48 Seconds

Blog by Emily Harvey, intro by Sasha Underwood, accomplished athlete and 303 Ambassador


When Emily Harvey first asked me to be her handler for her first Ironman, without hesitation I said yes. What an honor to be a part of her team and Ironman debut. I first met Emily at the Achilles Monday night run group at Washington Park about five years ago where I was guiding visually-impaired athletes. Achilles is an inclusive group that welcomes all abilities and I have had the opportunity to meet the most wonderful people being a part of that group. What I first noticed about Emily was her awesome connection in helping a teenager my son’s same age, who has some cognitive challenges, to focus and have fun running. Of course I noticed her super fancy cool running leg. Little did know that one day I would be spending so much time with those legs of hers.

Then, it was around 2014, when I was training for Boulder IM that she started training for her first triathlon. We both swam at the same pool and I used to tell her all the time that she was training for a full Ironman with the training schedule she had. Most of the time we had very similar swim workouts in terms of distance. 2015 I had to give up Ironman racing and running because of hip surgery. Any chance I can get to still be a part of the action I jump on and in 2016 Emily asked me to be her handler at the Boulder 70.3 which was her second half Ironman.

Here are a few quick bullet points from my perspective on how the day went and below is Emily’s race review. I have retold her story several times and I still get chills thinking about how deep she dug to make the cutoff time!

What whirlwind of a weekend handling Emily Harvey’s legs during Ironman Boulder as she experienced the following:

1. Mechanical failure on the bike; when her DI2 shifters stopped working and she was stuck in her big ring from mile 24 through 112…


2. Forgot her running shoe for her walking leg so I gave her my running shoes (slightly too big for her) and I wore my water shoes for a few miles until she switched into her running leg.
However, it was on the run that I came up with my new handler name as I was running with Emily carrying two of her legs in a backpack: Leggy Blonde 😂. When I guide visually-impaired athletes I’m The Blonde Leading the Blind but that doesn’t work for being a handler. Glad we figured that out so I can sleep at night lol..

3. Her watch died and didn’t know her pace – and all of us supporting her thought she had until midnight to finish – it wasn’t until 10 minutes before her official cutoff time that Jeannete Sorensen Hickok (thank god for Jeannete) said she only had 10 minutes to get there… her predicted time was 11minutes …. frantically I texted her coach and he saw her with 1:15 (one minute fifteen seconds) before her cut off and he yelled at her to sprint !!

And holy cow did she sprint…..
I think I almost passed out from holding my breath for over a minute as she sprinted down the finishing chute with 48 seconds to spare..

So many emotions – Of all the Ironman races I’ve done – this one, being Emily’s handler, tops them all… everyone participating has a story from last weeks, but Emily wins Best Story for First Time Ironman in my opinion 🙂

Congrats again Emily! You’ve got more grit than anyone I know!! YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!

48 Seconds

Emily Harvey IRONMAN Boulder post race blog


I FINISHED THE BOULDER IRONMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am still telling this to myself over and over today because I still don’t believe it, and I still look at an Ironman as an insurmountable feat even though I just did one yesterday.  I think it’s going to take a while for the gravity of what I just accomplished to sink in, and for me to believe it actually happened…  It was just a crazy and amazing day, and I hope you enjoyed the updates Sasha was posting on my Facebook page all day, but I also wanted to share my written perspective of the experience because I think there are many lessons about life woven into my day yesterday.




I was up at 3:00 AM to eat because it always take me a while to choke down my breakfast and we needed to leave between 3:45 – 4:00 AM to catch the shuttle to the reservoir.  Per my usual on race morning, I ate my breakfast and promptly threw half of it back up.  This is standard procedure for me on race morning and I always feel a million times better once it happens, so I rolled with it and took it as a good sign that my body was pumped for the day.

Zach, Sasha, and I headed out of the hotel, dropped off our special needs bags at the High School (thank you Jeannene Gonzales for grabbing those for us!), and jumped on a shuttle to the reservoir.  The moon was a bright orange sliver, and Sasha thought it looked like a toenail.  I always appreciate Sasha’s humor (even at 4:00 AM) because somehow it helps calm my nerves.  Sasha also offered entertainment because she was wearing the backpack with my legs sticking out of it and inadvertently tapped the guy in the seat in front of us with one of my legs.  He was a little befuddled…


We got to the reservoir and made our final preparations for transitions and walked through which leg would be where at what point in the race and how Sasha would assist me in changing legs for each phase.  Once we had that all worked out, we headed over to the swim start so I could get into my wetsuit in time for the 6:10 AM start.  I drank a quick nutrition mix to make up for throwing my breakfast and then just relaxed by the swim start for a bit to calm the nerves.  I was not as nervous as I expected, but was more excited than anything else.  The day I’ve been looking forward to since I signed up for Ironman last September had finally arrived.  I truly did feel like a kid on Christmas morning.



