Lance Panigutti “We Will Need Events to Heal, But For Now Take Time to Connect in Ways We Never Have”

Lance Panigutti, owner of Without Limits Productions, the producer of cycling, triathlon and cyclocross races talked about how his company is handling canceling and postponing races and how he sees the future. He talks about the short term challenges, but also talks about many positives that may emerge and looks at this as an opportunity to adjust and refine his business. He talks about his new implementations based around sustainability and giving back. He put initiatives in place long before the virus outbreak to change the carbon footprint of racing and to give back locally and globally in new ways. Find out a lot more about Lance and Without Limits!

Check out the video here!

Lance Panigutti, Garage Talk #1

IRONMAN Sold to Advance

New York, NY / Tampa, FL (March 26, 2020) – Advance announced today that it has entered into a definitive stock purchase agreement with Wanda Sports Group Company Limited (NASDAQ: WSG) to acquire The IRONMAN Group in an all-cash transaction.  
 
The IRONMAN Group and its portfolio of assets, which includes its flagship IRONMAN® and IRONMAN®70.3® triathlons, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, and the Epic Series® of mountain biking races, among other events, makes up the largest mass participation sports platform in the world. From a single race on O’ahu, Hawai`i in 1978, The IRONMAN Group has owned, organized, promoted, and licensed endurance events for over 40 years, which now consists of more than 235 events in over 50 countries, across triathlon, running, trail running, cycling and mountain biking. Each year over one million international athletes participate in an IRONMAN Group race.
 
Advance is committed to the future of The IRONMAN Group and believes in the long-term strength of its well-recognized brands and the dedication of its athletes, communities, employees and fans. Advance is a private, family-owned business that invests in a broad range of media and technology companies.
 
Orkila Capital (“Orkila”) will co-invest in The IRONMAN Group and Jesse Du Bey, Managing Partner of Orkila, will rejoin its Board of Directors alongside Advance and Andrew Messick, President and CEO of The IRONMAN Group. Orkila is a growth equity firm focused on investments in the media, entertainment and consumer sectors. Du Bey, previously a Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners, led that firm’s 2008 investment in The IRONMAN Group.
 
“Today is an important milestone for The IRONMAN Group. We are pleased with this partnership, which is a testament to Advance’s belief in the company,” said Andrew Messick, CEO of The IRONMAN Group. “We remain confident in our future; our focus and objectives are unchanged; and we are ready to face the opportunities and challenges ahead. Together with Advance and Orkila, we will navigate through the turbulent and uncertain period in front of us and continue to deliver the exceptional experiences for which we’re known. I’m also thrilled to welcome Jesse Du Bey back to the Board of Directors of The IRONMAN Group.” Messick continued, “We thank Wanda Sports Group for its support over the past four years and are proud of what we have accomplished together. We look forward to continuing our work in China with Wanda Sports Group in the coming years.”
 
“We are pleased to welcome The IRONMAN Group to the Advance family of companies,” said Janine Shelffo, Chief Strategy and Development Officer at Advance. “The core IRONMAN Group values of endurance and perseverance resonate strongly at Advance, a one hundred year-old business that has differentiated itself through long-term focus and commitment.  We are delighted to partner with Andrew and his executive team as they plan to resume exceptional race experiences for their passionate athletes, and to support the long-term growth of the business. We’re also pleased to join forces with Orkila and are grateful for the invaluable experience with The IRONMAN Group that they bring to our partnership.”
 
“I look forward to this new chapter with The IRONMAN Group. Since I last worked with Andrew and his team, the company has experienced significant growth in its global triathlon event footprint and has successfully expanded into new areas such as running, trail running and mountain biking,” said Jesse Du Bey, Managing Partner of Orkila. “I am thrilled that Orkila is partnering with Advance, Andrew and The IRONMAN Group to help build this great family of brands into the future.”

About Advance
Advance is a private, family-owned business that owns, operates and invests in companies spanning media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 15,000 people in 19 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.

