Coloradans Wendy Wyskiel and Rebecca Ball take on Ultra520K Canada

By Khem Suthiwan

The heart of the Okanagan Valley of eastern British Columbia, the sport of triathlon has its roots in the history of the area. From the famous IRONMAN Canada that will be returning to Penticton in 2020 and original home of the Ultra520K Canada, triathletes from all over the world flock to this hidden gem located about 41 miles north of the US-Canadian border.

Tomorrow on August 3rd, two athletes from the Centennial State of Colorado will embark on a 3-day triathlon journey through the “OK” Valley, Wendy Wyskiel (57) of Longmont and Rebecca Ball (41) of Highlands Ranch. To get here they had to submit applications to the race organization, “qualify” with full-ironman distance race finish times under 14.5 hours, and be invited by the race director. Registrations are usually capped to around 35 athletes, and the application process begins approximately 2 years in advance.

Rebecca Ball & Wendy Wyskiel

Over the course of three days, Wyskiel and Ball, along with 22 other athletes representing 8 countries will cover a total of 520km of swimming, biking, and running broken down as shown in the picture above. Each day athletes will have exactly 12 hours to cross the finish line. Athletes also have to provide their own support crew, which will serve as their “mobile” aid station throughout their entire race.

Personally I’ve had the honor of coaching Wyskiel the last 10 months and will be serving as her support crew captain and kayaker during the swim portion of the race. Previous to that I was also the support crew captain and kayaker for local triathlon coach Mary Carey who finished the race in 2018. Carey has also returned to Penticton as a crew member for Ball.

2019 Ultra520K Canada Athletes

The vibe here is unlike any other. Amped up egos and talks of PRs or time goals, you won’t find it anywhere. To show up to start line healthy and finish the race in its entirety is enough for these tough souls. Three days of racing, anything can happen.

Stay tuned here at 303Triathlon.com to see how the rest of the weekend unfolds!

Nation’s Top Amateur Triathletes to Compete at Age Group Nationals in Cleveland Next Month

From USA Triathlon

2018 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships Sprint Distance August 12, 2018 ©2018 Rich Cruse /.crusephoto.com

USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running national championship event returns to Cleveland’s Edgewater Park next month, with the most accomplished amateur triathletes in the nation set to compete for national titles and world championship berths on Aug. 10-11 as part of the 2019 Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships.

Thousands of age-group triathletes from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. are expected to compete in the event, which first debuted in 1983 and was previously held in Cleveland in 1992 and 2018. Age Group Nationals is consistently one of the top-five largest triathlons in the United States and last year’s event was the second-largest Age Group Nationals in the event’s history with more than 5,400 participants. The largest field to date was in 2014, when 5,789 athletes registered to race in Milwaukee.

“Triathletes of all ages from across the country make the trek to Age Group Nationals each year to test their skills against an immensely talented and competitive field,” said Brian D’Amico, USA Triathlon’s Director of Events. “It is a great source of pride to welcome these triathletes back to this two-day event year after year, and as we host this field in Cleveland for a second consecutive year, we’re grateful to all our partners in the local community, including the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Cleveland Metroparks, and the City of Cleveland, who are helping us ensure every competitor has a memorable race experience.”

The races will start at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 10, with the Olympic-Distance National Championships, where athletes will race across a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run course. Action will then resume at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 11, with the Sprint National Championships, covering a 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run. Both events will be centered at Edgewater Park, a 147-acre lakefront with 9,000 feet of shoreline.

National titles are on the line both days, as are coveted spots on USA Triathlon’s Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur athletes who represent the U.S. at ITU Age Group World Championship events. The top 18 finishers in each age group of Olympic-Distance Nationals, after applying the age-up rule (rolling down to 30th place), will earn the right to represent Team USA at the 2020 ITU Standard-Distance Age Group World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, set for Aug. 20-23, 2020.

Read the full article here

Cat’s out of the bag! Save the date for the Boyd Lake Bash Multisport Festival!!!

By Khem Suthiwan

Well, Lance Panigutti had most of us on the edge of our saddles for a good while, and it was definitely worth the wait!!!

