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Friday, June 29, 2012

Philly Tri- Climbing the Ladder

The Finish!
This past weekend I competed in Philadelphia as a stop in the Lifetime Fitness race to the Toyota Cup. This was my first time competing in the race and my first time in Philly, so I was not sure what to expect, but my training has been better and I was feeling good the week leading up to the race.  

Paul's Hard Rock Glasses!
My Home stay was with Paul Amos. He would also be doing the Philly Triathlon and it would be his first ever triathlon. Paul is also a word travel and I got to see his large selection of Hard Rock Cafe Glasses from all over the world. Very Impressive! He works at Penn University and lives right by the University as well, so I was able to do a run workout and see the famous stadium that holds the Penn Relays as well as explore the campus. This race was also a treat as I was able to have lunch with my old college friend Katie Driscoll who I had not seen since we graduated. When I first arrived Paul drove me on the bike course and I was able to see the famous Boathouse row were many of the top rowers in the country train and also the Art Museum and the famous Rocky Statue out front.  Paul had tickets to the Phillies baseball game, but we were unable to see it as when we arrived at the stadium the skies opened up and the game was rained out. That was alright as I was able to at least see the stadium. We headed back to Paul’s house to relax and enjoy a beer (he has a keg on tap at all times, how awesome is that).

Friday and Saturday was the normal pre race workouts and pro meeting and then it was off to bed early on Saturday night. But I was not able to fall asleep. I was awake for a long time. Why, I do not know, but it was a little frustrating. But instead of worrying about it I used the time to focus on my race strategy and to visualize the race in my head. Soon, before I knew it I was asleep and the alarm was going off at 3:30 am for the race start. Then, it was my normal breakfast and off to the race.

Philly is a point to point swim and also to keep the roads clearer for us we start at 6:30 am, 30 min before the first age-group wave. Because of the earlier start, this meant that it was an earlier morning (I am always up a minimum of 3 hours before my race). Following my normal race morning routine with warm up and transition set up, I was soon boarding the bus to drive us to the swim start. The bus I happened to hop onto was also with Cameron Dye, Sarah McLarty, Alica Kaye, and Sarah Haskins. It was a relaxed atmosphere as we joked about being younger and taking the bus to school. I am not sure if the age-groupers on the bus were really nervous or not as I think we were the only ones chatting. But it was a good environment to stay relaxed before the race. 10 minutes later we were at the race start and after a quick warm up we were lined up and ready to start.

You can see the Pro women behind me and to the left. 
The gun went off and I got into a quick tempo. Everyone was jocking for position and trying to get on the feet of Cameron Dye or Andy Potts, the two fastest swimmers in the field. Arms were clashing and bodies were bumping. As I was swimming I suddenly felt an arm come down on me. It did not feel like a bump, but as if the entire body came crashing down on me, trying to force me to the bottom of the river. At first I thought it was an accident that maybe he had tried to take a new route, but two strokes later it happened again and I knew it was no accident. When it happened a third time I fought him off and gave a shove back. After shoving him back it stopped, but it suddenly left me feeling very tired and we were only about 50 meters into a 1500 meter swim. A thought of panic went through my head, how was I going to race feeling like this. However, I quickly put it out of my head. I told myself to settle into a pace and recover. Sure enough I soon felt better and settled behind two others swimmers. Another guy was on my feet and we formed a pack of 4 in the swim. Soon we hit the turn buoy and headed into shore. It was about 25 yards from shore I suddenly saw a large group of pink swim caps, the caps the pro women, exiting the water in front of me. I knew something was wrong as they did not pass us and they started 1 minute back. It turns out they turned to early and cut a large section of the swim. I have heard of racers going the wrong way and adding to the route (read my blog on the Capital of Texas Tri), but never in such a large number. Since it was not the entire field as some women went the correct route, 8 women would be disqualified on the day.

