Racing Underground Announces Free Virtual Races, Great Awards and Giving Back

Announcing the launch of the Racing Underground Community Race Series!!! www.RacingUnderground.com/Community

This is a FREE WEEKLY VIRTUAL SERIES, with a running option and a biking option each week. We will kick things off on April 6th with a 5k virtual run and a 10k virtual bike race (or you can do both).

We will be awarding free race entries and gift certificates from our sponsors by random drawing each week.

With the cancellation of the spring racing season, many of you are looking for motivation to continue training, and we hope this will keep you motivated.

Sign up for the first series event by noon on Sunday April 5th, then you must complete your virtual run or ride and post your results to the series results page between Monday April 6th and noon on Sunday April 12th.

Registration is FREE, but we are accepting optional donations for several worthy groups that we support with our events. Again, donations are optional and we understand that money may be tight for many of you – – we welcome you to participate either way!

Darrin, Jill, and the Racing Underground Crew!!!

PTO Taking Another Run at Purchasing IRONMAN

LONDON, ENGLAND–BOULDER, USA; 4th February 2020: The Professional Triathletes Organisation today released the following letter sent to the Board of Directors of Wanda Sports Group Company Limited on 3rd February 2020 advising the Board that the PTO has closed on its financial partnership with Crankstart Investments and renewing the PTO’s proposal to enter into discussions to acquire the IRONMAN® business.

Dear Members of the Board:

We are writing on behalf of the Professional Triathletes Organisation (the “PTO”) to advise you that we have closed on our partnership financing with Crankstart Investments. We again want to put forth our proposal to enter into discussions for the acquisition by the PTO of all of the assets of the Wanda Sports Group Company Limited (“WSG”) related to its worldwide triathlon and mass participation business (the “WTC Business”).

The PTO is prepared to consider an all-cash transaction or one in which the existing shareholders of WSG are able to participate in the growth of the WTC Business that the PTO is uniquely positioned to deliver. We strongly believe that it is only with the assistance of the PTO and its professional athletes that the WTC Business has the ability to stabilise and grow, and that without our cooperation the WTC Business would deteriorate. We are happy to work with any other financially stable group who may be interested in acquiring the WTC Business, reducing its debt load and unleashing the value only the PTO and its professional athletes can deliver.

The PTO and North Point Advisors, our financial advisors, are prepared to begin discussions forthwith with your senior management and your financial advisors and to sign a customary confidentiality agreement in order to commence certain confirmatory due diligence. In light of the significance of this proposal to your shareholders and the triathlon community, as well as the potential for selective disclosures, we will publicly release the text of this letter tomorrow morning.

We believe this proposal represents a unique opportunity to realise significant value for WSG shareholders and employees, and that the PTO can uniquely provide a healthy and growing environment for the WTC Business.

We hope that you and your Board share our enthusiasm and, consistent with applicable fiduciary duties, we look forward to a prompt and favourable reply.

Respectfully yours,

Charles D. Adamo––Chairman

Sam Renouf––Chief Executive Officer

Rachel Joyce––Co-President

Tim O’Donnell––Co-President

PTO Announces Collins Cup, $2,000,000 Purse for Pro Triathletes, Same Weekend as Challenge Championship, Add to Bucket List?

LONDON, ENGLAND–BOULDER, USA, Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced that the inaugural Collins Cup will be held on 29–30th May 2020 at the extraordinary x-bionic® sphere in Samorin, Western Slovakia and will have a prize purse of over $2,000,000. It will bring together the greatest professional triathletes in the world in a team competition to do battle to see who dominates the sport. This is the home of Challenge Family’s The Championship event, which will be held the next day on 31 May. 

The Professional Triathletes Organisation partnered with Crankstart Investments, an investment vehicle for Michael Moritz, in establishing a platform for professional triathletes to begin to realize their goal of athlete self-determination.

Rachel Joyce, Co-President of the PTO, commented “This day has been long in coming and we are grateful to the great professional triathletes who have, through all their blood and sweat over many years, paved the way for this opportunity to materialise. The Collins Cup will be a true celebration of both the history and the future of the sport we love so much, and we look forward to hosting the event and engaging the entire triathlon community.”

