Colorado triathletes raced this weekend, in Texas and Colorado. In Galveston Texas, not only did the Colorado pros make a big impact, but one well known age grouper, Betsy Mercer raced in redemption of her 2019 attempt in Galveston where she was stopped 100 yards from the finish line because of weather. At Cherry Creek State Park, The Barking Dog Duathlon kicked off the multi-sport season with about 150 athletes racing.
Betsy finished fourth in her age group but cried at the finish line, not because she finished, but because her friend Michael Jones finished his first 70.3. Said Betsy, “I didn’t cry this time when I crossed the finish line, I cried when Michael did. That’s the beauty of triathlon, the community you’re a part of.”
Maybe similarly, Boulder Pro Jeanni Metzler who finished second to Skye Moench after a blistering, race best, 1:15 half marathon is with her husband, pro, Justin (finished 9th) at the podium spot. Skye said on her Instagram, “a big congrats to the ladies racing today, I was running for my life!” Skye was recently on the 303Endurance Podcast talking about this race and her comeback from a crash in 2019, listen here (303 Endurance Podcast with Skye Moench)
Boulder’s Sam Long shook off a disappointing swim to finish third behind Lionel Sanders and Ben Kanute with the fastest bike split of the day averaging nearly 28mph for 56 miles. Sam finished behind Ben by six seconds and just ahead of Castle Rock’s, Matt Hanson by ten seconds.
When asked if this race could’ve actually been the best situation possible to set Sam up for the rest of year he said, “That’s a great way of looking at! I discovered how much much I can push on the bike and run and that I can get myself back in the race. I’m pretty sure this was a one off swim and lit my fire for the next races!”
Whether a pro, or age grouper, the joy of racing is clearly more appreciated than ever after a rough 2020 season. In Cherry Creek, the Barking Dog Duathlon kicked off the multisport season in Colorado. Dana Willett (good friend of Betsy’s btw), said this after the race, “Great weather and so much gratitude to be back out there! Every- Single-Racer, gave encouragement on the course. Our lungs were burning but we found the breath to say “good job!”, and “you got this!” I couldn’t slap the smile off my face.”
A 1,000 miles south, Betsy said, “Galveston holds a special place in my heart because it was the very first triathlon I ever did, of any distance. That was back in 2009 (I believe). About 6 years ago the damage to my left leg became more significant after I developed osteonecrosis, which is a disease of the bone. I thought I’d never run again. Two years later, I did run again. 3.1 miles at Without Limits’ Summer Open. I cried at the finish line I was so happy. Slowly I began to think maybe I could do distance again. Two years ago I chose Galveston because it had been my first ever race. I just wanted that feeling of finishing one more IM event. I wanted to close that chapter of my life on a positive note. All was going fine in the race two years ago until a massive storm came in when I was halfway through the run. Hail, lightning, crazy winds. It was insane. Right before I crossed the finish line they called the race. I ran past the volunteer trying to pull us off the course and went across the finish mats, but they had turned them off minutes before. It was a DNF. I was devastated. I cried for hours.”
When asked about her future Betsy said, “I don’t know if Galveston is forever in my past, it’s one of my favorite events. I have one more race to put in my rear view mirror. IMFLA in November, ten years after I did my first full there at age 35. Then I swear, I’m retiring.” We shall see 🙂
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The USA Triathlon Foundation, in partnership with the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO), is now accepting applications for its second round of COVID-19 Relief Fund donations, with $55,000 in grant funding available. The relief fund provides financial support to members of the U.S. multisport community who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals and organizations may apply for funding starting today, through Monday, March 15.
A portion of the funding was raised through the PTO 2020 Championship Sweepstakes at CHALLENGEDAYTONA, in which past and present professional triathletes from around the globe — including Jan Frodeno, Dave Scott, Daniela Ryf, Mark Allen and Lucy Charles — donated their time and merchandise in a global, 10-day-long prize draw. In addition, the PTO itself contributed to the relief fund by donating all proceeds from its pay-per-view livestream broadcast of the PTO 2020 Championship.