About Orkila
Orkila Capital LLC (“Orkila”) was formed in 2013, by Jesse Du Bey and Taylor Storms, to pursue proprietary and compelling growth equity investment opportunities in the consumer, media and entertainment sectors. Orkila invests in leading companies at the forefront of evolving market opportunities, including Mikkeller, Recognition Media (The Webby Awards), Antares Audio Technologies (Auto-Tune), Omnipollo and Bellator MMA. Additionally, the Principals of Orkila co-founded Crash Line Productions (Boston Calling Music Festival, Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival and others) as well as sourced and helped execute the 2008 purchase of World Triathlon Corporation (IRONMAN) on behalf of their prior firm. With over 30 years of experience, the Principals of Orkila seek to leverage their deep industry knowledge and relationships to focus on growth platforms with differentiated brands, IP or content. Orkila manages approximately $500 million of capital across three private equity funds and several Special Purpose Vehicles. For more information visit www.orkilacapital.com.

 

Training Ideas, Tips as We Shift Priorities and Event Dates Change

By Alison Freeman

I don’t know about you, but at my house, things started to get pretty interesting Thursday of last week. First, my son’s spring lacrosse season got suspended, then they announced that my daughter’s college was sending the kids home for the rest of the semester, and finally the local school district closed for over a week heading into spring break. That was all in a 10-hour window. Meanwhile, I was – in theory – 6 weeks out from Ironman Texas, staring down a massive training day and a forecast in the high-30s. Not exactly the perfect recipe for motivation. 

Friday morning I woke up, tried to get my kids and house organized for the impending apocalypse, and then gathered my gear and supplies for an epic day on the trainer. Why? Because until told otherwise by a race director, I was proceeding as if my race was still on. Many, many miserable, grueling hours later, I had completed 102 miles on Zwift (yes, that is my personal record) followed by a 4.5 mile run off the bike. And 20 minutes after that, Ironman Texas emailed to announce that they were postponing the race.

My response: “For real, could they not have emailed earlier in the day?!?” And also: a fair amount of relief. Relief that the uncertainty at least was over. Relief that I did not have to do my long run the next day. But also sadness for my friend, who was going to become an Ironman at Texas. And a little concern that I wasn’t a little more disappointed. And now: kind of confused about how much time to take off and when to refocus, a little forlorn about losing the fabulous swim fitness that I’d built, but also excited to be able to devote time to run technique improvements that are hard to accomplish during an Ironman build.

Which is all to say: I get it. I get the uncertainty and the frustration and the confusion of the whole darn mess. Plus things seem to be changing on a near-daily basis. With limited or no access to training facilities, races getting canceled or postponed, and no way to know when the madness will end, it’s getting harder and harder to stay focused. Below are some thoughts on how to maintain some mental stability and keep moving forward over the next several weeks (or months?):

1. First off, there’s no reason to prioritize your training calendar above your health and public safety. Follow all state and local guidelines, and remember that we’re all in the same boat.

2. Luckily running and cycling are not compromised by social distancing. If you are running with friends, though, be sure to maintain a 6-foot separation and don’t share water bottles or nutrition. If you want to get outdoors for your ride, bring extra fueling and water so you don’t need to rely on your usual pit-stop to replenish.

3. With regards to swimming and strength, something is always better than nothing. If you can get your hands on some swim resistance bands you can do dry land work to maintain a bit of swim strength and fitness. And at-home, bodyweight strength training can be surprisingly effective; squats, lunges, single-leg deadlifts, push-ups, and core work are the staples of tri-focused strength work and can all be executed at home.  My coaching colleague, Laura Marcoux who is also a USAT Level II Certified Coach and an NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) – Certified Personal Trainer, has this fantastic strength series to reference for ideas.  

4. With the extra time you have given working from home and no access to the pool, feel free to load up on endurance-effort cycling (think: build a stronger base!) and core work. Both of these can provide great benefits without overtaxing your system.

5. Do keep in mind that lots of high-intensity work, bigger training weeks, and taper/recovery windows can make it harder for your immune system to function at full strength. If you’re already operating at a 10 in terms of social distancing and hand washing, those windows are a good time to turn it up to 11.

6. Be grateful that our hobby is awesome for mental health! A good ride or run can really clear your mind, plus the consistency and routine of training can make life feel a little more normal in an incredibly abnormal world.

7. In terms of race uncertainty, remember that you can only control what you can control. You can’t control a race director’s decision or the timing of their decision, let alone all the outside factors that influence that decision. Focus on what you can control: your day-to-day decisions and training.

