Weekend Update: Peletonia and CSTS #5

Pearce, taking the CSTS Championship for his division.

Pearce, taking the CSTS Championship for his division.

NO surprise here that it was another great weekend for Team AMEC.

Jennifer and Michael after their amazing century ride.

Jennifer and Michael after their amazing century ride.

Jennifer and Michael did a wonderful ride for cancer research in Columbus, Ohio this weekend.  The Peletonia has several distance options and all riders are required to raise money.  Jen and Michael did not even OWN bicycles, let alone ride 100 miles on one, 3 months ago but we decided together (well, I STRONGLY encouraged) to select the 100 mile route as the ultimate challenge.  They worked so hard over the last 3 months and I am so proud of their accomplishment.  Can’t wait to see what they want to do next.  One things for sure: they’ve already committed to the Tour of the Scioto River Valley (TOSRV) next Spring.  That’s a 105 mile ride from Columbus to Portsmouth, Ohio- and then 105 miles back to Columbus the next day.  My husband Chris is from Portsmouth so we’ve decided to join them on this.

And, at the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Race #5, the Championship race of the series, we had some great results as well.  Let’s start with my boys:

Pearce finished the series as the winner of his division!  Second for today’s race and then the points champion for the series.  Not bad, especially considering his hard 4 hour training ride for the Hellhole Gravel Grind the day before.  Awesome!

Robert placed 4th in his AG today and PR’ed.  Great job!

Don placed 2nd and took the series championship in his AG.  Amazing!

Ken placed 3rd in his AG.  Fabulous!

My ladies fared well as well:

Angie, in her first triathlon since having her little girlies, rocked it out with 4th in her AG. Wonderful!

Kelly, in her first triathlon EVER, placed 8th in her AG.  Fantastic!

Heather took 5th in her AG and PR’ed AGAIN.  Super!

Tracey, in her second triathlon EVER, placed 7th in her AG and shaved 4 minutes off her time from her first race.  Outstanding!

Joelle, who has been working so hard on her cycling, took 2nd in her AG and shaved another minute off her bike split.  That’s 3 minutes this year. YAY!

Ec, who has also been killing it on the bike this year, took 3rd today and overall series winner in her AG.  Yippee!

Sad to see the series over for 2014 but 2015 will be here before we know it.  Quiet weekend next week, except Nathan will be doing the Chattanooga 2.4 mile open water swim in preparation for IM Chattanooga in September.

 

 

The Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon race report

The Norseman Xtreme Triathlon 2014 proved to be an amazing experience.  The most beautiful countryside I have ever seen also gave way to some of the toughest conditions.

Mountain range down into the fjord

Mountain range down into the fjord

The beautiful scenery at Eidfjord.

The beautiful scenery at Eidfjord.

Here’s a quick trip through the race….

 

The morning began with a 1:30 AM wake-up call in order to arrive at the race site before 3.  There was no day before transition setup so we had to get everything in order in the black of the early morning.  At 3:30 the athletes were allowed to board the ferry which would transport them 2.4 miles out into the fjord for the swim back.

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The ferry awaits the athletes

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The ferry location where the athletes jump.

The support teams (Chris and me) were left to drink coffee and mentally prepare for the long day ahead. The racers took the plunge- jumping 5 meters into the 50ish degree water before swimming to shore.

Andy came in from the swim at 1:11- 4 minutes before we had hoped.  Once you see your athlete one of the support team can go into the transition area and help them change clothes. He said the water was cold and as he swam by the waterfalls coming down from the tops of the mountains the water was VERY cold.  With all the shivering it was difficult to get all his cycling clothes on himself, so I had to help.

Helping Andy get out of T1.

Helping Andy get out of T1.

It was essential to get the reflective vest as well as turn on his lights as there were many tunnels to race through.

Turning on the bike lights

Turning on the bike lights

Once out of T1, there was essentially an immediate steep climb over a mountain pass.  As it leveled out there was one good meeting place to see if he needed anything before the first major climb of 26 miles to Dyranut.  We met him at the top of the climb to give him a warm jacket.  It was cold and very windy at this point.

Since every athlete had a support team, the roads resembled a professional cycling race with as a long caravan stretched out over the roads, cars pulling in and out between the athletes.

 

Helping Andy prepare for the cold descent.

Helping Andy prepare for the cold descent.

 

The caravan of support

The caravan of support

After the climb there was a very long descent. As we continued on the support crew were getting update texts from the race director. We were learning that the weather was getting VERY bad on the final climb. This climb is incredibly steep and continues for miles. The rain was coming down so hard and the wind was very strong and the fog was so thick you could hardly see.  Driving by all the racers you could see suffering and defeat on their faces.

The horrible weather on Imingfjell

The horrible weather on Imingfjell

It was interesting to watch the buckling legs of racers as they dismounted their bikes in T2. I worried for Andy as I started to imagine how bad the marathon was going to be for these racers you could hardly walk in transition. When Andy arrived, however, he was looking strong!

