by Melanie Ricci, D3Multisport
Coaching 9 talented athletes who have all earned slots to the 2017 Ironman World Championships is the most honored role we could have, and it’s a pleasure to turn the spotlight on the following Colorado athletes who earned this race in their own unique and respected ways.
Lisa Plunkett coached by Dave Sheanin (50-54 AG & on the D3 Elite Team)
Kristine Reinhardt coached by Alison Freeman (50-54 AG)
Casey Fleming coached by Laura Marcoux (18-24 AG & on the D3 Elite Team)
Greg Lindquist coached by D3 Head Coach Mike Ricci (35 – 39 AG)
Patrick Martinez, training plan by D3 Multisport (35-39)
D3 Coach Simon Butterworth is self coached (70-74 AG)
And while these three athletes do not have 303 area codes, they do have Colorado ties through D3, family and friends!
Steve Nabity coached by Brad Seng (60-64 AG from Omaha, NE)
Valerie Osband training plan from Mike Ricci (18-24 AG from London, UK)
D3 Coach Julie Dunkle coached by Mike Ricci (50-54 AG from Encinitas, CA)
We interviewed the coaches and athletes about their route to qualifying, favorite workouts and expectations as they head into Kona. Following are highlights from each athlete-coach interview.
Lisa & Dave
Coach Dave is most proud of Lisa’s tenacity over the years, sticking to her Kona dream through all kinds of distractions. He is proud of how she has believed in herself as she has earned her slot through the Ironman Legacy Program. Lisa has successfully completed 15 Ironman events and is a D3 Elite Team athlete. At first, the quest for Kona was simply about the Legacy Program but he has seen breakthroughs on the race course in recent seasons that have him absolutely convinced that this year’s trip to Kona is her first of many.
Lisa is most excited to experience all of it – all that Kona has to offer an athlete. She is excited to be there experiencing the big day and appreciates her long brick workouts and the hot races she’s experienced this summer to get her ready.
Kristine & Alison
Coach Alison describes Kristine with these three words: Determined. Brave. Persistent. Coach Alison recognizes that Kristine works hard at swimming, she works hard at cycling, she works hard at running, she works hard sorting through her fueling, and she works hard finding time for training. She always does her best. And that was crystal clear when she earned the honor of being the top fundraiser for the Ironman Community Foundation and thus a slot in the Ironman World Championships this October.
Her fundraising success doesn’t even begin to demonstrate her amazing ability to get things done. She has persevered through challenges many of us cannot even fathom. She is the managing partner of a global real estate firm with 350 employees. And the best part, with a family of five by her side, Kristine is headed toward a lifelong dream. She was recently recognized as the D3 Athlete of the Month.
Casey & Laura
Coach Laura is incredibly proud of Casey for her relentless motivation and work ethic, but is the most proud of Casey for getting outside of her comfort zone and challenging herself to be mentally tough. Mont Tremblant was Casey’s first full Ironman, and she overcame a few race day hurdles by staying level-headed when things went wrong (including her power meter not working). She made adjustments to her race plan, didn’t make any excuses, and never gave up. Her focus during training was to let go and learn how to not be as obsessed with metrics, let go of a little bit of control, and try to develop more of a “feel” rather than relying only on numbers. This lesson ended up being what saved her race at Mont Tremblant when her power meter stopped working, and allowed her to win her age group and qualify for Kona.
Casey is a D3 Elite Team athlete and credits those Team workouts for her Kona preparation. She says, “I love working out with my team of friends (who are all mostly faster than me) because they push me harder than I would ever be able to go alone! I’m most looking forward to the legendary Queen K winds, of course! Bring on the suffering!”
