USA Triathlon Operation CO>COVID-19 a Success!

By Khem Suthiwan

Their journey began the evening of Friday, June 19th at 6:30pm MT, at the Utah-Colorado border just west of Grand Junction. Their goal, to complete a 483-mile relay ride across the state of Colorado while raising money for the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund and the Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado.

Over the course of 483 miles, the riders averaged 20 mph, climbed nearly 23,000 feet of elevation with their highest point at Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet of elevation. Just before 8:00pm and beating the sunset, all nine riders joined together for the final mile to the Kansas-Colorado state line.

We were able to catch up to them within a few hours of the finish. All the athletes and crew were in great spirits, looking forward to seeing the state line.

At a rider exchange spot with about 20 miles to go, a deputy from the Sheriff of Cheyenne County pulled over with flashing lights. His first words were “You guys are obviously part of some sort of bike team.” The crew immediately jumped in to tell the deputy about the relay ride, and that if he wanted to talk to someone in charge, the CEO (Rocky Harris) is coming down the road about to finish his current leg of the relay. Many laughs were exchanged and his handcuffs made an appearance for fun. At the next rider exchange stop, the deputy offered up a donation to the crew. A great gesture to an already amazing day.

The participating riders included:

• Kyle Coon, Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful 
• Hailey Danz, Rio 2016 Paralympic Silver Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful
• Kendall Gretsch, PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Nordic Skiing Gold Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful
• Kevin McDowell, Tokyo Olympic Hopeful
• Jack O’Neil, U.S. Paratriathlon Junior Development Team Member
• Melissa Stockwell, Rio 2016 Paralympic Bronze Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful, Team Toyota Athlete
• Renée Tomlin, Tokyo Olympic Hopeful
• Alex Libin, Elite Triathlete and Guide for Kyle Coon 
• Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon Chief Executive Officer

The team had set a goal to raise $20,210 in reference to the postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will take place in 2021. At the time of their finish, $21,568 had been raised with donations still rolling in. Donations are still being accepted at usatriathlonfoundation.org.

Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team to Ride Across Colorado to Benefit COVID-19 Relief, Care & Share Food Bank

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – MAY 27: Paralympian and former U.S. Army Officer Melissa Stockwell cycles during a training session on May 27, 2020 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Athletes across the globe are now training in isolation under strict policies in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

From USA Triathlon

Nine U.S. elite triathletes training for the postponed Tokyo Paralympic and Olympic Games, along with USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris, will cycle a combined 483 miles across the state of Colorado starting Friday, June 19, in a 24-hour relay challenge dubbed “Operation CO>COVID.” 

The ride, which is supported by Toyota vehicles, was fully planned and executed by members of the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team including Kyle Coon, Hailey Danz, Kendall Gretsch, Allysa Seely, Melissa Stockwell and Howie Sanborn (Sanborn will not participate in the ride due to injury). The squad normally trains out of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, but the training center’s athletic facilities have been closed since mid-March due to COVID-19. 

The event is designed to drive awareness and donations for the USA Triathlon Foundation, which will then distribute proceeds equally between two causes: the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund, which provides grants to members of the multisport community impacted by the pandemic, and the Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. Donations are being accepted at usatriathlonfoundation.org. The team has set a goal to raise $20,210 in reference to the postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will take place in 2021.

In addition to the paratriathlon resident team and Harris, participants in the challenge also include U.S. Olympic hopefuls Kevin McDowell and Renée Tomlin; up-and-coming 17-year-old paratriathlete Jack O’Neil; and elite triathlete Alex Libin. Libin will serve as a sighted guide for Kyle Coon, who is visually impaired.

“The Tokyo postponement left us all wanting to do something to both test ourselves physically and to give back to the community,” said Stockwell, a U.S. Army veteran and Team Toyota athlete who won a bronze medal in paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. “The idea to ride our bikes 483 miles across the state of Colorado accomplished both. Instead of racing in Tokyo, we will be racing the sun to finish our ride before sundown and raising money to give back to the community for COVID-19 relief. We look forward to completing these miles as a team and making a small difference.”

“Our paratriathlon resident team came up with Operation CO>COVID as a unique challenge for themselves, but more importantly, because they wanted to give back to our community during this unprecedented time,” Harris, CEO of USA Triathlon, said. “I am incredibly proud to ride alongside this group of individuals who, even when faced with the disappointment and uncertainty of an Olympic and Paralympic Games postponement, are still motivated to support others whose livelihoods have been threatened due to COVID-19.”