The Swim

The PC (physically challenged) athletes get to start at the back of the wave with the female pros, so that is pretty dang cool.  We all got in the water and next thing I know it’s 1 minute to go, 30 seconds to go, and BANG!, the cannon goes off and we’re all off into the water.  I always get excited at the beginning of the swim because it’s my favorite part of the whole day, and it’s hard for me to hold back.  However, my Coach and I had talked about being smart and not pushing myself in the water because it was going to be a long day and it wasn’t worth shaving 5 seconds per 100 meter off my time.  I got into a great rhythm and just kept going from buoy to buoy at a steady pace I knew I could maintain without gassing myself.  It took until the first turn about 1/3 of the way through the swim before I started getting passed by the fastest age groupers, so I had a lot of time to just swim in the open water basically by myself.  I only freaked out and thought I was being attacked by sea monsters a few times when some water plant latched onto my arm, but I kept my cool and shook it off and kept swimming.  I came out of the water around an hour and 23 minutes, which was right on pace for my day’s goals.  Sasha helped me get to my towel, strip my wetsuit, and throw on my running leg so I could go through the changing tent to get ready for the bike.  I was in heaven because my day was, to this point, going just as planned.


In the first transition, Sasha and a volunteer helped me get out of my swim gear and changed into my bike gear.  I had gone back on forth as to whether to wear tri bottoms or my bike skirt from Skirt Sports and ultimately decided on the skirt, throwing any judgement of others regarding my choice out the window because that skirt is ridiculously comfortable and 112 miles is a long time on the bike.  I saw one other lady in a skirt out on the bike, so we were basically beauty queens out there, haha.  After changing, I ran to my bike where my bike leg was waiting, switched legs, and ran out of transition to start the bike.



The Bike

My plan on the bike was to stay steady, maintain a 14-15 mph average, and finish in 8 hours or less – a major part of this was making sure I didn’t push too hard and completely destroy my legs before the run.  All was going well until mile 24 of 112 when my Di2 electronic shifters decided that despite fully charging them on Thursday, they were going to attempt to sabotage my day by refusing to work… at all.  For those of you not familiar with bikes, this means I could not shift into a different gear in the front or back and was stuck in the gear I was in when they quit for the day.  What gear was I in, you ask?  Well, the big ring in the front and the 3rd ring down in the back – this is a great gear for flats and slight downhills.  It is not good for going uphill, especially not big hills like some of those on the course yesterday.  As soon as I realized what was happening, I had a flash of an idea to quit, but kept riding (I was going downhill) and thought about a story Nicole DeBoom told about being in a race when her saddle broke and she freakin’ made it work to finish the race.

It took A LOT of self-talk to get myself through the next 32 miles when I reached the halfway point, and I’m sure some of the people passing me thought I was crazy for not shifting and because I was talking to myself out loud to get through it (C’mon Emily, you can’t quit now; Woman up, Emily, you can freakin’ do this; stupid bike, you aren’t going to sabotage me today, I am going to do this race whether you like it or not… and so on).  At the halfway point, I saw Sash and Coach Mark and had a brief meltdown about my situation, but they encouraged me to keep going AND SO I KEPT GOING.


Complete blog here

Women Run the World


Join us for our bimonthly (every other month) Women Run the World Events at Skirt Sports Boulder Store!


Tonight we feature champion athlete, psychotherapist, healer, and a woman on her our journey toward self-love. Diane J Israel created the film “Beauty Mark” partly for of her own quest to understand why she couldn’t love her body. The film evolved into something so much bigger. It captivates women athletes everywhere & brings them together, bonded forever through a topic that women universally struggle with – body image.

We are showing the 50 minute “educational” version of the film, followed by Q&A with Diane & an open discussion.

Dinner and drinks will be served. All options available (vegan, GF, etc). SPONSORED BY Jackson’s Honest & Kim and Jake’s Cakes for movie munchies!

WORKOUT FIRST! TBD – we promise a good body-movin workout!

BYOC – Bring your own chair if you want guaranteed seating!

500: After hours shopping begins
545: Optional 20-30 min workout at the store
615: Network, Eat, Sip & Shop our end of season sale – extended for the event.
630: Diane introduction
645: Film begins
740: Q&A & Discussion
800: Doors close

Event details here

Nicole DeBoom Back in the Saddle at The Peak – Review of Triathlon Rules & Regs

Check out this video! The Former Pro (Nicole DeBoom) & The Real Life Rockstar (Jen Szabo) review Triathlon rules & regs as Nicole prepares to do the Boulder Peak Tri 13 years after the last time she did it. Special guest appearance by The Current Pro aka Big Sexy (Chris McDonald).

