Countdown to Kona Week

By Sarah
September 28, 2009 on 1:07 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

 

 

Once a year we celebrate the greatness of Ironman racing. The best of the best gather on a world stage, vying for world champion status. Dreams come true and dreams are shattered. This is “it”. This is our Super Bowl, our World Series, our turn for a spotlight on our sport. Some people dismiss the Ironman World Championships as “just another race”, “not for the average guy”, “who cares anyway, it doesn’t effect me”. That’s all fine and good; we are all entitled to our own opinions. But take into consideration the number of former non-athletes who have happened across the NBC broadcast of this race and were so moved by its power that they were inspired to try a triathlon, to get healthy, to make a change in their life towards the positive. To me, that is what makes this championship race a true winner. At TriSports.com we are gearing up for our Kona Week celebration! The fun starts next Monday and whether you visit us online or at our retail store, we’ll be doing our best to make you feel like a winner. Stay tuned for more details – 7 days until Kona Week kicks off!

PS – If you’re racing in Kona and forget something, we can 2nd day or next day air most items to your hotel.  Just give us a call!

World Championship racing

By Lisa R.
September 23, 2009 on 3:53 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

Here’s some info from one of our sponsored coaching teams, Carmichael Training Systems Coach Nick White, while he was in Australia at this year’s Age Group World Championships with a couple of athletes.

International competitions aren’t really that much different than the normal races you go to every weekend in the States.  Well, at least not here in Australia.  The race expo, registration, parking, transportation, the whole works seems pretty typical.  Needed to hit the race expo on day one as we weren’t able to bring all the flat repair equipment on the plane that we might need, and some Vittoria Pit-Stop could definitely come in handy for an Olympic distance triathlon; no time to stop and change a tubular flat while the race is passing you by!  But seeing the contingents from other countries does give you a small taste of what the Olympics are probably like. If you can swing it, and you can qualify, I’d definitely recommend getting to a World Championship at some point just for the big race feel, and experience of toeing the line with the best from all around the world.

I Recommend Training

By Seton
September 22, 2009 on 10:03 am | In Random Musings | 1 Comment

Yeah, so, ummmm at the end of July I did an Ironman out at Lake Placid and after the event I started my recovery with the now famous Big Nasty. Since that time I have ridden a little bit but have not put a single yard in the pool or a single run step (I actually had an ankle issue before IMLP and didn’t run the two weeks leading up to that event either).  This past Sunday I did the Redman Olympic Triathlon (part of the TriSports.com Ultramax Championship weekend) in Oklahoma City.

Nick and Seton Showdown

Nick and Seton Showdown

Long story short, it was a painful lesson that training, even a little, is probably a good thing if you plan on racing.  Especially if the gray matter between your ears still has a ton of fight left when it comes to competing. 

Perfect dismount - except I forgot to take my feet out of my shoes.

Perfect dismount - except I forgot to take my feet out of my shoes.

My race was comprised of the fastest swim (to the first turn buoy, then it was a good effort in trying not to sink), a descent bike (thank goodness for commuting to work) and arguably the worst run I have had in about 10 years. I started that run and it literally felt like I picked up from where I left off at my Ironman race in July – it was awful.  Granted, I did expo all weekend and I was just racing for the fun of racing; the problem was that I made a bet with Nick (he’s in customer service and was at the expo as well).  He had a 15 minute handicap, but I can tell you that standing around rubbing cramps out of your legs and walking is a bad way to try and beat someone, even with a time handicap.  Thankfully we both made it to the finish line, and then continued our race of  helping pack up the expo.

Building Freedom Day.

By Nik
September 17, 2009 on 4:50 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

This past Friday, September 11, TriSports.com was involved with Habitat for Humanity Tucson’s Building Freedom Day.  As a corporate sponsor of the event, 2 people from our staff were able to help volunteer on the jobsite during construction.  TriSports.com is involved with many charitable organizations, but we certainly enjoy getting outside and getting our hands dirty when the opportunity presents itself.

“Each year on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers, Habitat for Humanity Tucson honors hope and the American dream with a service and remembrance project called Building Freedom Day. Each year we raise the walls on several new homes for hardworking Tucson families. At this year’s Eighth Annual Building Freedom Day, more than 350 volunteers, made up of community members, representatives from local businesses, congregations, members of the military and current and future Habitat homeowners, came together as early as 4 a.m. to raise the walls on four Habitat homes.”

