Steamboat Tri and Xterra Indian Peaks

By Bill Plock

Mulitsports headed to the hills this weekend with a road triathlon in Steamboat Springs at Lake Catamount and an off road triathlon, with Xterra Indian Peaks.

In Steamboat, this Olympic distance race was won by Eric Kenney and Emily Osga. The rest of podium was filled by Amanda Withington and Mary Robinson for the women and Ed O’Malley and Anthony Besson for the men.

Some interesting results here with the top ten finishers being equally split between the men and women and in 11th place was first timer, Jenny French. All results are found HERE

At Eldora Mountain Resort, the Xterra Indian Peak off road triathlon and trail run took place with a 1,000 meter swim, 22k trail ride and 7k trail run. Boulder’s Ryan and Maia Ignatz won the men’s and women’s race. Grzegorz Zgliczynski took second (as a 50 to 54) and Thomas Spannring was third. Valentina Carvallo was second for the women and Megan Riepma was third.

USAT Age Group Nationals, Colorado Does Well!

Jim Halberg with Mike Wein

By Bill Plock

The USAT Age Group Nationals took place the weekend in Cleveland, Ohio. The Olympic distance race was Saturday and the Sprint race was Sunday. 20 Coloradans were on the podium!

Seven Coloradans were on the podium in the Olympic Distance:

Lockett Wood and Eileen Croissant both earned first place in the 80 to 84 category. Steph Popelar took second in the 50 to 54. Laura McDonald (35-39) and Tim Hola (45-49) both were third. Lori Dandley (65-69) was fourth and Amy Peters (40-44) finished 5th.

In the Sprint Distance, 13 Coloradans were on the podium;

  • 1st Carter Brand (15-19)
  • 1st Lockett Wood (80-84)
  • 2nd Jonathan Mason (40-44)
  • 3rd Jack Welber (80-84)
  • 4th, Kirk Framke (45-49), Peter Valentyik (50-54), Allicia Caldwell 55-59
  • 5th, Cassidy Hickey (15-19), Katie Cullingford (25-29), Jim Halberg (40-44) Neal McLaughlin (60-64), Nancy Mallon (70-74), Susan Griffin-Kaklikian (60-64)
Dana Willett, Amy Miller, Jim Hallberg, relaxing afterwards

Congrats to all Coloradans who competed!! To find all results and search by name go HERE

Hola, McDonald, Hickey, Mason, Former Age Group Champs, Compete in Cleveland This Weekend

Tim Hola pic with Ellen Hart

Coloradans, Tim Hola, Laura McDonald both former Olympic Distance age group champions, and Cassidy Hickey and Jonathan Mason, Sprint Distance champions are competing in the USAT Championships this weekend in Cleveland. Many other Coloradans are competing as well.

Here is the official information about this weekend’s event with links to track and follow along!

Nation’s most competitive age-groupers to race for national titles in sprint- and Olympic-distance events

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Approximately 4,500 of the nation’s top amateur triathletes will return to Cleveland’s Edgewater Park this Saturday, Aug. 10, and Sunday, Aug. 11, for the Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. In addition, an open water swim competition will be held as part of Age Group Nationals weekend for the first time on Friday, Aug. 9.

First held in 1983, Age Group Nationals is USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running National Championships event. Athletes from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., are set to compete. The youngest athlete on the start list is 15, and the oldest is 90.

Cleveland hosts the event for the second consecutive year, and also hosted in 1992. The main venue is at Edgewater Park. Athletes will swim in Lake Erie, bike and run along the lakeshore overlooking downtown Cleveland, and finish with a sprint down USA Triathlon’s iconic National Championships red carpet within the park.

Athletes must qualify to compete in Saturday’s Olympic-distance race by earning a competitive age-group finish at a previous USA Triathlon-sanctioned event. No qualification is required for Sunday’s sprint-distance race. Both races will be qualification-based starting in 2020, when Age Group Nationals returns to its 2013-2015 host city of Milwaukee. Athletes racing this weekend in Cleveland have access to special qualification opportunities for 2020; more details can be found here.

Racing action begins Friday at 11 a.m. ET with an open water swim competition, hosted by USA Triathlon in partnership with USA Swimming and U.S. Masters Swimming. Athletes will cover a 750-meter course in Lake Erie. Also on Friday, at 6:30 p.m., Greater Cleveland Sports Commission hosts the Sunset Sprint 5K starting and ending at the USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals finisher’s arch.

