The conference in Tempe, Arizona, brought together race directors, coaches, retailers and others in the multisport community.
The inaugural Endurance Exchange triathlon industry conference brought together more than 500 race directors, coaches, retailers and others in the multisport community for three days of learning, sharing best practices and networking Thursday through Saturday at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium.
The event, a collaboration between USA Triathlon and Triathlon Business International (TBI), was created in an effort to grow, inspire and support the triathlon community by collaboratively hosting the nation’s largest experiential triathlon summit where everyone within the multisport community can learn; share best practices, trends and innovations; network; and collaborate.
Featuring a dynamic lineup of expert presenters from across the multisport community, Endurance Exchange offered content specific to coaches, race directors and retailers, along with general sessions relevant to the entire industry. Sessions included interactive roundtables, question and answer forums, panel discussions and presentations on a variety of topics relevant to endurance sports.
Among the topics covered were diversity, equity and inclusion concepts and their relevance to the future of triathlon; mental health and performance; CBD usage in endurance sports; creating new and unique revenue streams for your events; how to create a successful charity partnership; what race directors can do to make their events more environmentally friendly; running biomechanics and the growing trend of gamification of endurance sports.
In addition, professional triathlete and Picky Bars CEO Jesse Thomas and longtime Boston Marathon race director and USA Triathlon Hall of Fame member Dave McGillivray delivered entertaining and inspiring presentations, chronicling their experience with the sport of triathlon.
“I was really seeking out the endurance sports type of conference. I’ve been to a lot, but this was pretty different. I wanted something triathlon-specific that would help me grow my business and help me grow as a coach and help me pass that knowledge on to the next coach that I’m mentoring. This is one of the better conferences I’ve been to,” said Jen Myers (Chesapeake, Va.), a USA Triathlon Level I certified coach.
Eric Byrnes, former MLB outfielder and current MLB Network analyst, and Pasquale Romano, President and CEO of ChargePoint — both avid triathletes —delivered keynote presentations.
Romano’s keynote explored the relationship between endurance sports and entrepreneurship, put into context for athletes, race directors, coaches, manufacturers, brands and other business stakeholders in the multisport industry.
A couple of months ago some friends encouraged me to try our first draft-legal triathlon. I’ve been doing non-draft triathlons for nearly 15 years, and thought it was time to try something new. “First” experiences at my age are rare!
This wasn’t just any draft-legal race, this was the Sun Devil USA Triathlon Draft National Championship for age-groupers and collegiate athletes. As a veteran of IRONMAN Arizona in Tempe, I was familiar with the area, except this transition area was on the opposite shore.
On my pre-race shakeout ride, I knew this was going to be a different experience. Packs of riders pre-riding the course passed me on my aluminum Cannondale (the same bike I did my first triathlon with) like I was standing still.
Later, in the practice swim, other swimmers passed me at rates leaving no doubt about the high competition level. This was Nationals after all!
On race morning, USAT officials screened every athlete for draft legal rule adherence before allowing entry. For instance, those with sleeved tops or aero bars were stopped. Officials encouraged a clean transition area by asking athletes to locate tri bags to a corner of the transition area, otherwise the transition was just like any other race, aside from the fact that the transition area was under a highway overpass.
As a beach start, the only thing that I noticed being different was the presence of a blue carpet spread across the beach, freshly swept to display numbered start positions which would be used by the NCAA teams later that day.
When the horn blew I felt like I was in a new, unfamiliar type of race. The best swimmers sprinted to the water and dove in with these graceful, arching dives that propelled them forward fast. Stroking and sighting in the 65 degree water, the remainder of the swim played out like any other open water swim.
Once on the bike, the differences of draft-legal racing quickly became apparent. The first pack passed me at dizzying speeds as I was still tightening my bike shoes. Just two minutes out of transition and I was by myself watching the pack speed away.
Before I processed what happened, someone else came upon me pulling half dozen riders behind him. I tried to jump on the last wheel, but within 30 seconds I fell off and enjoyed most of the first of three laps by myself.
