Nice will host the very best IRONMAN elite athletes on the planet on the weekend of September 7-8, 2019 as well as some of the most-committed age-group competitors from all corners of the globe. In total, an estimated 6,000 participants will descend on the French Riviera.
Although it will be the first time the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has been held in France, the tourist-hotspot of Nice has been hosting IRONMAN races since 2005 and is one of the destinations most-loved by athletes of all abilities.
NELSON MANDELA BAY, South Africa (Sept. 7, 2018) – Madeline McKeever, 31, of Denver, Colorado captured the world championship title in the women’s 30-34 age-group at the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship triathlon in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa on Saturday, September 1. Approximately 1,600 women were registered to compete in Nelson Mandela Bay as the Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship came to the African continent for the first time.
McKeever completed the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event in 04:36:56 (swim: 32:41; bike: 02:32:15; run: 01:25:11), beating out the top athletes in her age group. The race encompassed a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim that started at King’s Beach and proceeded with an open-water swim in the Indian Ocean, followed by a one-loop, 56-mile (90 km) bike course that took athletes around the Nelson Mandela Bay area. The event capped off with a two-lap, 13.1-mile (21 km) run as athletes finished to energetic crowds at Hobie Beach.
The two-day Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship saw approximately 4,500 registered athletes from 48 U.S. States and 102 countries, regions and territories compete in this world-renowned event, marking the largest field of any IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon to-date. Athletes ranged in age from 18 to 78. The world championship event is the culmination of over 100 global events in the IRONMAN 70.3 series where more than 185,000 age-group athletes vied for slots to compete in the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Qualification is already underway for the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship which will rotate to Nice, France.
Below you will find everything involving the professional male and female athletes from Saturday’s race, from the pro panel talk the day before the race, Tim Don’s emotional finish chute moments with his family, all the way through 303Radio’s finish line interviews… Check it out!
A tremendous achievement for any able-bodied soul, Becky had to work harder than most, both physically and mentally, because she is paralyzed on her right side.
Just four years ago she was an accomplished runner and XTERRA athlete, living in Guam with her husband Sam, stationed in the military there. During a home invasion, she was beaten, and according to doctors, was with an hour of dying. But she didn’t die. She survived, and learned to talk and eat and walk again.
She GOT BACK UP.
In June, 303 reported on Becky’s “comeback” off-road triathlon at XTERRA Lory: Becky Piper: Xterra Nats qualifier, savagely attacked, comatose & paralyzed, and back to Xterra again – at local Lory race
We followed her closely yesterday as she tackled the next goal on her list, IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder.
303’s Para-Tri ambassador Sasha Underwood is a close friend of Becky’s, and frequent training partner and guide. She was at every turn of Saturday’s race, and was overwhelmed with pride and emotion as Becky hit each milestone.
Becky is everything I strive to be; sheer grit, tenacious, positive, gracious, kind, courageous, strong, an amazing sense of humor, and she’ll probably kill me for saying this but she is inspiring – but not because she has a disability .. it’s because she finds a way to do anything and everything whether it’s racing, or becoming a USAT coach, she doesn’t accept “no” or “can’t” and nothing can stop her.
Sasha captured these pivotal moments of Becky being carried out of the water by her husband, and the crowning moment of crossing the finish line, just behind the similarly-inspiring story of Team Agar.
Swim exit video:
Becky Piper said she hopes news of her first Ironman 70.3 reaches someone who is living with a mobility issue.
“I just want to get the word out that if you have foot drop, then your life and your quality of life isn’t over,” she said. “There’s tools out there and there is technology out there to improve your quality of life. And not to give up. Don’t give up.”
Jeff and Johnny Agar of Rockford, Michigan will be among the faces in the Ironman Boulder 70.3 event on Saturday. Jeff and Johnny are a father-son team. Johnny is 23 and was born with cerebral palsy. Johnny is an athlete. On his website, Johnny defines athlete as – “a person who is proficient in sports and other physical exercise.” He goes on to state that “Now that I have crossed the finish line, I feel like I am officially an athlete.” Jeff and Johnny have completed 5Ks to Marathons and sprint to 70.3 triathlons.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Jeff and Johnny as well as his Mom Becki, Sisters Annie and Grace and Coaches Thad Beaty and Nicole Serraiocco to talk about the race.