Charles Adamo, Chairman of the PTO, stated that “The PTO has been working for a number of years to create an environment and structure where professional triathletes have a meaningful voice in the way the sport is operated and can contribute to its growth for the benefit of the entire triathlon community. We are very pleased to have teamed up with Crankstart Investments and Michael Moritz, who share our vision in the potential of the sport and the best means by which to see it grow and thrive.”

Modelled after golf’s Ryder Cup, The Collins Cup is a competition among USA, Europe and the Internationals. Each team will consist of 12 professional triathletes, six men and six women. Eight athletes, four men and four women, will earn a place on their respective teams by way of the PTO World Rankings™ System and the remaining four athletes, two men and two women, will be selected by the non-athlete PTO Board Members with advice from Team Captains.

The Team Captains for The Collins Cup 2020 are:

Collins Cup Captains' 2020

An athlete from each team will battle against one another in an individual race of three, so there will be 12 separate race matches, each staggered 10 minutes apart. Athletes will be awarded points for their team based on performances in their respective race match and the team with the most overall points from the 12 race matches will claim the spoils of The Collins Cup and bragging rights as the most dominant force in the sport. The team that finishes last will receive The Broke Spoke Trophy. Click here to view “How It Works”

Sam Renouf, CEO of the PTO, commented, “The format of USA vs Europe vs Internationals will add a whole new level of competition and pure excitement for triathlon. By adopting a proven format like the Ryder Cup with its nationalistic intensity, and having a points system that creates drama throughout the race, The Collins Cup is designed to be a compelling live TV event that appeals not only to the fans of endurance sports, but also to the general sports enthusiast.”

Tim O’Donnell, Co-President of the PTO, commented, “We could not be more thrilled with the first Collins Cup being hosted at x-bionic® sphere in Samorin. The primary mission of the PTO is to celebrate the sport of triathlon. The Collins Cup, by bringing together legendary team captains to lead today’s top triathletes in a battle to see which region dominates the sport of triathlon, will not only be a riveting competition, but will serve as a platform for professionals and fans alike to celebrate our sport.”

Zibi Szlufcik, Chairman of CHALLENGEFAMILY, commented, “We are delighted to be working with the PTO to host the inaugural Collins Cup at the extraordinary x-bionic® sphere in Samorin, Western Slovakia. The spectacular venue could not be more perfect for the PTO’s inaugural event and the weekend promises to be a triathlon celebration unlike any other.”

Mario Hoffman, owner of x-bionic® sphere stated “It is a great honour for Slovakia, Šamorín and x-bionic® sphere to host such a magnificent event. I can say for the whole team that we are thrilled to be a part of history and we are ready to help with our knowledge and vast experience in organizing huge international sports events.” Click here to view x-bionic® sphere.

Karen Hornbostel Time Trial Series; Special Deal for Triathletes

USA Triathlon and USA Cycling have been partnering more and more and now, partnering with the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado (BRAC), triathletes holding a current USAT membership are being offered a significant incentive to try the Karen Hornbostel Time Trial series (KHMTT). There is hardly a better way to prepare for the upcoming triathlon season then participating in these early season time trial races.

Says Larry Potter of COBRAS cycling club who administers the series, “competitive bike racing really helps with that strength and speed training critical for triathlons.”

To attract triathletes to the series, Larry and his team worked hard with USAT, USAC and BRAC to offer the entire series, licenses included, for $199 for seven races. This is normally $280 but with a valid USAT license you can save almost 30%.

You will need to register by February 29th and the first race will be March 18th and Cherry Creek State Park. The rest of the races are: March 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 – Weather Make-up Date: May 6.

Click HERE to get all the details and to register.

Listen here for a full with interview on 303Radio with Larry Potter and Rich Soares: https://soundcloud.com/user-378274346/larry-potter-khmtt-2020-for-triathletes

Friends DO Let Friends Race Draft-Legal Tri–What a Blast!!

By Rich Soares

A couple of months ago some friends encouraged me to try our first draft-legal triathlon. I’ve been doing non-draft triathlons for nearly 15 years, and thought it was time to try something new. “First” experiences at my age are rare!

