Endurance Exchange, 303’s Takeaway, Bright Future Ahead

By Bill Plock

If you fast forward a few years, I think the Endurance Exchange this past weekend In Tempe, Arizona will be looked at as a potential turning point in Endurance sports. I think it will bring more unity and opportunities to all things endurance whether it’s triathlon or ultra running or pure cycling. Some key take aways were for me were these (with some further explanation below.)

  • There were many people and organizations from Colorado present; what happens here really matters.
  • The PTO has a well funded game plan in place to possibly revolutionize professional triathlon.
  • Without Limits is on to something with their gravel triathlon in Steamboat, click Here for more on that.
  • Indoor training’s growth with hardware and software (think Zwift) is really just beginning to explode.
  • There are very inspiring people with great stories especially at the USAT Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
  • The Endurance Industry is healthy and finding new ways and new experiences.
  • Dan Empfield (Slowtwitch Publisher) is eloquent and amazingly knowledgeable.
  • Rocky Harris is leading USAT very well.
  • Wait till more folks from cycling and ultra running show up, this conference will explode.
  • There is a commitment to being athlete focused and driven while growing participation.
  • This is a fun group of people to join for anyone choosing the Endurance space for a career.

This year’s conference, born by USA Triathlon partnering with Triathlon Business International, was clearly triathlon leaning, but with doses of topics relevant to all endurance sports. Coaches learned the latest trends and training tips and race directors talked about ways to make events more dynamic, fun and safer for all. Industry celebrities like Bob Babbitt and Mike Reilly, and executives like Rocky Harris, Dan Empfield and Barry Siff, while on duty, also mingled and rolled up their sleeves, were very approachable and cracked a happy hour beverage to learn and listen. The vibe was collaborative, inviting, inclusive and fun. 

Rocky Harris, USAT, Eric Byrnes, Bill Plock

Inspiration abounded from high energy keynote speaker Eric Byrnes, a former Major League Baseball player (one time Colorado Rockie) and an accomplished triathlete. He swam the San Francisco Bay, rode a bike to Chicago and then ran to New York to bring awareness to the Let Them Play Foundation. Dick and Rick Hoyt, the father/son challenged athlete tandem were inducted into the Hall of Fame and there were gasps in the room when you really understood how fast they ran in addition to their IRONMAN feats. For example, they have completed a 10k in 35 minutes and a marathon in 2:44.

There weren’t many dry eyes as Bob Babbitt paid tribute to his long time friend Mike Plant who was inducted into the Hall of Fame thanks to his legendary journalism covering Ironman and introducing the young sport of triathlon to mainstream media. Mike passed away in 2019 and Bob expressed his gratitude and acknowledged Mike’s profound influence on Bob starting Competitor Magazine which led to the Rock and Roll marathon series and so much more.

Magui Martinez-Pena with Triny Willerton

Colorado was well represented in Tempe with many companies exhibiting product, and executives and experts attended and served on panels in break out sessions. Said Magui Martinez-Pena, sales manager for Boulder’s Headsweats, “it was a great experience for us. This is a very specific conference for our target audience. We saw a lot of excitement about our new products like the new Super Crush visor and event shirts. We had an opportunity to connect with our existing clients and make new contacts. Proud to be part of EE as a TBI partner.  We will definitely be there again in 2021!

Matt Miller with BASE Performance, while not exhibiting was booked up meeting with race directors, Tri-club representatives and others collaborating for the upcoming season. “it was great atmosphere to see a lot of key people and a lot of fun,” said Matt. 

Charles Adamo, Bill Plock

The recent announcement by the Professional Triathlon Organization (PTO) and their $2,000,000 prize purse for athletes competing in the upcoming Collins Cup reverberated throughout much of the conference. They presented their plan on the first day of the conference and later I met with Chairman of the PTO, Charles Adamo to dig a little deeper. 

What I learned was that they believe whole heartedly that an economically healthier, and more sustainable professional triathlon field, will help grow the sport overall and provide a better experience to all participants. They see this happening centered on the Collins Cup, a made for TV triathlon experience similar to golf’s Ryder Cup. They hope this will bring coverage to the pro’s and inspire more people to try triathlon. “Triathlon is an aspirational sport, and the influence of the pro’s on the growth of triathlon and age group participation is very important,” said Adamo.

Eventually there will probably be other triathlons (think golf’s majors) leading up to the Collins Cup where pro’s get points to qualify for the 36 spots to be on a team. They model things much like the PGA in golf and the USTA in tennis where the professionals own the events that make them the most money and captivate world audiences. It will be interesting to see what events might be run by the PTO in the future.

In the last session of the day, despite three days of meetings, a lot of enthusiasm and questions were thrown at the panel talking about “gravel”. Gravel bike races and gravel triathlon and the future of them were hot topics. It was suggested that 2020 will see a bit of retraction in gravel bike racing which seems surprising here in Colorado. Without Limits was represented by Olympia Von Berg on the panel of experts. Many questions came up about gravel triathlon. Without Limits will be hosting the first ever gravel only triathlon this year which will it be sanctioned by USA Triathlon.