Complete eligibility information and application materials for the COVID-19 Relief Fund can be found at usatriathlonfoundation.org. All applications are reviewed by a seven-member independent grant committee that includes USA Triathlon Foundation Trustees; coaches; race directors; age group athletes; paratriathletes; pro triathletes; and PTO members Matt Hanson and Jackie Hering.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives,” Hanson said. “The multisport community has been a haven for many seeking new challenges, a social outlet, healthier lifestyles, and an all-around way of life — but the sport has definitely not been immune to the impacts of the pandemic. Many individuals lost their training outlets, and many businesses were put under extreme financial pressure. I applaud USA Triathlon, the PTO and CHALLENGEDAYTONA for working to help give back to the triathlon community, and I look forward to reviewing the applications for these funds.”
The Foundation will make all selections, announce grant funding recipients and distribute funds by the week of March 29. Grant applications up to $5,000 will be considered. The Foundation may not be able to support every eligible request for funding. In its first round, the relief fund distributed more than $110,000 in grants to multisport organizations and individuals.
“The USA Triathlon Foundation is grateful for the generosity of the Professional Triathletes Organisation and the individual athletes and donors who gave time and resources to support the COVID-19 Relief Fund,” said David Deschenes, USA Triathlon Foundation Executive Director. “We are proud of the impact the fund has made so far through grants at the grassroots level, and we look forward to providing additional relief as the multisport community continues to grapple with and rebound from COVID-19’s effects.”
“2020 was an incredibly challenging year on many fronts,” said Charles Adamo, Executive Chairman of PTO. “The PTO and its member PTO Professionals were grateful to have the opportunity to harness the interest in Professional Triathlon as a chance to ‘play it forward’ with this fundraising initiative to support those in the sport most in need. We are grateful of the partnership with USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation and their fantastic efforts to keep the sport going during these difficult times.”
The Foundation welcomes applications from USA Triathlon-certified race directors and race management organizations; USA Triathlon-certified coaches and clubs; and other individuals and organizations who have been impacted by the pandemic.
Funds may be used to support programs and events that have been rescheduled or postponed due to COVID-19, or to create new programs and events that will encourage participation in multisport activities. All requests must help advance the mission of the USA Triathlon Foundation, which is to transform lives through sport by providing opportunities to swim, bike and run for all.
Donations in support of the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund are being accepted on a continual basis. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to donate today, or to learn more about the USA Triathlon Foundation and the programs it supports.
About the USA Triathlon Foundation The USA Triathlon Foundation was created in 2014 by the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as an independent tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. Under the leadership of its Trustees and Committee members, the Foundation serves as a means to create a healthier America through triathlon and seeks to transform lives by opening up new pathways to the sport for all, especially those who are otherwise underserved. The USA Triathlon Foundation operates with the belief that every child should have the chance to participate, every paratriathlete should have the opportunity to compete, and every aspiring elite athlete should be able to chase his or her Olympic dream. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $1.9 million has been provided to worthy causes and organizations that support its mission. Donations to the USA Triathlon Foundation ensure America’s youth are introduced to the benefits and fun of a multisport lifestyle, athletes with disabilities receive the training, support and gear to be able to participate and excel, and the best aspiring young athletes have a chance to pursue their Olympic Dreams. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to learn more and donate today.
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 World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC). About the Professional Triathletes Organisation The Professional Triathletes Organisation is a not-for-profit entity representing the body of professional triathletes and seeks to showcase the passion, talents, determination, struggles and achievements of the dedicated professionals who strive to realize the highest levels of the sport and inspire all those who are a part of the triathlon community.
Lake to Lake Events is adding a brand new triathlon in a brand new venue on July 31st. The very popular Lake to Lake Triathlon will be held as usual on June 26th, but event producer Peggy Shockley is adding a sprint triathlon utilizing Lone Tree Reservoir located just south of Loveland– – the Lonetree Sprint.