Get Psyched for the Peak @ CMS

“Get pysched for the Peak” at Colorado Multisport

2480 Canyon Boulevard # M-2 Boulder, Colorado 80302
Date: Wednesday July 5th
Time: 6:00pm with an informal happy hour – beer being sponsored by Ska Brewing

Speaker Line-up:

5430 Founder and Without Limits partner Barry Siff  will kick things off with a lively panel discussion including:




Coach to the Pros & Team Sirius Siri Lindley – author of “Surfacing: From the depths of self doubt to living big and living fearlessly,” Founder of Believe Ranch and Rescue







D3’s  Mental Training Coach Will Murray –  USA Triathlon-certified coach specializing in mental conditioning, and will lead participants in three fast, effective techniques for reducing pre-race jitters, addressing negative self-talk and arriving at the start line in peak mental condition.





Skirt Sports  – owner and former pro Nicole DeBoom – past overall champion and back racing for the first time as an age grouper this season!


Local Pro Cam Dye past Champion


and more!


RSVP HERE as space is limited – the event will be capped at 75 people

More info on The Peak and the 5430 Triathlon Series here

Get Psyched for the Peak at CMS



Speaker Line-up:
5430 Founder and Without Limits partner  Barry Siff will kick things off with a lively panel discussion including:

  • Coach to the Pros & Team Sirius Siri Lindley
  • Mental Training Coach Will Murray
  • Skirt Sports owner and former pro Nicole DeBoom
  • Local Pro Cam Dye (past Champion)

and more!

RSVP HERE as space is limited – the event will be capped at 75 people
More info on The Peak and the 5430 Triathlon Series here


Emily Harvey Amputee Athlete: Rock Your Differences

Another one of Nicole DeBoom’s thought provoking and well done pod casts for your enjoyment during your next training session.


Emily Harvey – disability right attorney, wife, fitness model, founder of non-profit LIM359, and amputee athlete.

Emily’s leg was amputated when she was two because she had a condition called fibular hemimelia, which means she was missing her fibula bone and her left leg was substantially shorter than her right.  She grew up not really knowing any different, and even asked her grandma at some point when she got her first prosthesis because she simply believed that everyone wore a prosthesis.  She played t-ball & volleyball, rode bikes, climbed trees, and did pretty much everything else her friends were doing.  She started riding horses when she was about 9 years old, quickly got into 3-day eventing, and eventually rode on her college dressage team.  She didn’t ride much after college, but discovered the sport of triathlon in 2014 which quickly became a new passion, culminating in her first Half Ironman in June of 2016.



Today we talk about:

  • What it was like to grow up an amputee
  • Why being different is a good thing
  • Loss of a role model and how that impacts your desire to continue the thing you were passionate about
  • Body image
  • The difference between inspiration and motivation
  • Why self-confidence is the #1 thing you need to nurture before you can help anyone else


Emily mentions a some cool things including this TED Talk by Stella Young. Wow. Worth a watch for sure.

She also wrote a great blog on AmpTriLife that really describes her position on body image, especially as it relates to her fake “real” leg. It’s a good one called “My Twisted Sense of Body Image.”



Original post here

Listen to the podcast here

Women Run This World

Tuesday Jan 10th

Skirt Sports, Boulder


Join us for Women Run the World Events every 2nd Tuesday of the month at Skirt Sports Boulder Store!

These are fun, inspirational nights of fitness & networking with other cool chicks in the community, while listening to powerful people give 10 minute TESS talks on a message they want to share with the world.


WORKOUT FIRST! 20-30min of “move your body” action right outside the store

Tricia Downing – Paralympic athlete, author, speaker and founder of The Cycle of Hope non-profit
Samm Grace – kidney transplant survivor and mom of a 5-year-old
Sara Vaughn – Olympic Trials miler, mama of 3 girls also balancing a full time real estate career

BYOC – Bring your own chair if you want guaranteed seating!

500: After hours shopping begins!
545: Optional 30 min workout at the store
615: Network, Sip & Skirt
630: Tricia Downing
700: Samm Grace
730: Sara Vaughn
800: Doors close


Event details and reservations here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Nicole DeBoom and Mirinda Carfrae

I’m thinking we all know who these amazing women are.  But, for the record, Nicole DeBoom won IRONMAN Wisconsin in 2004, has competed in Kona and is now the founder and owner of the successful and popular Boulder based, Skirt Sports.

Mirinda Carfrae is an amazing athlete.  With three IRONMAN Kona women’s champion titles to her name, the Boulder resident seems unstopable.


In 2016, Nicole added the podcast Run This World to her “To Do” List and has interviewed many amazing athletes and local entrepreneurs.  Shortly after Kona this past October, Nicole was able to sit down and talk with Rinny, discussing many topics including growing up a basketball player, transitioning to triathlon, being married to a professional athlete, balancing life and what the future may hold.


Listen to the podcast here

33 – Mirinda Carfrae from 5’3″ Basketball Pipsqueak to 3-time Ironman World Champion