This is the family’s first visit to Colorado. After driving 17 hours from Michigan they were happy to settle into their home away from home for the week. Johnny enjoyed the opportunity to visit a park with his Aunt and Uncle and fish in the stream where he caught several brown trout. He also hopes to get to the Olympic Training Center while he is here. The family also plans to go to a Colorado Rockies baseball game. They all expressed how much they like Colorado and how excited they are to be here.
Jeff and Johnny have been getting their training in since arriving. Yesterday was a preview of the swim at the reservoir and a brief look at the bike course. They have also driven the bike course and looked at targets using Best Bike Split software to determine their strategy for race day. The goal for both Jeff and Johnny is to manage the matches that they will use on the course and ensure that there are enough matches left for Johnny to walk the last ½ mile of the run course and cross the finish under his own power. For Jeff – this means controlling power output on the bike, hydrating properly to limit the impacts of the altitude and applying his training with confidence. For Johnny – he too needs to ensure that he is properly hydrated, he has to shift around in the chariot to keep his feet awake so they are ready to walk and he says his most important job is to remind his Dad about his cadence! He looks forward to the ice cream post race!
As most triathletes know, mindset is equally as important as the skills needed to swim, bike and run. Johnny’s mindset is an inspiration. He believes that failure is part of the process. He has received encouragement from his family, his coaches and his friends every step of the way. His sister Annie said “if he failed it was not because of the fact that he had cerebral palsy it was because he did not try hard enough.” And Johnny agrees – he takes ownership and does not make excuses. Johnny is not worried about not doing it, he is worried about “not trying.”
Race morning will involve many checklists. Johnny said that he doesn’t sleep because he is so excited for the event so when it is time to get rolling he is waking the family up. His Sisters commented that their job is to get themselves to the car so that he stops herding them to go! Jeff said the set-up takes much longer for them with all of the equipment and referring to the checklists often is a must. He said there is only one time that you show up at a race without a life jacket!
Jeff and Johnny will have their coaches on sight to support them throughout the day. They embrace the opportunity to learn and grow from observing this team at work and to gather information to carry forward to the next goal. The Agars are hoping for an invitation to return to Kona and Johnny will continue to train towards his ultimate goal of completing a 5K on his own and “give his Dad a break!”
Here is a great video taken Wednesday by coach Nicole Serraiocco:
As the writer of this article, receiving the opportunity to cover Team Agar at this race is a gift that is amazing. There were so many valuable life lessons learned in our brief conversation. I look forward to a continued friendship with the family and following Johnny and Jeff’s journey and celebrating each milestone along the way.
Look for additional information throughout the weekend on Team Agar’s journey as well as their race recap. Until then as Johnny says – “one step at a time!
Avoiding Mental Sabotage Part 4: How to Channel Pre-Race Anxiety
BY PATRICK J. COHN, PH.D. AND ANDRE BEKKER
In part four of our continuing series on mastering your mental skills for race-day, we discuss how to properly channel your pre-race anxiety into positive energy and focus.
How to Cope with Pre-Race Jitters
Every triathlete, runner or cyclist, no matter their level, experiences pre-race jitters—the feeling of excitement or butterflies in your stomach prior to the start of a race. However, some athletes turn pre-race jitters into performance anxiety. Pre-race jitters are a natural part of your racing, but pre-race performance anxiety will cause most athletes to tense up, worry about their performance and ultimately not perform up to their ability.
Are Pre-Race Jitters Helpful to Your Performance?
The first step is to find out if you experience common pre-race jitters or if you are anxious or scared. The difference is that pre-race jitters or butterflies are helpful to your race—they help you focus and perform better.
However, real “performance anxiety” is a reaction to stress or fear about the event that can cause excess tension. We think that pre-race jitters are a form of respect for the event you are about to engage in and part of the physical way your body prepares for the race.