Escape the ordinary on September 7, 2019 with a brand new multisport event experience! Brought to you by Without Limits Productions & Break Away Athletic Events, the “Boyd Lake Bash” Multisport Festival is a hidden gem of a venue, tucked quietly along the front range.

Why add this newly announced event to your schedule? Beautiful mountain views, semi-closed bike course, ideal weather, on-site camping, and beginner friendly race options for the whole family! Sprint, Super-Sprint, Aquabike, Duathlon, Stand-up Paddle Board Tri, Aquathlon, and Running Races!

Onsite camping options will make it easy for athletes to make it a relaxing end of summer weekend, and for this first season the entire event is limited to just 400 athletes. Check the Facebook Event Page HERE for all the latest news on the newest addition to the Colorado triathlon scene!

Bear Temporarily Halts Leadville Trail Marathon to Cross the Road

Runners were excited to see Olympian Kara Goucher. The bear? Not so much.

From Runner’s World
By Andrew Dawson

Photo by Quentin Genke
  • Colorado Springs runner Pete Peterson and his friend Quentin Genke were between miles 12 and 13 at the Leadville Trail Marathon when a bear crossed in front of them, temporarily halting the race.
  • The runners stayed calm, and were able to resume their race within 20 seconds after the bear safely made its way to the other side.

Colorado Springs runner Pete Peterson has had some luck with animal encounters in the past year and a half, seeing both a mountain lion and a bear on the trails in two separate instances.

This weekend, his streak continued at the Leadville Trail Marathon when he once again crossed paths with a bear.

Peterson had started the day with his friend, Quentin Genke, also of Colorado Springs, with a Leadville prerace, carb-loaded breakfast tradition they started a year before: a Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) and a cinnamon roll.

“Typically we get a PBR after the race or training runs, but it’s Leadville,” Genke told Runner’s World. “It’s already a race on a mountain at high elevation, so it’s a crazy event to begin with. This just adds to the insanity of the day.”

Little did he know, the most incredible part of the day was still to come.

Both runners were using the race as a training run for other mountain and trail races later in the year, so the mood was relaxed as they set off. For the first half, they were cruising. They had a solid pack of runners with them between mile 12 and 13 when Genke glanced to his right where he saw a bear running along the course.

“I don’t think (the bear) was interested in running the race,” Genke said. “So I reached into my pocket and grabbed my phone quick and yelled, ‘Bear!’”

This section of the race took place on a service road where cars were active even during the race. So runners had been hearing people yelling about cars coming, and were used to moving to the side of the road to let them pass.

Read the full article here

Kara Goucher’s Leadville Trail Marathon Debut

Kara Goucher Calls Leadville Debut ‘Hardest Thing I Ever Accomplished’

From Runner’s World
By Taylor Dutch

Photo by Matt Trappe

Bouts of vomiting from altitude sickness made the Olympian consider dropping out, but she pushed through for a fifth-place finish.

  • Kara Goucher made her trail race debut on June 15 at the Leadville Trail Marathon in Leadville, Colorado.
  • The two-time Olympian finished fifth in the women’s division, crossing the finish line in 3:54. Tara Richardson won the women’s race in 3:22.
  • Goucher credits the crowd and her competitors for helping her fight through bouts of altitude sickness during the notoriously difficult course.

Even with decades of experience running at the highest levels in the sport, Kara Goucher is still pushing her limits. Goucher made her trail racing debut on Saturday at the Leadville Trail Marathon, where the two-time Olympian said she experienced the most difficult competition of her career.

With bouts of altitude sickness, Goucher, 40, ran through some extremely tough moments in Leadville, Colorado. But with encouragement from supporters along the course, the marathoner fought through the challenges to finish fifth and win her age group.

Goucher completed the marathon in 3:54 for an average pace of 8:56 per mile. Race winner Tara Richardson, 27, covered the course in 3:22:39. In the men’s race, Joshua Lund, 30 of Boulder, won the event in 3:03.