On tap for Saturday are the Olympic-Distance National Championships, featuring a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run. The first wave of athletes will go off at 6:50 a.m., the last wave starts at 9:06 a.m., and the course will close at 11:45 a.m.

On Sunday, racing continues with the Sprint National Championships, in which athletes will cover a 750m swim, 10k bike and 5k run. The first athletes will start at 6:50 a.m., the last wave goes off at 8:20 a.m., and the course closes at 11:45 a.m.

In both races, athletes will be chasing national titles in their respective age groups. Top finishers in each age group will also earn the opportunity to represent Team USA at the 2020 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, in their respective race distances.

At Olympic-Distance Nationals, the top 18 finishers in each age group (rolling down to 30th place) will earn a spot on Team USA. Sprint-distance competitors must finish in the top eight in their age groups to secure a spot for the Sprint World Championships, which will feature a draft-legal format. Athletes may also qualify for the Sprint World Championships with a top finish at the USA Triathlon Draft-Legal Sprint National Championships in Tempe, Arizona, on Nov. 16. For more information on Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur multisport athletes who represent the U.S. at each ITU World Championship event, visit HERE

Eighteen national champions from 2018 will be back to defend their Olympic-distance titles, including defending Olympic- and sprint-distance men’s overall champion Justin Lippert (Middletown, N.J.) and defending Olympic-distance women’s overall champion Gabrielle Bunten (Forest Lake, Minn.). The 2018 men’s Olympic-distance Masters champion, Scott Erba (Winona Lake, Ind.), will also be back, as will both the women’s and men’s defending Grand Masters champions, Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.) and Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.).

Returning Olympic-Distance National Champions
Name (Hometown), 2019 Age Group
Abbie Sullivan (Canandaigua, N.Y.), F20-24
Justin Lippert (Middletown, N.J.), M20-24
Gabrielle Bunten (Forest Lake, Minn.), F25-29
Todd Buckingham (Big Rapids, Mich.), M30-34
Laura McDonald (Castle Rock, Colo.), F35-39
Michael Phinney (Yardley, Pa.), M35-39
Tracy Kellner (Mequon, Wis.), F45-49
Tim Hola (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), M45-49
Scott Erba (Winona Lake, Ind.), M50-54
Stephen Bosic (Walthum, Mass.), M50-54
Linda Robb (Juno Beach, Fla.), F55-59
Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.), F55-59
Lee Walther (Oklahoma City, Okla.), M55-59
Carol Gephart (Hamilton, Mich.), F60-64
Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.), M60-64
Sibyl Jacobson (New York, N.Y.), F75-79
Robert Plant (Woodside, Calif.), M75-79
Don Nelson (Tulsa, Okla.), M80-84

In addition,19 of last year’s sprint-distance national champions will return to the start line, including Lippert. Both the women’s and men’s defending Masters champions, Ginger Reiner (Lincoln, Mass.) and Vachee Loughran (Glenview, Ill.), are back to defend their titles, as are both of last year’s Grand Masters champions, Dippold and Ron Gierut (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).

Returning Sprint-Distance National Champions
Name (Hometown), 2019 Age Group
Cassidy Hickey (Parker, Colo.), F15-19
Justin Lippert (Middletown, N.J.), M20-24
Desiree Terella (Fairview, Pa.), F30-34
Todd Buckingham (Big Rapids, Mich.), M30-34
Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), F40-44
Ginger Reiner (Lincoln, Mass.), F40-44
Jonathan Mason (Fort Collins, Colo.), M40-44
Celia Dubey (Tarpon Springs, Fla.), F45-49
Vachee Loughran (Glenview, Ill.), M45-49
Robert Skaggs (Solana Beach, Calif.), M50-54
Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.), F55-59
Clint Dowd (Goffstown, N.H.), M55-59
Ron Gierut (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), M60-64
Kathy Calabretta (Ludington, Mich.), F70-74
Terry Habecker (Ithaca, N.Y.), M70-74
Lois Leon (Miami, Fla.), F75-79
Sharon Roggenbuck (Hillsborough, N.C.), F80-84
Madonna Buder (Spokane, Wash.), F85-89
Wayne Fong (Chatsworth, Calif.), M85-89

The Cleveland community is encouraged to come out to Edgewater Park, support the competitors and experience the excitement of multisport. Admission is free to all spectators.