As I ran through transition I passed several of the pro women who cut the course and the same happened early on the bike. This created a lot of congestion and made it hard to get around some of them early in the bike. Soon I was able to pass most of them and I had clear roads and I could focus on racing.

The Philly course it 2 laps with 4 hills on each lap or 8 total climbs for the race. Since I don’t have a lot of hills to train on where I live, I knew I would have to ride smart. When I hit the hills I focused on spinning up and attacking the down and the downs proved to be very fast! On many of the down hills I am not sure how fast I was going (I did not have a computer on my bike, I actually never race with one), but it was somewhere north of 40 mph as I was in my hardest gear and spinning.

About Half way through the bike I was not sure of my position, but I could see a group of riders in front of me. I knew I was making some time on them so I focused on trying to catch them. On the decent of the last hill (number 4 and 8 of the race) I came up on a turn to quickly and almost flew off the side of the road. If you ever need a quick wake up or to get your heart racing, take a turn to fast going 40+ mph and almost wearing nothing, it usually does the trick. On the second lap I was aware of the turn and took it with a little more caution. But as a result of my hard break I lost sight of rider in front of me and they got away as I never saw them again on the bike. A tactical error that I have no one to blame but myself.
Charging Hard Into Transition

I hit the second transition and my legs were feeling a little tired from the effort on the bike and the eight hills. I had a quick transition (I believe the second fastest on the day) and one of the other guys must have had problems because he was in transition when I entered and was still there when I left. I never saw him again.

The last push to the finish
The run course runs up stream on the road, then there is a U turn and it continues back past the transition to another U turn and then to the finish. A great course for spectators to see the race. Early on in the run I felt great. I had great leg turn over and I felt strong. I was not sure if it was because of the false flat on the run out and I wondered if I could hold the pace. I decided to just go for it and try to run some people down. As I came to the first turn around I counted the men in front of me. I was in 11th. One place out of the money and 9 and 10 were running together. Because of the speed of some of the guys running, I never thought I could run myself into a top 10 placing. I always thought I would have to swim and bike into the top 10 and then hold people off in the run. But I decided then and there it was time to climb the ladder, to start finishing higher and really race. It was time to think differently.  I went after them. I ran back toward transition and then out to the second half of the run. I continued to push. I was really hurting, but I still had some spring in my step so I kept going. I could feel the fatigue setting in and it was having an effect on my mental push. I slowed a bit for a second, but I knew I could not let up if I wanted to catch 10th, so I picked it back up. If I was forced to walk trying to catch the man in front of me, so be it. At least I put it all on the line.  On the next turn around I could see I was making up time on 10th, but I did not know if it would be enough as I was quickly running out of real estate, so I tried to make one more push.

 In the end I was not able to catch 10th place, I would end up finishing 34 second down to him (I started more than 1 minute down). Although I was not able to make up the time, I did end up out running several of the athletes in the top 10. Looking at my results, I noticed again, I lost too much time on the bike, but I also know it improved. This tells me I am making steps into the right direction and to continue to work. 2 minutes faster on the bike and I would have been fighting for 7th or 8th place. I am now feeling more and more confident and with little improvements here and there I know I can be fighting for a top 10 in most races and a spot in the money if I stay the course.  It’s not an easy road and the little improvements are hard to come by. However, as it has been said before, the greater the challenge, the greater the reward.

After the race I did get to do one thing everyone who visits Philly should do. I went and got a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. I went to Pat’s, which is directly across from one of the other famous cheese steak places, Geno’s. It was so good and a great reward to a great race. 

Two famous Philly Cheese Steak Places are right across from each other  

        We went to Pat's!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Elkhart Lake Triathlon- Training Day

This past weekend I competed in the Elkhart Lake Triathlon. This race was not a "Pro' race by USAT. To be a Pro race you need a prize purse of $5,000. This had a prize purse of $1050. I ended up choosing this race for a couple reasons. First, it was a race I could drive up on Friday after work and then race Saturday morning and be in my own bed on Saturday night. I could use it as a training race and if things went well, I could earn a little money while I was at it. Also, I did this race several years ago and it was the second Olympic distance race I did.