How can you distinguish between pre-race jitters and performance anxiety? Look at the characteristic of each below:
You feel excited to get the race started.
You feel physically up and alert.
You think clearly about what you want to accomplish.
You feel ready to tackle any challenge that comes your way.
You feel your heart beating harder, but you think it’s natural and helpful.
When the race starts, you relax, get into the flow, and don’t focus on how you are feeling.
You have energy to keep going until the end of the race.
You are over-excited about the race and feel scared before you start.
You feel physically sick to your stomach.
You have excess internal chatter and can’t think clearly or calmly.
You are worried about what you might encounter during the race.
You feel physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate, but worry that you are anxious or uptight.
You feel anxious or tight well into the start of the race and it may last for the entire event.
You feel drained and exhausted before the competition even starts.
If you identify with pre-race jitters, that’s great. That’s what you want to feel just before the event. You want to embrace the pre-race jitters.
If you identify more with performance anxiety above, you’ll have to learn how to overcome your performance anxiety by channeling it in a more constructive way…
The week leading up to a major race, what we call “race week” in the sport, can bring its own breed of stress and anxiety. These emotions can pile up and wreak havoc on an athlete’s race experience and even results. So what’s a high-strung athlete to do? The best chance for success on race week is to do your best to make it as much like any other week in training.
IRONMAN champ Linsey Corbin sums up race week success with this: “Get a lot of sleep early in the week, dial in your race gear early, thank a volunteer, stay hydrated, don’t stress about the weather, do something nice, keep the blood flowing, and have fun.” Below you’ll find a few more handy points to help keep the cortisol levels down.
IRONMAN Race Week Do’s & Don’ts….
Click HERE to read about bike tune ups, new gear, pre-race diet, too little – and too much – rest, massages, course recon, and managing your support crew.
Age-group rolling wave swim start to spread athletes out and decrease bike course density at 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
TAMPA, Fla. (July 5, 2017) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings Company, announced today that the 2017 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship triathlon taking place in Chattanooga, Tennessee will move to a rolling wave start within each age group. The decision to change the swim-start aims to create a more fair World Championship experience for athletes by spreading athletes out and minimizing bike course density. Significant analytics research of past participant data went into the formatting decision for the swim start and was an important factor in deciding when each age group would start. Another objective of the adjusted swim start times is to deliver a safe event while providing a World Championship experience for all athletes.
“The execution of the swim start is critical in the management of bike course drafting. The adjusted swim starts will help to ensure as fair of a race as possible for age-group athletes,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. “We know how important world championship events are for our athletes and this decision is a direct response to the feedback we have received. By spacing out the start times in the sequence that has been determined, the athlete field will be more evenly spread throughout the course and subsequently reduce the opportunity for drafting.”
The championship race will be a two-day event with the professional and age-group women racing on Saturday, Sept. 9 and the professional and age-group men racing on Sunday, Sept. 10. On Saturday, the professional women’s field will begin with a mass start at 7:30 a.m., with the first age group women wave beginning at 7:38 a.m. Likewise, on Sunday, the men’s pro race will begin with a mass start at 7:30 a.m. and the first men’s age-group wave will begin at 7:38 a.m.
While the new format will have the men and women’s fields competing on separate days, the new start times will not change the existing cut-off standards for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. All athletes will be required to finish the swim in one hour, the bike in five hours and 10 minutes after start, and complete the entire course in eight hours.
“We are proud to continue to find ways of enhancing the athlete experience at our world championship events. As the top triathletes in the world, these competitors deserve the highest quality race possible,” said Diana Bertsch, Vice President of World Championship Events for IRONMAN. The 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship swim waves will have altered time gaps between the age-group waves to support fairness and a more open course.
Below are the new start times for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship:
Friends & Family 5k Event Series presented by IRONMAN to coincide with select 2017 IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events across North America
TAMPA, Fla. (June 1, 2017) — IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, announced today the addition of its new Friends & Family 5k Event Series presented by IRONMAN. The 5k events which will be available alongside select events across IRONMAN® and IRONMAN® 70.3® triathlons in 2017. The creation of the series comes on the heels of a successful pilot in 2016 in which both IRONMAN Louisville and IRONMAN Arizona hosted 5k events during race week.