LIVESTREAM AND EVENTS APP: Spectators and media can access a free livestream of both races at usatriathlon.org. Live coverage will also be available on Twitter @USATLive. Race leaderboards and individual athlete tracking can be found by using the USA Triathlon Events App, free to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Media, family and friends can also track athletes using a web-browser-based version of the app, available here.

What The New York Times got wrong—and right—about our sport.

By Kelly O’Mara, Triathlete Magazine

It’s always exciting when the mainstream media covers our sport, especially when triathlon makes it into a paper as big as The New York Times. It’s also always a little entertaining to see what they get right….and wrong. By now, you’ve probably read The New York Times’story on triathlon participation decline and the industry’s efforts to now attract more (and younger) athletes by eliminating barriers and making the sport cheaper.

In general, yes, the story got the broad strokes right: We know triathlon participation declined over the last five or six years after a period of massive growth in the 2000s. We also know there were a number of reasons for this, some having to do with market shifts and some, yes, having to do with a perception of triathlon as too hard and too expensive. The sport, in general, as outlined in the NYT, is now trying to change that perception and attract more diverse and younger athletes.

But, USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris, said the one big thing they missed: It’s already happening. Triathlon participation is already starting to go back up. “We’re now seeing that trend change,” said Harris.

So, in general, yes, the mainstream media got our triathlon basics right. However, we do have a few triathlete-y specifics (and one big one) we’d like to nitpick.

Read the rest HERE

From 303’s perspective, the local races appear to be doing well aside from the now discontinued IRONMAN Boulder. Last weekend’s 70.3 had about 2,500 people register. The Harvest Moon (same distance) coming up in a month is sold out. The sport seems level but at each race there is a healthy show of hands when people are asked to identify themselves as newbies. Many races include duathlons, aqua bikes, relays and SUP options to cast the biggest net on endurance athletes interests.

Ironman 70.3 Delivers Winners–and a Marriage!

By Bill Plock

After 70.3 miles of racing, less than 75 yards separated 1st from 2nd place in the men’s pro race.

At the awards ceremony, men’s winner Chris Leiferman thanked fellow competitor Tyler Butterfield for pushing him–Leiferman won by eight seconds! Leiferman knew Butterfield was close behind when the crowds errupted behind him as Butterfield was closing the gap. But Leiferman prevailed to take first place with a time of 3:44:32. The rest of the field included Kennett Peterson, 3rd, Andy Potts, 4th, Josh Armberger (Aus) 5th and Ben Hoffman 6th. Only Jos Armberger doesn’t reside in Colorado, quite the day for the Coloradans!

The women’s race was won by Skye Moench with a time of 4:09. She came off a recent victory in the full in Frankfurt Germany and Boulder was her first 70.3 win. In second place was Boulder’s Lesley Smith, followed by Meredith Kessler(USA) , Luiza Cravo (Brazil), Romina Palacio (Argentina) and Rachel Olson (USA).

Of the 2,200 amateurs who started the race, Matt McWilliams was the fastest male with a 3:58 time and Alina Henschke Busch for women at 4:28. As temperatures soared into high 90’s the last athletes came in around 4:30

In a fun side story, the Miami Tri Club brought 50 athletes to race, but more importantly to be witnesses to the club manager, Andy Clark marrying Stephanie Reinhold at the finish line after all the athletes were in–and having raced themselves. Andy’s sister in-law, Nicole Clark works for IRONMAN in Louisville. She and her husband, Nick (Andy’s twin brother) raced as well. It’s all one big happy family in the Triathlon World!! Congrats to the Clark family!

All the results of yesterdays race can be found HERE

Boulder IRONMAN 70.3 Packed Pro Field

By Bill Plock

Professional triathlete and second place finisher of the Boulder IRONMAN in June, Kennett Peterson isn’t sure exactly why he has so many competitors tomorrow, but no doubt the start list is impressive. It includes some notable international names and local pros who have won here before—Ben Hoffman, Andy Potts, Tyler Butterfield, Josh Amberger, Justin Daerr, Chris Leiferman, Sam Long, Meredith Kessler, Danielle Mack, Linsey Corbin, Maggie Rusch, Lesley Smith to name a few.

All in all, 44 men and 24 women pros signed up. The actual start line will probably be smaller as often pros sign up far in advance and then adjust their schedules for many reasons.

