Bangkok–The 303 Team expanded this weekend during a beautiful wedding ceremony. Khem Suthiwan and Joshua Hughes were married here in Bangkok in a day long, traditional Thai wedding that was, in its own way an endurance event; especially for Josh who had to endure a Thai tradition of passing through many “gates” manned by Khem’s “family” who asked Josh to perform all sorts of things to prove his intent to marry Khem. He did push ups, the limbo, paid money, sang songs, told jokes all while quickly dehydrating under the hot Thailand sun in sweltering humidity. But like any one after the ultimate prize–he made it!
Many of you are familiar with Khem on the triathlon course, racing, raising money through her love of the sport, or maybe you have cheered her on at bike races on her beloved Palmares team.
We at 303 pretty much closed up shop and moved to Thailand for the week along with some our good from friends from Colorado taking time to celebrate this occasion. This is more than a vacation for us. In the scheme of life, in business, it’s important we recognize the people who make it happen for all of us to better enjoy what we love. Khem’s undying love of endurance sports and her undying love of Josh merging together warrants special attention.
Khem is all about trying and not being afraid to fail. But she is also about being prepared and doing what is necessary to succeed. She never takes shortcuts in life, business or in her sports as an athlete or coach. She said at her wedding that she wasn’t sure this day would ever happen, but in true endurance form, she played the long game, stayed true to herself and knowing who she is she pushed through and her and Josh found each other.
Many athletes from all over traveled to witness their wedding and even if you don’t know Khem, you know her work covering things like the IRONMAN World Championships, Colorado Classic, just about every Cyclocross and crit race. In a testament of those that traveled to Bangkok we had employees, volunteers and fellow fund raisers from Without LImits, IRONMAN and a guest video appearance from Damon Brandt of Palmares and Pete Alfino of Mile High Multisport (she is MHM coach).
Khem touches most every part of the Endurance community, even borrow racing a few times.
We at 303Endurance offer our deepest and most sincere congratulations! Well done!
If you fast forward a few years, I think the Endurance Exchange this past weekend In Tempe, Arizona will be looked at as a potential turning point in Endurance sports. I think it will bring more unity and opportunities to all things endurance whether it’s triathlon or ultra running or pure cycling. Some key take aways were for me were these (with some further explanation below.)
There were many people and organizations from Colorado present; what happens here really matters.
The PTO has a well funded game plan in place to possibly revolutionize professional triathlon.
Without Limits is on to something with their gravel triathlon in Steamboat, click Here for more on that.
Indoor training’s growth with hardware and software (think Zwift) is really just beginning to explode.
There are very inspiring people with great stories especially at the USAT Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
The Endurance Industry is healthy and finding new ways and new experiences.
Dan Empfield (Slowtwitch Publisher) is eloquent and amazingly knowledgeable.
Wait till more folks from cycling and ultra running show up, this conference will explode.
There is a commitment to being athlete focused and driven while growing participation.
This is a fun group of people to join for anyone choosing the Endurance space for a career.
This year’s conference, born by USA Triathlon partnering with Triathlon Business International, was clearly triathlon leaning, but with doses of topics relevant to all endurance sports. Coaches learned the latest trends and training tips and race directors talked about ways to make events more dynamic, fun and safer for all. Industry celebrities like Bob Babbitt and Mike Reilly, and executives like Rocky Harris, Dan Empfield and Barry Siff, while on duty, also mingled and rolled up their sleeves, were very approachable and cracked a happy hour beverage to learn and listen. The vibe was collaborative, inviting, inclusive and fun.
Inspiration abounded from high energy keynote speaker Eric Byrnes, a former Major League Baseball player (one time Colorado Rockie) and an accomplished triathlete. He swam the San Francisco Bay, rode a bike to Chicago and then ran to New York to bring awareness to the Let Them Play Foundation. Dick and Rick Hoyt, the father/son challenged athlete tandem were inducted into the Hall of Fame and there were gasps in the room when you really understood how fast they ran in addition to their IRONMAN feats. For example, they have completed a 10k in 35 minutes and a marathon in 2:44.
There weren’t many dry eyes as Bob Babbitt paid tribute to his long time friend Mike Plant who was inducted into the Hall of Fame thanks to his legendary journalism covering Ironman and introducing the young sport of triathlon to mainstream media. Mike passed away in 2019 and Bob expressed his gratitude and acknowledged Mike’s profound influence on Bob starting Competitor Magazine which led to the Rock and Roll marathon series and so much more.