“I’ve never been so low and continued on, so I guess I found out that I’m tougher than I thought,” Goucher told Runner’s World. “I think of myself as a pretty tough person, but I’ve never been in such a pain cave as I was yesterday. I mean, I was in such a dark place that I’ve never experienced before.”

Read the full article here

VEGA JOINS IRONMAN `OHANA AS TITLE SPONSOR OF THE 2019 IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

TAMPA, Fla. (June 13, 2019) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Group company, is excited to announce a new partnership with plant-based nutrition brand, Vega, as the title sponsor of the 2019 IRONMAN® World Championship, the most iconic one-day endurance event in the world. As the leader in premium plant-based sport nutrition, Vega joins the IRONMAN `Ohana as the Official Recovery Nutrition partner of the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship in addition to title sponsor.

The IRONMAN World Championship is the pinnacle of endurance racing with over 95,000 athletes competing to qualify at more than 40 global IRONMAN® events each year. Athletes who qualify for the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship will be entitled to a special offer on Vega® products. Additionally, Vega products will be available in the IRONMAN Village, on-course and in the athlete recovery zone at the Vega IRONMAN World Championship on Saturday, October 12, 2019 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.

“We are coming off a historic year in Kona that celebrated 40 years of racing in Hawai`i with our largest international field, record-smashing times and unparalleled live coverage. The level of competition rises every year and our IRONMAN athletes are always looking for the best performance nutrition to help them reach top performance. The collaboration with Vega for the IRONMAN World Championship is a perfect fit, bringing a partner dedicated to high performance nutrition that won’t compromise quality,” said Matthieu Van Veen, Chief Revenue Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “Co-founded by a professional triathlete, Vega offers a vast range of products that focus on meeting the high standards that top triathletes from around the world expect with everything they do to prepare and compete. We are glad to welcome Vega to our `Ohana.”

Vega has been a pioneer in the plant-based nutrition industry since 2001. Vega co-founder Brendan Brazier knew that dialing in his nutrition was the competitive advantage he needed as a professional triathlete. Through trial, error, and experimentation, Brazier developed new products that helped him recover between training sessions better than any supplement he’d tried. Today, Vega has grown to include specialized sport nutrition, providing fueling options for before, during and after workouts or competition.

“We know that nutrition is the key to unlocking athletic excellence and what better way to demonstrate the power of plant-based sport nutrition than at Kona – the pinnacle of endurance sport,” says Samantha Taylor, VP of Marketing, Vega. “While this is a new partnership for us, the synergies between IRONMAN and Vega date back many years when co-founder Brendan Brazier launched Vega at the height of his pro triathlete career. Brendan’s vision for creating a product that enables athletes to feel and perform their best continues to be our driving inspiration today, as more than ever, athletes are looking for a competitive edge in their sport through plant-based nutrition.  Recently having achieved NSF Certified for Sport® for our Vega Sport® line we continue to innovate and enhance our formulation to support athlete needs. We’re honored to be a part of IRONMAN’s `Ohana and we’re looking forward to bringing our premium plant-based sport nutrition to those attending this iconic race.”

Two core products in the Vega Sport® line include Premium Protein and Recovery, both of which have no artificial flavors or sweeteners and are NSF Certified for Sport®, Gluten-Free, Vegan Certified and Non-GMO Project Verified.

  • Vega Sport® Premium Protein is formulated to help rebuild muscle after a tough workout and is packed with 30 grams of plant-based protein, BCAAs, 2 billion CFU of probiotics (bacillus coagulans), and tart cherry to support recovery.
  • Vega Sport® Recovery is formulated to help replenish glycogen stores so that athletes can stay ready for whatever comes next and includes 16 grams of carbohydrates, electrolytes and B vitamins.

The 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship will enjoy 20 hours of comprehensive live race day coverage globally via IRONMAN NOW™ on Facebook Watch – www.facebookwatch.com/IRONMANnow and through regional television coverage, including NBC Sports in the United States. Last year’s IRONMAN World Championship live coverage included everything from the early morning body marking to the final hour finish-line celebration and saw nearly 20 million total views on Facebook Watch.