On the second lap, I heard a new rider on my wheel. After clearing a couple of corners, he passed me. I jumped on his wheel and noted his Team USA kit with the name “Hefflefinger” on the backside. I soon realized there was another rider on my wheel.
After 30 seconds or so, Hefflefinger called me up for a pull. I was stoked to work with someone on this race! Here I am on the same aluminum road bike I rode in triathlons 14 years ago, riding in a draft-legal pack! I eagerly take the lead and am careful to not let adrenaline get the bettor of me. I don’t want to drop my new alliances!
We took turns pulling and near the Mill Avenue bridge, I heard a train of guys approaching from behind. As they passed, I made a knee jerk decision to go with them and jumped on the last wheel. As we turn the corner on College and over the hill, I maxed my effort trying to hold on to this new train of guys. We crested the hill, made the turn back over the hill and the caboose (that’s me) came off the back of the train.
Great – I’m starting the third lap the way I started the first – alone!
I abandoned Hefflefinger and the train left me to fend for myself. On the final crossing of the Mill Avenue bridge, I heard another group approach from behind. It was my new buddy Hefflefinger and a couple of other guys. Heff shouted, “jump on”! Relieved to be back with a group, I followed them for the last time and headed to transition.
I hit my lap button running out of T2 in :52 seconds. I saw a few Team USA kits ahead of me, but no Heff. I assessed how I felt about this pace while thinking about a nagging calf injury that kept me from running for a month. My only run; one mile at rest stop driving to this race from Denver!
I had no idea how this was going to go. I tried to catch an older guy in a Team USA kit, but can’t seem to close any distance. We ran through Tempe Town Lake park and onto the Ironman run course again with an out and back on the opposite side of the river from the finish line. I continued at a measured 5K pace until I hit the pedestrian bridge at just past two miles into the race. I increased the pace to the edge of what I think I can hold for the remaining half mile to the finish.
I heard foot steps behind me. I don’t want to get passed! I up the effort to squeeze whatever I have left to propel me to the finish!
I’m wiped! I almost throw up! THAT meant I probably raced beyond my fitness. This race tapped the adrenaline and allowed me to find a new level of effort.
I regrouped with my friends Tom and Todd to share our stories of the race, when Hefflefinger came by. We had a good chuckle about the race and working together. It took experiencing it to fully appreciated the magnitude of working with a group on a draft-legal race. The competition at the Nationals level is high in non-draft, but in draft-legal, it’s another level.
This is fast racing that is so stinking fun! The whole experience of being with friends and seeing familiar faces. I actually gave USAT President, Rocky Harris, a hug while still in my sweaty tri suit – sorry Rocky!
I had a decent race, placing 16th in my male 50-54 AG. I didn’t even come close to the top 10 to qualify for Team USA, but that’s not the point. I had an absolute blast and feel proud of the accomplishment and experience. I’m proud of getting outside of my comfort zone and trying something new for sure. But there’s more. I tapped into a rush of adrenaline yesterday that almost made vomit at the finish line! That’s cool!! Not the vomit part, but the tapping into that much human drive. I want more of it and I’ll be back for it next year!
Two of paratriathlon’s biggest stars were honored Wednesday night in Los Angeles at the ESPY Awards, ESPN’s annual celebration for all things sports.
Paralympians Allysa Seely and Mark Barr took home the ESPYS for best female and male athletes with a disability, honored for their dominant 2018 seasons.
Seely, who won gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, logged a perfect season in 2018 on the ITU Paratriathlon World Series circuit, culminating in a gold medal at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Gold Coast, Australia, which marked her third career world title in the women’s PTS2 category. Seely’s season earned her USA Triathlon’s Elite Paratriathlete of the Year honors for 2018.
She has continued that win streak this season with first-place finishes at the first three stops on the circuit in Milan, Italy; Yokohama, Japan and Montreal, Quebec.
USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running national championship event returns to Cleveland’s Edgewater Park next month, with the most accomplished amateur triathletes in the nation set to compete for national titles and world championship berths on Aug. 10-11 as part of the 2019 Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships.
