Age is Just a Number

Photo by Mark Grubb

70-Year-Old Sets World Age Group Record for Marathon

From Runner’s World
By Sarah Lorge Butler

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.

Read the full article here

USA Triathlon Compete Clean Campaign Launched to Expand Anti-Doping Efforts

By USA Triathlon

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 2018 IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ON NBC NOVEMBER 24 AT 4:30 P.M. ET

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.

Click on the following link for a preview of this year’s broadcast: https://youtu.be/moVDY_8NWtE

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.

Three Athletes Added to USA Paratriathlon Resident Team at U.S. Olympic Training Center

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced the roster for the 2019 USA Paratriathlon Resident Team, an elite squad based at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Melissa Stockwell (Chicago, Ill.), Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill.) and Kyle Coon (Carbondale, Colo.) will join current resident team athletes Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz.), Howie Sanborn (Denver, Colo.) and Hailey Danz (Wauwatosa, Wis.) as they train for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and other elite races on the International Triathlon Union circuit.

The resident team first opened its doors in April as the fifth Paralympic sport to call the Colorado Springs campus home. USA Triathlon Level I Certified Coach Derick Williamson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) is the program’s head coach.

Read the complete article here

Melissa Stockwell celebrates victory as a member of Team USA – Photo Credit: USA Triathlon – Joe Kusumoto

Monday Masters: Swimming May Slow Down Aging By Decades

by Diane Sewell, Everything Zoomer

 

From cradle to grave, swimming might just be the best exercise ever. Here, eight health benefits of taking a lap or two. 

Swimming is good for just about everyone. It accommodates all ages, stages, abilities and disabilities.

There’s also evidence it can slow down the aging process.

A long-term study at Indiana University Bloomington’s Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming found that Masters Swimmers (over age 35) who swam roughly 3,200 to 4,500 metres (about 3.2 to 4.8 kilometres) three to five times a week, postponed the aging process. And not just for a few years but for decades, according to traditional age markers like muscle mass blood pressure and lung function.

But you don’t have to be a Masters Swimmer to benefit from swimming. Far from it.

“The health and well-being benefits start with a minimal amount of swimming,” Counsilman Centre Director Joel Stager is quoted as saying in the university’s newsletter. “If you want the fitness effect, you’ll need to look at getting your heart rate up and boosting the intensity.”

Another study, by Dr. Steven Blair at the University of South Carolina, has shown swimming dramatically reduces the risk of dying. The study spanned 32 years and followed 40,000 men, aged 20 to 90. Those who swam had a 50 per cent lower death rate than runners, walkers and those who didn’t exercise at all.

Here are some other known benefits to swimming:

1. It’s kind to your joints and improves flexibility.

 

Original article here

Champions Collide at 23rd XTERRA Worlds in Maui on Sunday

From XTERRA News

Kapalua, Maui (October 22, 2018) – The 23rd annual XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon scheduled for Sunday, October 28, 2018 in Kapalua, Maui boasts the most competitive elite men’s field ever assembled.

It’s a bold statement, but easy to support considering the past four winners, and second-place finishers, are on the start list.

Bradley Weiss from South Africa won last year, Mauricio Mendez from Mexico was second.  Mendez won in 2016, and Ruben Ruzafa from Spain was second.  Josiah Middaugh from the U.S. won in 2015, with Ruzafa finishing second, and Ruzafa won in 2014, the year Middaugh placed second.

And that’s the story, all these men have gotten the better of each other at one time or another, and they’ve all remained at the top of their game.

“I think that Maui always shows us that there is more than one favorite,” said Ruzafa, who has been first off the bike at XTERRA Worlds each of the last five years.  He won two of those races, in 2013 and 2014, but got chased down by Middaugh in 2015, Mendez in 2016, and Weiss in 2017.

“This year, for the first time since 2014, I’ve done altitude training to prepare for Maui and I’ve changed things in my run and bike training,” said Ruzafa, who has won Maui three times and captured four of the last five ITU Cross Tri World Titles since 2014.  “I was in the Sierra Nevada for two weeks at the end of September, and since then at my home in Spain. The course is so hard, and different every year because of the weather.  We always have to wait until the last moment to see what the terrain conditions will be like.”

No matter what the conditions are like on Sunday, you can count on the reigning champ Brad Weiss to be in the mix.

“The goal is always to win, and I will be disappointed with anything less than defending my title,” said Weiss, who won the XTERRA Asia-Pacific and European Championships this year. “Saying that, the caliber of athletes racing continues to improve and there is a long list of contenders working hard to dethrone me. I welcome the challenge and look forward to facing it come race day, and at the risk of sounding arrogant, I will say I am the favorite. I proved I can win on this course in 2017 and plan to do the same in 2018. The course suits me well and I look forward to maximizing those advantages come race day.”

If experience means anything, give the advantage to Middaugh, who will be racing in his 18th straight XTERRA World Championship fresh off a win at the XTERRA Pan Am Champs last month against Weiss and Mendez.

Read the full article

Introducing Birota Foods

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Introducing Birota Foods
Littleton, Colorado, October 16, 2018

On a cold, Colorado winter day in 2016, Bob Seebohar, 2008 Olympic Sport Dietitian, was out riding his bike, chilled to the bone. All he could think about was how to get warm. Growing up a hot chocolate lover, he immediately began fantasizing about a nice hot cup of chocolatey goodness. Unfortunately, he had a problem: he didn’t want all the sugar that accompanied one of his favorite childhood beverages so he thought of ideas to make this wonderful drink more healthy and functional. Once he made it back home, he tore up his kitchen, experimenting with different creations until his taste buds approved of one particular recipe. This was the birth of Birota Foods. The word “birota” means bicycle in Latin. Birota Foods was born on a bike.