Event information for the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship can be found at www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/world-championship.aspx. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. For more details aboutVega and their full product offering, visit www.myvega.com. Media-related inquiries should be directed to press@ironman.com and media@myvega.com.  

Read the full article here


Podium Sweep in Yokohama Highlights Great Weekend for USA Triathlon

From USA Triathlon
By Nick Hehemann

Photo: Tommy Zaferes, ITU Media

ITU World Triathlon Series Yokohama

Three Americans on the podium and a third straight World Triathlon Series (WTS) victory for Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) made it an incredible weekend for the USA Triathlon women in Yokohama. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) earned silver for the second WTS medal of her career, while Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) continued her impressive 2019 season with a bronze medal to help the red, white and blue round out the podium. It was the fourth U.S. podium sweep in ITU World Triathlon Series history and the first since 2016.

With a perfect start to 2019 — securing wins in Abu Dhabi, Bermuda and Yokohama — Zaferes has a commanding lead in the WTS Standings with 3,000 points. Spivey is tied with Great Britain’s Jessica Learmouth for second with 2,458 points. Rappaport is now in seventh after her podium finish.

Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.) was the fourth American to crack the top 10 in the women’s field, finishing ninth overall.

Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.) was the top U.S. finisher on the men’s side, placing 15th overall. France’s Vincent Luis broke the tape.

Read the full article here

IRONMAN officially coming back to Penticton

By Khem Suthiwan

It’s official! IRONMAN Canada is coming back to where it all started in the Okanagan Valley upon the shores of Okanagan Lake. Athletes will be able to partake in frozen goodies from the iconic giant peach (The Peach Ice Cream) and authentic poutine from establishments like burger 55.

IRONMAN Canada (Penticton) holds a special place in many people’s hearts. It was the first IRONMAN race in North America. For me it was my first ever IRONMAN finish, that race was the last time IRONMAN Canada was in Penticton (2012), and the 30th Anniversary.

Aside from Kona, this was by far my favorite 140.6 race on the circuit, and the oldest and longest running IRONMAN race (outside of Kona). That last year our favorite IronNun Sister Madonna Buder’s raced. There were also three friends known as the Three Dick Eds (Ed Wong, Ed Russell, and Dick Enslie), who have finished all but one of 30 races since its inception. So much history here and we are glad to know that it’s not over.

Here’s the official word from Penticton:

Ironman coming home

From Castanet.net
By Colin Dacre

Ironman is coming home to Penticton.

City council voted unanimously Tuesday to have city staff move forward with negotiating a five-year agreement with Ironman Canada to bring the iconic race back to the city.

“Ironman coming back to Penticton is like a divorced couple getting back together again,” said Coun. Julius Bloomfield, explaining he’s “delighted” by the idea.

While a contract needs to be finalized, councillors heard the preliminary proposal will see Penticton host the full-length edition of the race for five years starting in 2020 at an annual cost to taxpayers of $299,000 in cash and $111,000 in-kind support.

Mayor John Vassilaki was on council with Judy Sentes in 2012 when Penticton dumped Ironman during a disagreement over finances.

“At that time it was the right thing to do in the circumstances,” he said. “But you know, times change and we have to change with the times.”

“We need to bring this event back to the community,” Vassilaki, calling the required outlay required of taxpayers “smart money.”

Since Ironman left, MB Events has organized a triathlon in Penticton first under the Challenge banner and now Super League. Both races did not attract numbers anywhere near what Ironman did, although the ITU World Championships in 2017 drew more than 3,500 athletes.

Earlier Tuesday council heard a presentation from Ironman representative Dave Christen, who highlighted $8.8M in visitor spending recorded during the 2017 Ironman in Whistler.

He shared figures that showed the average athlete comes from a household income of $247,000, is 40 years old and is 92 per cent university educated.

“This is where Ironman Canada was born,” Christen said.“The energy that we built here, is something that we try to emulate everywhere else.”

Photo: Colin Dacre
Ironman’s Dave Christen before council Tuesday

The required $663,000 host city contribution is being softened considerably by the business community, with local hotels, Tourism Penticton and others pitching in $200,000. It’s hoped additional sponsors can be found.