With a slightly longer bike than your traditional Sprint, this event caters perfectly to those who enjoy spending time in the saddle, especially through our beautiful Colorado Foothills.
Lonetree Reservoir is located just south of Loveland, CO. 500 acres of OPEN WATER, nestled on the west side of the Heron Lakes subdivision and TPC Colorado. Great water, beautiful views and quick access to the transition area. Read course details below:
750 yd clockwise swim. What do we love about this swim? The swim start and swim finish points begin and end on long concrete boat ramps. No mucky entrance into the water or at the exit. Blue Heron rookery on the south east side of the reservoir, it’s possible a few of them will be there to watch you begin and finish! Nice water~ nice views.
18 mile course that takes you west towards the foothills. No great elevation gains here, 421 ft. total and no spectacular elevation loss, 425 ft. total. At mile two, you’ll begin a gradual climb towards the foothills and at mile five a nice downhill towards WCR 20 (W. 1st St.) A few climbs, and few downhills, miles 10-11 a quick climb to CTY RD 18. Nice downhill to CR21, back south to CR16. CR16 will take you past Lon Hagler Reservoir as you wrap back around to SW42nd St and back the transition. NO stoplights!
Out and back course flat, just over two miles on asphalt and one mile on dirt road. Shade? Not really, so we’ll have aid stations stocked with cool water and fluid replacement drink.
This event will be capped at 300 due to the unabundant parking. We will have designated parking and ask on race day that you are respectful of the properties nearby and park only where we direct you. Carpooling is encouraged!
About 30 minutes before the Last Call Triathlon started, a cold wind blew in from the North, tossing tents, paddle boards and casting a little doubt on what kind of day it might become. Instead, the day turned into one of the most inspirational and electric days seen at a sprint triathlon in quite some time.
USA Triathlon sent some of their para olympic and olympic hopeful athletes to compete. As an added bonus one of them, Kyle Coon was guided by Olympian Andy Potts and came in 11th overall. Melissa Stockwell, Kendall Gretsch, Hailey Danisewicz also competed for team USA.
In a close mens race, Tim Hola beat Scott Tonder by 10 seconds with Gabe Fels coming in third just 21 seconds later. For the women Brook Chilton won by 93 seconds over Maricarmen Farias and Megan Doherty was third a little under two minutes back.
But perhaps the story of the day was 79 years separating the youngest athlete from the oldest. Lilah Bohm is 11 years old and Sister Madonna Buder crossed the line at 90 years young.
That cold wind nearly kept Sister Madonna from finishing and after taking some time to warm up after the chilly swim she finished the race. Sister Madonna has completed 45 IRONMAN’s including 22 trips to Kona for the World Championships. In an interview before the race Sister Madonna shared how doing a triathlon is a way to “be part of God’s gift of the beautiful outdoors.”
She stuck around signing autographs and her nephew, Mitch Galligan from Denver coming to watch her race for the first time, said, “seeing the community and how people respond to her, she has always been an inspiration in the family, but it really makes it a reality seeing this out here today, it’s pretty cool!”
Much more to come on Sister Madonna and her exclusive interview with 303 prior to the race.
Paul Karlsson has had a huge impact on multisport in Colorado for years. Not only was he a founder of what became a very prestigious, national race, The Boulder Peak, he also has produced other races such as the Xterra Indian Peaks and the Lookout Triathlon. He has put on events all over the state including Evergreen and Aspen. Did you know that The Peak awarded Kona spots once upon a time?
But Paul has impacted many lives through teaching Colorado history and now business classes at Arvada West High School. He coached the swim team at Columbine when the tragedy happened and had been signed up to do IRONMAN Lake Placid that year and because of the shooting, IRONMAN switched is entry to Kona to show support. He has coached swimming at various clubs in the Western metro area, including at Mt. Vernon Country Club, the host of the upcoming Lookout Triathlon.