Needless to say, like it’s biking counterpart, the gravel scene is a bit organic and unrefined at this point so what will the future hold? Said Olympia after the conference,  “people are very receptive to it and excited. Our race will follow all the same rules as a road triathlon. On our course in Steamboat, athletes will ride and run on gravel/dirt only. We think athletes who might be seeking something different, and don’t want a bunch of crazy new gear can take part and have a lot of fun.” 

Dan Empfield, Publisher of Slowtwitch and founder of Quintana Roo hosted a session on the hardware of indoor smart cycles and where they are going. The trend is to provide more and more real life feelings while riding indoors. Like Garmins Neo making the bike “feel” the gravel or the cobbles as it simuglates the road you are watching on the big screen. Watch out for more innovations to make the indoor experience more real. 

Bill Plock and Khem Suthiwan

To wrap up, Khem Suthiwan of 303 Endurance said, “the Endurance Exchange was a great melting pot of triathlon industry professionals. Coaches, industry experts, race directors, brands, and governing body professionals all under one roof. It was great to see all the knowledge and ideas coming together in one place. As our sport and its participants evolve, EE was a great forum to discuss and share new ideas on how to take triathlon to the next level.”

How the Leadville Run Series and a Bike Changed Jason’s Life

By Bill Plock

Jason Cohen of Lafayette Louisiana, stared at scale reading 297 pounds and knew he had to do something, anything, to lose weight and get healthy. When asked if there was a defining moment that made him decide to really make a change, Jason says, “there was a perfect storm of events…..a buddy of mine gave me a bike as a gift and little did I know the bike would change my life.”

Jason began riding this bike here and there and just that extra movement on a more and more consistent basis caused him to start to lose weight and feel better.

Fast forward after losing more and more weight, Jason started to run, something he was more familiar with from his youthful days. His runs became longer, conquering 6 miles before a vacation to Colorado that would change his life even more. He and his wife were on a camping road trip that took them to Leadville during the week of the Heavy Half marathon in June as part of the Leadville Run Series. They arrived on Wednesday before the race and something about that challenge simply overtook Jason. He and his wife decided to alter their plans and stick around so Jason could race. He had never run longer than six miles. He did the race and was hooked and in 2018 he finished the Leadville 100 run.

Listen here to whole story it’s quite inspiring! MILE HIGH ENDURANCE PODCAS

Unpacking CBD with Olympian Joanna Zeiger PHD, As Floyds Partners with Stock Show

It’s been said that the CBD industry is a bit of the Wild West with its wide swath of product placement and beneficial claims. Rich Soares sat down with Joanna Zeiger and talked all things CBD and how it relates to athletes. This on the heels of USA Triathlon announcing a partnership with Evergreen based Pure Spectrum CBD and embracing this category of product for triathletes. For more information on that announcement go HERE

In a recent news release Floyd’s of Leadville announced their sponsorship of the 2020 National Western Stock Show. This is the first time this product category has been included in the show’s exhibitor line-up. National Western’s John Ellis remarks, “The National Western is proud to partner with Floyd’s of Leadville for the 2020 Stock Show.  Floyd’s is at the forefront of development and technology in this emerging industry and we are excited to have them help educate our guests on the benefits of CBD.”

State and Federal laws and social norms have shifted the landscape of cannabis in the last decade. And now with Major League Baseball announcing they will not test for THC, does this open the door for other sports to do the same and will it ultimately affect the CBD industry?

No doubt we have all seen the CBD market begin to take off in endurance sports. With USADA removing CBD from the banned substance list in 2018, there seems to be an acceleration of adoption.

Here is the link to entire podcast and below is the transcript. Click HERE:

Interview with Joanna Zeiger:

Let’s get the discussion rolling with Joanna, but first we are going to give you the Wikipedia on Joanna.

She attended Brown University where she held the school records in the 500-yard (460 m) freestyle, 1,000-yard (910 m) freestyle, and 1,650-yard (1,510 m) freestyle which she set in 1991. Competitive running and cycling were added to her repertoire in 1992 and 1993. Joanna was the 1998 triathlon rookie of the year, took 4th in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and a top 5 Kona pro the same year.

Joanna received her PhD from The Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2001. She pursued her professional athletic career by going on to win the IRONMAN 70.3 world championship 2008. While defending her title in 2009 Joanna suffered a career ending bike crash.

Joanna is the author of “The Champion Mindset”, founder of “Training Away Chronic Pain”, and the architect of the Athlete PEACE Survey. We are going to talk about all of this, but let’s start by going back in time a bit.


Let’s start with growing up as a swimmer. Did you always have the champion mindset or was that something you had to learn?

