Kona…Race Thoughts and Behind the Scenes–Watch Here

By Bill Plock

It’s been a little over a week since Jan Frodeno set a world record time at the IRONMAN World Championships and Boulder’s Tim O’Donnell had the race of his life coming in second and breaking the eight hour mark–and no doubt, the lives of 52 other Colorado athletes will never be the same either.

If you watch this video what you will see and hopefully feel is what it’s like to be there and watch and what it’s like to see how the race unfolds, who makes it happen and what the finish line is like.

We start with a stroll down a dark Ali’i drive at 5am and a busy hotel filled with athletes and supporters. We take you out on the pier before the swim which most people can’t access. There we have a quick chat with Erin Trail, a Colorado athlete who is volunteering. We gather a few quick thoughts from World Champion Craig Alexander and take you out on the bike exit.

We offer you some commentary, talk with volunteers, the medical director (there are a 120 physicians at the race) and what it takes to make the race safe. We meet the head referee of the kayak crew, a group of Team in Training supporters and fast forward to some partying German spectators and watch locals Pete Young and Brett Kessler finish. Well, actually Pete moved to Florida earlier this year–but a Coloradan at heart!

Enjoy the clips a little raw but real!

Sponsors are Vital to Kona, Thanks Clever Training!

Steven Bacon, part of Clever Training at IM Boulder

Sponsors make 303’s coverage at Kona possible. Let’s face it sponsors make Kona possible in general. As you can imagine it is an expensive journey to bring you the stories from Hawaii. We take these relationships serious and it’s important to 303 to do business with people who support our industry and are enjoyable to work with!

As part of a Colorado company, CleverTraining.com is a specialty online endurance sports retailer and leading provider of innovative athletic training gear. They were one of the first retailers of its kind to focus on the high-end fitness and training tech available for endurance athletes. It’s a slice of triathlon geekdom.

“Some great specials https://www.clevertraining.com/kona-specials

Starting their journey in the land of Ironman in Tampa, Fl. CleverTraining quickly became the go-to for tech recommendations for athletes with their collaboration with DC Rainmaker.

They now have a mountain to ocean connection having now joined forces with Colorado-based JackRabbit – known here locally as The Boulder Running Company.  This partnership has allowed them to expand their services from all things data to a wide range of running shoes for triathletes to the mix.

We at 303Endurance really appreciate Clever Training supporting our Kona coverage efforts and we hope our audience will support our supporters like Clever Training!–Bill Plock, President 303Endurance

Education is a huge part of the CleverTraining premise, and they publish a wealth of knowledge about training, racing and recovery with input from pro-athletes and coaches so you can get the most out of a tech investment.  There’s little use to having a smart trainer in your basement pain cave if you don’t know how to use it optimally!

The team at CleverTraining also have the enviable job of working with the top brands in the tech market for advance access to their latest innovations and the first to bring them to the CT audience.  They are also keen supporters of all-things endurance, with a mission to champion the growth of endurance sports available from the traditional swim, bike, run to emerging sports like Swim/Run.  If it requires slow twitch muscles, CT are on it! 

Oh, and it goes without saying the team are athletes themselves, competing on the triathlon, ultra-running, open water swimming and marathon stages.

Looking ahead, CleverTraining is raising its game in 2020 with the latest and greatest in running and cycling tech, more focus on supporting women in the sport, as well as offering more in depth advice on using tech as a coach and an athlete. If you’re an endurance coach in Colorado and interested in sharing your wisdom with CleverTraining audience on how you use tech with your athletes, get in touch at this email (mmitchell@jackrabbit.com) for their new Coach’s Corner series launching in early 2020.

303’s Coverage of Kona, Why? For You and Us–all of Us.

By Bill Plock, President of 303Endurance/Triathlon/Cycling

People often wonder why 303 goes to Kona to cover the IRONMAN World Championships. Or ask why 303 even exists? Who we are and so forth. When Sandi Weibe crossed the finish line last year wearing a shirt we had given athletes from Colorado, it just seemed so clear and that picture pretty much answers our why. We go to Kona and to the local school yard bike rallies, local triathlons and crits and everything in between as much as possible to help make our endurance community that much better. That much more connected and simply that much more celebrated.

At arguably the worlds most prestigious endurance event, stories unfold, missions come to life and the triathlon world converges in a showcase unique to the sport. It’s the place to be.

We are there to celebrate the journey of the 52 Colorado athletes racing on October 12th. We want to tell their stories. We have asked each one of them to share their journey and hopefully in the next 10 days you will read and hear many of them.

If there is one gesture that defines the reason, it is our offer to each athlete of a handmade Christmas Ornament designed and made by Glassmith2. They are a second generation engraving company based in Boulder and they make the age group awards for IRONMAN.

Braden Todd, Owner of Glassmith2

But more, they are a couple, Alison and Braden Todd, with kids and a dog and an entrepreneurial spirit trying to make a small business succeed. They are great people and Braden is a sixth generation Boulderite. Braden’s great grandfather was the first person ever graduate from the University of Colorado. It’s this kind of connection that we strive to bring to the endurance community.

When Sandi crossed the finish line wearing a shirt, not really designed to race in, I was so touched she wanted to represent Colorado, just like we do. In such an international atmosphere, to see our logo cross the line meant a lot.

Khem Suthiwan
Rich Soares

We try to make it fun, we work hard. We interview all kinds of people, give you podcasts to listen to all week and find stories and cover the race. We try to share the experience of the island and bring you more than just recap of who won. We strive to share the culture, the atmosphere and the friends we see and make along the way. And Khem Suthiwan’s food scavenger hunt was a big hit last year—lets see what she comes up with this year.

We have Rich Soares’ awesome finish line interviews and podcasting excellence and Kenny Withrow’s artistic views through the camera–he also on assignment for a major publication so we won’t have him full-time–dang it!!

We have great sponsors that make this possible with some outstanding exclusive discounts to offer you from Clever Training and BASE Performance, and a chance to win a frame from Blue Competition Cycles and much more to be announced soon. Check out that deal on an indoor trainer from CycleOps. We have a landing page that shares not only the names of who is racing, but a place to find articles and podcasts, sponsors specials and some fun stuff–and of course the sponsors offers and more https://303triathlon.com/kona2019/

We will be bringing you events all week and feature stories on people like Beth and Liza from Crested Butte, check out this video on them from NBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA5AJCtQRaY

Kennett Peterson with Mike Reilly at IM Boulder 2019

We just finished a podcast with professional Kennett Peterson of Boulder as he prepares for his first trip to Kona, keep an eye out for that. He gives some really great insight on what he is thinking and feeling heading into his race and some other thoughts on being a pro triathlete.

Simon Butterworth winning Kona

Locally we have some the best resources around to offer you tips if you are racing. One such person (“lad” is a better word in his Scottish accent) is Simon Butterworth has offered three major tips for racing in Kona. That article will be published soon. Very interesting tip about waiting to drink at least 30 minutes after the swim to let the sea water invariably “drank” settle in.

But settle in, follow us here, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, grab a cup of coffee, a beer, a friend and enjoy our coverage.


The 303 Team!