Here is a video interview with Paul after our course preview sitting on the deck of Mount Vernon Country Club. I think the fun of this race is it’s simply different, and it’s cool to feel Paul’s connection and passion to its location.
We rode the bike and run course the other day. The bike course traverses the top part of Lookout Mountain. It leaves the country club to the north with fast decent down Highway 40 and a steep climb up Paradise Road followed by a loop around the Boetcher Mansion and back to Mount Vernon.
The run puts you on dirt roads winding around the Country Club property and is mostly in the shade of the trees as you run past dozens of homes–including Paul’s parents home and his childhood home. Its a fun tour!
Check this triathlon out for a very friendly and low stress pool swim followed by a short but challenging bike and run. A triathlon bike would not be my first choice for this course by the way. It’s pretty much either up, or down.
Last Friday I discovered and re-discovered a few things. First of all, for whatever reason I had lost my desire to run. It’s probably in part due to the fact that once COVID hit, I gave myself a challenge to ride everyday for the month of April. Well that turned into May and as of today, I have only missed two days of riding since the virus invaded and changed our lives.
But, something was telling me to run Friday, so I decided to go. I think another deterrent to running was my running shoes were very worn and while I love my Colorado based Newtons, the pair I have, have a couple of IRONMAN’s on them and really aren’t great for trails–much more of a road shoe.
A couple of years ago when I pretty much stopped racing, I also pretty much stopped running on the road–for a couple of reasons. First of all the road just hurts a bit more, especially as I edge towards getting asked by merchants if I would like the senior discount. But, secondly, and admittedly the bigger reason I run on trails, is that it is much more peaceful, more beautiful generally, and I love the varying terrain. I also don’t care about my pace and I don’t find myself frustrated by constantly comparing my pace with my younger, faster self. Trail variability is the great ego neutralizer!
So here I am, wanting to run, needing shoes and still not sure where to run. My first stop was in Wheat Ridge at the Sierra Trading Post. They have some good bargains there, and lets face it, frugality is part of my DNA, more-so than ever these days. I realize the importance of good gear for sure, but was hoping to find a diamond in a sea of mostly older models of shoes on the bargain shelves. And I did. Sort of tucked in the back, I found a pair of Lycan’s made by Boulder’s La Sportiva. I am not a climber but certainly know of the high quality gear made by La Sportiva and course, if I can support a Colorado company (ironically located across the parking lot from Newton), that’s even better. I have never worn their shoes but these looked pretty awesome and they were marked down to $59. Whats to lose right? Neutral fit, wide toe box–perfect for me? So there was discovery number one.
Now where to run. I looked towards Golden and it hit me to go try Centennial Cone Park. It’s part of the Jeffco Mountain Park system and is located about 10 miles west of Golden on Highway 6 heading towards Central City. I have passed it thousands of times in my life. I have been to all the Jeffco parks, Apex being my favorite to run, but had never been to Centennial Cone. OMG, discovery, major discovery number two. What a spectacular park with super smooth, flowy trails and great views and nice and quiet. On weekends they alter days where one day is for bikes only and the other is for hiking/running–so check before you go if it’s on a weekend. But for a gorgeous Friday afternoon, there weren’t many people on the trails. I definitely am coming back with my mountain or gravel bike. Yes, gravel bike, as there are hardly any technical spots that I saw. I didn’t run the entire 17 mile loop but from what I read, the whole park has mostly smooth trails. This is a great park for those who don’t love technical riding like many of the Jeffco parks offer.
I tore off the LaSportiva tags, laced up my brand new shoes and ran for 6 miles. These shoes felt AMAZING. I know they have some fancy features like an Impact Brake System, Rock/Ground Frixion sole, and anti-abrasion micro fibers and TPU toe cap, which frankly didn’t mean anything to me at the store– I just liked how they looked and felt and the price was right.