Colorado was well represented in Tempe with many companies exhibiting product, and executives and experts attended and served on panels in break out sessions. Said Magui Martinez-Pena, sales manager for Boulder’s Headsweats, “it was a great experience for us. This is a very specific conference for our target audience. We saw a lot of excitement about our new products like the new Super Crush visor and event shirts. We had an opportunity to connect with our existing clients and make new contacts. Proud to be part of EE as a TBI partner. We will definitely be there again in 2021!
Matt Miller with BASE Performance, while not exhibiting was booked up meeting with race directors, Tri-club representatives and others collaborating for the upcoming season. “it was great atmosphere to see a lot of key people and a lot of fun,” said Matt.
The recent announcement by the Professional Triathlon Organization (PTO) and their $2,000,000 prize purse for athletes competing in the upcoming Collins Cup reverberated throughout much of the conference. They presented their plan on the first day of the conference and later I met with Chairman of the PTO, Charles Adamo to dig a little deeper.
What I learned was that they believe whole heartedly that an economically healthier, and more sustainable professional triathlon field, will help grow the sport overall and provide a better experience to all participants. They see this happening centered on the Collins Cup, a made for TV triathlon experience similar to golf’s Ryder Cup. They hope this will bring coverage to the pro’s and inspire more people to try triathlon. “Triathlon is an aspirational sport, and the influence of the pro’s on the growth of triathlon and age group participation is very important,” said Adamo.
Eventually there will probably be other triathlons (think golf’s majors) leading up to the Collins Cup where pro’s get points to qualify for the 36 spots to be on a team. They model things much like the PGA in golf and the USTA in tennis where the professionals own the events that make them the most money and captivate world audiences. It will be interesting to see what events might be run by the PTO in the future.
In the last session of the day, despite three days of meetings, a lot of enthusiasm and questions were thrown at the panel talking about “gravel”. Gravel bike races and gravel triathlon and the future of them were hot topics. It was suggested that 2020 will see a bit of retraction in gravel bike racing which seems surprising here in Colorado. Without Limits was represented by Olympia Von Berg on the panel of experts. Many questions came up about gravel triathlon. Without Limits will be hosting the first ever gravel only triathlon this year which will it be sanctioned by USA Triathlon.
Needless to say, like it’s biking counterpart, the gravel scene is a bit organic and unrefined at this point so what will the future hold? Said Olympia after the conference, “people are very receptive to it and excited. Our race will follow all the same rules as a road triathlon. On our course in Steamboat, athletes will ride and run on gravel/dirt only. We think athletes who might be seeking something different, and don’t want a bunch of crazy new gear can take part and have a lot of fun.”
Dan Empfield, Publisher of Slowtwitch and founder of Quintana Roo hosted a session on the hardware of indoor smart cycles and where they are going. The trend is to provide more and more real life feelings while riding indoors. Like Garmins Neo making the bike “feel” the gravel or the cobbles as it simuglates the road you are watching on the big screen. Watch out for more innovations to make the indoor experience more real.
To wrap up, Khem Suthiwan of 303 Endurance said, “the Endurance Exchange was a great melting pot of triathlon industry professionals. Coaches, industry experts, race directors, brands, and governing body professionals all under one roof. It was great to see all the knowledge and ideas coming together in one place. As our sport and its participants evolve, EE was a great forum to discuss and share new ideas on how to take triathlon to the next level.”
Why add this newly announced event to your schedule? Beautiful mountain views, semi-closed bike course, ideal weather, on-site camping, and beginner friendly race options for the whole family! Sprint, Super-Sprint, Aquabike, Duathlon, Stand-up Paddle Board Tri, Aquathlon, and Running Races!
Onsite camping options will make it easy for athletes to make it a relaxing end of summer weekend, and for this first season the entire event is limited to just 400 athletes. Check the Facebook Event Page HERE for all the latest news on the newest addition to the Colorado triathlon scene!
The Boulder Peak Triathlon, Duathlon & Aquabike on July 14th is one of the countries longest and most well-known triathlons. For the veteran or first time racer, this is THE can’t miss event of the summer triathlon season, and the crown jewel of the Colorado Triathlon Series. Racers are tackling the infamous “Olde Stage” Hill, boasting on average 15% grade on their way to the finish line! This race has earned it’s spot on more than a couple notable “Best Triathlons in America” lists. in 2017, the Boulder Peak was listed as one of the top 15 most amazing triathlons in the United States by The Culture Trip!