Doing a training race simply means you don't back down in your training the week leading up to the race. You may take it easier the day before, but your main focus is not this race, but other races down the line. Of course this means you are not 100% and racing tired. Also, it gives you a chance to try something you have not tried in most races. In this one I was working on my nutrition. What could I take in and where during the race. The plan was one Gel pack on the bike about half way and one at mile 2 on the run. Normally I don't take any thing in other than water and Gatorade.

Dana came with me to the race. She was racing the sprint. We arrived Friday afternoon and I was able to get a couple short workouts in. We checked in and I checked the start list for the Elite wave. I was surprised to find at least 4 pro's on the start line (there may have been more, but 4 that I knew of). All of them are solid triathlete's. Top 5 get a prize purse so I knew if I wanted any money I would need to be up there. We got a bite to eat then we were in bed by 8:30. We had a little mishap in the middle of the night. Dana rolled over and smacked me in the face and I woke up with with a sore, fat lip (its Thursday, this happened Friday night and my lip is still swollen). Needless to say I did not sleep the best.

Saturday morning it was my usual breakfast, but I just did not feel like I could eat, so I did not have quite as much as I normally do. Then off to the race site to go through my pre-race routine. The sprints in this race went off first. This was great as I could see Dana off and wish her good luck. Then it was our turn. Our turn to sit around and wait. We were supposed to go off at 7:45, but I don't think we went off till 8am. This mostly left me anxious and I wanted to get started. I am usually sipping on my water bottle right before the race, but because of the delay I no longer had it and I had dry mouth at the start. There was no water around so there is nothing I could do. I just focused on the race at hand.

Soon we were lined up and ready to go. The lined us up in the water about mid shin and shot of the gun and we were off. It was a cluster and we had some good swimmers in the group. I took a line straight line to the second buoy while others took kind of a strange line to a sighting buoy. This allowed me to swim comfortably and without a crowd. We all ended up at the the 2nd turn buoy together and since other wanted to set the pace I just jumped right in and followed them. There was a pack of about 5 of us. I swam in the 3rd position most of the race. Toward the end two swimmers put in an effort to be out of the water first (there was a $100 bonus for the fastest swim, bike, and run). Since they were doing all the work I did not try to sprint past them. It just did not seem right to me. Also, I wanted to focus on the over all race. Of course I was also feeling a bit tired at this point, so maybe the first two reasons are just an excuse.

I came out of water in 4th and it was a long run to transition. When I say long, it took at least a minute plus just to get to the transition area and it was a windy run as well. At times I was hoping I was still going the right way. I had a quick transition and moved into 3rd and then I was quick getting onto my bike and actually moved up to first.

Elkhart Lake is a long bike (45K instead of 40K- about 3.1 miles longer than most Olympics) with some smaller hills and on this day it was hot and extremely windy. On the first small climb one rider passed me and I was in second. We rode like this for some time until Thomas Gerlach came flying by me. When he went by I remember saying to myself "h*ly Shi*t!" I could not believe how fast he was moving. After the race he would tell me he thought it was funny if he put in a really strong effort when he went by me. I laughed, but I remember during the race I did not think it was really funny.

On the way out we were fighting the wind. The way the wind was blowing, we were actually fighting the wind for most of the race, either head on or from the side. When we turned to come back I could feel the wind actually blowing the back part of my aero helmet where I thought it was going to twist on my head. With the temp rising, this made for a tough day on the bike. I focused on staying smooth on the bike. About half way through the bike I was passed by two bikers, but I also passed one, so when T2 arrived I was in 4th position.

I had another quick transition and I was soon on the hunt. I could see 3rd place in front of me and I focused on him. About mile 1.5 I moved into 3rd place. As I passed the guy in 3rd I patted him on the back, gave him some encouragement and told him to run with me. We would go after 2nd together. He tried to match my pace, but fell off.