Joanna Answer:

I definitely had to learn it. I talk about an anecdote in my book about an early swimming meet, I was maybe 15 or so, and I was doing the 400. It was a meet in Mission Viejo and I remember it like yesterday. I came out of the water and I was crying and I said to my coach I’m never going to do this event again and I just put my foot down and he yelled at me and he said I don’t want to hear that nonsense from you. One day that’s going to be your best event. Sure enough he was right it was my best even. I did qualify for the Olympic trials in the 400 a few years later. So I did have the mindset of a champion, but I guess it was dormant inside of me. I had coaches that were able to bring that out of me nurtured it. 


Why Brown University and what career ambitions did you have as a freshman in college? What did you declare as your major?

Joanna Answer:

I got my degree in psychology and I thought that I was going to either do a clinical social work or be a psychologist of some sort. But while I was there I decided that I really I loved research. I grew up with research around me my father even though he was a clinician he’s an allergist he always was involved in research and I used to him on the phone at night recruiting patients. I used to call it telemarketing and you have to call them up and ask him to be involved in the study and it was a lot of work but I just somehow I knew it was just something I wanted to do and so my senior year of college. I got involved with the professor in doing some research and got a publication out of it and it just really feel the fire for me and so I ended up getting a Masters in genetic counseling and I purposely picked a program that had a thesis requirement so that I could do more research and then went on to my PhD.


Fast forward to 2008 when you win the IRONMAN 70.3 world championship and then defend your title in 2009. There you suffered a career ending bike crash. Take us through that experience in 2009 and the injuries that your sustained.

Joanna Answer:

So in 2009 I went back with a lot of confidence. I had done the Austin 70.3 that was a few weeks beforehand had a great race. I felt like my training was right where it needed to be arguably within better fitness and I was in 2008. At mile 45 or so with the bike I was grabbing water bottle one of the aid stations in the person did not let go of the water bottle and so essentially he just pulled me right off my bike and I flipped over my handlebars and I broke my collarbone. I have a lovely plate in there and I did structural and nerve damage in my rib cage that is permanent and to this day I suffer from very severe neuropathic syndrome from that and also earlier this year I was diagnosed with a auto inflammatory disease which was probably initiated by the accident I been suffering symptoms of it for almost a decade after the crash 10 years ago now and doctors never could figure out what was wrong until this year. I finally just got sick enough that they were able to put it all together so the ramifications of that accident were pretty huge. 


In addition to authoring your book “The Champion’s Mindset”, you have continued research and have become a thought leader on how to use aerobic exercised and strength training to help alleviate chronic pain. How did this lead to the Athlete PEACE Survey, and what were you and your colleagues hoping to achieve? 

Joanna Answer:

I was very interested in what are other peoples experience cannabis anecdotally. I’m hearing great things you know people were just you know touting so many wonderful things you know and it was helping with anxiety and pain and you know people getting off opioids, but when I went to the literature to look and see the research on cannabis for pain or other conditions it just wasn’t a lot out there and as an epidemiologist I felt that I was in a position to change some of that. So I formed Canna research group and my father is the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert Zeiger as an author on the paper. I’ve got Bill Silvers who is allergist immunologist who’s chief scientific officer and Ed Fliegler former geriatrician who is an adviser and so the four of us have come together to do cannabis research and look at the benefits and adverse effects and patterns of youth in various populations who may benefit from cannabis .


How do each CBD and THC work in our bodies? How Cannabinoids interact with The Endocannabinoid System and what combinations have the greatest efficacy?

Joanna Answer:

We should start with this whole notion is that everybody has an endo cannabinoid system in their bodies and so we actually make things in our bodies that bind to receptors an that endo cannabinoids system so you know we have endogenous things that bind to that so it isn’t just that you know we take this in this is there for cannabis so we should start with that. We all have expressed throughout our entire body and so we have receptors CB1 and CB2 and THC primarily binds to CB1 and CBD binds to CB2 but also very loosely binds to CB1. So these receptors are everywhere in our body and so that’s why when you take it for certain diseases having different ratios of CBD in THC may be helpful according to where things are expressed in the body and what it is that you’re trying to treat OK so when we talk about cannabis you know we’ve got the marijuana plant where that we all think of being high THC in lower CD and then there’s hemp and that is going to be very high in CVD and by definition has to have less than .03% THC. A lot of companies will actually take the THC out of the hemp so that you end up with just a plain old CD product and then you can have all ratios in between so you can buy things that are THC only you can buy ratios that are 1 to 1 of CBD and THC all the way up to 20 to 1 and then get CBD only.


Your study asked about the subjective benefits compared to the subjective adverse effects. What were the subjective benefits? What were the adverse affects? Are they different for CBD and THC?

Joanna Answer:

One of the things that we looked at are subjective effects and subjective effects are how do you feel basically so you know you took the you took some candidates and we gave them a list of things you know did it make you feel any of these things. So the positive things that people were endorsing were things like improved sleep decreased pain spasms so people really had to say improve sleep, so people really endorsed us some important things that we all struggle with decreased anxiety and then some of the adverse things that people were endorsing were decreased concentration increased appetite increased anxiety so it can be a little confusing because people have less anxiety and some people have more anxiety and even the same individual might experience both things that initially were at different times of the lifecycle of where they are in the metabolism of the cannabis in their system up. 

