Tri Events Race Series

Tri Events Race Series

Each year I have a few goals for my racing season. Last year it was to qualify and compete at Kona. This year had to be something a little less time consuming since my wife is 7 months pregnant and my discretionary training time will be changing in a big way. So I decided to support local races and go for the overall win at Tri Events LA Tri Series.

The best thing about this race series is that it’s local. I’m only 30 minutes away so my travel time and costs associated with racing are low; no airfare, hotels, rental cars, etc. Due to the 8am start time I didn’t have to wake up at some horrible hour to get my registration and get ready for the race. It’s really nice having a low stress morning before a race!

The next best thing is the competition. As pre-season warm up I’ve raced one or two races in this series in years past. I’ve always been impressed at the completion that is there. This year didn’t disappoint!

Tri-Events 1

Warning! Somehow it always seems to rain during this race series. The first race was pretty wet and cold. Thankfully it was wet and cold for everyone and not just me. I knew there was going to be some heavy competition at this race because one of my training buddies (who beat me by a few minutes in IM Canada Whistler last year) was racing. I also recognized a few other faces from prominent race teams in the area.

The swim is my weakest link. My first goal in any race is to not drown. Thankfully with only 500 meters I could just sprint as hard as I could and try not to come out of the water too far behind the lead pack. I ended up coming out with a handful of athletes in front of me.

The bike was a little miserable though. It was no longer raining but the roads were wet and my feet numbed up pretty quick. I know my power zones pretty well from all of my Ironman training last year so I did my best to dial in and pick off the competition as best I could. By the time I finished the bike, I knew there were still two athletes in front of me.

Transition was a bit rough due to the cold hands and numb feet but I was able to slide my feet into my running shoes, grab my race belt, and head out. Within a few minutes I passed one guy and a mile or two later I over took the leader. I was able to run strong crossing the finish line first. It wasn’t until a bit later I realized how close I was to losing the race!

Turns out in these small races you have to be aware of all your competition, even athletes that are 16 and start 6 minutes behind you. Sure enough, there was an incredibly fast 16-year-old (Cole) whom I had no idea about that would prove to be a fierce competitor the entire race series!

Tri-Events 2

I won’t bore you with all the same details of the first race. In a nutshell, the weather started off cloudy and dreary but later turned out to be a lovely day. More unexpected competition showed up (this time someone I raced against in St. George, UT a few years ago).

With this tri series as you progress through the races the distances get longer. This second race added 500 meters to the swim—not good when you’re a poor swimmer compared to your competition (that’s me). They say you never can win a race during the swim, but you can lose it.  That was me this race. In the end I lost by 30 seconds to the guy I previously raced in St. George. If I could have only swam 30 seconds faster it might have been a different race at the end. As it was, I could see him during the last 1-2 miles but just couldn’t run him down—I couldn’t hold on to the 5:20 pace for the last 2 miles that I would have needed to catch up to him. Regardless, it was a great race and I was pleased having pushed the bike and run as hard
as I physically could.

Tri-Events 3

Yup, rain again! This time it rained for a good part of the bike. The nice thing about rain is that I love it! I’m from WA. I grew up playing soccer, running track, camping, hiking, etc in the rain. It doesn’t bother me at all. It does make me a lot more cautious when riding over 40 mph down hills though.

This time I didn’t want to make any mistakes on the swim. I knew Cole (the superhuman 16-year-old) was racing again and he’s a crazy fast swimmer (he ended up having the fastest swim split in the entire race!). But with work being super busy and trying to prep for little baby arriving soon I seemed to have only gotten in 3 or so workouts in the pool since the last race. Not good.  I pushed as hard as I could and the last half of the swim really hurt. I drafted off one guy for about 600 meters or so, but eventually passed him to try and chase another guy to draft off of.  Too bad I could never quite seem to catch him and benefit from the draft.

I got out of the water and the lead pack had around 4 minutes on me (according to my wife).  Four minutes is not fun to make up during an Olympic distance race. While in transition I was shocked to see Cole getting his bike the same time as me…and he started 6 minutes behind me!!! He really is fast in the water. So from this point on I knew I was racing not only the competition in front of me but Cole also.

