2017 USAT Duathlon National Championships

CAPTION:  Russ raced in gym shorts and on his bike that won the first triathlon on 9.25.74 and he still carries the trophy to his major races for good luck.  The entry fee in 1974 was $1.00.

The 2017 USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships and Draft Legal World Championships were held in the beautiful city of Bend, Oregon last week.  The non-draft National Championships were held on Saturday, June 17 and the draft legal World Qualifier was held on Sunday, June 18.


At the National Championships Russ Jones placed 4th, Bill Bentz placed 5th and Monica Lee placed 10th in their age groups.  Top 5 were awarded podium spots and top 6 were awarded a place on Team USA to compete at the 2018 World Championships in Denmark.

CAPTION:  Russ Jones -4th Place

CAPTION:  Bill Bentz - 5th Place

On Sunday, only three podium spots were available and the top 12 qualify for Team USA.  On Sunday, Maya Bryson secured a 3rd place finish and podium spot.  Bill Bentz and Monica Lee were 7th, Claudius Shropshire was 6th and Marcelo DaSilva was 15th.

CAPTION:  Maya Bryson - 3rd Place

The Cal Tri team vehicle, Cal Tr1 was a hit and many people took pictures of it.  I know we gained some new members.  Kudos to all who competed and qualified for TEAM USA!  Hope to see more Cal Tri people next year!  We all had a great time!


Written By:  Bill Bentz & Monica Lee

Q&A: Ironman’s New Early Entry & Pricing Plans

World Triathlon Corporation, or Ironman, recently released new Early Entry (EE) & Pricing Plans.  The first two races were 2018 Ironman Texas & 2018 Ironman Boulder.  Texas will likely sell out while Boulder will not so there are a couple of different ways to play this.
Q:  How did Early Entry work at Texas and Boulder?
A:  AWA got priority access followed one week later by TriClubs followed one week later by everybody else.  Because of the new Priority Tiered slots it was possible that AWA athletes would get all the $650 entry spots but there were TriClub athletes who also got them.  A club benefit is everyone in a club can get into a particular race unlike past years at Vineman 70.3 or Arizona 140.6 where you had to be in front of your keyboard and hope for the best.
Q:  Why does a single AWA athlete get priority over all the TriClubs?
A:  WTC prioritizes their “frequent fliers” over TriClubs.  It didn’t seem to have much of an impact for Texas and Boulder.  It could in future races.
Q:  When should I sign up for Texas?
A:  Texas is likely to sell out.  If you know you want to race signup early at $650.  Consider the $90 insurance because 20% of athletes DNS, DNF or DQ with a majority of that being DNS.  That is $740 and close to $800 with the Active Fee.
Q:  When should I sign up for Boulder?
A:  Boulder had 1072 finishers this year and is almost guaranteed to not sell out.  Train just like you would for any other race but wait to buy until the last couple weeks.  Pay the $750 and decline the insurance.  The alternative would be to signup early at $650 and pay the $90 insurance but why not keep the $740 in your bank and not have to worry if you get injured or life gets in the way.
Q:  What about the 2018 Payment Plan Option?
A:  Hard pass.  For Boulder the EE price is $650.  That price goes up to $750 if you chose the Payment Plan Option with an initial deposit of $250.  There are two more payments of $250 each.  You could have $250 or $500 at risk.  Save your money and buy the race 1-2 two weeks out from the race at $750.  This is probably the biggest no-brainer scenario.  For races that do sell out, it could be an option if you are set on a race and don’t have the money.  Consider the total cost of doing that race like accommodations, travel, bike shipment, etc. first.  Accommodations are likely an even bigger expense than your race entry depending on the venue.
Priority Tiered Pricing
IRONMAN is also moving to a Tiered Pricing model based on slot inventory rather than dates. Slots at each tier are limited and once slots are sold out, the price will increase. This new pricing model also provides value to your club. Athletes who take advantage of the early entry offer will have “first crack” at limited Priority Tier slots, effectively providing your club members with the lowest possible entry fee for their event registration. Priority Tiered slots are extremely limited.
2018 Deferral Program
Athletes who register within the first 90 days of general entries becoming available are eligible to defer their entry into the next year’s event at no cost. All requests will be honored until 45 days out from the original event date. The deferral may only be used once. Athletes who elect to defer their entries forfeit any partial refund or insurance refund. Deferrals are only available for individual entries and not for relay teams.
2018 Payment Plan Option
Athletes who register for IRONMAN events (this is not offered for IRONMAN 70.3 races) within the first 90 days of general entries becoming available may elect to pay via a three-part payment plan. Athletes will be charged the Tier 3 price in three equal installments. To elect the payment plan, an athlete needs to register under the “Payment Plan” category during the first 90 days of general entries being available and make the initial $250 payment. Athletes will then receive instructions on when they can expect the next payment link and due dates for subsequent payments. All three payments must be completed for an athlete to race – partial payments will not be refunded or honored as race entries. Athletes electing the payment plan may also utilize the deferral option listed above once all three payments have been completed.