Tom, Todd and Rich

This wasn’t just any draft-legal race, this was the Sun Devil USA Triathlon Draft National Championship for age-groupers and collegiate athletes. As a veteran of IRONMAN Arizona in Tempe, I was familiar with the area, except this transition area was on the opposite shore.

On my pre-race shakeout ride, I knew this was going to be a different experience. Packs of riders pre-riding the course passed me on my aluminum Cannondale (the same bike I did my first triathlon with) like I was standing still.

Khem Suthiwan and Rich

Later, in the practice swim, other swimmers passed me at rates leaving no doubt about the high competition level. This was Nationals after all!

On race morning, USAT officials screened every athlete for draft legal rule adherence before allowing entry. For instance, those with sleeved tops or aero bars were stopped. Officials encouraged a clean transition area by asking athletes to locate tri bags to a corner of the transition area, otherwise the transition was just like any other race, aside from the fact that the transition area was under a highway overpass.

As a beach start, the only thing that I noticed being different was the presence of a blue carpet spread across the beach, freshly swept to display numbered start positions which would be used by the NCAA teams later that day.

When the horn blew I felt like I was in a new, unfamiliar type of race. The best swimmers sprinted to the water and dove in with these graceful, arching dives that propelled them forward fast. Stroking and sighting in the 65 degree water, the remainder of the swim played out like any other open water swim.

Once on the bike, the differences of draft-legal racing quickly became apparent. The first pack passed me at dizzying speeds as I was still tightening my bike shoes. Just two minutes out of transition and I was by myself watching the pack speed away.

Before I processed what happened, someone else came upon me pulling half dozen riders behind him. I tried to jump on the last wheel, but within 30 seconds I fell off and enjoyed most of the first of three laps by myself.

On the second lap, I heard a new rider on my wheel. After clearing a couple of corners, he passed me. I jumped on his wheel and noted his Team USA kit with the name “Hefflefinger” on the backside. I soon realized there was another rider on my wheel.

After 30 seconds or so, Hefflefinger called me up for a pull. I was stoked to work with someone on this race! Here I am on the same aluminum road bike I rode in triathlons 14 years ago, riding in a draft-legal pack! I eagerly take the lead and am careful to not let adrenaline get the bettor of me. I don’t want to drop my new alliances!

We took turns pulling and near the Mill Avenue bridge, I heard a train of guys approaching from behind. As they passed, I made a knee jerk decision to go with them and jumped on the last wheel. As we turn the corner on College and over the hill, I maxed my effort trying to hold on to this new train of guys. We crested the hill, made the turn back over the hill and the caboose (that’s me) came off the back of the train.

Great – I’m starting the third lap the way I started the first – alone!

I abandoned Hefflefinger and the train left me to fend for myself. On the final crossing of the Mill Avenue bridge, I heard another group approach from behind. It was my new buddy Hefflefinger and a couple of other guys. Heff shouted, “jump on”! Relieved to be back with a group, I followed them for the last time and headed to transition.

I hit my lap button running out of T2 in :52 seconds. I saw a few Team USA kits ahead of me, but no Heff. I assessed how I felt about this pace while thinking about a nagging calf injury that kept me from running for a month. My only run; one mile at rest stop driving to this race from Denver!

I had no idea how this was going to go. I tried to catch an older guy in a Team USA kit, but can’t seem to close any distance. We ran through Tempe Town Lake park and onto the Ironman run course again with an out and back on the opposite side of the river from the finish line. I continued at a measured 5K pace until I hit the pedestrian bridge at just past two miles into the race. I increased the pace to the edge of what I think I can hold for the remaining half mile to the finish.

I heard foot steps behind me. I don’t want to get passed! I up the effort to squeeze whatever I have left to propel me to the finish!

I’m wiped! I almost throw up! THAT meant I probably raced beyond my fitness. This race tapped the adrenaline and allowed me to find a new level of effort.

I regrouped with my friends Tom and Todd to share our stories of the race, when Hefflefinger came by. We had a good chuckle about the race and working together. It took experiencing it to fully appreciated the magnitude of working with a group on a draft-legal race. The competition at the Nationals level is high in non-draft, but in draft-legal, it’s another level.