8. Along those lines, these days things are pretty chaotic. School closures and business crises and adaptations will wreak chaos on daily routines. Have a little forgiveness when your day isn’t able to include all or any of your planned training.

9. If you have not received specific information from your race director regarding your race’s fate, then keep training! If your race is on, you’ll show up prepared and ready. If it ends up being canceled or postponed, then you’ve given yourself a better launching point to prepare for the next one.

10. If you learn that your race is not proceeding as planned, it’s okay to take some time to process and grieve that loss. Skip your long ride and/or long run, back off the intensity and/or volume for a few days (or weeks, depending on future race dates), and take a breath. If you have 4-6 months or longer before your next race, shift to maintenance mode for a bit. If your next race is potentially sooner, but not so soon that you need to be at your recent training volume, it’s okay to shift your training plan out and drop back for a few weeks. The physical and mental break will help keep you stronger than trying to maintain a high level of fitness and risking burning out.

11. Finally, if you are feeling like it’s hard to motivate to train when your race seems uncertain, remember that we all love and participate in this sport not just for race day. We value a wide range of benefits from training: the fitness we build, the feeling of strength within our bodies, the structure and predictability of our TrainingPeaks calendar, the distraction from the stress of life and work, and the satisfaction of completing (crushing!) our workouts. Use these weeks to focus on and be grateful for everything that training gives back to you each day!

Coach Alison Freeman is a USAT Level II Certified Coach with D3 Multisport.  She is also a 

Training Peaks Level II Certified Coach and Ironman University Certified Coach.  She shares that her role as a coach is to be a partner in your quality assurance program. “It’s my job to keep an eye on the big picture and the goals you want to achieve. But part of that process also involves the smaller pieces, continually assessing and making adjustments as needed to ensure that progress stays on track.”

PTO and IRONMAN Talks Heating Up, Maybe Not in a Friendly Way?

By Bill Plock

Below is a news release we just received from the Professional Triathletes Organization regarding their attempt to engage with IRONMAN for eventual purchase and/or collaboration. It’s no secret the Wanda Sports Group is hoping to sell its triathlon business (IRONMAN). If you are keeping up with this saga, here is the latest.

From afar, does this in some ways parallel what is happening in the National Football League, but on a much, much smaller scale? The NFL is trying to get the players union to accept a new collective bargaining agreement that is actually valid until 2021. But from all accounts, NFL owners want to leverage a long term players agreement as they approach upcoming, multi-billion dollar television contracts due for negotiation this year. If there is a “shaky”, one year agreement players contract still in place, it is thought the NFL will not be able to maximize television contracts due to a possible strike and loss of games to be televised. Makes sense.

Is this a similar situation? It seems the PTO is basically telling IRONMAN that with a supportive professional triathlete organization, they will have a better product to sell and a stronger brand. So why are there no conversations happening–at least publicly? It will be interesting to see how this moves forward.

LONDON, ENGLAND–: The Professional Triathletes Organisation today released the following letter sent to the Board of Directors of Wanda Sports Group Company Limited on 3rd March 2020 advising the Board that in its view the value of the Ironman® Business in any possible sale would be adversely affected by its failure to engage in constructive discussions with the PTO.

Board of Directors, Wanda Sports Group Company Limited, Wanda Plaza, Tower B, 9th Floor, 93 Jianguo Road Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, Attn: Mr. Yimin Gao–CEO

Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer, World Triathlon Corporation, 3407 W. Martin Luther King Blvd, Suite 100, Tampa, Florida 33607

Dear Members of the Board:

We are writing on behalf of the Professional Triathletes Organisation (the “PTO”) and note with interest your public announcement that the Wanda Sports Group Company Limited (“WSG”) is in preliminary discussions concerning the possible sale of its worldwide triathlon and mass participation business (the “WTC Business”). We further note that the WSG Board has yet to respond to our letter dated 3rd of February 2020, in which we advised the Board that the PTO is prepared to enter into discussions regarding the acquisition of the WTC Business and to consider an all-cash transaction or one in which the existing shareholders of WSG are able to participate in the growth of the WTC Business that the PTO and its professionals are uniquely able to deliver. In our letter we also advised the WSG Board that we are prepared to work with other groups who may be interested in acquiring the WTC Business.

