There are a lot of really tough endurance races out there, but perhaps none are harder—both mentally and physically—than the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race in Queens, New York. The whole thing takes place on a single city block, and in order to finish before the cutoff, runners have to run the equivalent of about two marathons a day for 52 days in a row. In the race’s 22-year history, only 43 people have finished. Last summer, producer Stephanie Joyce headed to Queens to talk with the competitors, including Israeli ultrarunner Kobi Oren, who was determined to win the race on his first attempt.
About Athlete of the Year Each year, elite and age-group multisport athletes are honored for their performances over the past season. USA Triathlon’s Age-Group Athletes of the Year for triathlon and duathlon are selected by the USA Triathlon Age Group Committee and USA Triathlon Duathlon Committee, respectively. USA Triathlon’s Elite Triathletes of the Year, Elite Paratriathletes of the Year and U-23 and Junior Elite Athletes of the Year are selected by the USA Triathlon Athlete Advisory Council.
Sam Long, Liza Reichert win Napa Valley Marathon’s men’s, women’s titles
After taking the lead in the late stages of the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon, Sam Long of Boulder, Colorado won the overall championship in the Calistoga-to-Napa race Sunday morning.
Long finished the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours, 32 minutes and 33 seconds after passing Zack Sims of Atlanta, who led the marathon at the 22-mile mark. Sims placed second at 2:34:58.
The women’s marathon champion was Liza Reichert of Los Altos Hills, who crossed the finish line in 2:44:06.
Earlier, Chandler Kemp of Stanford and Samantha Diaz of Jackson, Wyoming won the men’s and women’s titles, respectively, in the inaugural Napa Valley Half Marathon. Kemp completed the 13.1-mile course in 1:08:23 and Diaz finished in 1:15:46.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced its first-ever National Youth Series, a packed calendar of youth-focused multisport events across the country in 2019. The non-competitive, participation-based series includes 59 youth triathlons, as well as the 73-event Splash & Dash Youth Aquathlon Series. Races are geared toward children ages 7-17.
USA Triathlon partnered with race directors, community centers, coaches, clubs, and parks and recreation departments to provide participation opportunities across USA Triathlon’s six Regions, with a calendar spanning from March through October.
“USA Triathlon is proud to showcase some of the most beloved youth multisport events in the country through our inaugural National Youth Series,” said Meg Duncan, Youth Program Manager at USA Triathlon. “The Splash & Dash Youth Aquathlon Series, launched by USA Triathlon in 2012, has seen enormous success and continued growth with each new year. The National Youth Series now allows us to expand on that participation-based concept while opening up triathlon opportunities to more youth nationwide.”
All youth triathlon events are short in distance (typically a 100-400-meter swim, 2-10-kilometer bike, and 1-2.5-kilometer run), and are intended to expose youth to the basic elements of triathlon while providing a unique sense of accomplishment.
The Splash & Dash series is designed to introduce youth athletes to the multisport lifestyle through the fast-growing discipline of aquathlon (swim-run). With a focus on participation over competition, many of the events are not timed.
Andrew Epperson ran 2:13 in Beppu, Japan this month to qualify for the Trials a third time.
Even when the temperatures dip below 20 degrees in Fort Collins, Colorado, Andrew Epperson heads to Colorado State University’s outdoor track at 6:30 a.m. to warm up before the sun rises. The 28-year-old marathoner, who works as an assistant cross-country and track coach for CSU, sets off around the snow-lined oval, picking up the pace as he begins a long tempo or speed intervals.
He finishes his workout around 9, just in time to meet the team for morning practice.
“I think my training reinforces my coaching, because I understand the ups and downs of practice and racing,” Epperson told Runner’s World. “I’m just as excited to run as the people I recruit.”
Epperson’s enthusiasm for the sport has paid off tremendously in his races. Earlier this month, he finished Japan’s Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon in an Olympic “A” standard time of 2:13:11, shaving nearly four minutes off his personal best. Helping push him towards a PR was a speedy field that included Morocco’s Hicham Laqouahi, who won in 2:08:35.