Kennett suggested a couple of things are probably adding to the large field. One it’s local and many pro’s live and and train in Boulder. Traveling to race is expensive and the prize purses aren’t deep enough to make it cost effective to always travel. Also, the IRONMAN race calendar is not that full right now after a packed June and early July schedule. A 70.3 right now is a great time to start a final push for those racing in Kona in a couple of months.

If you want to see some great racing this weekend, come to the Boulder Reservoir tomorrow!

Busy Multi-Sport Weekend!

Multisport athletes had plenty of choices this past weekend with the Evergreen Triathlon (results HERE), the TriBoulder (results Here), Xterra Beaver Creek (Results Here) and the Carter Lake Swim (results not posted yet, check back HERE)

The Evergreen Triathlon was won by Graham Tuohy and Catlin Standifer (she is on fire, three in a row!). Chase Seebohar and Grant Drummond took second and third for the men while Ashley Zanetell and Riley Ballard did so for the women. About 225 people competed in the Sprint race along with many relay teams. This is a fun, hilly course and a beautiful swim in Evergreen Lake!

In Boulder the Tri Boulder event took place at the Reservoir with race options for just about anyone! There was a sprint, olympic, duathlon, Aquabike and Long Course options. Susan Brooker won the Sprint (as a 55 to 59, wow), Jose Felicia won the mens category (15 to 19 category)–might be one of the larger age ranges to win the race we have seen! Kim Goodell and Luis Iturralde won the Olympic distance and Meg Smith and Cory Rose won the long course.

In Beaver Creek, Josiah Middaugh of Vail won for the men and Suzie Snyder of Reno won for the women. Boulder couple Maia and Ryan Ignatz were 3rd and 6th respectively.

Boulder Peak Triathlon, Delivers, Meehan, Standifer, Champs

The Boulder Peak Triathlon is one of the oldest and best known olympic distance triathlons in the country. This past Saturday in its 28th edition, about 700 people competed in the Triathlon, Duathlon, Aquabike, Tri Relay, Duathlon Relay and Aquabike Relay. There was a race for just about anyone! Mike Meehan won the mens race and Caitlin Standifer won the women’s race. Here is a link to all the results (RESULTS)

Happy on the hill top

The course’s signature is the iconic climb up Old Stage Road on the north end of Boulder. It’s a little over a mile of climbing with some parts of the road exceeding 10% grade. There is no shortage of wildlife with a deer passing through this year and reports of a bear seen as well! But with a good uphill comes a fast downhill! The fastest male bike split of the day belonged to Mike Meehan of 1:01 and the fastest female was Caitlin with a 1:08.

The 10K run takes runners across the dam at the Boulder Reservoir. Sixth place finisher Julian Wheating had yesterdays fastest 10k with a 35:27 just edging out second place finisher Colin Laughery by four seconds! Caitlin also was the fastest female runner with a 37:59.

But race to the slip and slide for everyone is really the most fun with such a large turnout, there was much to celebrate at the end.

Boulder’s Clare Gallagher Wins Western States, Trained in the Arctic

By Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online

Over the weekend, Jim Walmsley and Clare Gallagher took advantage of unusually cool conditions to win the men and women’s races in the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. Walmsley improved his own course record from last year by more than 20 minutes, finishing in 14:09:28. Meanwhile, Gallagher completed the trek from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California in 17:23:25—the second-fastest time ever in the women’s race—after fending off a late challenge from Brittany Peterson. The two women and their pacers were actually running in a small pack with less than ten miles to go before Gallagher put in a crucial surge after the Pointed Rocks aid station at mile 94. (Astonishingly, this effort garnered her a Strava CR for the climb after Robie Point, which comes roughly 98 miles into the race.) In the end, Peterson came in second by eleven minutes—a photo finish by ultrarunning standards. It was Gallagher’s first Western States win, and a fight right up to the end. 

“When Brittany caught up to me, I didn’t think about the 94 miles I’d just run. All I thought about was that this had just turned into a six-mile race,” Gallagher says. “I redlined harder than I’ve ever redlined in my entire life for six miles.”