Elkahart Lake is a tough run. They have two good climbs in it and on a hot day, it make is even tougher. After I moved into 3rd I had the first climb. I focused on quick feet to get up the hill and stayed relaxed. I saw Tom coming down the hill on the way back down and I reached my hand and gave a quick high five. The great thing about triathlons is, even though we are competing against each other, even on the race course, there always seems to be encouragement. I feel we are more focused on the effort and having a great race. Don't get me wrong, we all want to be beat each other, but most triathletes doing it with great sportsmanship.

After the turn to go back down the hill I knew I was about a minute down to 2nd. I was not sure if I could catch him, but I was going to try. I could see 2nd in front of me. Almost taunting me. I could not tell if I was making ground, but I was sure trying. Soon it was the next big climb. Same strategy as before, quick feet and staying relaxed. I could still see 2nd, I was making ground but not enough. I hit the top of the hill and charge down the other side. With the turns in the road I could not see him. Closer to the finish I heard someone yell that I was about 30 sec down. With less then a mile to go I knew that it was probably to much to make up. 3rd place was secure as 4th was not in sight. All I had to do was jog in it. So what did I do, I went harder. I figured I would give it one last chance to try to get up to 2nd. I was not successful, I ended up 3rd, but it was a good thing I put in that effort as to my surprise, I finished with the fasted run on the day. If I was to guess before the race I would have guessed maybe the fastest swim  (I was 4th) or maybe the fastest bike (6th), but never the fastest run. If I did not make that last effort I don't think it would have happened. It is a good thing I did as that gave me a $100 bonus.

I was hopping to win the race, but considering who showed up I was happy with my 3rd place finish. My run split was not my best, but I looked at some splits of runners who I know are a lot faster than me and I know they had some tough days, so I was happy in comparison. The bike I was disappointed in, but we are working on that and its getting better. As long as its getting better, then I am making gains in the right direction and I can't complain about that.

After the race I was happy to find out Dana finished 4th in her age-group. All in all. It was a good day for both of us. I really could not ask for anything more.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Memphis in May Triathlon- HOT!!!

The 2nd race of the season was the Memphis in May triathlon. This is the 4th year I have done it, the 2nd year as a Pro. The field was much smaller this year, mostly because there were two other races in the 5150 series going on the same day as well as Ironman Texas and Florida 70.3. Only 7 men made the trip to race, but there were some top guys in the field.
I stayed with the Barczak’s (David and Allison and three of their four children Mary, Mathew, and Andrew) again this year. I was also happy to meet many of the same people I had met from the year before. My fiancĂ© Dana also came and my brother John flew in for the day to watch me race, so I may have not have been the biggest name in the field, but I probably had the largest cheering section. David, Mathew, and Andrew had a full weekend.  They did the sprint on Saturday as a relay and finished 2nd overall. On Sunday David did the Olympic on his own and Mathew and Andrew teamed up with one other person and did the Olympic as a relay (Mathew swam, Andrew ran). A lot of racing for the weekend and I was really impressed with their efforts.
Dana and I car pulled down to the race with a fellow Chicago Triathlete, EricTurner. We had a lot to chat about as he swam at Auburn and it was great to get an insight into the power house that was Auburn swimming (His class won 4 NCAA swimming championships).  We got down there on Friday and mostly relaxed. Saturday was the normal routine, but this time I was asked to be on the pro panel to answer some questions. It was great to give my perspective on the sport and what I do for training, eating, nutrition, race strategy, etc. It was also good to give a different perspective of an athlete like myself who works a full time job and tries to find  time to train. The other 3 athletes (Brian Fleischman, Paul Mathews, and Amanda Felder) on the panel, training and racing is their full time job