“I had a lot of fast guys to run with,” said Epperson, who placed 18th overall. “We really lucked out on the day and the conditions. The course was flat, the sky was clear, and even though the final 15 miles were along the ocean, there was no headwind.”
Usually, when Travis Kauffman is trail running and hears something rustling in the brush, he doesn’t get alarmed. It’s likely just deer foraging or a squirrel.
Last week, while on a 15-mile run the afternoon of Feb. 4 in a remote area of Horsetooth Mountain Open Space just west of Fort Collins, something told Kauffman to look back when he heard a crunch. When he did, he saw a mountain lion about 10 feet away getting ready to pounce.
The gangly, 5-foot-10 Fort Collins resident had moved to Colorado from a town in the southern Ozark Mountains of Arkansas five years ago for the outdoors. He picked up mountain biking, trail running and downhill and cross country skiing. At 31, being active made him “feel younger,” he said.
He had biked the West Ridge Trail, which is steep, technical and remote.
Just minutes before spotting the big cat, he had completed the tough first ascent. Then, “one of his worst fears was confirmed.”
“My heart sank into my stomach,” he said Thursday during a news conference in Fort Collins, the first time he had spoken publicly about surviving the attack.
Kauffman had read about what to do if he encountered a mountain lion, so he halted, threw his hands up in the air and yelled to intimidate the animal.
It showed no signs of backing down. The juvenile mountain lion, also known as a puma or cougar, which Kauffman estimated to be about 3 to 4 feet wide and 2½ feet tall, leapt at him and locked its teeth around his right wrist.
Michael Strzelecki has been running trail races since 1985. He considers himself an outdoors lover at his core, and the fact that he can join other like-minded souls at trail races is icing on the cake. The 55-year old Maryland-based energy industry analyst hits up several low-key, traditional style trail races every year.
Jenny Medvene Collins, a 33-year old teacher from Massachusetts, is at the other end of the spectrum. Running for the past decade, she traveled across the country to try her first trail race, a North Face-sponsored event full of costumes, bling, and “excitement.”
It’s a tale of two cultures—and they are clashing. With the addition of corporations like North Face, Spartan, Xterra and others to the trail-racing scene, events on dirt now come in a wide variety of packages. But what does that mean for the sport?
A new kind of trail racing Strzelecki remembers fondly the days when trail racing meant no more than a few dozen people showing up to take on a challenging course and share a beer afterward.
“We didn’t even talk about our times or care if we got on the podium,” he says. “We simply wanted to have fun. The races were natural experiences, with no bells and whistles, and the race directors understood the runners.”
Now, trail racing is growing—thanks, in part, to corporate backing helping to draw in more runners.
Gene Dykes of Pennsylvania averages 6:39 pace and breaks Ed Whitlock’s famous mark.
Gene Dykes, a 70-year-old retired computer programmer who discovered a talent for distance running late in life, set a world record for his age group in the marathon on December 15 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Dykes ran 2:54:23, breaking the previous record—2:54:48—set by the great Canadian runner Ed Whitlock (when he was 73) by 25 seconds. Whitlock ran his record, thought by many to be untouchable, in 2004.
Dykes, who averaged 6:39 pace for the 26.2 miles, told Runner’s World after the race that he wasn’t sure that his achievement had sunk in yet.
“My first thought was that this really frees up my schedule for next year,” he said. He can sign up for the races he enjoys—ultramarathons and hard marathons on courses that aren’t record-eligible—instead of chasing Whitlock’s mark.
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A frequent racer, Dykes has a knack for recovering quickly from difficult efforts. In October, he ran the Toronto Marathon in 2:55:17 to come within 30 seconds of the age-group record. Then just two weeks ago, he ran an ultra in San Francisco, the Vista Verde Skyline 50K (31 miles) with his daughter on December 1, and the California International Marathon on December 2. It’s a highly unusual racing schedule for an elite athlete.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon has increased its investment in anti-doping efforts for age-group athletes as part of an initiative launched earlier this year with support from the USA Triathlon Board of Directors. The USA Triathlon Compete Clean campaign, implemented in collaboration with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), focuses on education, awareness and accountability for amateur triathletes competing in USA Triathlon sanctioned events.