THC is a banned substance and is a threshold drug What does that mean and if an athlete is using it, what are the threshold that they need to be aware of? Is that a threshold that you can cross if you have taken 12 hours or more prior to testing?

Joanna Answer:

I think so it was 150 nanograms and I and that’s pretty high but what does that mean it’s unknown because everybody metabolizes cannabis differently and it stays in your body for a long time. There are some studies that indicate that THC could actually be released from your system from exercise so that you know let’s say you would take it 2 or 3 weeks ago and all the new exercise now then it’s released in your body and so if you were tested you could test high for levels from that even though I haven’t taken it recently so there’s just still a lot that isn’t known about. You know what that means on a global level because it’s so individual so if you’re going to be tested, really the smart thing would be not to use THC at all or stop using it a long time before you would potentially be tested. In terms of using products that have CBD only a lot of them are contaminated with THC so I tell people that you must buy your CDs were reputable source make sure that there is a certificate of analysis or that there are some 3rd party like consumer labs in other 3rd party testers that are doing independent testing they put out their recommendations. So I say purchase from those places because what happens is you can buy something that says it’s CBD only and it could have high levels of THC now all the sudden you’re taking something that you thought was going to be OK and it’s not so athlete has to be very careful with what they put into their bodies.

Our study did show us that athletes who used CBD and THC, athletes that used both had the most benefit from cannabis, so that they had the highest percentage of improved sleep the biggest reductions in pain they also had the most adverse effects but the percentages were much lower than for the positive effects athletes to use just DVD by itself had um probably the lowest levels of positive benefits and this goes along with what I was saying about the entourage effect that the whole plant is what you need to get the most benefit.

How should athletes, coaches and health providers leverage the data from this study to help athlete health, performance and recovery?

Joanna Answer:

I don’t know that it should be the responsibility of a coach to let an athlete know what they should do. There are cannabis nurses and cannabis positions out there that are very knowledgeable and I would definitely recommend athletes trying to find somebody that has a background in prescribing cannabis or you know has the knowledge that’s a good place to start particularly if you’re using it for a very specific medical condition or if you’re on a lot of medications you want to make sure that you don’t have cross drug interactions. If that’s not something that somebody is willing to do just you know I just say happy to go do your homework you know read without their make sure you’re going to credible sources to read information. You know if you want to get deep into the weeds with research Google Scholar is a good place to go. Leafly has a lot of good information especially if you’re looking just for cannabis 101 but the mantra in the field of cannabis is start low go slow so you want to start with a very low dose and just dose yourself up very slowly. What’s a low dose milligrams of CBD and or THC and if you’re very very scared you could even go 2 1/2 milligrams of THC. CBD is not psychoactive you can get adverse effects from it but usually that’s going to be a much higher dose and some people do say that CBD make some tired. So if you’re very new to it you’re just starting you certainly want to do this at a time when you don’t have to drive or make decisions. You don’t want to try this like you know and then go to work right at a time like on a weekend or when you don’t have to you know do something that’s going to require a lot of concentration.

I think that really depends you know when you look at it’s different for CBD than it is for THC so let’s talk about THC it’s incredibly variable so somebody’s 2 1/2 milligrams could be somebody else is 25 milligrams and the route of administration is also going to be um is going to affect how you feel so you know somebody could take 2 1/2 milligrams from oil and not feel anything and but then they take a gummy and they’re very high or they could smoke it and they feel something totally different. So it’s going to require a little bit of experimentation to write it down because it’s very hard to remember what you’ve done and you know just kind of work your way up slowly and if something doesn’t work it just does it doesn’t mean that cannabis doesn’t work it just means that that specific thing didn’t work. With CBD again you can start with about 5 milligrams that’s not going to be a therapeutic dose for most people and when you look at studies that they do and things like seizure disorders and anxiety they could be giving up participants you know 1 to 5 milligrams per kilogram so you know that could be 60 to more than 100 and some odd milligrams that they’re giving up to a person so you can see where 5 milligrams isn’t very much so again you know you could get to 10 or 20 or 30 milligrams and still not feel anything it could be that you’re not at the therapeutic dose yet.

Khem’s Take on ITU Draft Legal Race

A few weeks ago I raced my first draft-legal triathlon at the Sun Devil Draft-Legal Classic in Tempe, AZ, and since then I’ve had several friends ask about my experience. Besides the usual “I swam, I biked, I ran” and the “nothing” or “everything went as planned” play by play race report write up that you frequently see online, here is my take on racing a draft-legal tri…


If you like to race without all the stress of people freaking out about the water temperature, you should race draft-legal.