Thousands of age-group triathletes from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. are expected to compete in the event, which first debuted in 1983 and was previously held in Cleveland in 1992 and 2018. Age Group Nationals is consistently one of the top-five largest triathlons in the United States and last year’s event was the second-largest Age Group Nationals in the event’s history with more than 5,400 participants. The largest field to date was in 2014, when 5,789 athletes registered to race in Milwaukee.
“Triathletes of all ages from across the country make the trek to Age Group Nationals each year to test their skills against an immensely talented and competitive field,” said Brian D’Amico, USA Triathlon’s Director of Events. “It is a great source of pride to welcome these triathletes back to this two-day event year after year, and as we host this field in Cleveland for a second consecutive year, we’re grateful to all our partners in the local community, including the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Cleveland Metroparks, and the City of Cleveland, who are helping us ensure every competitor has a memorable race experience.”
The races will start at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 10, with the Olympic-Distance National Championships, where athletes will race across a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run course. Action will then resume at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 11, with the Sprint National Championships, covering a 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run. Both events will be centered at Edgewater Park, a 147-acre lakefront with 9,000 feet of shoreline.
National titles are on the line both days, as are coveted spots on USA Triathlon’s Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur athletes who represent the U.S. at ITU Age Group World Championship events. The top 18 finishers in each age group of Olympic-Distance Nationals, after applying the age-up rule (rolling down to 30th place), will earn the right to represent Team USA at the 2020 ITU Standard-Distance Age Group World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, set for Aug. 20-23, 2020.
The alliance was forged as a way for the organizations to collectively grow the sports of swimming and triathlon. The open water swim competitions will introduce single-sport swimmers to the multisport community, while offering a valuable racing option for triathletes who wish to hone their open water skills.
USA Triathlon, USA Swimming and U.S. Masters Swimming share many of the same members, making the partnership a natural fit. Athletes are not required to be members of any of the three organizations in order to compete in the open water swim events.
“Since the launch of the Time to Tri growth initiative last year, USA Triathlon has operated under the philosophy that a rising tide lifts all ships,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “This partnership is a perfect example of working with two peer organizations who share our goals as well as our values. Triathletes across the country have found community and camaraderie through USA Swimming and U.S. Masters Swimming programs. At the same time, we believe there is an opportunity we haven’t fully realized to reach aspiring triathletes from the swimming community.”
The organizations will also collaborate on marketing and promotional efforts, while encouraging participation across their respective membership bases.
“Swimming is a lifelong sport, and finding ways for our membership to experience it in new ways, develop new skills and have fun is definitely a winning proposition,” said Joel Shinofield, Managing Director of Sport Development at USA Swimming. “Partnering with like-minded organizations such as USA Triathlon and U.S. Masters to continue to engage the membership and to get more athletes in the water is important to our respective long-term successes.”
“We’re excited for the opportunity to partner with USA Triathlon and USA Swimming on these events,” said Dawson Hughes, CEO of U.S. Masters Swimming. “Providing more opportunities for our members to participate in open water swimming, as either a fitness challenge or competitive endeavor, is a goal for all three of our organizations. We hope these initial events serve as a platform for further collaboration.”
The races are open to all skill levels, and each participant will receive a swim cap and event-specific t-shirt.
At both events, the open water swim will be held the day before triathlon racing begins.
The Legacy Triathlon open water swim will take place July 19 at 6 p.m. PT off the coast of Alamitos Beach in Long Beach, California. Both 750-meter and 1,500-meter options are available, and registration is now open at thelegacytriathlon.com. The action continues July 20 with the Legacy Triathlon age-group sprint-distance race, followed that same day by the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships.
The open water swim at the Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships is set for Aug. 9 at 11 a.m. ET in Cleveland’s Lake Erie. The distance is 750m, and registration is now open at usatriathlon.org/agnc2019. (The open water swim is not considered a national championship event.) Triathlon racing gets underway Aug. 10 with the USA Triathlon Age Group Olympic-Distance National Championships, followed by the Sprint National Championships on Aug. 11.