As part of the program, USA Triathlon has expanded its testing at age-group races across the country, including but not limited to national championships and ITU World Championship qualifiers in several multisport disciplines.
“I am really thrilled with the progress we’ve made over the past year in expanding our anti-doping programs to an entirely new level for age-group athletes,” said Chuck Graziano, USA Triathlon Board Member, Certified Coach and head of USA Triathlon’s Anti-Doping Steering Committee. “We are not only testing and deterring the intentional use of performance-enhancing substances, but also providing education and resources to our athletes on the ill effects of doping and what constitutes doping. Many athletes may not be aware that a prescription they’re taking might be banned — unless an exemption is granted — or that a supplement they’re taking might contain a banned substance. This important new program helps to protect the health of our athletes and ensure a level playing field.”
USA Triathlon supported the formation of an Anti-Doping Task Force to evaluate the organization’s clean sport programs and provide recommendations for future direction. The eight members included Graziano, who served as the Task Force Chair; Chris Bowerbank, USA Triathlon former Level II Race Director and Regional Chair; Matthew Fedoruk, Chief Science Officer at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency; Andrew Getzin, USA Triathlon Head Team Physician; Courtney Kulick, USA Triathlon National Team Program Manager; Kate Mittelstadt, Director of the IRONMAN Anti-Doping Program; Steve Sutherland, Chair of the USA Triathlon Age Group Committee; and Jon Whiteman, USA Cycling Risk Protection Manager.
Based on the recommendations of the Task Force, the Board of Directors approved $100,000 in funding for USA Triathlon to implement significant new programming in 2018.
The Steering Committee, which is overseeing the timeline and implementation of that programming, retains many members of the initial Task Force — including Bowerbank, Fedoruk, Graziano, Kulick, Mittelstadt and Whiteman. Leslie Buchanan, Director of Anti-Doping at the International Triathlon Union, has also joined the effort.
“USA Triathlon is proud to have the support of the Board of Directors, as well as a diverse Steering Committee, in our efforts to protect clean athletes and prevent issues of doping in multisport,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “We look forward to driving awareness among our age-group community, while at the same time elevating the organization’s clean sport outreach as a whole.”
“We are very supportive of USA Triathlon’s efforts to promote clean sport across all levels of competition,” said Travis Tygart, USADA CEO. “In addition to its regular USADA-run anti-doping program, it is investing in anti-doping education for both elite and amateur triathletes. This not only helps ensure that athletes, coaches and others are prepared to compete clean, but also helps create a culture of clean sport.”
USA Triathlon has implemented the following as part of the Compete Clean campaign:
Hiring of Full-Time Staff Member Dedicated to SafeSport and Anti-Doping Initiatives: Shelbi Meyer was hired in June and serves as a direct liaison to USADA, working closely with USADA’s education and testing departments to implement best practices and coordinate testing at USA Triathlon-sanctioned events.
Education and Awareness Resources: USA Triathlon has communicated with its members on anti-doping topics throughout the year via e-newsletter, the quarterly USA Triathlon Magazine, social media and a promotional video featuring IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Andy Potts and 2016 Paralympic gold medalist Allysa Seely. USA Triathlon is also sharing printed educational materials and video content to address age-group athletes’ most common anti-doping questions and concerns, such as checking medications, obtaining a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and making smart choices around supplements. Athletes at the elite and age-group levels have been involved in the campaign as ambassadors, wearing “Compete Clean” shirts at events around the world including the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Gold Coast, Australia, and the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
USADA Education Staff at National Events: Representatives from USADA’s education department were onsite at the 2018 USA Triathlon Sprint and Olympic-Distance Age Group National Championships in Cleveland; the Art & Science of Triathlon International Coaching Symposium in Tempe, Arizona; and the USA Triathlon Multisport National Championships in Miami. At these events, USADA staff presented informational sessions to coaches and athletes, shared educational resources and answered questions at an expo booth. USA Triathlon will continue to coordinate with USADA for education and awareness at competitions and industry events through the 2019 season and beyond.