The proposal expects 2,600 athletes in the first year, which would translate to upwards of 10,000 visitors to Penticton during Ironman weekend.

A large crowd packed into council chambers broke into applause and cheers when the unanimous vote passed.

Read the full article here

USA Cycling and USA Triathlon Join Forces

Exciting news from Colorado Springs, triathlete cyclists can rejoice in the partnership between USA Cycling and Triathlon!

From USA Cycling

USA CYCLING AND USA TRIATHLON ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP

The Partnership will serve to collectively grow the sports of Cycling and Triathlon in the U.S.

Colorado Springs, Colo. – USA Cycling and USA Triathlon have announced a new partnership, offering joint programs and promotions to better serve existing members while attracting new participants to both sports. The U.S. Olympic National Governing Bodies are both headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado — allowing for frequent collaboration around the shared goal of growing the endurance sports community.

The first-of-its-kind partnership is highlighted by a joint annual membership option that provides access to all USA Triathlon- and USA Cycling-sanctioned events. The organizations will cross-promote their respective National Championships and select sanctioned races to each other’s members in an effort to expand racing opportunities for both groups.

The joint membership is now available for purchase for $99, a $31 savings versus purchasing the two memberships separately. More details and a registration link can be found at usacycling.org and usatriathlon.org.

In addition, USA Triathlon and USA Cycling will work together on promotional and educational programs benefitting athletes who compete in both sports. Landing pages will be created on usacycling.org and usatriathlon.org offering content specific to cyclists who want to become triathletes, and vice versa.

“As we see our members expand their interests and look for new challenges, the partnership with USA Triathlon is a great way to further service our members who are looking to build additional strength, endurance and spark their training,” said Rob DeMartini, USA Cycling CEO. “Triathletes will benefit from the partnership by having access to cycling coaches and bike-handling skills clinics to help them through the longest leg. As draft-legal triathlons become more popular among age-group athletes, learning to ride safely in a crowded field of athletes will become increasingly important.”

“Most triathletes in the U.S. come to us from a single-sport background such as swimming, cycling or running. Triathlon provides a unique challenge, a change of pace while cross-training and the opportunity to learn new skills — all of which can complement a single-sport focus,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “USA Cycling is an ideal partner in this initiative, as triathletes can also significantly improve their fitness and technical skills with cycling-specific training and racing. We are proud to align with a fellow U.S. National Governing Body to grow both sports while providing valuable perks to our members.”

For more information:

The joint membership option at $99 is now available for purchase here: https://endurancecui.active.com/event-reg/select-race?e=62166551

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Colorado Springs Engineer Stephen VanGampleare qualifies for Olympic Marathon Trials

From the Masses, an Elite Emerges at Boston

From Runners World
By Sarah Lorge Butler

Photo credit: MARATHONFOTO

Stephen VanGampleare, an engineer from Colorado, ran negative splits on his way to an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time.

The night before the 2019 Boston Marathon, Stephen VanGampleare slept on a buddy’s couch, in a studio apartment across from Fenway Park. The 28-year-old’s feet might have hung off the end—he’s 5-foot-10—but he was too grateful for the hospitality to admit it if he was the slightest bit uncomfortable.

“I don’t have much of a problem sleeping on a couch,” he said.

On Monday morning, he got up, met a few other runner friends at 5:45 a.m., and took the T down to baggage check for the race. From there, they boarded a yellow school bus out to the athletes’ village near the marathon start in Hopkinton. He ate a bagel with peanut butter, a banana, a crunchy peanut butter flavor Clif bar. He got comfortable on a plastic trash bag in the soggy grass, waiting until it was time to walk the 0.7 miles to the start. On the way, he stopped in the CVS parking lot on Main Street and changed into dry shoes and socks.

And from that mundane marathon morning routine—one that resembled the ritual thousands of other runners went through on the same day—he took his place at the front of wave 1, corral 1, and ran 2:18:40. Wearing bib No. 143, he qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials.

Read the full article here