough. I don’t think I can do that.”, “I am not a good swimmer. I’m too scared to try this.”, “I don’t have the right gear. My bike is too old.” But, guess what? As an athlete myself and a coach, I hear the experienced triathletes express worries as well. Every single triathlete in the world has had doubts about what he or she can accomplish. I completely understand this feeling. Testing ourselves in new ways is scary. Fear of failure is real. I said a lot of these same things to myself right before my first triathlon, “What the heck am I doing?? I can’t do this.” But, unless we take that first step towards a new challenge we can never know how that accomplishment feels. As athletes, we train our bodies to be strong but we often underestimate the need to train our minds to be resilient and think positively. We need to teach ourselves to believe in our strengths and follow that road to success.

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American just made it cheaper to travel with bikes, surfboards, skis and tubas

American Airlines is eliminating its hefty oversize bag fees for large sports equipment and musical instruments ahead of the summer travel season.

From USA Today
By Dawn Gilbertson

Passengers checking items including surfboards, skis and bikes will now pay standard checked bag fees instead of an oversize bag fee of $150 each way on domestic flights. The fine print: like all checked bags, the items must not weigh more than 50 pounds or overweight bag fees of$150 for those items will kick in, though fees may vary.

The savings are significant: American charges $30 each way for the first checked bag and $40 for a second checked bag.

American said the new policy, which takes effect immediately, was based on feedback from customers and employees.

It also likely was a competitive move. Alaska Airlines eliminated a $75 surcharge for oversized sports equipment in 2017 and last year United Airlines cut the fees for surfboards on nonstop flights to and from California

American said certain oversize items, including antlers, hang gliders, scuba tanks and kite/windsurfing gear, will still be subject to the flat $150 fee because they require special handling.

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Podium Sweep in Yokohama Highlights Great Weekend for USA Triathlon

From USA Triathlon
By Nick Hehemann

Photo: Tommy Zaferes, ITU Media

ITU World Triathlon Series Yokohama

Three Americans on the podium and a third straight World Triathlon Series (WTS) victory for Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) made it an incredible weekend for the USA Triathlon women in Yokohama. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) earned silver for the second WTS medal of her career, while Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) continued her impressive 2019 season with a bronze medal to help the red, white and blue round out the podium. It was the fourth U.S. podium sweep in ITU World Triathlon Series history and the first since 2016.

With a perfect start to 2019 — securing wins in Abu Dhabi, Bermuda and Yokohama — Zaferes has a commanding lead in the WTS Standings with 3,000 points. Spivey is tied with Great Britain’s Jessica Learmouth for second with 2,458 points. Rappaport is now in seventh after her podium finish.

Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.) was the fourth American to crack the top 10 in the women’s field, finishing ninth overall.

Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.) was the top U.S. finisher on the men’s side, placing 15th overall. France’s Vincent Luis broke the tape.

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How These Colorado Students Learn to Run With a Buffalo

From Runner’s World
By Lisa Jhung

Photo: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Can you imagine corralling a 1,300-pound animal at full sprint?

Running with a 1,300-pound bison is not your average college extracurricular. Yet, each spring in late April as the semester draws to an end, students line up with hopes of being part of one of the University of Colorado-Boulder’s proudest traditions.

This year, 35 current and incoming students came out hoping to be handpicked to earn the coveted title of being one of the school’s “Ralphie Handlers.” Ralphie is the name of the bison, or buffalo as is the school mascot, that has led the home team onto the field at football games for the past 52 years.

As you can imagine, the university can’t let the large animal run by itself across the field. That’s where the handlers come in. They run by its side as Ralphie reaches speeds of up to 19 mph in a horseshoe-shaped route before being directed into a trailer by handlers who hold onto ropes on Ralphie’s harness.

“We have two people up front; they’re typically our faster people,” program director John Graves told Runner’s World. “They’re helping to control Ralphie’s direction as she runs around the field.” In back, you’ll find the biggest, strongest handler. “His job is to slow her down a little bit.” Two other handlers run on either side of her to help both direct and slow her down.

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Kara Goucher Nearly Collides With Mountain Lion on Morning Training Run

The big cats are a regular part of life in Boulder, but the former Olympian wasn’t expecting to see one on a populated road.