This is fast racing that is so stinking fun! The whole experience of being with friends and seeing familiar faces. I actually gave USAT President, Rocky Harris, a hug while still in my sweaty tri suit – sorry Rocky!

I had a decent race, placing 16th in my male 50-54 AG. I didn’t even come close to the top 10 to qualify for Team USA, but that’s not the point. I had an absolute blast and feel proud of the accomplishment and experience. I’m proud of getting outside of my comfort zone and trying something new for sure. But there’s more. I tapped into a rush of adrenaline yesterday that almost made vomit at the finish line! That’s cool!! Not the vomit part, but the tapping into that much human drive. I want more of it and I’ll be back for it next year!

Jeannete Sörensen Hickok

1. What are you most excited about in competing in Kona?

I started racing Ironman in 2011. I have chased my dream to qualify for Kona for over 10 years and it finally happened. I’m excited to just be there to breathe in the atmosphere, and compete with the best in the world.

2. What is your favorite career IRONMAN memory so far?

My 10th Ironman for sure. I had worked so hard with mental mindfulness that I was going to win my age group. I came out of swim almost last, not sure what I did,
but I was 18 min slower than I normally do an Ironman swim. I was so angry at myself, but I quickly changed my mood and reminded myself that anything can happen in an Ironman.
The race was not over. I biked in my time and got 1st place on the bike. it wasn’t until around mile 9 I was told by friends I was first, but that has happened before on my ironman races.
They all catch up with me and pass me. But this time I kept telling myself, I was number 1, and no one was going to take it from me.

When I was a mile away I could relax, although, I kept looking over my shoulder, I knew I had won and was going to KONA!!
What an incredible feeling, I will never forget!! 🌺

3. Is this your first time competing in Kona and if no how many other times have you done so?

Oh Yes, first time!!!!

4. If someone were watching that is new to the sport, what would you tell them is the coolest thing about being a triathlete and competing in this venue?

I would tell them triathlon becomes a lifestyle. Age doesn’t matter. Triathlon is not only about racing, it’s the journey and the camaraderie you find within the triathlon community.  Your confidence will grow and you start to look for more to challenge yourself. The ability to achieve something bigger than you could ever dream to accomplish is powerful. There is no limits.

5. What do you think is the hardest thing about doing an IRONMAN?

Commitment, never give up!!  Family support (although, I never had a problem, but I know many that do)  Positive Mindset; “Believe in yourself.”

Age Groupers Doping, Why? Social Media?

By Bill Plock

Yesterday, September 25, 2019, IRONMAN released a story (Article HERE) announcing the four year ban of four athletes who tested positive for doping. All age group athletes. Why?

Why does anyone use performance enhancing drugs? To win, do better, go faster of course, or maybe pressured by sponsors or teammates. Who knows. Pros or age groupers it’s against the rules, not moral or ethical and clearly not welcome in sports. At least with pros the ulterior motive of money and keeping sponsor contracts resonates. But age groupers? There is no prize money to age groupers in Kona–maybe some small sums in bike races. So what’s the deal?

Clearly egos, ultra competitive people and narcissists are driven so intensely by winning and maybe those things alone drive people with no money motivation to dope. But is there more?

Age groupers who win, who have social media skills, who are engaging, who know how to review products, who want to proclaim competency to perhaps coach might find some irrational, misplaced justification of doping to win at all cost. But really?

Is social media driving this? Is Strava and KOM’s and QOM’s and kudos’ driving some ego machine it’s worth doping? Or maybe the motivation is what comes with winning; social media followers, subscribers and dialog that captures the attention of advertisers and product managers trying to get free advertising by giving away a lot free products to influencers. Is that the game?

Look what’s happened to sponsorships of pro endurance athletes, particularly triathletes. The pie is getting pretty small. Why would a company pay a mediocre pro who isn’t so great at social media when they can give some free swag to a pop star like age grouper who is on the podium all the time and gladly willing to try to sell product?

More and more age groupers are failing drug tests. The blame of bad CBD quality control or extra poppy seeded bread is ridiculous. They know what they are doing.