As if her push to the finish line weren’t remarkable enough in and of itself, Gallagher had also just returned from a two-week trip to Alaska. In early June, Gallagher, who is as dedicated to her environmental activism as she is about running ludicrous distances over gnarly terrain, got a call from world-renowned climber Tommy Caldwell. Was she interested in coming on a Patagonia-sponsored expedition to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)? It was too good an opportunity to pass up. As a consequence, Gallagher’s Western States taper included her first foray into alpinism—an ascent of Mount Hubley in the Brooks Range.  

Read the rest HERE: https://www.outsideonline.com/2399206/clare-gallagher-western-states-2019

Simon Butterworth’s Tale from IM Cork—Grab a Guinness, Great Read

Many of you probably know Simon Butterworth of Louisville, Colorado. He has competed at the IRONMAN World Championships 14 times having won his age group two years ago. He competes in local races constantly and there aren’t many people on the planet who have raced more triathlons. He is from Ireland and recently competed at Cork and you will enjoy reading about his voyage “home” to race in one of the hardest and most weather challenged races he has ever done. An epic day filled with amazing people he encountered. Check out his journey!

By Simon Butterworth

I knew Irish weather could throw us a curve when I signed up last year, but I had no choice.  How could a immigrant from Ireland pass up the first ever IM just 45 miles from their hometown Tramore, impossible.  My enthusiasm for the race will be clear if you read my Blog.  It is after all the Irish who are your hosts and there are non-better at that.  It helped a lot that I managed to finish but it was a real case of “but for the grace of God” that I did.  Two of my fellow old geezers got a flat which finished the race for them.  Try fixing a flat when you are almost hypothermic, motion is essential to not going there.  

I sincerely hope that our day does not deter other Irish Americans (and any one who becomes Irish on St Patricks Day) from going “home” to race.  But do it with eyes wide open.  Preparation for the possible conditions is key.  Sort out an appropriate kit for the worst (and hope for the best like the day before and after), especially for the bike.  I got the best kit possible (my opinion after the race) from Rapha then hoped that I would not have to use it.  It made the finish possible.  I should note that you can do that race in those conditions in bike shorts and short sleeve top, but you probably need to be Irish, from somewhere in the UK or a similar climate.  

All IronMan races are hard it’s just that some take longer than others.  That is a key consideration when picking a race and you are not blazing fast but if you can go the distance within the cutoff times you just need to plan for a longer day.  You need more fluids and food and you also have to adjust your power or HR limits.  You can research what to do on your own but a coach in this case makes matters much easier.  

You will also hear the roads were rough.  Any of us who have done Escape from Alcatraz know that they were not the worst roads in Triathlon by far.  Last year I watched the pro men going airborne over the ruts and potholes on the last downhill to T2 as I was going up.  There were a lot of bumpy roads but again preparation, lower tire pressure and the right bike helps.  I rode on a Dimond, a beam bike that handles rough roads well.  A good road bike that is stiff laterally but compliant vertically would be better than an all-around stiff tri bike.   Gearing is key, I could have used a 32 cog on the rear but managed fine with a 34/28, except for Windmill.  

Speaking of gearing big shout out to Niall McCarthy and Michelle Nagle, both finished 5th in their first IM, Niall did it stuck in the big chain ring for the second loop, ouch.  I met both of them Tuesday before the race (a nice sunny one).  Also shout out to my friends John Kelly, Chanc Wood (both from my Colorado town Lafayette) and Katie O’Brian (from neighboring Boulder).  John made a brave go of it with an injured shoulder but was forced to concede to the conditions.  Katie crashed but continued on learning that she had fractured her collar bone when she finished, tough.  Chanc finished, the prime objective, not sure how his day went.  

I can’t say enough about the people of Youghal and the surrounding towns, villages and farms who came out to support us either as volunteers or in the cheering section.  Big thank you to the club in the middle of Youghal giving us the motivation to press on with some very loud chants.  Seeing the same people all around the course on lap two of the bike in the rain meant that if they could do that so could we.  I have not seen anything like that in over 150 triathlons and 26 IM races.  Only Challenge Roth is the same, and they have the advantage of a much larger population surrounding the course, and sunny skies last year.  

If I was bummed out it was not seeing more happy faces outside the pubs on the course, temptation to stay warm was strong.  Imagine the crowd on the lawn of the Beer Garden at the start of the bike on a day like Monday.  

Anyone with ideas of heading to Ireland next year give me a call or message.  I would be happy to help with the decision making.  Hope you enjoy the story of my two weeks in Ireland and race day on my blog