ATHLETE FOCUS:  PASCAL MARIANI.  Congrats to Pascal Mariani who races for Cal Tri in Europe and has been on a tear lately winning some local races and then qualifying at 70.3 France for Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga.

.  Below is an early season time trial result.  Well done sir!

U.S. Long Course Triathlon Continues Decline 1H17 – WTC & Grassroots

Every 2017 Ironman 70.3 distance race in the U.S., excluding 2 races in California - Oceanside & the new Santa Rosa, have suffered decreases in finisher numbers year over year [YoY].  That represents a 9.3% YoY decrease offset only by first year races Gulf Coast & Wisconsin.  We use finisher numbers for both WTC and grassroots races as they are more reliable than registration numbers which are often inaccurate or unavailable.
  • -25%: 70.3 St. George
  • -21%:  70.3 Hawai’i
  • -21%:  70.3 Chattanooga
  • -20%:  70.3 Victoria
  • -18%:  70.3 Syracuse
  • -9%:  70.3 Raleigh
  • -9%:  70.3 Florida
  • -8%:  70.3 Eagleman
  • -3%:  70.3 Texas
  • 6%:  70.3 Oceanside
  • 28%:  70.3 Santa Rosa/Vineman
When Dalian Wanda Group, headed by China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin’s, bought WTC from Providence Equity Partners for $900 million it likely didn’t envision this scenario a mere 2 years later.  There are impacts to almost every stakeholder in the Ironman business model.  Below are a few underlying reasons.
  • TIME & MONEY.  On Oct 18, 2016, WTC presented to the City of Santa Rosa and shared data indicating that Ironman families have an average household income of $247K.  That represents the top 2% and 4x more than the national average.  This is a major hurdle to younger athletes, in particular, who have a lot of college debt.  The other major factor is time.  Unlike a Sprint or Olympic race, a long course race can take 15-20 hours per week to properly train.  That isn’t sustainable over long periods.  WTC isn’t attracting new athletes quickly enough to replace the older athletes who are graduating from the sport.
  • THE LIFESTYLE.  Scott Davis, owner of P5 Racing, started racing in 1984 and has multiple top 10 AG Kona finishes says “WTC needs to sell the lifestyle and not the tattoo.  Way too many people enter the sport and do an Ironman to complete their bucket list and are gone just as quickly.  Triathlon is something that can be enjoyed over a decade of time without having to break the bank or ruin work or personal relationships.  It should be a sustainable lifestyle.”
  • WTC’s OVERALL FOCUS IN ASIA.  The U.S. is an established market and resources have shifted to Asia.  Last year you could qualify for Kona by racing Ironman 70.3 distances in Asia but not in the U.S. in an attempt to stimulate growth in that market and attract tourism.  For the long course, there are no announcements of new 140.6 races in North America.  In 2016, the number of 140.6 races in North America decreased by one - North Carolina, and recently it was announced that 2017 is the last year for 140.6 Ironman Coeur d’Alene.  Santa Rosa was new this year but was a virtual replacement for Vineman.
We completed a “channel check” with non-Ironman branded 70.3 mile distance races from all over the U.S.  There is a 20% decrease in finishers at non-Ironman branded races so far this year.  We are waiting on a couple race directors to provide data and then we will update this story.

Special Pricing from Performance Bike – Act Fast!