Checking on Andy during the run

Checking on Andy during the run

The first 15 miles of the run is rather uneventful- rolling and flat terrain to put you in a false sense of comfort. The REAL fun starts at mile 15 and continues to 26.2- as while you are in the valley you can look straight up and see the top of the mountain and your destination.

Mile 15 is the base of Zombie Hill- aptly named because it crushes the soul of every racer.  It is over 2000 feet of climbing over the next 6 miles, all at 8% grade and steeper.  Very few athletes could run the entire mountain.  IT was mostly a walk/run affair.  It is very important for the support team to pace the racer at this point to help prevent them from going to that very dark place.

 

Zombie Hill

Zombie Hill

Zombie Hill proved too much for many

Zombie Hill proved too much for many

Unfortunately, it turned out to be the breaking point for many athletes. About half way up the hill point Andy’s IT bands were both shot and we had to walk more than we ran.  I think I talked for 2 hours straight trying to keep his mind off of the pain.  At the 32.5k cutoff we did were not soon enough to be able to hike the treacherous part of the mountain.  Only 160 athletes are able to make it to this point.  We missed it by about 5 minutes.  That doesn’t mean our race was over, however.  We had to take the alternate route to finish the marathon- but it was still another 1300 feet of climbing.  Luckily we had some awesome Norwegian cheerleaders.

 

 

The best cheerleaders around.

The best cheerleaders around.

 

 

Success!

Success!

15 hours and 30 minutes later, we finished the journey. I can truly say that it was an epic adventure for the entire team. From the support crew standpoint it was unlike any other race because you were IN it. We watched other racers that had similar times as Andy for the entire race. We encouraged them as well as got to know their support crew. It was a very moving experience where you felt connected to so many people with so many stories from all over the world.

 

 

 

If you are considering the Norseman 2015, contact me as I have gained immense knowledge about coaching and training, traveling to and supporting this race.

Weekend Update: Chicago Zooma Half-Marathon and Copper Triangle

This was a great weekend for a few of my ladies.    Amy completed the Zooma Chicago Half-marathon with a PR!  She is going to take a few days off from running BUT  not for long because we’ve got the Columbus Marathon coming up.  It will be her first marathon and I am super excited to be helping her through it.

Amy after her half-marathon

Amy after her half-marathon

Kelsey at the Continental Divide.

Kelsey at the Continental Divide.

Kelsey had a glorious weekend also, completing the Colorado Cyclist Copper Triangle.  She says it was the “hardest thing ever” but she did amazing with a ride time of 5 hours 44 minutes.  A 78 mile ride with over 6000 feet of climbing- this would be a tough ride for sure.  I can’t wait to see what she wants to do next.

 

 

Great job ladies.

 

Weekend Update: USATF Nationals and Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series #4

Tracey looking pro in her first race

Tracey looking pro in her first race

Another fantastic weekend for Team AMEC.

Colin had a great experience in his first trip to a national event.  At USATF Nationals in Humble, Texas he placed 14th.  That’s overall in the US.  I’m really proud of him and look forward to seeing how far he can continue to go.  Especially considering he is only 13 years old.

Colin at USATF Nats

Colin at USATF Nats

Next, I had a whole slew of athletes racing CSTS #4 on Sunday.  Holy cow we put out some good results.  Let’s start with my coached athletes from Anne Moore Endurance Coaching.

Men:

- Robert placed 2nd in his AG against some stiff competition.  Rad!

- Toby placed 4th in his AG and PR’ed again.  CSTS#2 was a PR by 6 minutes, and then he shaved another minute off Sunday!  All of this while taking care of brand new twins at home.  Awesome!

-Ken placed 2nd in his AG. Yay!

-Jerry placed 3rd in his AG and had a bike split PR by over a minute.  Woohoo!

- Pearce placed 3rd in his division.  Yahoo!

Kat, rocking out the top 5

Kat, rocking out the top 5

Women:

- Heather came in 4th in her AG and missed 3rd by 3 seconds!  But, it was a PR for her bike split by over a minute and an overall PR as well. Yippeee!

- Kat came in 5th in her AG after a injury-related absence and PRed by.5 minutes, with faster swim and bike splits. Killer!

- Tracey placed 6th in her AG in her very first ever triathlon! Right on!

Robert, 2nd in AG!

Robert, 2nd in AG!

 

And my TotalCyclist peeps:

-Don won his AG.

-Ec won her AG.

-Joelle placed 3rd in her AG and shaved 2 minutes off her bike split for a PR!

What a great weekend, everyone!

Ken and his mug

Ken and his mug

The Fireweed 400

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The beautiful Alaskan scenery

Tiffany is all smiles

Tiffany is all smiles

I met Tiffany in 2009 through one of my triathlon training camps. She was new and eager to get into endurance sport.

Now living in Alaska, she approached me about my thoughts on her doing the Fireweed 400. As the name implies, its a 400 mile race across Alaska.  After 75 miles of beautiful temps and scenery, the next 120 miles became rain and headwind.  She pushed though, and I am so proud of her. What an amazing accomplishment!