We strongly believe that our involvement in the sale process will enable the WSG shareholders to maximise the value of any sale of the WTC Business, and failure to allow the PTO the opportunity to be part of any sale process will adversely affect the WSG shareholders. We believe that this proposal represents a unique opportunity to realise significant value for WSG shareholders and the employees of WTC, and that the PTO can uniquely provide a healthy and growing environment for the WTC Business. The PTO and North Point Advisors, our financial advisors, are prepared to begin discussions forthwith with your senior management and your financial advisors and to sign a customary confidentiality agreement in order to commence certain due diligence.

We hope that you share our enthusiasm and that the WSG Board, in the exercise of its fiduciary duties, delivers a prompt and favourable reply to us. As the WSG Board has failed to respond to our previous good faith approach, we will publicly release a copy of this letter. We would urge you to convey to any potential bidders with whom you may be in discussions our view that the cooperation of the PTO in the operations of the WTC Business is vital to its valuation and its ongoing and future success and, further, in our view, the continued failure of the WSG Board or any potential bidder with whom you may be in discussions to engage with the PTO in a constructive and cooperative manner may have an adverse effect on the WTC Business and the WSG shareholders. We would accordingly request that if there are any restrictions in any Non-Disclosure Agreements prohibiting potential bidders from engaging in discussions with the PTO, that they be waived so that WSG shareholders are able to maximise the sale price of the WTC Business.

Respectfully yours,

Charles Adamo –– Chairman

Sam Renouf –– Chief Executive Officer

Rachel Joyce –– Athlete Director

Dylan McNeice –– Athlete Director

BASE Camp, The Inside Scoop, Be There Next Year!

By Bill Plock

Matt Miller is a disrupter. He has built BASE Performance into a triathlon juggernaught and now I have seen and felt how and why.  If you think BASE is about nutrition products, salt, and a growing line of custom cycling and triathlon clothing, you are right, but you are crazy wrong as well. 

BASE is about people. People who try hard, have fun and care about each other. BASE is a growing triathlon family of over a thousand people from around the world officially on their team. 

This past week, in surprisingly chilly, Orlando Florida, about a 120 teammates came to swim, bike, run, and have fun for four days.  Athletes varied greatly in ability but it’s safe to say that the slowest, least skilled or in-experienced athlete felt every bit a part of this group as the fastest, most seasoned veterans. Here’s why. For this “family” it’s about the start line and how they get to the finish—not how fast they get there. 

At the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, Jacob Golderg/Matt Hert Photo

Besides training and having fun, the overriding goal was to re-connect with fellow BASE teammates and meet new ones. I felt a bit like I was at a high school reunion of a school I didn’t attend. But, that feeling dissipated quickly as this is the most welcoming group of athletes, maybe people, I have ever been around. If BASE was about building ego’s they would’ve been out of business years ago. BASE fuels love for the sport of triathlon by helping people build love for each other. Yes, that sounds lofty, probably corny and utopic, but it’s true.

Boulder based professional triathlete and coach at Baseline Multisport Coaching, Kristin Louderback, who made the trip to help athletes said, “there was no ego at this camp, it was a super fun group to coach and help.”

Becky

At the beach party after our last workout, Becky from Illinois summed it up best saying, “I did 15 hours of training at this camp and normally I do about seven per week. I was so excited, as I kept my face in the water for all my swims, I ran the longest run of my life at 10 miles, and I was so happy everyone waited for me at the end of the run. AND I made it up Sugar Loaf Mountain without stopping!  I just don’t feel judged here and I can do more than ever with the help of my teammates!”

When Matt invited me to camp, he gave me no direction or assignment, and I guess he just wanted me to experience the camp and come to my own conclusions. I write this as unbiased as possible only being influenced by accepting a bed at the BASE house where I shared a room sleeping on a not-so-roomy twin bed appointed with not-so-luxurious Superman bedding. We were in Orlando after all, where housing developments chew up the land built mostly for tourists and Air B&Ber’s.  It’s hard to not be a BASE fan. I wanted to resist and be neutral, but I can’t. This is a great group and I’m just telling you like it is! 

BASE has come a long ways. A really long ways in a pretty short time. I first encountered BASE running on the Boulder creek path during the 2014 Boulder IRONMAN.  Matt and a few of his early, enthusiastic adopters passed out BASE salt in small vials perfect for carrying. Of course I refused and thought each time I passed through the BASE “zone”, “what in the world are these guys doing passing out something not at an official aid station that I had never tried?”  Who would take it I thought, that’s breaking the first rule of racing—don’t do something you have not practiced! I was somewhat shocked at their tenacity, but also impressed.