I have enough miles on my feet to appreciate quality and performance and for these to feel so great “out of the box” and perform so well surprised me. Maybe all those “fancy features” make the difference. They feel very light but rugged at the same time. That is a rare combination I feel. I have a little bit of a wide foot and these have a generous toe box. I had a pair of Altra Torin’s I really liked for that reason, but wore those out and frankly I don’t like the way they look quite as well. Not that looks really matter to me. Those who know me would laugh at the thought of me even mentioning I care about how something looks that I wear. But hey if all else is equal it might as well look good right?
One might say in the beautiful woods overlooking Clear Creek Canyon, I re-discovered my love of trail running, and discovered a new (to me) brand of shoes and an amazing park so close to home!
When co-hosts Bill Plock and Rich Soares discussed how pro athletes, in general, besides people and an athlete, are in some ways a brand. They discussed this and pondered if Colin Laughery’s tradition of racing Ironman’s in a speedo is his brand? Bill suggested that’s it not the speedo per say, but that perhaps wearing a speedo reflects that Colin isn’t afraid to be vulnerable? So maybe his brand is he is “not be afraid to put it on the line?” In this podcasts he reveals some very personal things that only a person not afraid to be vulnerable would say. Have a listen!
Next weeks guest in legendary skier Chris Anthony. Chris starred for Warren Miller for 20 years. He grew up in Denver and lives in Vail. Over the years he became engrossed in the 10th Mountain Division and has embarked on journey to tell that story in a documentary about the famed Army Division who had major influences on the skiing and outdoors sports.
Chris shares his cycling background where he was a pro before turning to skiing and became good friends with Greg Lemond. Fun story there!
The USA Triathlon Foundation and Fortress Press today announced that “The Athlete Inside: The Transforming Power of Hope, Tenacity, and Faith,” by Team USA age group triathlete Sue Reynolds, is available for purchase today.
The debut book follows Reynolds’ four-year journey as she lost 200 pounds, transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle to that of a triathlete who competes at ITU Age Group Triathlon World Championships. Reynolds began her fitness journey as a grandmother in her late 50s, proving that it’s never too late to transform your life.
Proceeds from the book’s first year of sales will benefit the USA Triathlon Foundation and help support its mission, which is to transform lives through sport by providing opportunities to swim, bike and run.
“Sue Reynolds is one of the USA Triathlon Foundation’s most inspiring ambassadors, and we are honored that she has chosen to donate proceeds from ‘The Athlete Inside’ to the foundation to support our mission,” said David Deschenes, USA Triathlon Foundation Executive Director. “Sue’s story of self-belief and perseverance teaches us that we are all capable of much more than we may think. Her commitment to give back through this initiative will help us encourage others and continue to transform lives through sport, just as Sue experienced.”
From her first walk to the neighbor’s mailbox to earning a personal best finish of sixth in her age group at the 2017 ITU Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Reynolds discovered the joy of conquering fear and pride to find that the best version of herself had been there all along.
“I wrote ‘The Athlete Inside’ in hope that my story and the proceeds from the book would help others,” Reynolds said. “The kindness of so many people within the triathlon community had helped me so much, especially as a beginning triathlete, and I wanted to extend that kindness to others. The USA Triathlon Foundation was a perfect fit for the book’s proceeds. I love the Foundation’s mission, to help others transform their lives through triathlon. The USA Triathlon Foundation’s work is making a difference in people’s lives.”
Since 2014, Reynolds has competed in six USA Triathlon National Championship events and represented Team USA on the world stage on four occasions, finishing no lower than 12th in her age group.
“Sue Reynolds has inspired many in the USA Triathlon family by sharing her transformative journey, and ‘The Athlete Inside’ provides an even bigger platform to reach those both within and outside the multisport community,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “Her infectious personality and incredible determination are evident as she shares how she tapped into the strength she had all along.”
Media Requests: To receive a copy of “The Athlete Inside” or to interview Reynolds, please contact Mallory Hayes of Fortress Press at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate to the USA Triathlon Foundation, or to learn more about the foundation and the programs and individuals it supports, visit usatriathlonfoundation.org.