Enter Bri Greenlee, an accomplished Registered/Sport Dietitian, food scientist and chef. Bob met Bri in 2016 and was so impressed by her passion for nutrition and her amazing culinary knowledge and forward thinking, that he pitched his cocoa idea to her. This was the beginning of a very exciting journey.

The mission of Birota Foods is to redefine the cocoa and creamer markets by providing functional ingredients that improve health and fitness by reducing inflammation, improving the body’s ability to burn fat, and regenerating long lasting energy without causing blood sugar spikes.

Birota Foods officially launched their first two products, Smart Cocoa and Smart Coconut Creamer, in September, 2018. Each product contains a few simple ingredients that have been hand picked by Bob and Bri because of their functional roles they have in the body. Take, for example, the two different types of cocoa used in Smart Cocoa. This combination of cocoa has almost double the fat and very high antioxidant levels compared to most, traditional cocoa products on the market. Then there is the addition of organic coconut milk powder for a powerful source of medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) along with the extra addition of caprylic acid, another MCT, which raises ketone levels, allowing the body to burn more fat and improve cognitive functioning. D-ribose is another powerful, functional ingredient in both products which regenerates energy (aka-ATP) without increasing blood sugar. Birota Foods is redefining the cocoa and creamer markets one ingredient at a time.

Birota Foods is a company that uses high-quality, functional ingredients in food products to help improve health and fitness markers.
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For more information about Birota Foods, please contact Bob Seebohar at bob@birotafoods.com or visit www.birotafoods.com.

Kona 2018 Running Shoe Count: Hoka Reigns Again

From Triathlete.com

 

A look at the running shoes the world’s best triathletes are wearing.

Running shoe industry expert David Jewell of Runningshoeinsight.com stood out on the Ironman World Championship run course for the eighth year in a row to collect data on which running shoes the world’s best triathletes are wearing. For the first time ever, he counted the shoes during the final, more-spread-out mile of the marathon instead of the first to ensure a higher level of accuracy. After dethroning Asics in 2017, Hoka One One once again prevailed as the most-worn brand—capturing the feet of 17.7% of the athletes. A big mover was Nike in second place, going from 5.7% in 2017 to 14.9% in 2018.

 

Read the full article here

 

 

Intriguing XTERRA World Championship Elite Race Shaping Up

from XTERRA News

A sneak peek at the 23rd annual XTERRA World Championship tentative elite race start list reveals a wealth of past champions in the men’s lineup, and a golden opportunity for the women’s elite field.

The men’s race features the fearsome foursome, as the last four men to win the XTERRA World Championship are on the start list including the defending champ Bradley Weiss from South Africa, the 2016 champ Mauricio Mendez from Mexico, the 2015 champ Josiah Middaugh from the U.S., and the 2014, 2013, and 2008 winner Ruben Ruzafa from Spain.

Each of those four has made Maui their A-race for the season and will no doubt come into it in the best shape of their life. While it’ll be tough to top any of those guys, there are many who will try.

 

In the women’s elite race, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, the first-and-only elite to win four in a row (2014-2017), is sitting this one out after a tough year dealing with injuries. Her focus now is getting the much-needed rest and recovery she needs to build herself back to unbeatable form for 2019.

“Really sad not to be in Maui…it just doesn’t seem right,” said Duffy, who will be missing Maui for the first time since 2012. “But Dan and I will be supporting the event and cheering everyone on from afar.”

In addition, last year’s runner-up Barbara Riveros, a 3x Olympian from Chile, will be racing the ITU World Cup in Korea on the same weekend to collect points towards 2020 Olympic qualification. Riveros, who finished 2nd three times in Maui, was 5th in Rio and hopes to do even better in Tokyo.

 

Read on for more great intel on the pro field and some amazing back stories on some of this year’s amazing age group athletes.

Complete article here

Boston Marathon Changes Qualifying Times for 2020 Race

by Sarah Lorge Butler, Runner’s World

Runners had to be 4:52 faster than their qualifying time to gain acceptance to 2019 event.


The Boston Marathon, the holy grail race for serious distance runners, has become even harder to get into. Race organizers announced that the qualifying standards for the 2020 race will be 5 minutes faster for every age group.

For the sixth year in a row, the race turned away applicants who had met their qualifying time. In order to enter the 2019 race, which will be held on April 15, runners had to be at least 4 minutes, and 52 seconds faster than their qualifying standard, Boston Athletic Association (BAA) officials said on Thursday.

So far, 23,074 runners have been accepted into the 2019 race. That left 7,384 runners, out of 30,458 who applied, shut out of registration, even though they did achieve the posted standards.

Runners were learning of their registration status for the 2019 race by email.

The field for Boston is capped at 30,000. More than 80 percent of those are time qualifiers, and the time required varies based on a runner’s age and gender. The rest of the field gains entry by running for charities or through a different connection to the race.

Registration for Boston happens over a two-week period, with fastest runners able to register during the first week, which was September 10 through 15. Runners who bettered their qualifying standard by more than 20 minutes had the first crack at registration, followed by those who were 10 minutes faster, followed by those who were 5 minutes faster. The BAA has used the rolling registration system since 2012.

Read the full article here