The bike went well (mainly because the rain doesn’t bother me). It wasn’t as cold as the first race but my legs didn’t seem to want to cooperate regardless. My power numbers were a little low and I couldn’t seem to muster the strength to pick it up. I passed a handful of athletes until there was just one guy in front of me. He and I biked almost the exact same splits (he beat me by 0.8 seconds). But he swam 4 minutes faster than me so I had some work to do on the run.  And where was Cole? I knew I biked faster than him but how was his run going to go? How much time did I have to make up?

At around mile 3.5 I passed the leader, but I also saw Cole and he was running strong. The nice thing about running in the lead is that you have an escort. Mentally that always seems to help me. It’s also someone I can chat with between heavy breathing. I’m kinda weird, ever since I started racing marathons I love chatting with people while racing. I think it drives some people nuts because they’re in the zone but for me it takes my mind of the burning in my lungs and legs. Anyway, I knew I was physically in first but I had no idea by how much. I had no other choice but to just run as fast as I possible could and hope it was enough in the end!

I crossed the finish line and immediately looked for the official time…but there was no race clock with the running time so I looked at my wife’s phone to try and calculate how much time stood between when I crossed the line and Cole would. I chatted with the other two finishers about the race, then saw Cole’s parents. His dad gave me his stats that he had been recording and I thought for sure he was going to win. Eventually he came through the finish line sprinting hard as ever.

I looked at my wife’s phone again but there was no way it was going to be accurate enough to tell me who won. We went over to the racing tent and asked if they could pull up the stats. I was shocked to see that I had won by 0.6 seconds! I thought my 30-second loss the month before was close, but 0.6 seconds!! That was a crazy close race. I was lucky to come out on top this time.

Having won 2 of the 3 events I had enough points to make me the overall male winner of the series. Goal accomplished. It was a great series: local, small, and with lots of amazing competition!

California Triathlon Soup – Katherine Kelly Lang

Emmy Award Winner Katherine Kelly Lang, also known as Brooke Logan on the CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful joins California Triathlon Soup to discuss her acting and producing credits including 31 years on The Bold and the Beautiful.  Kelly also shares her passion for triathlon which includes racing Kona and the launch of the new RYD apparel line.  This episode is packed full of fun facts including Kelly’s dad was an Olympic Ski Jumper and Jolly Green Giant, her experience acting with Betty White and shares that one of B&B’s biggest fans is Robert De Niro.  California Triathlon Soup visits Hollywood this episode with Emmy Award Winner Katherine Kelly Lang!  Special thanks to Kelly’s business partner and significant other Dom Zoida for joining the taping.

California Triathlon Soup podcast is 2 parts triathlon, 1 part culture and a dash of silly. Season 1 offers a fresh serving of “Soup” every two weeks over a 12 week period.  The guests are top notch as a counterweight to the host’s shear lack of talent and even Erik Schiller’s mad post-production skills might not be enough to make this palatable.  Still, we hope you line up like Oliver Twist and find the podcast hearty and not thin gruel.

23 OUNCE CALIFORNIA TRIATHLON SOUP MUG.  We encourage you to commemorate what is surely going to be an abject failure by getting a 23 ounce California Triathlon Soup mug when you donate $25 to California Triathlon.  For a limited time, use the 50% CALTRI discount code to lower the price to $12.50.  That includes shipping via a chartered mule.

California Triathlon Soup – Dave Scott

Dave Scott, 6x Ironman World Champion, joined California Triathlon Soup to take some listener questions about training and nutrition.  Dave has been a content machine over the past years and discusses the benefits of quality over quantity when training and provides quick tips for age group athletes.  We also left time to discuss California Triathlon‘s new sponsors Myoplex and HUUB Wetsuits which Dave is also sponsored.

California Triathlon Soup podcast is 2 parts triathlon, 1 part culture and a dash of silly. Season 1 offers a fresh serving of “Soup” every two weeks over a 12 week period.  The guests are top notch as a counterweight to the host’s shear lack of talent and even Erik Schiller’s mad post-production skills might not be enough to make this palatable.  Still, we hope you line up like Oliver Twist and find the podcast hearty and not thin gruel.