Without Limits Productions Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon at Union Reservoir in Longmont this past weekend served as host for both the NCAA Women’s West Regional Qualifier and the Zarzur Cup – Mountain Collegiate Triathlon Conference Race.
It was a beautiful day to race and the competition was fierce.
CU Boulder’s Jack Toland and Seth Kurtz took the top two steps on the podium in the Men’s Non-Draft race. CSU’s Ian King took third. All three, finishing the course in well under and hour.
In the women’s race, USAFA athlete Kelly Grier took home the top prize, while Sophie Hererra and Ali O’Donnell from CU were close on her heals to take second and third.
In the Draft Legal race, Nick Dorsett from the University of Utah took the over all win for the men followed by Thomas Raney and Roy Madrid, both from CU.
ASU swept the podium in the NCAA Women’s Draft Legal West Regional Qualifier race. Hannah Henry, Charlotte Ahrens and Kate Gorczyca crowned the podium.
Officially the last local triathlon race of the season, more than 700 athletes come from around the country to say goodbye to the summer triathlon race season by letting their fun flag fly! Oktoberfest featured sprint, relay team and collegiate division races including draft legal and non-draft races from twelve Universities.
Sunday’s race began with the draft legal men’s and women’s races. The men’s division had ten athletes representing five universities, including Colorado Mesa, CU Boulder, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado State. The women’s NCAA division had 49 athletes representing twelve universities, including Arizona State, Black Hills State, Colorado Mesa, Colorado State, Daemen College, Northern Vermont University, United States Air Force Academy, University of California Berkeley, CU Boulder, South Dakota, Utah and Wagner College. The non-draft collegiate competition followed with 98 athletes (50 women and 48 men) representing Colorado School of Mines, CSU, CU Boulder, Wyoming, and USAFA. Sprint triathlon and team relay waves followed the collegiate start with 415 athletes in the triathlon and 30 relay teams.
Clear skies and mild temperatures made for perfect conditions at Union Reservoir in Longmont. The course started with a 750-meter square left-hand swim course around four neon yellow buoys. The water was calm and temperatures were in the low-mid 70’s making it reasonably comfortable for those who did not care to swim in wetsuits. The 13-mile bike course led riders out of the reservoir north on County Rd 1, east on Route 66, south on County Road 7 and back east on 119. All intersections were well controlled and large sections of the course were coned off in high traffic areas to provide the riders separation from automobiles. The run course led athletes through the race village past the vendor and club tents, spurring energy and excitement for spectators and athletes alike. Runners donned costumes adding to the “let your fun flag fly” vibe. Costumed or not, the runners headed on to the gravel out-and-back course with an energetic aid station located a mile from the race village. The finish line was lined
with spectator cheering and partying to the beat of race music.
After the race, athletes enjoyed good music and great food catered by Wahoos. The post-race party was capped off with the awards ceremony recognizing the serious competition of more than 700 athletes.
The collegiate competitions posted fast times. Nick Dorsett took out the men’s draft legal race with a time of 00:58:10, while Hannah Henry from ASU bested the rest of the NCAA women with a time of 1:00:04. In the non-draft collegiate race Jack Toland from CU Boulder won the men’s competition with a 00:56:28 and Kelly Grier of USAFA won the women’s with 1:09:58. In the age grouper sprint race 49 year old Kevin Konczak from Boulder won the overall with at time of 59 minutes even and 29 year old Caitlan Standifer of Boulder was the overall winner for women with a 1:05:39.
Racing will begin Saturday, August 4, at precisely 6:02 am. Swimmers will complete a 1.5 mile loop on a triangular race course, every hour. Racing will continue every hour until no swimmer completes a loop. If we reach 6:02 pm on Sunday, August 5, without a winner, race directors will implement a swim-off. There will be one award for our first-place finisher.
Big Ring Cycles is hosting the Second Annual Colorado Women’s Ride Day on Sunday, August 5 at Tony Grampsas Memorial Park in Golden. The day begins with a variety of women-led road and mountain bike rides on routes ranging from casual to challenging. Riders return to a delicious brunch prepared by The Basted Egg and drinks. Besides scoring prizes and swag, this is a great chance to connect with other women cyclists, including special guest, 14-time national champion Katie Compton.
The Carter Lake Crossing is a point to point crossing of Carter Lake in Colorado. Situated at just below 5800 feet, this nearly 3 mile swim is located in one of the most picturesque lakes in Colorado. Awards will be given out to the top three finishers in each division for each race. Divisions will be both non-wetsuit and wetsuit for both men and women for each race.
Online registration is closed. Race day registration Cash or Check only.