Our friends at Performance Bicycle are making some fantastic past-year model Road & Triathlon bikes available to California Triathlon members at unbelievably low prices.  Many are discounted 75% or more! If you thought Shimano Di2 was out of your reach, think again! Treat yourself to a late Valentine’s Day present that you will cherish for years to come.



Bike stock is limited. Please click on the link below for the complete list of models and sizes available, and instructions for getting the special Cal Tri pricing.  Thanks!

Bike list - Special Cal Tri Pricing

Introducing CAL TRI EMPOWER – Los Angeles

Exceptional Women on a Mission
The inspiration for this effort came from multiple conversations with enthusiastic & loyal members of our team who have personally benefited from their involvement with California Triathlon, who are passionate about our mission of growing our sport by making it more accessible and affordable,  and who want to share that passion and give back.

The latest demographic information about triathletes paints a picture of a sport that continues to be overwhelmingly male, white, and affluent.  California Triathlon exists largely to buck that trend, by providing premium no-fee membership with access to coaching, group training, and other resources.   We are really proud that our membership is greater than 50% female.   But there is so much more to be done.

CAL TRI EMPOWER is dedicated to removing barriers and promoting inclusion. Though there is a strong focus on women, Cal Tri Empower will offer inspiration, encouragement, and engagement for everyone.

California Triathlon will provide a platform and promote this effort with special events and activities throughout the Los Angeles chapter, as well as with online and social media interaction.    We are piloting this initiative in Los Angeles. If it’s successful there, then it can be replicated in our chapters throughout the US.

Meet the Team
We are proud to shine the spotlight on these six exceptional women! They share an attitude of gratitude and exemplify what California Triathlon is all about:   In the coming weeks, you will be hearing a lot more from our Cal Tri Empower team!  If you would like to learn more please contact Monica Lee to get involved.

Monica Lee

“I am inspired by people that have to overcome adversity and the ways they are able to jump through hoops to be where they are now. I am also inspired by people who are selfless - dedicated to making others better instead of just focusing on themselves”.

Natalie Guerboian

“I am inspired by people who challenge themselves to do something out of their comfort zone. Therefore, I always want to challenge myself and see what I am capable of achieving.”

Raushanah (Shanah) Najeeullah

“I’m inspired by the generations preceding me who prove every day (and at a lot of triathlons) that age is an advantage if you know how to make the most of your life and the experiences it holds.”

Linda Maily

“People who overcome adversity with a smile inspire me. We all have our battles and deal with our struggles daily but there are some people who handle it with grace. They inspire me to strive to be a better person and a stronger triathlete.”

Simone Maier Bartlett

“I am a mom to a 2 year old girl and I love seeing other moms being active, fit & healthy and, most of all, being role models, and actually heroes, to their little ones. This is what inspires me and I hope to inspire both my family and lots of other moms to be fit & healthy”. 

Jenny Alonzo Ford

“I am inspired by people who defy odds and overcome obstacles in sport and life. It is so emotional to see them push the limits to achieve their goals, reminding me how the human spirit prevails when one puts forth the effort to overcome them”.  

Vegan Power Bars Recipe

Simone Maier Bartlett is a working mom, triathlete, and CAL TRI EMPOWER ambassador in Santa Monica, California.  We asked her to share her recipe for these delicious bars that provide an energy boost during long rides, training days, and races.

13434944_10154160596868971_5026965951521656793_n Vegan Power Bars

These Vegan Power Bars have saved my life many times over going up the Santa Monica Mountains on our regular Sunday rides. They are absolutely amazing and give you such a power boost while being all healthy and vegan.

They are very easy to make and are much cheaper than all the alternatives in the store. Plus, you really know what goes in. That being said you can mix it totally mix it up every time you make them. I sometimes add more puffed millet and rice to make them lighter, I also like raisins; but the cranberry & dark chocolate combination has proven to be my favorite. The bars are also great for kids.