23 OUNCE CALIFORNIA TRIATHLON SOUP MUG.  We encourage you to commemorate what is surely going to be an abject failure by getting a 23 ounce California Triathlon Soup mug when you donate $25 to California Triathlon.  For a limited time, use the 50% CALTRI discount code to lower the price to $12.50.  That includes shipping via a chartered mule.

California Triathlon Soup – Lesley Paterson and Simon Marshall

Lesley Paterson and Simon Marshall. Lesley Paterson, 3x Off-Road Triathlon World Champion, and Simon Marshall, Performance Psychologist, BMC Racing Team, join California Triathlon Soup for a 2018 Valentine’s Day special. Lesley shares her story from wee Scottish rugby player to triathlete champion and covers topics as various as their recent book, The Brave Athlete, a gluten free diet and her involvement in the production of All Quiet On The Western Front.

California Triathlon Soup podcast is 2 parts triathlon, 1 part culture and a dash of silly. Season 1 offers a fresh serving of “Soup” every two weeks over a 12 week period.  The guests are top notch as a counterweight to the host’s shear lack of talent and even Erik Schiller’s mad post-production skills might not be enough to make this palatable.  Still, we hope you line up like Oliver Twist and find the podcast hearty and not thin gruel.

23 OUNCE CALIFORNIA TRIATHLON SOUP MUG.  We encourage you to commemorate what is surely going to be an abject failure by getting a 23 ounce California Triathlon Soup mug when you donate $25 to California Triathlon.  For a limited time, use the 50% CALTRI discount code to lower the price to $12.50.  That includes shipping via a chartered mule.

Triathlon Success: Lifestyle vs Bucket List

LIFESTYLE

In 2017 the word “sustainable” was added next to “affordable & accessible” in the California Triathlon mission statement.  Our definition of sustainable is approximately 6-8 hours per week of endurance training, which is a convenient volume for sprint and Olympic distance races and a nice base for the occasional 70.3 mile distance.  It provides the prolonged benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle without the downside of injury or burnout versus a 140.6 Ironman distance.  This isn’t one size fits all advice but it is applicable to an overwhelming percentage of triathletes, especially new triathletes.

LONG COURSE BUCKET LIST

After one or two seasons of training and racing short course, many athletes, including myself, were seduced by the 140.6 Ironman distance bucket list.  Articles like Active’s “Be Competitive on Just 10 Hours a Week” offers a low volume path to not only finishing, but being competitive.  A few weeks after posting race registration confirmation on their Facebook profiles, 40% of athletes start reaching out to coaches; reality sets in and they want to avoid the dreaded DNS [Did Not Start] or DNF [Did Not Finish].

THE “FURTHER IS BETTER” MYTH

If 140.6 miles is good, than even further is better, right?  Do you know Vidmantas Urbonas and Sylvia Andonie?  Probably not.  They are listed as the current men’s and women’s world record holders for the Double Deca Ironman or 20x Ironman distance, which includes 47 miles of swimming, 2,200 miles of biking and 524 miles of mostly walking.  They averaged over 540 hours to complete that distance.  It should give everyone solace to know that the human body –or at least a couple human bodies – can do 20x the Ironman distance.

REALITY CHECK

The coaching industry may disagree because their bottom line, but I stopped recommending the 140.6 mile distance. Too many of my teammates put it on their bucket list and then dramatically decreased their participation or quit the sport of triathlon altogether mainly due to burnout or chronic injuries.  In 2017, 25-30% of 140.6 Ironman branded registrants in North America either DNS or DNF their race.  Ironman has been steadily decreasing the number of 140.6 races and replacing them with 70.3 races that are flatter, faster and more achievable.

CHALLENGE QUESTION

Assuming no time or financial constraints, what is the tougher challenge?  Completing 140.6 every week for a year or taking 10 minutes off your Olympic PR?  It goes back to the decision to go long or go fast.  If you have been doing this sport for a while, you realize that marginal improvements are hard fought and finding 5-10 minutes on an Olympic course is daunting.  As we get older that becomes even more of a challenge.  My final advice is try to maintain and build speed for as long as you can and find an equilibrium in your training life balance that allows you to compete in triathlon for a lifetime.