From Runners World
By Jacob Meschke

Photo: Todd Ryburn Photography/Getty Images
  • Former Olympian Kara Goucher nearly collided with a mountain lion during a morning training run last Monday in Boulder, Colorado.
  • After an injury forced her to drop out of Houston Marathon in January, the 2:24:52 marathoner decided to try her hand at trail running.

Even Kara Goucher, 2:24:52 marathoner and mainstay of U.S. women’s distance running for over a decade, gets spooked sometimes. But when it’s a dangerous wild predator just inches away from you, that’s understandable.

Since the return of an old hamstring injury forced Goucher to drop out of January’s Houston Marathon after 16 miles—her first marathon attempt since her heartbreaking fourth-place finish at the 2016 Olympic Trials—Goucher has taken her running in a new direction: the trails.

After so much success on the road and track, the 2007 IAAF World Championships silver medalist in the 10,000 meters and three time top 10 Olympic finisher, now 40, is training to run the Leadville Trail Marathon on June 15.

Photo: Allen Krughoff/Hardcastle Photography LLC

Though she wants more time to acclimate to the new discipline, Goucher told Runner’s World, training in her home of Boulder, Colorado has been going well. That is, until she nearly collided with a mountain lion.

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IRONMAN officially coming back to Penticton

By Khem Suthiwan

It’s official! IRONMAN Canada is coming back to where it all started in the Okanagan Valley upon the shores of Okanagan Lake. Athletes will be able to partake in frozen goodies from the iconic giant peach (The Peach Ice Cream) and authentic poutine from establishments like burger 55.

IRONMAN Canada (Penticton) holds a special place in many people’s hearts. It was the first IRONMAN race in North America. For me it was my first ever IRONMAN finish, that race was the last time IRONMAN Canada was in Penticton (2012), and the 30th Anniversary.

Aside from Kona, this was by far my favorite 140.6 race on the circuit, and the oldest and longest running IRONMAN race (outside of Kona). That last year our favorite IronNun Sister Madonna Buder’s raced. There were also three friends known as the Three Dick Eds (Ed Wong, Ed Russell, and Dick Enslie), who have finished all but one of 30 races since its inception. So much history here and we are glad to know that it’s not over.

Here’s the official word from Penticton:

Ironman coming home

From Castanet.net
By Colin Dacre

Ironman is coming home to Penticton.

City council voted unanimously Tuesday to have city staff move forward with negotiating a five-year agreement with Ironman Canada to bring the iconic race back to the city.

“Ironman coming back to Penticton is like a divorced couple getting back together again,” said Coun. Julius Bloomfield, explaining he’s “delighted” by the idea.

While a contract needs to be finalized, councillors heard the preliminary proposal will see Penticton host the full-length edition of the race for five years starting in 2020 at an annual cost to taxpayers of $299,000 in cash and $111,000 in-kind support.

Mayor John Vassilaki was on council with Judy Sentes in 2012 when Penticton dumped Ironman during a disagreement over finances.

“At that time it was the right thing to do in the circumstances,” he said. “But you know, times change and we have to change with the times.”

“We need to bring this event back to the community,” Vassilaki, calling the required outlay required of taxpayers “smart money.”

Since Ironman left, MB Events has organized a triathlon in Penticton first under the Challenge banner and now Super League. Both races did not attract numbers anywhere near what Ironman did, although the ITU World Championships in 2017 drew more than 3,500 athletes.

Earlier Tuesday council heard a presentation from Ironman representative Dave Christen, who highlighted $8.8M in visitor spending recorded during the 2017 Ironman in Whistler.

He shared figures that showed the average athlete comes from a household income of $247,000, is 40 years old and is 92 per cent university educated.

“This is where Ironman Canada was born,” Christen said.“The energy that we built here, is something that we try to emulate everywhere else.”

Photo: Colin Dacre
Ironman’s Dave Christen before council Tuesday

The required $663,000 host city contribution is being softened considerably by the business community, with local hotels, Tourism Penticton and others pitching in $200,000. It’s hoped additional sponsors can be found.

The proposal expects 2,600 athletes in the first year, which would translate to upwards of 10,000 visitors to Penticton during Ironman weekend.

A large crowd packed into council chambers broke into applause and cheers when the unanimous vote passed.

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Eliud Kipchoge to challenge two-hour marathon time this Autumn

From INEOS.com

The sub two-hour marathon is the last great barrier of modern athletics.

Eliud Kipchoge, the world’s greatest marathon runner, will attempt to break the two-hour barrier in the INEOS 1.59 Challenge, a special marathon being run between late September and early October 2019.