If the idea of lining up on the beach and then running into the water all at the same time sounds like fun, you should race draft-legal.

If you like to race alongside athletes who just want to go fast and have a good time, you should race draft-legal.

Photo by Joshua Hughes
L to R: Me, Christeen Hodge (CO), Kendra Weekley (OH), and Caitlin Harty (OH). 

If you enjoy chasing after a pack of athletes cycling faster than you, you should race draft-legal.

If you thrive on pushing in zone 5, 6, 7+ (full anaerobic) over and over and recovering in zone 4 heart rate/power, you should race draft-legal.

If you’re a minimalist and enjoy keeping your transition area nice and tidy without a towel and backpack, you should race draft-legal.

If you love racing on your road bike (sans aerobars), you should race draft-legal.

If you don’t care about qualifying for Kona but qualifying for the ITU World Championships (2019-Lausanne, Switzerland; 2020-Edmonton, Canada; 2021-Bermuda) sounds like fun, you should race draft-legal. 

If you’re looking for something different and challenging (because we all know you can finish an IRONMAN, you’ve done plenty), you should race draft-legal.

Photo by Joshua Hughes

If you still love training and racing hard but want a life outside of triathlon, you should race draft-legal.

In a nutshell, it was just as fun as it was fast and furious. Even though it was a sport I was very familiar with, it was a different scene that reignited the excitement and enjoyment I have struggled to find after racing 140.6’s for a handful of years. It kicked my ass more than ever and my calves were screaming for two days after the race. Definitely unexpected after racing a sprint distance triathlon, but a great reminder that my body still has a little bit of pep left inside and plenty of ass kicking to do. Until the next one…

Tyler Butterfield Wins IM Cozumel, Tim O’Donnell punches Ticket to Kona as well.

Boulder’s Tyler Butterfield had an incredible day yesterday in Cozumel, Mexico winning IRONMAN Cozumel with a 7:44:01 time. He had a blistering 2:38:29 run giving Butterfield a three minute gap on Austria’s (and last years winner) Michael Weiss. Boulder’s Tim O’Donnell finished 7th an earned another trip to Kona.

Said Butterfield from his Instagram account: “What a day yesterday at Ironman Cozumel, Latin American Championships. Not how I thought the race would pan out, but better than I could have ever dreamed or imagined. Cozumel you beauty, huge thanks to the race, volunteers, locals and the island itself–amazing here, and I owe you for fulfilling a childhood dream”

O’Donnell said from his Instagram account: “My Kona 2020 ticket is punched! It was a fast day out there, congrats to the podiums, especially Tyler Butterfield for winning in style with a blazing fast run! My race was a challenge from the start: some pre-race tummy issues turned into race day tummy problems!”

Eight Colorado Women Nominated at Outspoken Summit

By Bill Plock and Lisa Ingarfield

Colorado was well represented last week in Tempe, Arizona, at the second annual Outspoken Summit. Co-founded by Dr’s Lisa Ingarfield (of Denver) and Sara Gross, about 160 women from all corners of triathlon gathered for an enriching conference. They heard from industry leaders and developed leadership skills related to their role in triathlon. The summit provided a rich forum to help develop stronger voices to inspire and advocate for changes in the sport.

There were several Colorado women nominated across six categories for the first annual Outspoken: Women in Triathlon Awards. Nominees were chosen by the triathlon community. The Outspoken Summit team had an open call for nominations in September and October for six award categories. 

Outspoken Woman of the Year:

A woman who has advocated and broken down barriers for women in triathlon in 2019. Won by Coloradan, Triny Willerton

Triny Willerton is a wife, a mom of 5, and a cyclist. In May of 2018, she was struck from behind by a driver with a truck while on a bike ride in Boulder. She sustained over 12 fractures and a punctured lung. Now Willerton, and her platform #itcouldbeme, work to change the narrative between cyclists and motorists to promote road safety for everyone. Triny recovered from her injuries and raced in Kona at the IRONMAN World Championship in 2018 and then qualified and raced in the 70.3 IRONMAN World Championships in 2019. In between all of that, she started the #itcouldbeme initiative and captured the attention of the endurance community all over the world. More information can be found here: https://www.itcouldbeme.org/. Also here is a link to an article published on USA Cycling about Triny: https://www.usacycling.org/article/triny-willerton-in-our-own-words

Coach of the Year:

A triathlon coach who is changing lives, changing the game of coaching, contributing in outstanding ways to triathlon coaching, or women’s equity in the sport, or all of the above.