California Triathlon is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides a premium no-fee membership to over 4,500 athletes worldwide. Our mission is to make the sport of triathlon affordable, accessible & sustainable by providing the resources, coaching and support needed for athletes to accomplish their goals.

California Triathlon Soup Podcast – USAT CEO Rocky Harris

We are pleased to launch the California Triathlon Soup podcast which is 2 parts triathlon, 1 part culture and a dash of silly featuring USAT CEO Rocky Harris.  February 1 marks the beginning of season 1 with a fresh serving of “Soup” every two weeks over a 12 week period.  The guests are top notch as a counterweight to the host’s shear lack of talent and even Erik Schiller’s mad post-production skills might not be enough to make this palatable.  Still, we hope you line up like Oliver Twist and find the podcast hearty and not thin gruel.

23 OUNCE CALIFORNIA TRIATHLON SOUP MUG.  We encourage you to commemorate what is surely going to be an abject failure by getting a 23 ounce California Triathlon Soup mug when you donate $25 to California Triathlon.  For a limited time, use the 50% CALTRI discount code to lower the price to $12.50.  That includes shipping via a chartered mule.

 

Best Choice Award: 2018 Kestrel 5000 SL Shimano Ultegra Di2

MAILBAG QUESTION:  I have been racing for a few years and really “need” to do a tri bike upgrade.  Am looking for a new bike in the $3,000 range with Shimano Di2 components and setup for climbing.  Help!

MAILBAG ANSWER:  This was a fun exercise looking at all the usual suspects and narrowing it down to one or two choices in the $3,000 range.  The 2018 Kestrel 5000 SL Shimano Ultegra Di2 was the best choice beating out the 2017 CANNONDALE SLICE ULTEGRA DI2.  The surprises were that Felt only had one bike choice in their B series and Fuji has positioned Di2 as a “Superbike” feature along with so many other companies.

KESTREL 5000 SL SHIMANO ULTEGRA DI2.  In 1987 Kestrel introduced the world’s first ever, all-carbon frame Kestrel 4000.  In June 2017 the 5000 SL was launched and California Triathlon was in San Francisco for an unveiling that didn’t disappoint. “The specifications include a 800K high-modulus carbon fiber frame, Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed components, an Oval Concepts 950 F 700c wheelset with 18/24H aero carbon-alloy rims, plus a drivetrain featuring a 52/36 crankset and 11-28 cassette.  For the weight weenies, the bike is 20.11 pounds.”

Cost:  $4,799 MSRP.  However, only about $3,000 with the 30% California Triathlon Performance Bike discount combined with the 10% Performance Bike Team Performance Membership.

For complete disclosure, Advanced Sports Enterprises owns Fuji, Kestrel and Performance Bike and Performance Bike is a California Triathlon sponsor.  We have no relationship with Cannondale.  The goal is to find the best deals for our community so if you find something more or equally appealing then please share.

January 2018 California Triathlon Leadership Meeting Minutes

Date: January 7, 2018 @ 2 pm PT

ATTENDEES:  Thom Richmond – President, Kim Degen, Caitlin Nicholas, Harrison Shao, Howard Nemetz, Les Borsay, Marina Ortiz, Rollin White, Eric Witmayer, Roberto Lepe [Board Members In Bold]

BOARD MEMBERS NOT PRESENT:  Anthony Grey - Vice President, Lauren Halatek - Treasurer, Megan Severa and Diana Jones