Answering a Question at the Pro Panel

Something that is unique to the Memphis in May Triathlon is the Pro’s start last. This meant I was able to wake up without an alarm and take my time getting ready. It was the normal breakfast and warm up routine and then off to the race start. My race start was moved up to 10am from 10:30 because of the forecast. It was going to be hot. By the time we started, the temperature had already hit 82 degrees and was climbing.
Memphis is unique in another way as it has a time trial start for everyone, including the Pro’s, so we don’t start in a wave, but we start 10 seconds apart in alphabetical order, going male, female. I was the second male to enter the water and 4th overall. I quickly made up time on the first guy  and passed him before the first buoy and as a result, for the first in my Pro career, I was leading a race. Soon after I was passed my Brian Fleischman and jumped on his feet and drafted for a while, but he took a strange line to a buoy, so strange I thought he was swimming off course and I chose not follow him so I lost his feet and he slowly pulled away. Three fourths of the way through the race Kyle Lee passed me and I started to draft off of him, but he soon lost me as well. Shortly after that I was out of the water and running to transition. I was 3rd out of the water, but I had no idea what place I was actually in because of the time trial start. It was a quick transition, much better than a couple weeks ago at Knoxville, and I was soon on the bike, riding away. 

A great Start!
 I had some problems on the bike. The first turn the police officer was standing in front of the turn and waving me to the left, so I turned in front of him. Well, this put me in the wrong lane heading into oncoming traffic, which can be a little nerve racking. I quickly jumped off my bike, hopped the medium and hoped back into the saddle. As I was getting back up to speed I saw Paul Mathews fly by and I could only admire his strength on the bike as he as at full speed and I was only accelerating. I was not happy about this little incident, but I had to forget about it and focus on what is ahead. It was on the bike that I started to really feel the heat.

Off on the Bike
  The first part of the bike was into a strong head wind and it was not refreshing, it only made it feel hotter, like your car heater blowing on you when it’s already steamy in your car.  By mile 10 I was really feeling the effects (one female pro passed out from the heat before mile five on the bike. Thankfully she was alright). It was around mile 12 and I was passed by the swimmer I passed in the water so I knew I was fighting for 5th place due to who passed me in the water or on the bike. Towards the middle of the ride there was a bottle exchange and even though I still had one full water bottle, I knew it was warm from the heat and I needed something cool, so I dropped it and picked up an ice cold Gatorade. I took some good gulps and it may have been the greatest thing I ever drank, so cold, so refreshing. I now had the wind at my back and I started to hammer it home, trying not to lose more time on the bike.

It took a hard effort to get in and what seemed like a long time, but I was finally into the 2nd transition. I did not know how much time I was down, but I focused on a quick transition and I was out on the run and the heat started to feel even worse. I was informed after the race that when we hit the run  the temp was 87 degrees  but with humidity it felt like it was 92. The run course was wide open and I could see 5th place in front of me and I just focused on him. After the first mile I could tell I was gaining on him. I knew he started off 30 seconds in front of me so if I could get within that time I would be in front of him on the clock. By mile two I did a count off in my head and I was 15 seconds behind, which meant I was now 15 seconds up on the course. I did not want to blow up in the second half of the run so I slowed my pace down. I knew the rest of the course had no shade and it would be hot. At about mile 2.5 I passed the runner in front of me and I was certain I was solidly in 5th place. I gave him a quick tap on the back for encouragement, told him good job and his response was “It’s so Hot out here.” (He also said a four letter word that I will not mention here).  No disagreement from me as I tried to think of cool thoughts and not on the heat.

The last couple strides to 5th place
 When I approached the turnaround I started to develop stomach problems. I had a side stitch and my whole stomach felt tight. I wanted to hold onto 5th and so I backed off a bit, knowing I had more than a 30 second lead. A volunteer gave me some ice cold water which I dumped over my head and it was a welcome relief.  I turned the corner to head to the finish and there was now a head wind and unlike on the bike this was very welcome as it had a cooling effect. This helped my stomach loosen up and the side stitch went away and I was able to continue to put time into the guy in 6th. On the way to the finish I saw the 7th place runner and he was a couple miles back so I knew I was going to finish in 5th. I ran to a strong finish, or as strong as I could muster, and had my first top 5 and a decent paycheck on the day.