1 1⁄2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 1⁄4 cups rice crisp cereal (puffed millet works great as well!)
1⁄4 cup hemp seeds
1⁄4 cup sunflower seeds
1⁄2 cup cranberries or dried cherries
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vegan protein powder vanilla (Juice Plus)
1⁄4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1⁄2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, brown rice syrup
1⁄4 cup roasted peanut butter or any nut butter you like
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup mini non-dairy chocolate chips

1. Line a 9-inch square cake pan with two pieces of parchment paper (one going each way).
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice crisp cereal, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cranberries, protein powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix.
3. In a small saucepan, stir together the brown rice syrup and peanut butter until well combined. Cook over medium to heat until the mixture softens and bubbles slightly, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. I sometimes add a spoon of water just to make it easier to stir later.
4. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture, using a spatula to scrape every last bit out of the pan. Stir well with a large metal spoon until all of the oats and cereal are coated in the wet mixture. The resulting mixture will be very thick and difficult to stir.  If using the chocolate chips, allow the mixture to cool slightly before folding in the chips. This will prevent them from melting.
5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, spreading it out into an even layer. Lightly wet your hands and press down on the mixture to even it out. Use a pastry roller to compact the mixture firmly and evenly. This helps the bars hold together better. Press down on the edges with your fingers to even out.
6. Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered, and chill for 20 minutes, or until firm.
7. Lift the oat square out of the pan, using the parchment paper as handles, and place it on a cutting board. With a pizza roller (or a serrated knife), slice the square into 6 rows and then slice them in half to make 12-16 bars total.
8. Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap or foil and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, you can store them in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Tips & Tricks for Speedy Transitions



Caitlin Nicholas is a USAT Level 1 certified triathlon coach who volunteers her time and expertise to support California Triathlon.

As triathletes gain more experience in the sport, goals and expectations often change from reaching finish lines to posting faster finish times.  They may adjust their training to address those areas where they feel they have the biggest ceiling for improvement, asking “How do I get faster on the swim? On the bike? On the run?”  The mind does not immediately go to transitions, but these also present opportunities to shave precious seconds (or minutes) off of your time.

Transitions have been called triathlon’s fourth discipline.  Having an organized and well-practiced approach to your transitions will not only save time; it will also ease stress and set you up for better performances as you go from swim to bike and bike to run.

Checklists can be extremely helpful. Here is one that I’ve prepared to help you think about and organize your transitions:

Before the race

 Arrive early!!! Many transition areas are first come, first serve. Get there when it opens and snag a good location (i.e. on an end or near a sizeable landmark). Bring a brightly colored towel so you can easily spot your transition location. Flags & balloons can also be helpful though sometimes race officials won’t allow them. Count the number of rows from the entry or exit.

 Practice your plan: arriving early gives you time to set up your transition and place the items in order of use. Whenever possible practice transitions so you are fully seasoned on race day.

 When setting up your transition place items in order of use. For instance, have biking stuff up front and place all needed items in your helmet. (sunglasses, nutrition, gloves, etc). Behind your helmet you will have running shoes and running hat with all needed running items in hat. (Nutrition, handheld water bottle, etc)

T1 (Swim to Bike transition)

 When exiting the water, start unzipping and pulling down your wetsuit to waist. By the time you get to transition, it is an easy pull off and go.

 Be a minimalist: wear what you plan to wear underneath your wetsuit. Changing clothes adds time. Ideally a one-piece skin suit is best.

 Roll your socks: if you must wear socks, roll them for easy application

 Clip your shoes to your bike. After you practice this a few times (DO NOT TRY THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME RACE DAY) have your shoes clipped to your bike. That way you can grab your bike and go. Once you mount and start riding then you slip your feet in and buckle

 Run with your bike: run instead of walk your bike to the mounting point. This will shave off time.

 Have all items ready to go on the bike: Water bottles filled and on bike and if possible nutrition stored on bike. It adds time looking for needed items and picking up items and putting them in your pocket

T2 (Bike to Run transition)

 When you come back from your bike, have running items ready to go in your running hat (i.e. gels, handheld water bottle, etc)

 Have running shoes unlaced and ready loosened and ready to go. If possible buy speed laces. These are laces that lock and tie with a single pull and shave those minutes you use tying and retying those laces.


 Use a checklist the night before and have everything ready to go by the door. (I know many folks who have forgotten necessary items such as helmet, bike shoes and even their bike!)

 Practice! The only way to get good at anything is through practice. Practice transitions whenever possible.

 Good luck!!!