At Age Group Nationals, a bundled discount is available to athletes who register for the open water swim in addition to the sprint- or Olympic-distance race the same weekend. Visit the Age Group Nationals and Legacy Triathlon event websites for complete pricing details.
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 Committee (USOC).
About USA Swimming As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.
About U.S. Masters Swimming U.S. Masters Swimming encourages adults to enjoy the health, fitness, and social benefits of swimming by providing more than 2,000 adult swimming programs and events across the country, including open water and pool competitions. USMS’s nearly 65,000 members range from age 18 to 99 and include swimmers of all ability levels. USMS, a nonprofit, also trains and certifies coaches and provides online workouts, a bimonthly member magazine, monthly newsletters, and technique articles and videos at usms.org.
Maloy to lead talent transfer of single-sport NCAA runners and swimmers to elite triathlon
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced that 2016 U.S. Olympian Joe Maloy has been hired as coordinator of the USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program (CRP), which identifies and recruits top-level NCAA runners and swimmers to elite triathlon. A member of the USA Triathlon High Performance staff, Maloy started on June 24 and will work remotely out of Southern California.
Maloy fills the role previously held by 2004 U.S. Olympian Barb Lindquist, who founded the CRP in 2009 and resigned as program manager last month. Lindquist remains a consultant for the USA Triathlon high performance staff.
“USA Triathlon is proud to bring another Olympian onto our staff — not only to build on the strong foundation of the CRP, but also to develop its future in new and innovative ways,” said John Farra, High Performance General Manager at USA Triathlon. “Joe’s background as a collegiate swimmer, ITU triathlete and Olympian lends him an authenticity that will be key to recruiting the right athletes to the CRP. I know Joe is ready to hit the ground running as we approach Tokyo 2020 and the next Olympic quadrennial.”
The CRP fast-tracks the talent transfer of single-sport collegiate runners and swimmers who have the potential to be elite triathletes. Through active recruitment, assessment, mentorship, support and a full-time coaching environment within an elite squad, USA Triathlon has increased the quality and quantity of the next generation of potential Olympic medalists.
“Collegiate athletes who’ve transitioned to triathlon have enjoyed success at the sport’s highest levels,” Maloy said. “Barb Lindquist recognized an opportunity to introduce these athletes to our sport when she started USA Triathlon’s Collegiate Recruitment Program, and I’m looking forward to building upon that work. This is not only a great opportunity to help USA Triathlon find podium contenders for the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games, but it’s also a chance to introduce hard-working women and men to both a sport and a community that will positively impact their lives for years to come. “
National Triathlon Week is a nationwide initiative to celebrate the sport of triathlon and all its constituency groups. It is taking place from June 24-30, 2019. This week is geared toward education, celebration and participation in the multisport lifestyle. A different theme will be featured each day, starting with a spotlight on each discipline of triathlon: swim, bike and run. Don’t be fooled — National Triathlon Week is a celebration of not only triathletes, but all members of the multisport community, including officials, coaches, race directors, families and friends of triathletes and more.
There are many ways to get involved in National Triathlon Week! Whether you have 5 minutes or a full day, you’ll find a way to join the celebration. Check out the Get Involved page for ideas on how to share your excitement for the sport of triathlon, and be sure to use the hashtag #TriWeek on social media. This is your chance to share your story and compete against friends and triathletes across the country for daily prizes.
New to triathlon? Visit mytimetotri.com to get started today! Triathlon is an amazing sport, and we want to share it with you.
We’re going to raise the roof during National Triathlon Week, and we want to celebrate with everyone! We look forward to hearing your best stories and advice, seeing your favorite photos and sharing the multisport lifestyle all week long!