Greg & Mike
Coach Mike shared that Greg is more prepared mentally than he’s ever seen him and that’s what he is most excited to see play out on race day. Greg and his wife welcomed their new son, Andy, a few months prior to the race last year, and this past year has been about helping him balance this new and important responsibility along with his training. One of the many things I respect about Greg is that he gives 100%. From the time the gun goes off, he’ll race smartly and strategically. He is invested all the way through a race. I know Greg will capitalize on his experience from last year and we’ll see a strong race from him on October 14th.
Greg qualified for his second trip to Kona at Ironman Texas earlier this year. With two Kona races on his race resume, he looks forward to time with his entire family under one roof again (his wife and son, his parents, and his brother’s family). He is looking forward to improving upon last year’s time and will enjoy the fun of racing. He values his long Saturday rides in the mountains with friends knowing that those days are all part of the equation for a successful day in Kona.
Steve & Brad
Coach Brad admires Steve’s grit and commitment to the process. When he first started coaching Steve a few years ago, the swim was a big hurdle for him. He has worked through his initial fear of the water and continues to improve. One of Steve’s strengths has become his run. After a serious water skiing accident tearing his hamstring, the run has become a weapon for him as he consistently has one of the top run splits in his age group.
Steve qualified for his 2nd trip to Kona at Ironman Brazil this past year where he finished first in his age group. He knows Brad’s VO2 Max bike workouts have him ready to face the challenges the bike course is going to toss him.
Valerie & Mike
Valerie won her age group in her first Ironman at Ironman Switzerland this year to earn her slot to Kona. She purchased an Ironman Switzerland specific pre-built training plan from Coach Mike and is moving forward to Kona using a Custom Training Plan he developed specific to her needs. She shared that “the Bike 6 x 8′ Zone 5 workouts are painful but worth it.” Valerie is ready to take in the atmosphere of race week and the race itself. Just being part of it all is something she’s ready to celebrate.
D3 Coach Julie & Mike
Julie continues to raise the bar for herself with new and challenging goals. Coach Mike says it challenges him as well because he needs to be more and more creative with her workouts. To meet her goals for race day, he’s actually had to develop some workouts that push Julie to another level, mentally as well as physically. Although these workouts are pretty hard, they build confidence for what she can sustain during a race and ultimately help her achieve her goals. He says, “I’m very excited to see all this hard work come together for Julie. We’ve been strategic about her workouts going into Kona and we both know she’s been tested in training and is ready for a fantastic race.”
Julie earned her 6th spot to race Kona at Ironman Boulder this past June. She is most excited about the magical final mile down Alii Drive to the finish line! Coach Mike gave her ‘the hardest bike workout ever’ in preparation for Kona, and to get it done, she kicked it off with 10 F-bombs, donuts and red bull. Here it is: 30′ to warm up, then 2×20′ at 80%, with 10′ recovery. Then ride 10×3′ at 90% of FTP with 3′ recovery. Ride easy for 20′, then ride 15×1′ on, 1′ off at 100% of FTP. Remainder of ride is easy – aero bars – no harder than 75% of FTP.
D3 Coach Simon Butterworth
Simon is returning to the Ironman World Championships for his 13th time. This is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself. He has finished in the top three in his age group three different times in Kona. His experience racing this course is unparalleled. He qualified for 2017 at Ironman Cozumel in 2016. Simon’s favorite workout in preparing for the race has been a long SBR day: 3800m swim, 100 mile ride, 10k run and no idling around between each. Simon also happens to be gifted at short course racing and is the 2017 70-74 USAT Sprint and Olympic Champion.
See Simon’s Colorado Athletes in Kona feature HERE
Patrick Martinez is also a D3 athlete. See his bio HERE
We are truly excited for these athletes and their important day on October 14th. We are also excited for the camaraderie that develops over the week that these athletes come together in Kona. With team workouts and coach meet-ups, we know this group of 9 will be ready to toe the line, and ready to race with strong desire, determination and discipline!
As you turn the corner toward the off-season and look ahead to your 2018 race season, you can get powered up with desire, determination and discipline too! Visit the D3 Multisport website here.