Tristen Rogers, Hat House; Tristen has been an athletic coach for most of her life, previously working with high schoolers and now with weekend warriors to elites through her coaching and altitude training company HAT House. She has an unstoppable positive attitude and will go out of her way to assist her athletes and folks in the tri community. Her coaching is extremely personalized, and she is an amazing cheerleader. Tristen will lift you up while also keeping it real and helping you be your best self and athlete. Hat House info found here: http://hathouseendurance.com

Yoli Casas, Team YTT; Yoli’s passion, education and wealth of experience coaching endurance athletes or over 30 years make her a sought after coach. Yoli’s unwavering commitment to her athletes have helped thousands of people transform their lives and reach their fitness goals. Yoli’s coaching interests focus on helping people through life challenges by incorporating athletics into their lifestyle. She empowers athletes of all levels and ages achieve their goals while cultivating self-confidence and individual’s belief in themselves. Team YTT info found here: https://yolistrainingteam.com

Susan Yasuhara, Karma Multisport; Susan has a passion and talent for supporting beginners, particularly those who have never swam or are scared of the water. She runs a small multisport group for women with a focus on beginners, athenas, and anyone new to the sport in a non-intimidating environment. She is patient, kind, and will go above and beyond for her athletes. Info on Karma Multisport here: http://karmamultisport.com

Siri Lindley, Team Sirius; Siri is a world champion triathlete and accomplished coach. Her mission is to positively influence others, to help empower individuals by connecting them to their greatest strengths. She is the head coach of Team Sirius, a tri club designed to support beginners to seasoned triathletes. Info on Team Sirius: https://www.teamsiriustriclub.com

Rachel Joyce; Rachel took up triathlon in 2005 and what started as a hobby turned into a passion. Since 2008, she’s climbed to the top of her sport. She has captured a world title, six iron distance titles and stood on the podium three times at the Ironman World Championships. Outside of training and racing, Rachel is a passionate advocate for equality and increasing participation in sport by women. She is a founding member of TriEqual and sits on the Women For Tri Committee of Advisors.

Triny Willerton, Rachel Joyce, Dana Platin, Barbara Perkins

Honorable mentions: Yoli Casas and Susan Yasuhara

Bethany Rutledge Memorial Award

Bethany Rutledge was an active member of the Atlanta, GA triathlon community. She spent her life helping others and supporting triathletes to achieve their best selves. She believed helping people in small ways created potential for much bigger change. For this memorial award, please nominate a woman you believe embodies Bethany’s spirit and philosophy, and has affected many people in small, and meaningful ways.

Nominees from Colorado: Tristen Rogers and Yoli Casas

Athlete of the Year

A pro or age group athlete who has used her platform to advocate for, and make positive change in triathlon.

Triny Willerton (see above)

Barbara Perkins; Barbara is a 2 time Kona competitor and member of Team Couer Sports. Barbara goes out of her way to encourage athletes every single day. She is always contributing and doing her best to help answer any question and calm fears for other triathletes. On top of that, she is fast as fast can be. She broke the tape at IM Santa Rosa this year! She is an extraordinary woman and a fierce athlete. 

Angela Naeth; Angela is a multiple 70.3 and Ironman Champion with 3 sub-9 hour Ironman performances. She is now currently ranked among the top triathletes in the world. Angela continues to pursue her career in these distances and build awareness around Lyme, and Women in Sport. Angela created a women’s triathlon/cycling community in 2017.  www.iracelikeagirl.com. Growing in numbers, iracelikeagirl is her ability to support others in the sport of triathlon.

If you don’t see a woman on this list who you think should be there, then don’t forget to nominate in 2020!

IRONMAN Couer d’Alene Returning 2021 as part of Three City Rotation

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho / TAMPA, Fla. (November 21, 2019) – The IRONMAN Group, a Wanda Sports Group company (Nasdaq: WSG), announced today that the beautiful city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho will once again play host to a full-distance IRONMAN® triathlon on Sunday, June 27, 2021 as part of a renewed multi-year host venue agreement. IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene will serve as the second location of the rotating IRONMAN triathlon for 2021, with the event shifting back to an IRONMAN 70.3® triathlon in 2022 and 2023. The 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur d’Alene triathlon is scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 28, 2020.
“We are excited to return a full distance IRONMAN triathlon to Coeur d’Alene in 2021,” said Dave Christen, Northwest Regional Director for The IRONMAN Group. “We have hosted races in Coeur d’Alene since 2003 and are thrilled to insert Coeur d’Alene as the second stop of the new rotating IRONMAN triathlon series. With the longstanding history the events have built over the years, we know our athletes will be excited to once again race 140.6 miles across this breathtaking and challenging course in beautiful North Idaho for the first time since 2017.”
The new rotating IRONMAN triathlon concept was announced earlier this year and will feature three different full-distance IRONMAN triathlon locations over three years. The 2020 IRONMAN North American Championship St. George, Utah triathlon will be the first stop on the rotating schedule with the 140.6-mile event set to take place on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
The 2021 IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene triathlon racecourse will mirror characteristics of the IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon with slight adjustments to the run course. Athletes will begin with a 2.4-mile double-loop swim in the breathtaking Lake Coeur d’Alene. The 112-mile double-loop bike course will take athletes alongside Lake Coeur d’Alene and through a scenic hilltop view of rural northern Idaho before a transition at City Park. Athletes will cap off the race day with a multi-loop run course through McEuen Park to a triumphant finish downtown on Sherman Ave.
“The IRONMAN races have been a symbol to our community that through hard work and determination you can accomplish great things,” said Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer. “We are excited to have the full-distance IRONMAN triathlon return to Coeur d’Alene and we are grateful for our partnership with IRONMAN.”
“We are overjoyed to welcome back IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene! We started this journey in June of 2017, and had the will and passion to keep pushing and brainstorming on how to make the event a win-win for everyone,” said Britt Bachtel-Browning, Vice President of North Idaho Sports Commission. “Along the way, we received an overwhelming outpouring of support and love from the local community and from athletes around the world. This just shows how truly iconic and special IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene is. We are proud to once again host a full-distance IRONMAN triathlon, and are enthused by the promising future this continued partnership with IRONMAN brings to Coeur d’Alene. This amazing effort and rewarding results really embodies the IRONMAN mantra that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!”
Coeur d’Alene and its neighboring areas are surrounded by dozens of lakes left behind by the glaciers from the ice age. There are more than 55 lakes within easy driving distance of Coeur d’Alene, but none more scenic and full of activities than Lake Coeur d’Alene itself. The perfect place to go on vacation and experience numerous outdoor activities, the area will continue to offer both participants and their families an amazing scenic race destination. With the spectacular North Idaho sunsets and moonrises, the plunge of an osprey after a fish, and the glowing lights of downtown Coeur d’Alene reflecting across Lake Coeur d’Alene waters at night, it is a magical location that will surely please.
General registration for the 2021 IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene triathlon will open on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