“It’s incredible to see the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team come together for such a great cause,” said Dedra DeLilli, group manager, Toyota Olympic and Paralympic Marketing. “We’re inspired by the athletes’ motivation to go above and beyond to create a positive impact for both the multisport community and the local community where they train. We can’t wait to follow the team’s ride, and our Toyota employees all over the country will be cheering them on.”

The ride will cover 483 miles in total distance, gaining nearly 23,000 feet of elevation as it extends from the Utah-Colorado state line in Montrose, Colorado, to the Colorado-Kansas state line at U.S. 40 and CR 57 (near the town of Arapahoe, Colorado). The route travels from the Western Slope up into the Rocky Mountains, cresting Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet of elevation before descending into the Front Range via Colorado Springs and into the Eastern Plains. To view the complete route, click here.

Athletes will be divided into three teams of three, with each person covering up to four different segments ranging from 3-15 miles at a time. The first riders will begin cycling from the Utah-Colorado state line in the evening (exact time TBD) on Friday, June 19, with a goal to be at the Colorado-Kansas state line 24 hours later on Saturday, June 20. 

Toyota support vehicles will transport the rest of the athletes and their gear along the route, stopping to swap riders after each segment. The athletes must collectively maintain an average of 21 miles per hour in order to successfully cross the state within 24 hours. 

The participating athletes include:

  • Kyle Coon, Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful 
  • Hailey Danz, Rio 2016 Paralympic Silver Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful
  • Kendall Gretsch, PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Gold Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful
  • Kevin McDowell, Tokyo Olympic Hopeful
  • Jack O’Neil, U.S. Paratriathlon Junior Development Team Member
  • Allysa Seely, Rio 2016 Paralympic Gold Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful 
  • Melissa Stockwell, Rio 2016 Paralympic Bronze Medalist and Tokyo Paralympic Hopeful, Team Toyota Athlete
  • Renée Tomlin, Tokyo Olympic Hopeful
  • Alex Libin, Elite Triathlete and Guide for Kyle Coon 
  • Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon Chief Executive Officer

FOR MEDIA: 

  • All riders are available for interviews leading up to the event date, and photos and video b-roll of athletes are available upon request.
  • Interviews, video and photo opportunities are possible during the ride itself but must be requested and coordinated in advance, as the relay is continuous and transport vans will be in motion throughout the day.
  • For all in-person coverage, members of the media must wear masks and maintain six feet of distance from athletes and support staff.
  • To request interviews or media materials, please contact Caryn Maconi, USA Triathlon Communications Manager, at caryn.maconi@usatriathlon.org or 443-534-5954.

To learn more about Operation CO>COVID, or to make a donation to the USA Triathlon Foundation, visit usatriathlonfoundation.org.


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).
– usatriathlon.org –

IRONMAN World Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Postponed

The triathlon world now has their answer. The World Championship race and 70.3 World Championship are both postponed.

There will be two editions of the IRONMAN World Championship with the postponed race taking place February 6, 2020 and the second October 10, 2020. The date of the 70.3 race has yet to be determined.

Here is the official press release from IRONMAN

IRONMAN ANNOUNCES 2020 IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AND IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AND IRONMAN 70.3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HAVE BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO IMPACT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

  • Decision made after careful consideration with local partners and based upon inability to host qualifying events as well as current international border and travel restrictions in Hawai`i and New Zealand
  • 2020 IRONMAN World Championship rescheduled for February 6, 2021
  • New 2021 date options for 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship to be determined with local and national officials

TAMPA, Fla. (May 14, 2020) – IRONMAN today announced in conjunction with host city partners and authorities in Hawai`i, United States and Taupō, New Zealand, that due to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2020 editions of the IRONMAN® World Championship and IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship cannot take place on their originally scheduled dates. The IRONMAN World Championship will now take place on February 6, 2021 returning to its historic original race month and marking 40 years since it first took place in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawai`i. While a new date for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has not yet been determined, teams are working diligently with local and national officials and authorities to secure a date for early 2021.
 
IRONMAN has been closely monitoring the situation and guidance by the Hawaiian and New Zealand governments regarding mass gatherings, border and travel restrictions and other COVID-19 related issues to assess the feasibility of hosting the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship and 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Additionally, as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact events around the world, both world championship events have seen a majority of their respective qualifying events postponed or unable to take place in 2020, impeding the ability to produce and host truly competitive world championship events. Based on these factors and circumstances beyond our control, coupled with a mission to give athletes and communities as much preparation time as possible, it is clear the world championship events cannot proceed as planned in October and November, respectively.
 
