Colorado Athletes in Kona: Mikhail and Felipe

Mikhail Ivanov

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I live in Niwot, am 38 years old and have two kids – 3.5 and 11 years old.  I am a publisher and triathlon coach.  This will be my second time in Kona.  My first trip to Kona was in 2014 having qualified at Ironman Chattanooga.  This year I qualified for Kona at Ironman Boulder

I came to lovely Colorado 2.5 years ago to completely change my lifestyle.

In Russia I had been the founder and CEO of one of the most successful publishing companies “Mann, Ivanov and Ferber”. After I won a green card in a lottery we decided to give it a try.

I sold out my shares and we moved to the US. Here I launched a new publishing business – an online library of summaries for non-fiction books — and keep training for long distance triathlons.

Obviously I have more time to train here than in Moscow. The first time I qualified for Kona was in 2014 at Ironman Chattanooga. Only 5-7 people qualified from Russia. Several people approached me with coaching requests and so my coaching carrier took off. Now I train 20 people from all over the world, mostly in Russian speaking countries.

My focus is my clients and I don’t have enough time for my own training. Hence I am very relaxed about my results in Kona.

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Felipe Mora
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I am from Medellín, Colombia.  I am living in Boulder, CO because I am training with Siri Linldey and her team!

I grew up in an incredible environment to do any sport I wanted to, with the complete support of my parents, they always said to me “do whatever sport you want to, but do something!”.  As a kid played golf but I was looking for something more dangerous, I needed adrenaline in my veins so I started water skiing and did it for many years, reaching my top level as a junior an ended up in 9th place in the Pan-American championships of 2005. (I think it was that year and my best tournament).

A few years later, still skiing, I went to live in Italy and water ski was the past for me, got tired and sold my skis. While living in Italy I was starting to become a sedentary person (a thing that I’ve always hated and don’t even understand) So I came up with the idea of running Milan’s Marathon which was only 8 weeks away. Got registered, looked for a training plan and trained…with no running background at all. Ended up doing in 3hrs56min and more importantly finishing it!

After some time came back to Colombia and bought a road bike to bike around with friends (also to escape from the gym!) and one day a couple of friends and I decided to do a triathlon between us, again with no training especially swimming! So we called some other friends and gave it two weeks for everybody to “train”.
We swam in the lake were I used to waterski for like 500m then biked 40k (25miles) and ran for like 7K (4mi). We all finished beaten and I finished last…but I was instantly hooked! So I looked for triathlons around to race in, and the rest is history!
I started taking it more seriously after a couple of months and today I’m totally dedicated to triathlon.

This sport is what I’ve always wanted, it takes my mind and body to places it has never been, challenges me…a lot!, Burns the energy I have and the one I don’t! It just makes me a happy person every single day…that simple.

When I started triathlon 4 years ago Kona wasn’t even a dream, it looked like something absolutely impossible to achieve, and here I am a few weeks away of racing in Kona for the first time and certainly not the last, my ultimate dreams to go back to Kona as a pro, and I am sure I will some day. For now I just want to take it all in, have the experience, suffer like I’ve never done in my life and hopefully have a good result, but more importantly enjoy the fact that I’ll be in this race.
 I qualified in my “second home” race here in Boulder, where I placed 4th in my Age Group.
Felipe’s Blog