“Perhaps this is a sign,” Teri Ward on winning another 303 contest–with Rinny surprise

By Bill Plock

Of all times, during the week of the 2019 IRONMAN World Championships, Teri lost her beloved husband Chuck, after a battle with cancer.

2019 has been a tough year for Teri. She also attempted IRONMAN Boulder in June and was not able to finish. With hopes of qualifying for Kona, her summer turned upside down with the disappointing race, but much more importantly, with a turn for the worse as Chuck’s battle with melanoma cancer worsened. 

Chuck and Teri met just a few years ago. The triathlon community was a big part of their lives and still is for Teri. Their love affair flourished and it’s clear in talking with Teri that despite having met Chuck later in life, he was the love of her life and vice versa. Teri finds so many parallels to life and triathlon and the sport and the community fuel her every day.

While in Kona this year, 303’s Khem Suthiwan collected some wonderful goodies from companies like IKOR, UCAN, SockGuy, Vega, Quantum and more. She even got a coveted swim cap from Clif Bar at the coffee boat. Contestants then answered a daily trivia question and those that answered were eligible to win the grand prize of products. And Teri won!

Teri, 303Triathlon and Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae have crossed paths before.

In 2015 we had a different contest sponsored by Audi Boulder (now Audi Flatirons) and Teri won a workout session with Rinny. To win two contests, with hundreds of people eligible, seems like destiny right? 

When told of winning Teri said, “A couple of friends pointed out that I had won a Kona bag. What a surprise! You see, I had DNF’d at IRONMAN Boulder this year, missing a Kona slot, then my husband’s fight against cancer took a turn for the worst in August and my motivation to train was very limited and my darling husband passed the week of Kona and I haven’t been sure if I would ever train again. Perhaps this is a sign that I am meant to use his determination and strength as motivation to keep up my Kona quest.”

Friends DO Let Friends Race Draft-Legal Tri–What a Blast!!

By Rich Soares

A couple of months ago some friends encouraged me to try our first draft-legal triathlon. I’ve been doing non-draft triathlons for nearly 15 years, and thought it was time to try something new. “First” experiences at my age are rare!

Tom, Todd and Rich

This wasn’t just any draft-legal race, this was the Sun Devil USA Triathlon Draft National Championship for age-groupers and collegiate athletes. As a veteran of IRONMAN Arizona in Tempe, I was familiar with the area, except this transition area was on the opposite shore.

On my pre-race shakeout ride, I knew this was going to be a different experience. Packs of riders pre-riding the course passed me on my aluminum Cannondale (the same bike I did my first triathlon with) like I was standing still.

Khem Suthiwan and Rich

Later, in the practice swim, other swimmers passed me at rates leaving no doubt about the high competition level. This was Nationals after all!

On race morning, USAT officials screened every athlete for draft legal rule adherence before allowing entry. For instance, those with sleeved tops or aero bars were stopped. Officials encouraged a clean transition area by asking athletes to locate tri bags to a corner of the transition area, otherwise the transition was just like any other race, aside from the fact that the transition area was under a highway overpass.

As a beach start, the only thing that I noticed being different was the presence of a blue carpet spread across the beach, freshly swept to display numbered start positions which would be used by the NCAA teams later that day.