Is the rise of drug use in the amateur ranks correlating with the rise of social media impact on the make up of marketing strategies?

It doesn’t excuse the unethical behavior but maybe it explains it? Or is it simply the cultural shifts due to social media, hyper connectivity and ultimately greater loneliness causing amateurs to win at all cost so they feel better about themselves? Who knows. I would love someone to tell us why they did it.

At the IRONMAN World Championships coming up in a couple of weeks, don’t be surprised if you get asked to give a sample at packet pickup.

Harvest Moon Celebrates 20 Years Yesterday!

By Bill Plock

Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the Harvest Moon Long Course held at the Boulder Reservoir. Aaron Calhoun, Brandon Wallace and Conrad Rodas were the top three male finishers. Kimberly Goodell, Kiki Silver and Susan Brooker stood on the podium for the women. All the results can be found HERE

The race was started by Racing Underground and held at Aurora reservoir for many years and moved to Boulder in 2016. Says Lance Panigutti, owner of Without Limits and race director of Harvest Moon, “If races could tell stories, the memories the Harvest Moon Long Course could share since the year 2000 would fill a book. Yesterday we celebrated our 20th birthday, and what a day it was. So many first timers completing their very first long course triathlon, and so many veterans enjoying what the Harvest Moon has become over the years. In 2009 Racing Underground sold us this event, and while more nervous than you could imagine, our goal was to carry on what they started – a locally focused, affordable, and friendly long course experience. We hope we’ve made them proud, and most importantly the Colorado community proud. We couldn’t have achieved this goal without the help of so many volunteers, the love of the local community, and many passionate staff members on the Without Limits A-Team. To each and everyone of them we we say “Thank you and we can’t wait for the next 20!”

About 450 athletes started the race featuring a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile ride and a 13.1 mile run. Amy Miller, a first time participant at a distance longer than an Olympic said, “It’s a great venue, great race with lots of spectator support, but hard as hell!”

11th Annual Outdoor Divas All Women Triathlon

Longmont Aug 18, 2019—Union Reservoir hosted the 11th Annual Outdoor Divas All Women Triathlon by Without Limits and sponsored by Coeur Sports.

Casey Fleming took first place honors with Toni Brenzikofer finishing second and Nicole Overeem taking third.

Cracking the top ten and finishing 6th overall was 13 year old Jade Allen complete with an impressive, 2nd fastest run of the day, 19:35 5k run.

All in all almost 600 women started this race started 11 years ago by Outdoor Divas as a way to promote triathlon in a fun, inviting way encouraging women to try the sport.

Boulder’s Ryan Smith wins 2019 Leadville 100 with consistent second-half pacing

By Daniel Petty, courtesy of the Denver Post

Boulder’s Ryan Smith won the Leadville 100 trail run on Saturday night thanks to consistent second-half pacing that left his rivals unable to respond. It was the biggest win of his ultrarunning career.

a person standing next to a tree: Ryan Smith #931 races with Clare Gallagher, his pacesetter, during the Leadville trail 100 run on August 17, 2019, in Leadville.

© Provided by MediaNews Group d/b/a Digital First Media Ryan Smith #931 races with Clare Gallagher, his pacesetter, during the Leadville trail 100 run on August 17, 2019, in Leadville.

The Boulder-based runner, who came to the United States from the United Kingdom and works full-time a software engineer, was greeted at the finish by his wife and almost 2-year-old daughter. He turned 40 years old this year.Bath To Shower Conversions – See MoreDiscover & Browse Bath To Shower Conversions Now on ConsumerSearch!Sponsored by consumersearch.com

“There’s just a lot of running in the race,” Smith said, referring to the long flat sections along much of the course. “It really favors a flat runner rather than a mountain runner, and I typically do a lot of mountain stuff.”

His win — in 16 hours, 33 minutes, 25 seconds — was far from expected. Smith was not among the pre-race favorites to win, and he wasn’t feeling well leading into the Twin Lakes aid station near the 40-mile mark. But at the turnaround at Winfield, he held his pace steady, averaging around 10 minutes per mile for the rest of the race.

Read the rest HERE