What others are saying about “The Athlete Inside”:
Bob Babbitt, Challenged Athletes Foundation Co-Founder, USA Triathlon and IRONMAN Hall of Famer “Sue Reynolds changed her perception of herself, and this book will help you do the same. Her message is simple: If this 335-pound grandmother can changer her life for the better, so can you!”
Gwen Jorgensen, 2016 Olympic Triathlon Gold Medalist “Sue Reynolds shows how sport changed her life by telling a story familiar to me — one of discovering untapped talents, finding a trusted team and using focus and discipline to achieve goals.”
Joe Maloy, 2016 U.S. Olympian, USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program Manager “No matter what you weigh, what you’ve been told or how many birthdays you’ve had, ‘The Athlete Inside’ is a powerful reminder that each of us is capable of athletic achievement. Sue’s example inspires both courage and vulnerability, two necessary ingredients for anyone thinking about taking that first step to fulfillment.”
Brittany Bearden, Sports Dietitian, Dallas Mavericks “Sue’s journey exemplifies the power of consistency is far greater than perfection in achieving big goals. Anyone striving to improve in life, health or sport can learn from Sue’s stick-with-it-ness through doubts, struggles and setbacks. Read this book, surround yourself with support and go achieve your goals.”
Matt Fitzgerald, Endurance Sportswriter, Bestselling Author and Nutritionist “Sue Reynolds’ incredible story of personal transformation is proof there’s an athlete inside each and every one of us, and it’s never too late to find him or her. If she can do it, you can too!”
Ronald Hoffman, Host of the Nationally Syndicated Radio Program ‘Intelligent Medicine’ “Sue Reynolds offers a remarkable, inspiring story about personal transformation. I love sharing her accomplishments with my radio listeners!”
Jane Rubietta, Author, ‘Worry Less So You Can Live More’ “An astounding journey of determination from a single decision, repeated day after day. Sue Reynolds’ journey — and success — is accessible to every single person. Because success is a daily decision, and today is a new day. Regardless of your end goal, Sue demonstrates the possibility of achievement.”
About the USA Triathlon Foundation The USA Triathlon Foundation was created in 2014 by the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as an independent tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. Under the leadership of its Trustees and Committee members, the Foundation serves as a means to create a healthier America through triathlon and seeks to transform lives by opening up new pathways to the sport for all, especially those who are otherwise underserved. The USA Triathlon Foundation operates with the belief that every child should have the chance to participate, every paratriathlete should have the opportunity to compete, and every aspiring elite athlete should be able to chase his or her Olympic dream. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $3 million has been provided to worthy causes and organizations that support its mission. Donations to the USA Triathlon Foundation ensure America’s youth are introduced to the benefits and fun of a multisport lifestyle, athletes with disabilities receive the training, support and gear to be able to participate and excel, and the best aspiring young athletes have a chance to pursue their Olympic Dreams. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to learn more and donate today.
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 & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).
About Fortress Press Fortress Press, an imprint of 1517 Media, publishes relevant and influential works that help shape the thought of general readers, clergy, students and scholars across faiths. We are committed to catalyzing conversations that matter. For more information please visit Fortresspress.com.
Please join 303Endurance Podcast with Sue Reynolds as she shares her mantra of “no excuse, whatever it takes, find way.” Sue started her journey at 335 pounds with a walk to a neighbors house and back. Step by step, goal by goal, she discovered running and then triathlon and completely transformed her body and life. At the age of 67 she has completed 5 seasons of triathlon and has been to 4 world championships.
She shares her why of triathlon, how her coach helped her to reach her dreams and how one spectator in her first raced yelling, “good job runner” changed her life.
In our second installment of “303 Garage Talk” we chatted with Pro Triathlete and Boulder Native Colin Laughery to get his take on current events, his training and how will miss the Bolder Boulder more than most anything–he has raced it every year since he was five.