“Perhaps this is a sign,” Teri Ward on winning another 303 contest–with Rinny surprise

By Bill Plock

Of all times, during the week of the 2019 IRONMAN World Championships, Teri lost her beloved husband Chuck, after a battle with cancer.

2019 has been a tough year for Teri. She also attempted IRONMAN Boulder in June and was not able to finish. With hopes of qualifying for Kona, her summer turned upside down with the disappointing race, but much more importantly, with a turn for the worse as Chuck’s battle with melanoma cancer worsened. 

Chuck and Teri met just a few years ago. The triathlon community was a big part of their lives and still is for Teri. Their love affair flourished and it’s clear in talking with Teri that despite having met Chuck later in life, he was the love of her life and vice versa. Teri finds so many parallels to life and triathlon and the sport and the community fuel her every day.

While in Kona this year, 303’s Khem Suthiwan collected some wonderful goodies from companies like IKOR, UCAN, SockGuy, Vega, Quantum and more. She even got a coveted swim cap from Clif Bar at the coffee boat. Contestants then answered a daily trivia question and those that answered were eligible to win the grand prize of products. And Teri won!

Teri, 303Triathlon and Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae have crossed paths before.

In 2015 we had a different contest sponsored by Audi Boulder (now Audi Flatirons) and Teri won a workout session with Rinny. To win two contests, with hundreds of people eligible, seems like destiny right? 

When told of winning Teri said, “A couple of friends pointed out that I had won a Kona bag. What a surprise! You see, I had DNF’d at IRONMAN Boulder this year, missing a Kona slot, then my husband’s fight against cancer took a turn for the worst in August and my motivation to train was very limited and my darling husband passed the week of Kona and I haven’t been sure if I would ever train again. Perhaps this is a sign that I am meant to use his determination and strength as motivation to keep up my Kona quest.”

Age Groupers Doping, Why? Social Media?

By Bill Plock

Yesterday, September 25, 2019, IRONMAN released a story (Article HERE) announcing the four year ban of four athletes who tested positive for doping. All age group athletes. Why?

Why does anyone use performance enhancing drugs? To win, do better, go faster of course, or maybe pressured by sponsors or teammates. Who knows. Pros or age groupers it’s against the rules, not moral or ethical and clearly not welcome in sports. At least with pros the ulterior motive of money and keeping sponsor contracts resonates. But age groupers? There is no prize money to age groupers in Kona–maybe some small sums in bike races. So what’s the deal?

Clearly egos, ultra competitive people and narcissists are driven so intensely by winning and maybe those things alone drive people with no money motivation to dope. But is there more?

Age groupers who win, who have social media skills, who are engaging, who know how to review products, who want to proclaim competency to perhaps coach might find some irrational, misplaced justification of doping to win at all cost. But really?

Is social media driving this? Is Strava and KOM’s and QOM’s and kudos’ driving some ego machine it’s worth doping? Or maybe the motivation is what comes with winning; social media followers, subscribers and dialog that captures the attention of advertisers and product managers trying to get free advertising by giving away a lot free products to influencers. Is that the game?

Look what’s happened to sponsorships of pro endurance athletes, particularly triathletes. The pie is getting pretty small. Why would a company pay a mediocre pro who isn’t so great at social media when they can give some free swag to a pop star like age grouper who is on the podium all the time and gladly willing to try to sell product?

More and more age groupers are failing drug tests. The blame of bad CBD quality control or extra poppy seeded bread is ridiculous. They know what they are doing.

Is the rise of drug use in the amateur ranks correlating with the rise of social media impact on the make up of marketing strategies?

It doesn’t excuse the unethical behavior but maybe it explains it? Or is it simply the cultural shifts due to social media, hyper connectivity and ultimately greater loneliness causing amateurs to win at all cost so they feel better about themselves? Who knows. I would love someone to tell us why they did it.

At the IRONMAN World Championships coming up in a couple of weeks, don’t be surprised if you get asked to give a sample at packet pickup.

The Road to Kona – with Audi Boulder

bill-cropBy Bill Plock

Colorado has more athletes competing at the Ironman World Championships in Kona than any state but California. Why? It’s not coincidence. We all know countless pros reside in Colorado… but, with pros at the top, what is the pyramid of athletes built on? It’s built on Colorado’s history of seeking the best outdoor experience possible and sharing it with the world.  Decades before triathlon was even a word, innovators in the ski, camping, hiking and clothing industries flocked to our mountains to pursue their passions and set up shop.

stacia-climbPursuing our passion in Colorado is simply in our blood, in our water, and on our bikes; this drive propels our hearts and feet to move and be stronger and faster. But it’s also a vital part of the economic engine. According to the Outdoor Industry Association (located in Boulder), $646 billion are pumped into the national economy every year making it larger than the pharmaceutical and automobile industries.

Colorado has a vibrant and healthy outdoor industry with $13.2 billion in consumer spending here and producing $4.2 billion in wages and adding $994 million in tax revenue. The sector employs 125,000 people statewide.  All of this fosters innovation and more importantly fuels our passion in every way.

We have generations of triathletes and cyclists. It’s what gave birth to 303cycling.com and 303triathlon.com many years ago.

Says publisher and editor-in-chief Dana Willet, “We are honored to bring news, events and personal stories to Colorado, and the world. This next week our focus is bringing readers all the happenings in Kona – We are so excited for our third year of Kona coverage, and second year of the Road to Kona series.”

audi-d3-6“The Road to Kona” series was born last year on 303Triathlon to help celebrate this passion and recognize the hard work and dedication it takes to get there.

Craig David of Audi Boulder and I were simply brainstorming on how showcase their sponsorship of three time World Champion Mirinda Carfrae when we realized, looking at how many Coloradoans compete in Kona, that there is so much more to the story and how we need to celebrate this crazy passion for triathlons in Colorado.

audi-d3-2-b-wWhy does Audi Boulder care so much you might ask? Here is what Craig said:

The Road to Kona series means getting excited about the World Championship of Triathlon! But really, it means getting excited for so many hometown athletes, rooting for them, watching them, and seeing them reach their potential. It’s the spirit of the sport, to keep challenging yourself…that’s what we love to see unfold.

audi-d3-1D3 coaching, led by Mike Ricci of Boulder, has eight athletes competing in Kona. Pictured here at Audi Boulder are three local athletes competing: Greg Lindquist, Sarah Peltier and Brian Lambert.

Boulder and Colorado are clearly one of the main hubs of triathlon with so many manufacturers, service providers, coaches and athletes. “The road to Kona” this year includes 52 Colorado Athletes competing in Kona.

Once again Audi Boulder is helping sponsor 303Triathlon to bring the news and action to you. Rudy Project, Roka, Couer Sports, Training Peaks, Endurance House Westminster, Boulder Bodyworker, D3 Multisport, MacPer4mance, and Newton Running all pitched in to help.

303 is headed to KONA for IMWC16

Our 303Tri team is headed back to the Big Island for another year of comprehensive Kona coverage, highlighting all our Colorado Athletes, and beyond. This year, we’re attacking Seuss style:

Twitter notes
From Hawi
On a boat
To Dig Me

Lava fields
Facebook Live
Moped wheels
Ali’i Drive

Prerace fads:
Bikini clad
Hugo’s lair

Energy Lab
Hot Corner
Bottle grab
Midnight blur…

Watch for personal stories from Colorado athletes headed to Kona beginning this week!