IRONMAN competitors, supporters and spectators will now be able to enjoy a fun run side-by-side as part of race week festivities by participating in one of the nine 5k events at the following 2017 event locations: IRONMAN 70.3 Syracuse, IRONMAN 70.3 Racine, Subaru IRONMAN Canada/IRONMAN 70.3 Canada, IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder, IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene, IRONMAN Wisconsin, IRONMAN 70.3 Superfrog, IRONMAN Louisville presented by Norton Sports Health and IRONMAN Arizona. The Friends & Family 5k Event Series presented by IRONMAN will take place up to three days before each IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3 event with the exception of IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene, which will take place on race day.
“The creation of this new series gives our athletes and their supporters of all skill levels an opportunity to really enjoy the beautiful scenery of our race locations and take part in the environment that is created during race week,” said Shane Facteau, Chief Operating Officer at IRONMAN. “Holding a 5k race around the already robust IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events further strengthens an already exciting schedule of the race week activities and we look forward to bringing this to additional cities in the future.”
IRONMAN 70.3 Lahti Finland to take place on June 30, 2018 ~ General registration to open June 19, 2017
HELSINKI, Finland/TAMPA, Fla. (May 30, 2017) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, announced today the addition its first event in Finland, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Lahti Finland triathlon. The inaugural race will take place on June 30, 2018.
IRONMAN 70.3 Lahti Finland will introduce a brand new athlete experience with a later start time that has athletes beginning their race in the late afternoon and finishing under the light of the late setting sun at midnight.
The new race will be held in Lahti, located approximately 100 kilometers northeast of Finland’s capital Helsinki. With a population of 120,000, Lahti is Finland’s eighth-largest city, and one the Nordic country’s fastest growing economic hubs.
“Lahti is known internationally as a winter sports city,” said Jyrki Myllyvirta, Mayor of the City of Lahti. “We are happy to welcome the IRONMAN 70.3 Lahti Finland triathlon as it will give us a chance to showcase sports and exercise opportunities available throughout the year. Lahti offers an excellent arena for international competition, and we have extensive experience in organizing spectator events that are in-demand. Considered an environmentally conscious city, Lahti will make it possible to organize IRONMAN 70.3 Lahti Finland in an attractive natural environment in the city center while adhering to the principles of sustainable development.”
Among others, former world-class soccer player Jari Litmanen, ski jumping Olympic Champion Toni Nieminen as well as ski jumping World Champion Janne Ahonen call Lahti their home fostering the city’s reputation as a true sports town.
“Lahti has a long and proud history in sports and is a city that has produced countless world-class athletes,” said Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, Managing Director of IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa. “It is in this spirit that we created this race with the support of the city and the city council, which have been nothing short of amazing so far. We are very much looking forward to a great partnership. All of us at IRONMAN are excited to bring this race to Lahti and Finland.”
Athletes will begin their race with a single-loop 1.9 km swim in Lake Vesijärvi close to the city center. The 90 km (56 mile) bike course leads athletes through a beautiful Nordic landscape with rolling hills, forests, villages and along some of lakes that have lent Finland to the nickname of “Land of Thousand Lakes.” On their way athletes will pass regional landmarks such as the Hollola Medieval Church and bike through charming Finnish villages such as Sairakkala. Athletes then transition onto the run course which is a flat two-loop course. At approximately the half way mark of the run, athletes pass the ski jumping center and head along the lake towards Jalkaranta before they cross the finish line at Vesijärvi.
“On behalf of Finntriathlon, we are excited to welcome athletes from all over the world to our hometown,” added Tiina Boman of Finntriathlon. “Triathlon has seen tremendous growth in Finland and by racing into the midnight sun we are looking forward to creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of our participants.”
IRONMAN 70.3 Lahti Finland will offer 50 age-group qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship being held in Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.
General registration for IRONMAN 70.3 Lahti Finland will open at 2 p.m. local time on Monday, June 19, 2017 at www.ironman.com/finland70.3. Athlete inquiries may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org