Eliud Kipchoge, the world’s greatest marathon runner, will attempt to break the two-hour barrier in the INEOS 1.59 Challenge. Photo credit: DAN VERNON

The event will be supported and managed by INEOS. A London venue is being considered.

“Running the fastest ever marathon time of 2:00:25 was the proudest moment of my career,” says Eliud Kipchoge. “To get another chance to break the magical two-hour mark is incredibly exciting. I always say that no human is limited and I know that it is possible for me to break this barrier.”

Find out more at The INEOS 1:59 Challenge website at: https://www.ineos159challenge.com/ 

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USA Cycling and USA Triathlon Join Forces

Exciting news from Colorado Springs, triathlete cyclists can rejoice in the partnership between USA Cycling and Triathlon!

From USA Cycling

USA CYCLING AND USA TRIATHLON ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP

The Partnership will serve to collectively grow the sports of Cycling and Triathlon in the U.S.

Colorado Springs, Colo. – USA Cycling and USA Triathlon have announced a new partnership, offering joint programs and promotions to better serve existing members while attracting new participants to both sports. The U.S. Olympic National Governing Bodies are both headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado — allowing for frequent collaboration around the shared goal of growing the endurance sports community.

The first-of-its-kind partnership is highlighted by a joint annual membership option that provides access to all USA Triathlon- and USA Cycling-sanctioned events. The organizations will cross-promote their respective National Championships and select sanctioned races to each other’s members in an effort to expand racing opportunities for both groups.

The joint membership is now available for purchase for $99, a $31 savings versus purchasing the two memberships separately. More details and a registration link can be found at usacycling.org and usatriathlon.org.

In addition, USA Triathlon and USA Cycling will work together on promotional and educational programs benefitting athletes who compete in both sports. Landing pages will be created on usacycling.org and usatriathlon.org offering content specific to cyclists who want to become triathletes, and vice versa.

“As we see our members expand their interests and look for new challenges, the partnership with USA Triathlon is a great way to further service our members who are looking to build additional strength, endurance and spark their training,” said Rob DeMartini, USA Cycling CEO. “Triathletes will benefit from the partnership by having access to cycling coaches and bike-handling skills clinics to help them through the longest leg. As draft-legal triathlons become more popular among age-group athletes, learning to ride safely in a crowded field of athletes will become increasingly important.”

“Most triathletes in the U.S. come to us from a single-sport background such as swimming, cycling or running. Triathlon provides a unique challenge, a change of pace while cross-training and the opportunity to learn new skills — all of which can complement a single-sport focus,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “USA Cycling is an ideal partner in this initiative, as triathletes can also significantly improve their fitness and technical skills with cycling-specific training and racing. We are proud to align with a fellow U.S. National Governing Body to grow both sports while providing valuable perks to our members.”

For more information:

The joint membership option at $99 is now available for purchase here: https://endurancecui.active.com/event-reg/select-race?e=62166551

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Colorado Springs Engineer Stephen VanGampleare qualifies for Olympic Marathon Trials

From the Masses, an Elite Emerges at Boston

From Runners World
By Sarah Lorge Butler

Photo credit: MARATHONFOTO

Stephen VanGampleare, an engineer from Colorado, ran negative splits on his way to an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time.

The night before the 2019 Boston Marathon, Stephen VanGampleare slept on a buddy’s couch, in a studio apartment across from Fenway Park. The 28-year-old’s feet might have hung off the end—he’s 5-foot-10—but he was too grateful for the hospitality to admit it if he was the slightest bit uncomfortable.

“I don’t have much of a problem sleeping on a couch,” he said.

On Monday morning, he got up, met a few other runner friends at 5:45 a.m., and took the T down to baggage check for the race. From there, they boarded a yellow school bus out to the athletes’ village near the marathon start in Hopkinton. He ate a bagel with peanut butter, a banana, a crunchy peanut butter flavor Clif bar. He got comfortable on a plastic trash bag in the soggy grass, waiting until it was time to walk the 0.7 miles to the start. On the way, he stopped in the CVS parking lot on Main Street and changed into dry shoes and socks.

And from that mundane marathon morning routine—one that resembled the ritual thousands of other runners went through on the same day—he took his place at the front of wave 1, corral 1, and ran 2:18:40. Wearing bib No. 143, he qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials.

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