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Triathlon can be an intimidating sport. The idea of training for and completing three sport disciplines for one race can feel overwhelming for many people. Even the most experienced triathletes can let their worries get in the way of optimum performance. With proper training, support and mental preparation, those worries can fade away as you swim, bike and run your way to that finish line. It’s an amazing experience and one of great accomplishment. For athletes new to the sport or ones considering doing a triathlon for the first time, the importance of mental training is often overshadowed by the emphasis put on physical training in swimming, cycling and running. But, the physical and the mental must work together for the best outcome.
As an ambassador for USA Triathlon, when I go out into the community to encourage athletes to try a triathlon, I often hear these doubts: “I’m not athletic enough. I don’t think I can do that.”, “I am not a good swimmer. I’m too scared to try this.”, “I don’t have the right gear. My bike is too old.” But, guess what? As an athlete myself and a coach, I hear the experienced triathletes express worries as well. Every single triathlete in the world has had doubts about what he or she can accomplish. I completely understand this feeling. Testing ourselves in new ways is scary. Fear of failure is real. I said a lot of these same things to myself right before my first triathlon, “What the heck am I doing?? I can’t do this.” But, unless we take that first step towards a new challenge we can never know how that accomplishment feels. As athletes, we train our bodies to be strong but we often underestimate the need to train our minds to be resilient and think positively. We need to teach ourselves to believe in our strengths and follow that road to success.
Three Americans on the podium and a third straight World Triathlon Series (WTS) victory for Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) made it an incredible weekend for the USA Triathlon women in Yokohama. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) earned silver for the second WTS medal of her career, while Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) continued her impressive 2019 season with a bronze medal to help the red, white and blue round out the podium. It was the fourth U.S. podium sweep in ITU World Triathlon Series history and the first since 2016.
With a perfect start to 2019 — securing wins in Abu Dhabi, Bermuda and Yokohama — Zaferes has a commanding lead in the WTS Standings with 3,000 points. Spivey is tied with Great Britain’s Jessica Learmouth for second with 2,458 points. Rappaport is now in seventh after her podium finish.
Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.) was the fourth American to crack the top 10 in the women’s field, finishing ninth overall.
Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.) was the top U.S. finisher on the men’s side, placing 15th overall. France’s Vincent Luis broke the tape.
USA CYCLING AND USA TRIATHLON ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP
The Partnership will serve to collectively grow the sports of Cycling and Triathlon in the U.S.
Colorado Springs, Colo. – USA Cycling and USA Triathlon have announced a new partnership, offering joint programs and promotions to better serve existing members while attracting new participants to both sports. The U.S. Olympic National Governing Bodies are both headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado — allowing for frequent collaboration around the shared goal of growing the endurance sports community.
The first-of-its-kind partnership is highlighted by a joint annual membership option that provides access to all USA Triathlon- and USA Cycling-sanctioned events. The organizations will cross-promote their respective National Championships and select sanctioned races to each other’s members in an effort to expand racing opportunities for both groups.
The joint membership is now available for purchase for $99, a $31 savings versus purchasing the two memberships separately. More details and a registration link can be found at usacycling.org and usatriathlon.org.
In addition, USA Triathlon and USA Cycling will work together on promotional and educational programs benefitting athletes who compete in both sports. Landing pages will be created on usacycling.org and usatriathlon.org offering content specific to cyclists who want to become triathletes, and vice versa.
“As we see our members expand their interests and look for new challenges, the partnership with USA Triathlon is a great way to further service our members who are looking to build additional strength, endurance and spark their training,” said Rob DeMartini, USA Cycling CEO. “Triathletes will benefit from the partnership by having access to cycling coaches and bike-handling skills clinics to help them through the longest leg. As draft-legal triathlons become more popular among age-group athletes, learning to ride safely in a crowded field of athletes will become increasingly important.”
“Most triathletes in the U.S. come to us from a single-sport background such as swimming, cycling or running. Triathlon provides a unique challenge, a change of pace while cross-training and the opportunity to learn new skills — all of which can complement a single-sport focus,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “USA Cycling is an ideal partner in this initiative, as triathletes can also significantly improve their fitness and technical skills with cycling-specific training and racing. We are proud to align with a fellow U.S. National Governing Body to grow both sports while providing valuable perks to our members.”