  1. 5 NEW ADDITIONS. Last month 5 new members were welcomed to the leadership team.  This month we welcome an additional 5 new members.  We appreciate their service to the sport and supporting our mission to make triathlon more affordable, accessible and sustainable.
    1. Cal Tri – San Francisco Chapter Lead. Welcome Jonathan Yip who will be supporting athletes participating in our Bay Area race and training programs.  Jonathan replaces Sara Randolph [and Ross] who did a remarkable job increasing the Cal Tri presence in San Francisco.
    2. Cal Tri – San Diego Chapter Co-Lead. Welcome Eric Witmayer who will be joining Maya Bryson as co-lead of Cal Tri - San Diego.  San Diego County is a big place and Jonathan is looking forward to establishing more training opportunities.
    3. Cal Tri – Los Angeles Co-Lead. Welcome Steve Garrett who will be joining Caitlin Nicolas as co-lead of Cal Tri – Los Angeles.  Steve lives in Sherman Oaks and will be focusing on growing our LA Chapter in that area.
    4. Marketing – “California Triathlon Soup” Podcast Producer. Welcome Erik Schiller who starting later this month will  produce California Triathlon Soup, a bi-weekly podcast that “blends 2 parts triathlon, 1 part culture, and a pinch of silliness”, keeping listeners connected with the latest in all thing Triathlon.
    5. Marketing – SEO. Welcome Marc Geraldez who is making our existing and rapidly growing library of content and activities more relevant online.  Almost 50% of new users come from athletes outside California and that trend will only continue in 2018.
  2. SPONSOR RENEWAL – PERFORMANCE BIKE. Performance Bike, and their 104 stores, return as a California Triathlon sponsor in 2018.  Performance Bike offers California Triathlon members a “pro level” deal on bikes plus service and accessories.  New collateral available in January
    1. 30% off all Fuji/Kestrel bikes storewide
    2. Complimentary 25-point inspection
    3. $10 off any purchase over $50.
  3. GRAND PRIX California “MiniSite”. RaceReach has completed the GRAND PRIX California “MIniSite” focusing on the events, scoring and discounts included in the GRAND PRIX California.  In 2017, over 7,000 athletes competed for pride or prizes with 72 athletes taking home over $20,000 of SWAG.
  4. 1st 2018 CAL TRI KIT ORDER. The order deadline is February 4 with shipment March 9.
  5. NEW VOGO EVENTS. Two new VOGO, Volunteer One, Get One, events will be added to the main calendar from Orange County per Kim Degan, OC Chapter Leader.
  6. The leadership will strive to keep up with the content demand and encourage our members to participate as a way to increase engagement.
    1. Features or Articles.
    2. California Triathlon Forum
    3. California Triathlon Facebook
    4. California Triathlon Instagram
    5. GRAND PRIX California Facebook Group.
    6. California Triathlon Soup.

NO REGRETS. The Cal Tri theme for 2018 is “No Regrets”.  We encourage everyone to approach 2018 with abandon by treating every opportunity to train or race as special.

California Triathlon is a 501c3 charity that provides a premium no-fee membership to over 4,000 athletes worldwide.  Our mission is to make the sport of triathlon affordable, accessible & sustainable by providing the resources, coaching and support needed for athletes to accomplish their goals.

Upper Big T with Mt Wilson

April 14 - Upper Big T with Mt Wilson (72 mi)

Start: TBA
Time: TBA
Ride Route: RideWithGPS
Elevation:  8,400 ft
Difficulty (1-5) = 4

THE RIDE. This year’s SGV led ride is the iconic Big T (Big Tujunga) Ride! After the relative flat ride of Angels & Demons, Big T is going to take you up into the clouds. There will be three different options depending on your climbing legs and desire for pie (more on that in a second).

THE ROUTE. The Big T Epic Ride will roll out from Pasadena with a relatively easy 16 miles of ascent broken up with a fast downhill before the real fun begins. We’ll regroup at a 7-11 so folks can make sure they have their water topped off and can use the bathrooms, then we’ll head onto the climb. Just beyond mile 28 will be two options. You can cut it a little short and head right at the fork which has just a little bit more climbing before you hit the Angeles Crest Highway at Clear Creek Ranger Station. From here, just head down the Crest Highway for an awesome 9 mile descent with gentle curves and some pretty decent pavement. If you’re looking for some more challenge though, you’ll turn left at the fork and continue to Upper Big T where you’ll climb an additional 1,400 feet in about 14 miles before you connect with the Angeles Crest Highway. Another 4 miles and you’ll arrive at Red Box. This is where you will want to make another fateful decision. Head down that awesome descent towards Pasadena and home, or head for pie. Pie? That’s your reward for climbing an additional 1,000 feet over 5 miles. The Cosmic Café is a popular hiker and cyclist stop where you can pick up a soda, bag of chips, or my favorite, apple pie a la mode. The dessert will be a welcome addition as you head your bike down for a 26 mile, nearly 5,000 foot descent back into Pasadena.