“What, you do marathons?” Reflections for new triathletes

By Jenny Alonzo Ford, triathlete & CAL TRI EMPOWER LA team member

As all triathletes know, marathons and triathlons are totally different things. However, they do have something in common. Both are seen as incredible feats that only the “crazy” people do, requiring heavy commitments of time and discipline to train and prepare.  Both are difficult in their own respect, but triathlons are different in that they require three skill sets to master, back to back… to BACK. The swim, bike, and run legs all have their unique skill sets to conquer, both physical and mental, providing an experience where you cross the finish line knowing more about yourself than ever before. This amazing self-victory is often misunderstood, creating an intimidation factor among the community and individuals who choose to tri. But that is just it. Triathletes push themselves out of their comfort zones, creating new experiences that can be utilized in everyday life. It is not about the distance. It’s not about the race. It’s about the journey!

Running is the most accessible and familiar of triathlon’s three disciplines, (although running after the swim & bike can feel very different than just going for a run). New triathletes are often intimidated by the swim and the bike. Below I will reflect briefly on the first two legs of triathlon, and share reflections from CAL TRI EMPOWER team members about confronting their fears to successfully complete their first triathlons.

THE SWIM – In triathlon, swim distances vary from 200 meters for a sprint or super sprint, to 2.4 miles for a full or Iron distance race. Swims can be in a pool or in open water. and conditions for the latter can be calm (swimming in a serene lake) or challenging (swimming out past breaking ocean waves). Swim starts can be crowded, and it’s not uncommon to get kicked or bumped before finding some open space.  Most of the time you can’t see anything underneath you and you have to control your mind at all times to focus on the task at hand. IF your mind wanders, you can really put yourself in a bad place. BUT that is the beauty of a Triathlon! As you exit the water, you don’t care where you’re at! You did it!.

“The number one thing I had to overcome for my first tri was my fear of the open water. During the warm up, I walked into the water and I was SHOCKED. It was very cold and very dark - two things you just don’t experience in a pool. I panicked, was hyperventilating, and could not get my breathing under control. I came out of the water crying because I felt like I would not be able to do the swim; that I would never even start because of my fear. Luckily, a very kind woman spotted me and recognized my fear. She was a volunteer swim angel. She offered to swim next to me the entire time. She stayed on my right side because that’s the side I breathe on. She talked me through the entire swim, encouraging me, telling me I was strong, and doing a great job. I was the last out of the water in my age group, but I had finished the swim! My swim angel and I are still friends to this day.” – Linda Maily

THE BIKE – The distance for the bike leg of a triathlon can vary from 5 miles for a super sprint, to 112 miles for a full or Iron distance race. The bike tests patience and will power.  You’ve made it through the swim and you may be thinking ahead to the run.  You want to go fast, but you need to pace yourself and avoid pushing too hard so you can save something for the run and make it to the finish line. AND safety is paramount. On the bike, you have to be attentive to your equipment, training, and handling skills. Hazards come in many forms, including road conditions and the actions of other riders.  Do your homework when picking a race and choose one with a course that is closed to cars. Remember the old sayings “Practice makes perfect” and “try and try again.” These are especially relevant when it comes to the bike and learning to use clip-in pedals. Falling over while clipped in can be humbling, but don’t let it discourage you. It happens to everyone!

The biggest thing I’ve had to overcome is riding my bike. Now, I always knew how to ride a bike, but to ride a road bike is a whole different story. It is something I am still trying to overcome. I’m still trying to improve my bike handling skills. My biggest issue in the beginning had been clipping in and out. There were times when I couldn’t clip out in time, so I would fall over just to make sure I stop. A mentor of mine took me to a parking lot and spent an hour with me on just clipping in and out. That really helped. But until this day, I am still struggling with clipping in and out on a hill. This is another challenge for me. I’m definitely working on it!” – Natalie Guerboian

We would love to hear your own stories about overcoming fears, learning the ropes, and getting started in triathlon. If you’re tri-curious (or tri-scared), please share your questions and anxieties too. We’ve all been there! Please feel free to comment, start a conversation on our forum, and connect with us over social media with the hashtag #CalTriEmpower. Thanks!

Empower1 Empower2

Share This