Similar to 1982, there will be two editions of the IRONMAN World Championship in a single year (February and October) to accommodate athletes who qualify during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
 
As a result of the continued impact of COVID-19, the qualifying window for the 2020 edition of the IRONMAN World Championship has been extended to provide further qualification opportunities. The most up-to-date information on overall qualification details for the IRONMAN World Championship can be found at www.ironman.com/im-world-championship.
 
The IRONMAN World Championship is the pinnacle of endurance sports with athletes from all over the world coming to Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i after qualifying at events on six continents. Each year more than 94,000 athletes vie for coveted slots to the IRONMAN World Championship with approximately 2,500 athletes making it to the starting line on race day. In 2019, the IRONMAN World Championship generated a total economic impact of $72 million USD per a study conducted by Markrich Research. In addition to tourism, IRONMAN and the IRONMAN Foundation have provided a total of $1.9 million USD in grant funding to the Kailua-Kona region since the inception of the IRONMAN World Championship.

“The IRONMAN World Championship has been a cornerstone in showcasing our island’s attributes to the world for decades. We fully support their decision to postpone these races, and we feel that it is the right thing to do to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our community,” said Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawai`i Visitors Bureau. “It also allows supporting industries to prepare the resources necessary to maintain the high standard the event has created over the years. We look forward to welcoming them back when the time is right and will do our best to assist with the transition.”
 
“The County of Hawai`i supports IRONMAN’s difficult decision to postpone the October 2020 IRONMAN World Championship event to early 2021. We look forward to welcoming the athletes, their families and supporters in early February of 2021,” said Harry Kim, Honorable Mayor for Kona. 
 
The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has grown in stature and popularity since its inception in 2006 and is now the culmination of over 100 events. Every year more than 200,000 athletes compete annually for a place among the world’s best with over 5,000 athletes ultimately making it to the two-day event. Based on past economic impact studies, the 2020 edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is expected to create a total impact reaching $20 million NZD for the host city and region.
 
Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas said the postponement was expected given the effect COVID-19 was having on New Zealand and indeed the world. “This was no doubt a difficult decision, but the most important thing is that we as a community are ready to welcome these athletes when the time is right. We are proud to be home to the iconic IRONMAN New Zealand triathlon and are ready to showcase exactly why that is to the rest of the world. Bring on 2021.”
 
For more information and event details for the IRONMAN World Championship, please visit www.ironman.com/im-world-championship. Further updates on the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship can be found at www.ironman.com/im703-world-championship.
 
For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com.

Grant Application Window Now Open for USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund

From USA Triathlon

The USA Triathlon Foundation is now accepting applications for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, which will provide financial support to members of the multisport community who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals and organizations may apply for funding starting today, May 14, through May 31. 

Complete eligibility information and application materials can be found at usatriathlonfoundation.org. The Foundation will make all selections, announce grant funding recipients and distribute funds by mid-June.

The COVID-19 Relief Fund has raised more than $94,000 to date and is expected to raise $100,000 by May 17. The first $20,000 in donations were matched dollar-for-dollar by USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris and his wife, Elizabeth Harris ($10,000), and a combination of the USA Triathlon Foundation Board of Trustees and the USA Triathlon Board of Directors ($10,000).

“The USA Triathlon Foundation is overwhelmed by the generosity of donors nationwide who have chosen to give back to the multisport community through the COVID-19 Relief Fund and by participating in the USA Duathlon Virtual Run-Bike-Run presented by TOWER26,” said David Deschenes, USA Triathlon Foundation Executive Director. “Now, we are eager to extend this support to deserving individuals and organizations who have struggled during this crisis. We look forward to helping offset the financial burden that many within our community are now facing, as we all eagerly await the day when racing returns and we can again swim, bike and run.”

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.

Grant applications up to $5,000 will be considered. The Foundation may not be able to support every eligible request for funding. 

Donations for USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund grants will be accepted through May 31. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to donate today, or to learn more about the USA Triathlon Foundation and the programs it supports. 

Additional COVID-19 resources and updates from USA Triathlon are available at usatriathlon.org/covid-19. USA Triathlon continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19, while following the guidance of local authorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), when making decisions regarding the status of USA Triathlon events and programs.   