Mile 0-16: Pasadena up through Montrose and down to Sunland.
Mile 16-28.5 The lower Big T Climb which hits the Clear Creek Ranger Station at mile 32.5 before the descent back to Pasadena. This route is 49 miles with 4,800 feet of climbing.
Mile 28.5-42 The Upper Big T Climb hits the Angeles Crest Highway at 4,600 feet up through lovely mountains and meadows.
Mile 42-46.5 Rolling hills to the Red Box Gap.
Mile 46.5-67 The fast descent down into Pasadena. This option is 67 miles and 7,300 feet of climbing.
Mile 46.5-51.3 The Mt. Wilson Climb to Pie A La Mode! Amazing views over the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles. Mt Wilson is the site of one of the most storied Observatories in the world. It is home to the world’s first permanent solar telescope and is where Edwin Hubble proved that there were multiple galaxies, that the universe is expanding and Fritz Zwicky found the evidence for Dark Matter. And did I mention the home made pie?!?
Mile 51.3-77: From here it is a 26 mile fun ride back to your car. This option is 77 miles and 8,400 feet of climbing

Ride for the comradery, climb for the pie!

Introducing Cal Tri – San Joaquin Valley

Introducing California Triathlon –  San Joaquin Valley!  Our newest chapter, based out of Bakersfield, exists to promote group training and the triathlon habit across the area that lies south of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, including all of Kings County; a majority of Fresno, Merced, Stanislaus counties; segments of Madera and Tulare counties—and a majority of Kern County. Bakersfield, Clovis, Delano, Madera, McFarland, Merced, Modesto, Strockton, Tehachapi, Tulare, Visalia… too many towns and cities to possibly list them all. Let’s take advantage of the places across our great region where we can swim, bike, and run!

We are just getting started but we have big plans for 2018 and beyond! Whether you are a seasoned veteran, a beginner, an aspiring triathlete, or simply tri-curious, we encourage you to join us (membership is always free!) and let us help you accomplish your goals!

Our chapter is led by Alejandra “Alex” Perez whose determination is matched only by her enthusiasm. She learned about triathlon and what to do before her first race by watching youtube videos. Eventually she found California Triathlon.  Now she is eager to share her knowledge and experience with others, support our mission, and help grow the sport in her part of the  Golden State.

Hello Everyone, I’m Alex, formerly from Orange County, currently living in the city of Bakersfield, California,

I am very thankful and very excited for this opportunity to be part of California Triathlon and lead a new chapter.

What brought me to the California Triathlon family is their passion and willingness to help other triathletes in the community by organizing training and resources to make the sport more accessible. I love our volunteer leadership’s organization, commitment, passion, humbleness, skills, and their willingness to give back to our community.

A little bit about my background: I too have a love and passion for Sports. I have a background in international dance, Body Building, CrossFit, kickboxing, running, swimming, cycling, yoga, and polga fitness. What I love about triathlons is the endurance in all three disciplines.  requiring continuous and sequential effort to complete all three sports. This makes it challenging and fun.

I call our San Joaquin Valley “the heart of California”; as it is right in the center of California forming 7 counties. As a new chapter our goal is to start training in all 3 disciplines. We are currently working on starting our swimming clinic in the city of Bakersfield, soon we will be sending invitations with start date. As we start the new year, we are planning on adding more activities to our calendar as we spread the word and organize more activities suitable for everyone. Our San Joaquin Valley is blessed with many trails perfect for cycling and running! I’m anxious to meet all of our triathletes from our  San Joaquin Valley Chapter at our upcoming activities!

Would you like to train with us? Do you have questions? Want to get involved? Please contact alex@californiatriathlon.org