BASE on course in Kona cheering on

Then in 2015, at IRONMAN Boulder, there they were again, but this time as an official supplier of salt, and they had a booth, and it was a busy booth. Clearly  they were growing. Now they are a significant partner with IRONMAN with booths and products on course at nearly all full and 70.3 races in North America. They sell a wide variety of high quality nutrition products and a line of cycling and triathlon clothing along with some fun lifestyle t-shirts.  

The disruption comes in non conventional ways of offering quality products, either ones BASE makes or ones their partners offer to the team, normally at special prices. For example, Quintana Roo offers BASE members special buys on bikes and wetsuits. Last year BASE was one of QR’s biggest accounts. But more than that, members will often visit local bike shops and leave a BASE sample or a card hoping the store carries the product.  Let’s face it if the people they love (BASE) are more successful, they can have more fun.

That is the magic sauce. Matt has built a company of believers who, I believe, want the company to succeed for reasons way beyond the product. They not only like Matt and the BASE Team, they want to keep seeing each other at BASE functions and at races. They want to know that when they are racing they will see others in BASE kits cheering them on. 

It’s this selfish joy that bonds this group to do the utmost for each other so they can continue to be part of something bigger than themselves. The fun and a strong sense of belonging pulls them together to make them feel valued and included. 

For me, this is a bright part of the future of triathlon where new people from all abilities are able to learn, to train, and become empowered to tackle things they never thought possible. 

But it grew in a way I hadn’t anticipated or could’ve even predicted from those days when they were schlepping salt in Boulder, in nutrition terms, BASE’s growth is as Organic as possible.

Time Trial for Triathletes Starting March 18th, Check it Out, Great Deal for USAT Members

How well do you know how hard to push yourself on your bike? Or your run and swim for that matter? It’s much easier to find a track or a pool with uninterrupted ability to push hard and get consistent feedback on your effort. But biking takes a little more planning, especially as a triathlete wanting to break out your time trial bike. Yes, if you have an indoor trainer, utilizing heart rate and power metrics, it’s easy to simulate an effort and get rewarded with a jersey from Zwift. But there is nothing like being outside, racing others to really find out what you can do. Try a time trial series to get the season started.

Recently in Indianapolis, college football players were tested every which way possible so teams can evaluate them for the upcoming draft. But these simulated efforts have historically proven iffy when it comes to performance in games. Yes, an eye popping 4.22, 40 yard dash looks great on paper, and probably puts some money in someone’s pocket as their draft status improves, but the best wide receiver in NFL history, Jerry Rice wasn’t even close to that. In other words, it’s what happens in the heat of the moment that counts. 

Maybe you can throw down a 300 watt effort for 20 minutes on your Feedback Omnium trainer, which in theory might translate to a 23 mph average at an Olympic distance triathlon, or a 23 minute climb up Lookout—but maybe not. Perhaps you don’t stay in such a powerful position when a cross wind makes that front Zipp 404 wobble a little bit. Or maybe you are so competitive that when you see someone to pass, you find power fueled by endorphins produced in the heat of the moment. It’s hard to maintain the perfect power position for an entire race but practicing at a race like the Karen Hornbostel Time Trial (KHMTT) will certainly help. 

If you are a triathlete who doesn’t race bikes much, the KHMTT is a great way to test your limits and have fun. Time trialing in March not only divulges your fitness level coming out of winter, but it gives you that metabolic boost that comes with digging deep that will serve you better for the upcoming season.  The race is held every Wednesday night starting March 18th at Cherry Creek State Park. Special pricing is offered to current USAT members. Full schedule and general information can be found HERE

The 9.6 mile relatively flat course will test your limits, give you chances to work on your handling skills and compare your efforts to others and yourself. The KHMTT is a seven week series giving you the chance to see improvement week over week. You don’t have to do the whole series, you can come try it once or as many times as you like.