When the horn blew I felt like I was in a new, unfamiliar type of race. The best swimmers sprinted to the water and dove in with these graceful, arching dives that propelled them forward fast. Stroking and sighting in the 65 degree water, the remainder of the swim played out like any other open water swim.

Once on the bike, the differences of draft-legal racing quickly became apparent. The first pack passed me at dizzying speeds as I was still tightening my bike shoes. Just two minutes out of transition and I was by myself watching the pack speed away.

Before I processed what happened, someone else came upon me pulling half dozen riders behind him. I tried to jump on the last wheel, but within 30 seconds I fell off and enjoyed most of the first of three laps by myself.

On the second lap, I heard a new rider on my wheel. After clearing a couple of corners, he passed me. I jumped on his wheel and noted his Team USA kit with the name “Hefflefinger” on the backside. I soon realized there was another rider on my wheel.

After 30 seconds or so, Hefflefinger called me up for a pull. I was stoked to work with someone on this race! Here I am on the same aluminum road bike I rode in triathlons 14 years ago, riding in a draft-legal pack! I eagerly take the lead and am careful to not let adrenaline get the bettor of me. I don’t want to drop my new alliances!

We took turns pulling and near the Mill Avenue bridge, I heard a train of guys approaching from behind. As they passed, I made a knee jerk decision to go with them and jumped on the last wheel. As we turn the corner on College and over the hill, I maxed my effort trying to hold on to this new train of guys. We crested the hill, made the turn back over the hill and the caboose (that’s me) came off the back of the train.

Great – I’m starting the third lap the way I started the first – alone!

I abandoned Hefflefinger and the train left me to fend for myself. On the final crossing of the Mill Avenue bridge, I heard another group approach from behind. It was my new buddy Hefflefinger and a couple of other guys. Heff shouted, “jump on”! Relieved to be back with a group, I followed them for the last time and headed to transition.

I hit my lap button running out of T2 in :52 seconds. I saw a few Team USA kits ahead of me, but no Heff. I assessed how I felt about this pace while thinking about a nagging calf injury that kept me from running for a month. My only run; one mile at rest stop driving to this race from Denver!

I had no idea how this was going to go. I tried to catch an older guy in a Team USA kit, but can’t seem to close any distance. We ran through Tempe Town Lake park and onto the Ironman run course again with an out and back on the opposite side of the river from the finish line. I continued at a measured 5K pace until I hit the pedestrian bridge at just past two miles into the race. I increased the pace to the edge of what I think I can hold for the remaining half mile to the finish.

I heard foot steps behind me. I don’t want to get passed! I up the effort to squeeze whatever I have left to propel me to the finish!

I’m wiped! I almost throw up! THAT meant I probably raced beyond my fitness. This race tapped the adrenaline and allowed me to find a new level of effort.

I regrouped with my friends Tom and Todd to share our stories of the race, when Hefflefinger came by. We had a good chuckle about the race and working together. It took experiencing it to fully appreciated the magnitude of working with a group on a draft-legal race. The competition at the Nationals level is high in non-draft, but in draft-legal, it’s another level.

This is fast racing that is so stinking fun! The whole experience of being with friends and seeing familiar faces. I actually gave USAT President, Rocky Harris, a hug while still in my sweaty tri suit – sorry Rocky!

I had a decent race, placing 16th in my male 50-54 AG. I didn’t even come close to the top 10 to qualify for Team USA, but that’s not the point. I had an absolute blast and feel proud of the accomplishment and experience. I’m proud of getting outside of my comfort zone and trying something new for sure. But there’s more. I tapped into a rush of adrenaline yesterday that almost made vomit at the finish line! That’s cool!! Not the vomit part, but the tapping into that much human drive. I want more of it and I’ll be back for it next year!

From Mexico to Florida, Coloradans Shine–Record set in Mexico, 633:41:39 to finish!

Off the beaten mainstream path of traditional triathlons, Boulder’s Laura Knoblach set a world record at the Todo Triatlon (sp), in Leon, Mexico. In this Double Deca Continuous race, competitors complete a 48-mile swim, 2,240-mile bike, and a 524-mile run. Basically they do 20 full-distance IRONMAN races in 28 days. It took Laura 633:41:39 to finish.

In a more familiar scene, Boulder’s Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae and Olympia von Berg placed first and fourth respectively at the Los Cabos IRONMAN 70.3 on Sunday.

At IRONMAN Florida, Colorado native Ben Hoffman took second with a blistering 7:48:29 only three weeks after taking fourth at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. Rounding out the pro field is Boulder’s Justin Metzler(6th), Tyler Butterfield (7th), Tripp Hipple (11th) and Colin Laughery (23rd)

Here is a video of Laura’s finish. https://www.facebook.com/todotriatlon/videos/2462670053947280/

More of Laura’s story can be found here: https://www.9news.com/article/news/local/boulder-woman-breaks-womens-world-record-for-a-double-deca-ultra-triathlon/73-7273b9c0-32e1-4036-9578-b2abeeae545d