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).

BOCO Adds Custom 2-Layer Masks to Lineup–can Add Filter Insert

Boulder, CO – April 22, 2020. BOCO Gear, debuts 2 – layer Face Mask collection. These breathable, reusable, water resistance face coverings will be available in both adult and children’s sizes.

Built with a sublimated, tightly woven polyester outer shell and a soft, breathable performance knit mesh inner lining. Adult masks feature a slit pocket in the inner lining so you can add your own disposable filter (sold separately) and every mask is made with comfortable, elastic ear loops for a snug fit. “Originally we were just looking for a quick way to help, but almost immediately we recognized the interest in a larger scale effort.” explains Kay Martin, BOCO Founder and President. “Our business model has always been offering quality products with low minimums and quick turn times, so the shift for us was fairly easy. We are thrilled to be able to provide this service to our customers, athletes, and the community at large.”

Available in over a dozen colorful and unique stock designs, customers can order individual masks or mix and match unique family 5-packs. For the fully custom option there is a low 35 unit minimum, no artwork set up fee’s, and a door to door delivery time of 3 weeks. Additionally, special programs are available for First Responders and Healthcare Workers. 

“Based on CDC guidelines, many states are asking people to wear a mask when leaving the house and although the DIY masks are great and fun, businesses do want to offer professional options for employees. Our masks can be customized for businesses, restaurants, brands, Race Directors, teams, and any organization or individual looking for ways to help businesses and customers feel more comfortable as states open up and people are asked to come back to work.”

Lance Panigutti “We Will Need Events to Heal, But For Now Take Time to Connect in Ways We Never Have”

Lance Panigutti, owner of Without Limits Productions, the producer of cycling, triathlon and cyclocross races talked about how his company is handling canceling and postponing races and how he sees the future. He talks about the short term challenges, but also talks about many positives that may emerge and looks at this as an opportunity to adjust and refine his business. He talks about his new implementations based around sustainability and giving back. He put initiatives in place long before the virus outbreak to change the carbon footprint of racing and to give back locally and globally in new ways. Find out a lot more about Lance and Without Limits!

Check out the video here!

Lance Panigutti, Garage Talk #1

Colorado Multisport Helps Community with Food Delivery

CMS Community Meal Service

During these trying times, we realize bikes may not be your first priority. For reasons out of your control, you or someone you know may not be able to leave your house. We want to extend a helping hand. In addition to our Bicycle Valet service we are adding a Community Meal Service to help community members in need get groceries and basic home needs delivered to their door, free of charge. Our coverage area will be the same as our Bicycle Valet Service area.

Why are we doing this? We are a team of dedicated and passionate advocates for you, our customer. We saw a need that is affecting many of you and believe in the power of lifting up our fellow human when in need.

How does this work? Simple. Give Colorado Multisport a call Monday-Friday at 303-865-4604 during our normal business hours. One of our friendly staff will collect your name and information.  You will submit a grocery list to a dedicated email address and ask that you be as detailed as possible. For example: eggs (do you want the least expensive, brown, white, organic, etc.). We will take a $100 charge up front and refund the difference once the shopping trip is complete. The maximum shopping cart price for any individual or family is $100.

We cannot stress enough how highly we will prioritize cleanliness during this process. From wearing gloves to the store and when driving the van to completing your Community Meal Service drop-off without you ever having to touch or come in contact with us. We know that the people that need this service the most value their health and safety the most and want you to know that their sentiments align with ours.

Why are we doing this? We are a team of dedicated and passionate advocates for you, our customer. We saw a need that is affecting many of you and believe in the power of lifting up our fellow human when in need.

How does this work? Simple. Give Colorado Multisport a call Monday-Friday at 303-865-4604 during our normal business hours. One of our friendly staff will collect your name and information.  You will submit a grocery list to a dedicated email address and ask that you be as detailed as possible. For example: eggs (do you want the least expensive, brown, white, organic, etc.). We will take a $100 charge up front and refund the difference once the shopping trip is complete. The maximum shopping cart price for any individual or family is $100.

We cannot stress enough how highly we will prioritize cleanliness during this process. From wearing gloves to the store and when driving the van to completing your Community Meal Service drop-off without you ever having to touch or come in contact with us. We know that the people that need this service the most value their health and safety the most and want you to know that their sentiments align with ours.