First top 5

I was not happy with the bike, I have some work to do to get it back to where it should be, but I had a solid swim and my run, although nowhere near a personal best, was solid considering the conditions. I am happy with the pay day, but I know there are improvements to be made. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rev3 Knoxville

This past weekend was my first race of the season, Rev3 Knoxville. I was planning on competing in the Nautica South Beach Triathlon earlier in the year, but they were not offering Home stays or airport pick up. So after looking at the costs of flights along with hotel and car rental I realized it would cost be about $1200 to do this race. Since 10th place was only $180 and it was a stacked field, I decided it was not worth it.
Leading up to Rev3 Knoxville my training has been up and down. I have changed coaches and I have been doing more volume then I have ever done before, so my body is adjusting to additional load. In addition, stresses from life always come into play. The pool I normally swim at was down for about 3 months, so I had to find another pool to train in. This would not be a big deal if the most convenient pool for me was not 30 min away. In addition my job has been stressful as we were supposed to have a new contract signed 16 months ago, but they continue to extend it. If the contract goes to someone else, there is no telling what could happen with the current staff. We are told there would be no change in staff even if it went to a different company as the Navy would not want that, we would just shift employers, but no one really knows. In addition there have been plenty of rumors swirling around of pay cuts to changes in staff, etc. You try to block it out, but 16 months of this can start to weight on anyone. If you read my blogs last year, you may remember one of my first ones was about this contact and a possible break in work. Yes, this is still going on. I don’t think it matters who you are, if are getting married, thinking about starting a family, etc, this will cause stress on anyone. Needless to say it has been hard at times to focus on my training.

The Sun Sphere from the World's Fair. 
I arrived at in Knoxville on Friday. I choose the race because it was a race I could drive to and I have heard great things about the Rev3 series. My home stay was with Cliff and Jill Helton. They have 3 great kids, Turner, Regan, and Sloan. They were very accommodating and I can’t thank them enough for putting me up for the weekend. After I arrived I did a short spin on the bike just to get the legs going again, then it was relaxing at a dinner party at the father of my homestays house where I meet some triathletes who came up from Atlanta to race and we had food that was prepared by some athletes and friends of athletes that are professional chef’s. So good.  Then it was off to bed.  
                Saturday I woke up and got a quick run in. I almost ended my race before it started as I rounded a corner and slipped on the side of the sidewalk (it rained overnight) and rolled my ankle. Lucky for me my reflexes kicked in and I did not do any damage. After my run I came back and Turner and Regan were watching Old Yeller. Turner had to read the book for school and then watch the movie and write a report on the difference between the two. I sat down and joined them while I ate and got ready to head to the race start. I have to admit, even to this day, I still get misty eyed when he has to shoot Old Yeller. It really is a classic movie.
                After telling the kids I had something in my eye, I packed up my bike and headed to the race course. I drove the bike course and realized this was going to be a tough course. Holy Hills. It was all either up or down. This would be quite the challenge. Then it was a quick bike to loosen up and a quick swim, pro meeting and relaxing the rest of the day until my parents arrived. Then it was off to dinner with them and some other athletes that my coach coaches and off to an early bed.
Getting ready for the race start with Kyle Lee and Kaleb Van Ort. 
Race morning was the usual early morning wake up (4 am) and my normal breakfast. Then, off to the race start where I got my warm up in and in set up in my transition. My transition spot was marked by a 3 foot poster of me racing. This was something new that I have not seen before and I thought was pretty cool. After a quick warm up in the water it was soon time to start. It was an in water start. I looked around to see what top swimmers were near me and I noted Matty Reed was a couple swimmers down to my left. I determined that if I could, I would try to get on his feet as I knew he would be out fast. The gun went off and soon it was all white water and bodies crashing into each other, everyone jocking for position. I have learned from several races not to give up position so I fought for mine. I looked for Reed, but I could not determine where he was, it is hard when everyone is in a wet suit and all you seen is splashing water.