Details of that program for USAT members are here: https://khmtt.com/usat-registration-start/

For non USAT members information is here. https://khmtt.com/bikereg/

Dede Griesbauer’s Story on Her Amazing Race at Ultraman Florida

By Bill Plock

Boulder resident, Dede Griesbauer, the oldest professional triathlete in the world at 49 years old, placed second overall (male and female) at Ultraman Florida completing the race in a little over 22 hours. Listen (link below) to our interview with her talking about this race and her amazing, record setting accomplishment.

“It is not easy being a pro triathlete, but I know the alternative (she left a Wall Street career), while it’s a lot easier, I am just living my dream…”

To put some of this in perspective she swam the 6.2 miles averaging a 1:22/100. Her bike average speed over the two days of 263 miles was almost 24mph (and racers have to stop at stop lights and stop signs) and she ran a double marathon in a little over 8 hours, so about a 9 minute mile. That is remarkable.

Ultraman Florida is a three day endurance race covering 321.6 miles in central Florida. Each participant completes a 6.2 mile (10km) open water swim, a 263 mile (423km) bike ride, and a 52.4 mile (84km) ultra-marathon run. Day 1 consists of a 6.2 mile swim and 92 mile bike, Day 2 is a 171 mile bike, and Day 3 is a 52.4 mile run.

In this podcast Dede talks about the event, the training leading up to, her nutrition plan, how her coach Julie Dibens coached her through the event and maybe what her future holds.

Listen to the full podcast DEDE GRIESBAUER Podcast

P.T.O. Putting 2 Million Bucks in Pockets of 100 Top Pro Triathletes for 2020

LONDON, ENGLAND: The Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced that it has adopted a $2,000,000 Annual Bonus Programme pursuant to which athletes will be paid based on their PTO World Rankings at the end of 2020. The bonus amounts range from $100,000 for the PTO World No. 1 male and female athletes, to $10,000 for the PTO World No. 20 male and female athletes. In addition, male and female athletes ranked at the end of the year between 21-50 shall each be paid $5,000 and those ranked between 51-100 shall be paid $2,000.

Rachel Joyce, Co-President of the PTO commented, “We are very pleased to be able to adopt an annual bonus programme that rewards athletes for outstanding performances throughout the year. The triathlon season is a long one and just because an athlete might have an off race in a large event, doesn’t mean that their year’s performance should go unrewarded.”

The PTO World Rankings is a first-of-its-kind ranking technology to measure the greatest non-drafting professional triathletes. It is a worldwide benchmark of consistent excellence in triathlon. In addition to being the basis for the PTO Annual Bonus Programme, it is used to determine automatic qualification spots for The Collins Cup.

Tim O’Donnell, Co-President of the PTO, stated, “The adoption of the PTO Annual Bonus Plan, together with the $2,000,000 payments at The Collins Cup, means that so far in 2020 the PTO will be paying 200 professional triathletes $4,000,000. We believe that this demonstrates the value and benefits of professionals being unified in our own organisation and we hope that this is just the beginning of the many ways the PTO can bring not only a voice but meaningful contributions to our sport.”

All licensed professionals are eligible to be members of the PTO and there are no costs or memberships fees. More information can be found at protriathletes.org or by e-mailing us at membership@protriathletes.org.

About The Professional Triathletes Organisation

The Professional Triathletes Organisation is a not-for-profit entity representing the body of professional triathletes. The PTO seeks to showcase the passion, talents, determination, struggles and achievements of the dedicated professionals who strive to realise the highest levels of the sport and inspire all those who are a part of the triathlon community. The PTO will host The Collins Cup from May 28-30, at the world-renowned x-bionic sphere® in Samorin, Slovakia. For more information go visit thecollinscup.com

Khem and Josh, A 303 Endurance Story, Dare We Say Fairytale…

The ColoRADo crowd

Bangkok–The 303 Team expanded this weekend during a beautiful wedding ceremony. Khem Suthiwan and Joshua Hughes were married here in Bangkok in a day long, traditional Thai wedding that was, in its own way an endurance event; especially for Josh who had to endure a Thai tradition of passing through many “gates” manned by Khem’s “family” who asked Josh to perform all sorts of things to prove his intent to marry Khem. He did push ups, the limbo, paid money, sang songs, told jokes all while quickly dehydrating under the hot Thailand sun in sweltering humidity. But like any one after the ultimate prize–he made it!

Triathlon friends Meg McWilliam, Gaye Beckman grilling Josh.