Increased Testing for Age-Group Athletes: Age-group athletes are now tested with more frequency and in higher numbers at collegiate and national championship events, especially those that qualify top finishers for the ITU Age Group World Championships. If an athlete has reason to believe a competitor is using performance-enhancing substances, he or she can submit a tip to USADA’s Play Clean Tip Center at usada.org/playclean with an option to remain anonymous.
Industry Collaboration: The organization continues to work closely with USADA, other Olympic sport National Governing Bodies, IRONMAN and additional triathlon industry partners to share resources, best practices and experiences in promoting clean sport.
Beyond its outreach to age-group athletes, USA Triathlon is also offering detailed educational opportunities to coaches, race directors, USA Triathlon staff, medical personnel and support staff.
For more information about USA Triathlon’s clean sport efforts, and for a list of USA Triathlon members currently serving sanctions for anti-doping violations, visit usatriathlon.org/antidoping.
Additional anti-doping resources are available at usada.org. For educational content geared toward youth athletes, visit truesport.org.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
CELEBRATE 40 YEARS OF DREAMS BY TUNING INTO 2018 IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BROUGHT TO YOU BY AMAZON BROADCAST SPECIAL AIRING ON NBC NOVEMBER 24 AT 4:30 P.M. EST
Annual NBC broadcast special returns to spotlight historic victories and the magic of Kona through the Champions and Inspirational Athletes who compete
Five-episode broadcast of “IRONMAN: Quest for Kona” to air on November 23 starting at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN following 10 athletes as they attempt to qualify for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon
TAMPA, Fla. (November 21, 2018) – The annual broadcast special of the IRONMAN® World Championship brought to you by Amazon will air this Saturday, November 24 at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC, chronicling the iconic triathlon that took place on October 13, 2018 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. Since 1978, the IRONMAN World Championship triathlon has showcased not only the limitless physical capability and competitive nature of the top endurance athletes in the world, but also some of the most awe-inspiring and impactful stories of courage and resilience from the age-group athletes and everyday individuals competing alongside them.
Producing this year’s 90-minute show is Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), a best-in-class television production company that is highly experienced in coverage of endurance sports events such as the Tour de France to audiences around the world. The broadcast includes more camera angles than ever before and aerial imagery that will put viewers into the heart of the race, showcasing the amazing beauty and grueling conditions that the island of Hawai`i is known for.
The broadcast special spans from the pre-race build-up beginning with body marking to the final hours of the nighttime finish, unveiling the intensity, emotion, physical demands and dramatic competition of the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run across the rugged Hawaiian terrain. With approximately 2,500 registered athletes, the 40th Anniversary year marked the largest field ever with athletes from a record breaking 82 countries, regions and territories, proving that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE®.
Among the features of this year’s IRONMAN World Championship special:
Exclusive interviews from current and former World Champions and other professional IRONMAN® athletes during a record setting day.
Defending women’s IRONMAN World Champion Daniela Ryf of Switzerland looks to make history and join an elite group by claiming a fourth consecutive victory as 2017’s second-place finisher Lucy Charles of Great Britain looks to top the podium. Germany’s Anne Haug looks to make a name for herself at this years event.
With a perfect display of form and strength, course record holder and last year’s champion Patrick Lange of Germany battles the likes of Belgium’s Bart Aernouts, Great Britain’s David McNamee and American Tim O’Donnell.
Mother of five, lawyer, entrepreneur and cancer survivor, Rachel Brenke takes on the ultimate test while redefining what it means to be a modern-day superwoman.
Leigh Chivers, who has suffered great personal tragedy following the loss of his wife and young son, looks to honor them while competing at the IRONMAN World Championship
Brothers Brent and Kyle Pease motivated by the Hoyts are the epitome of ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Born with cerebral palsy, Kyle turned to his brother Brent to help him complete his dream of becoming an athlete. At the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon, they attempt to become only the second special team in history to complete the course.