The Swim start. I am about 8th from the bottom. 
I jumped on someone’s feet and swam hard to the first buoy. About 500 meters in it was two quick right turns and off to the swim exit. As we got around the second buoy everyone was still fighting a bit for position, but the chaos had settled down a bit. After a short time after I realized I was in the chase pack and the front pack was too far ahead to catch. Two swimmers were leading the group and I knew I could probably go around them and gain 10 sec before the swim exit, but I knew that the energy cost would not be worth it so I settled in behind them and drafted.
                Out of the water I was in 16th place, but there was a pack of us. Into transition we went. I had trouble getting off my wet suit and lost to much time. But I was soon on the bike and trying to spin out the legs. I rode conservative as I knew the hills would be very challenging. After settling into my pace I started to ride a bit harder, but my lack of experience eon the hills was costing me time, too much time. Climbing I did ok, but I feel as I lost more time descending the hills. Descending at speeds of 45+ mph takes some skill to really take advantage of and I really do not have that experience. Several riders passed me on the bike and I knew I was losing time.
                The bike was over and I may have had one of my slowest bike splits I ever had. It was disappointing, but no time to think about it. I had a better T2 and I was soon off to the run. I saw two runners up ahead and I put in some effort to catch them. I was making time on them, but they were to far ahead and in the last 2 miles they put the time back into me. One runner was trying to make a move behind me, but I was able to pick up the pace a bit at the end and fend him off to avoid a sprint finish as those can hurt more than the race itself.
At the finish of a tough day

 It was not the race I wanted, but it was the first one and it was good to get a race for the season under my belt. I know I have to work on my bike so that is what I will be working on the next couple of weeks. 
No, not hockey pads, but air compression to help recovery post race. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

You Can Help an Amazing Charity and get 10% off your Entry to LTF Minneapolis, LTF Chicago, and the Dallas US Open Triathlon

It has been some time since I have update the blog and I am sorry for that, it’s been a busy time and I promise to write some more about the off season and some reflections on the past season. What I want to spread the word about now is I am working with Lifetime Fitness as part of their Pro Ambassador program. I have been given an entry code for anyone wishing to do the LTFMinneapolis, LTF Chicago, or the Dallas US Open Triathlon. The code will get you a 10% discount on your race entry. Even better is 10% of your entry fee will go to a charity of my choice. I have chosen Dare 2 Tri. It is a great organization with some amazing volunteers and athletes. I have had the opportunity to volunteer with them in the past and teach some swim lessons to some of their athletes. All the athletes and Volunteers are truly an inspiration. Please read below for additional information on Dare 2 Tri or click on any of the links.

The discount code to get 10% off your entry is LTTri908. You can find all three races here

About Us
Dare2tri Paratriathlon club was launched in January 2011. The club serves youth, adults and injured service members who have a physical disability such as amputation, spinal cord injury, stroke, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy as well as those with visual impairments or blindness. We serve athletes of all ability levels from beginner to elite.
Athletes can compete in all three disciplines or be part of a relay team participating in the swim, bike or run. Our club is committed to providing the adaptive equipment, training opportunities, qualified coaching, and support for athletes through access to trained handlers and guides. We will ensure that athletes are fully prepared to dare2tri and inspire others to do the same.
Our Mission
To positively impact the lives of athletes with physical disabilities or visual impairments by providing opportunities to develop their skills in the sport of Paratriathlon while inspiring the community at large.
Our Vision
To have a sustainable Chicago based Paratriathlon club that serves as a model for community based clubs across the country.