Many of you are familiar with Khem on the triathlon course, racing, raising money through her love of the sport, or maybe you have cheered her on at bike races on her beloved Palmares team. 

Lindsey McGee (Without Limits) blessing the happy couple

We at 303 pretty much closed up shop and moved to Thailand for the week along with some our good from friends from Colorado taking time to celebrate this occasion. This is more than a vacation for us. In the scheme of life, in business, it’s important we recognize the people who make it happen for all of us to better enjoy what we love. Khem’s undying love of endurance sports and her undying love of Josh merging together warrants special attention. 

“Just Married Newtons” maybe they are on to something?
Khem’s special made Newtons–she is an ambassador after all

Khem is all about trying and not being afraid to fail. But she is also about being prepared and doing what is necessary to succeed. She never takes shortcuts in life, business or in her sports as an athlete or coach. She said at her wedding that she wasn’t sure this day would ever happen, but in true endurance form, she played the long game, stayed true to herself and knowing who she is she pushed through and her and Josh found each other. 

Many athletes from all over traveled to witness their wedding and even if you don’t know Khem, you know her work covering things like the IRONMAN World Championships, Colorado Classic, just about every Cyclocross and crit race. In a testament of those that traveled to Bangkok we had employees, volunteers and fellow fund raisers from Without LImits, IRONMAN and a guest video appearance from Damon Brandt of Palmares and Pete Alfino of Mile High Multisport (she is MHM coach). 

Khem touches most every part of the Endurance community, even borrow racing a few times. 

We at 303Endurance offer our deepest and most sincere congratulations! Well done!

Heather Jackson and Chris Leiferman Take on Star Studded Cycling Field at Old Man Winter Rally, Feb 9th

BOULDER, CO. (February 4th, 2020) – Boulder County got almost a foot of snow on Monday and Tuesday, but that will not stop a record numbers of winter adventurers from taking on the challenge of the Old Man Winter Rally. The world’s best gravel bike racers will face off in Lyons, Colorado this Sunday, February 9th to see who can conquer the winter elements and elite competition at the 2020 Sufferfest Beer Co. Old Man Winter Rally. The 6th annual bike and running event will be a celebration of snow, mud, sweat, and adventure, including a 50km and 100km bike course along with a 10 km run course.  

Attracting athletes from 25 states, the 100K bike course will be a who’s who of top cyclists and triathletes:

  • Colin Strickland – Male winner of the Dirty Kanza 200
  • Amity Rockwell – Female winner of the Dirty Kanza 200A
  • lex Howes – Male US National Road Race Champion and Pro Tour RiderRuth Winder – 2020 Tour Down Under Champ, Female US National Road Race Champion
  • Pete Stetina -Male winner of the Belgian Waffle Ride
  • Sarah Sturm – Female winner of Belgian Waffle Ride, Cyclocross Single Speed National ChampIan Boswell – Pro Tour racer
  • Heather Jackson – Ironman World Champion top 10 finisher
  • Chris Leiferman – Ironman World Champion top 10 finisher
  • Erin Huck – US National Mountain Bike Team, 2020 Olympic contender
  • Yannick Eckmann – Defending Champion

Old Man Winter Rally The elite competition and inclimate weather will make for a unique Colorado race day experience. The increased cash prize purse of $4300, equally split between male and female winners also has helped draw top athletes. However, the Old Man Winter Rally’s reputation as a challenging, fun, and well-supported event is what brings back participants each year.  “Old Man Winter is all about gearing up for winter adventure, having fun with your buddies, and enjoying a great party at the finish line” says, Josh Kravetz, the event’s founder and President of Adventure Fit, a Boulder-based Active Entertainment event company. Registration is still open for the event.

For those not competing, the top of the Rowena trail (off CO Rd 83) and Old Stage will be great spectating locations – showing off the variety of terrain the riders will challenge. Early February in Colorado can bring spring conditions, or mid winter snow. This year, racers will likely face winter’s more inclement weather with temps in the 30’s and plenty of snow on the roads and trails. All athletes will be supported with well-stocked aid stations with CLIF products, Nuun hydration, Justin’s nut butters, and more. The after party in Lyons is open to all, with bonfires, s’mores, cold Sufferfest beer, and Cyclhops warm food for sale. Join in on the winter adventure! Registration and additional event information is online at: www.OldManWinterRally.com