Here are a few photos from the event…

Debbie showing off her power tool skills…

Great time for a new bike

By Seton
September 17, 2009 on 9:18 am | In Random Musings | No Comments

If you are in the market for a new triathlon or road bike then I can tell you that right now is the absolute best time to buy.  I’m not talking about the best time of the year, I am talking about the best time in the last decade.  We have been able to take advantage of some incredible deals from several of our manufacturers and are passing these savings on to our customers.  Here’s a link to some of the best deals we have going on right now: http://www.trisports.com/huge-bike-sale.html

Here are two bikes that are off the chart good deals:

Lucero Lite Deal - Was $3995, Now $2495

Lucero Lite Deal - Was $3995, Now $2495

Kestrel Evoke - Was $250, Now $1749.47

Kestrel Evoke - Was $2500, Now $1749.47

TEAM TriSports.com

By Sarah
September 16, 2009 on 11:29 am | In Random Musings | No Comments

Our official athlete sponsorship program began 6 years ago during the racing season of 2003. Our inaugural season we had 6 athletes racing for TriSports.com. There were no uniforms; athletes were allowed to select their clothing and we had our logo screened on. We had athletes, but we didn’t have a “team”. Through the years we have worked toward building our program to establish a true “team”. By spring of this year, our team had grown to 80 individuals, spread through the country with a handful living abroad. Our brightly colored team kits light up race courses big and small, often with a “Go TriSports!” cheer following them. Our athletes have become Facebook friends, training partners and travel buddies. We have succeeded in connecting athletes with other athletes who may have never met, all through a common association – Team TriSports.com.  Below is a note we received from one of our currently sponsored athletes, Gary Donath, who was having a hard time during the run at Ironman Canada a few weeks back.

“As I approached the 14th mile, I noticed someone walking in a TriSports.com uniform and caught up to him quickly. It was Todd Losee, a sponsored athlete from Michigan. We talked a bit and I learned that he was not feeling well due to a hip injury that had acted up during the run course. I basically encouraged Todd to run with me and he reluctantly agreed. We ran together for the last 12 miles, stopping at aid stations along the way. As we ran together, spectators were commenting about “…the two guys with the cool matching uniforms.”
I can tell you that Todd is a great guy and it is an honor to be his team mate. He kept thanking me along the way and said that he couldn’t have made it in less than 12 hrs. without my encouragement. To be honest, he helped me as much as I helped him. By encouraging him and pushing him to keep running, it helped me to keep moving forward as well. This is really what being on a team is all about. It’s not just an opportunity to get discounted merchandise.”

Thanks Gary and Todd for being great team mates and helping each other reach your goals. You embody the team spirit we look for when selecting athletes for our program. Speaking of selection – our 2010 Team TriSports.com application is now online! We’ll be accepting applications through the middle of October. Go Team!

Newton Isaac

By Erik J.
September 14, 2009 on 2:32 pm | In Product Information | 1 Comment

I was a little skeptical when I attended the Newton Retail Sales Conference in Boulder. I thought their shoe was kind of gimmick since it was made for a much smaller percentage of runners. You had to almost be a Kona athlete or elite marathoner with perfect form to use these shoes.

When I received a pair of the new Isaac’s I tried them on, and they felt different from the previous models I had tried at the shop. They felt different in a good way, much less foreign feeling. The front lugs were less pronounced, the shoe felt a bit more solid and stable. I went for a 6 mile run that afternoon, and had no issues with the shoes. In fact, these shoes felt awesome. I am a mid-foot striker, and I really felt how light these shoes made my strike feel.

As a comparison, I wore my Mizuno Wave Rider 12 the next morning for our group run. We did around 7.5 miles, and I could really tell the difference. While the Mizuno’s are a nice, light show in their own right, there was just too big a difference. Long story short, my Mizuno’s are now my shop shoes, and the Newton Isaac is my new running shoe.

 

Come on in and check them out at the shop. They fit a much wider range of folks and foot strikes. We will be having a ChiRunning clinic on September 26th, with a Newton rep here as well.

Tri-ing for Smiles

By Sarah
September 11, 2009 on 8:00 am | In Random Musings | No Comments

We had a special guest in our retail store yesterday – Ain-Alar Juhanson. Ain is a professional triathlete from Estonia and has been travelling to Tucson for Kona-prep the last few years. When he comes to town, he is known for punishing the locals on the infamous Saturday morning Shootout. This is not terribly surprising as in 2008 he had the fastest bike split in Kona. Ain visited our store today to do a bit of shopping and pick up his Craft Kona Kit. He has raced in Kona 6 times and this year he’s really going for it. With over 1,000 sponsors – he has a lot of people to impress! Yes, I just said he has over 1,000 sponsors. How is this possible? He got creative! Ain lost a major sponsor this year and was unable to pick up the support needed to get him back to Kona. So he formed the TriSmile Team – a team of supporters who have made small donations to Ain to help him reach his dream of winning the Ironman World Championships and helping to fill the world with smiles. Each donor’s name will be sublimated on his race kit to form the image of a smile so they will be racing beside him; sharing in his dream and making everyone smile! Check out his story by visiting his TriSmile Team website!

Did I mention Ain is big? No, really, he isn’t a small guy. He’s pictured below with his personal shopper for the day – and yes, Evan is on his tip toes!

Pay it Forward – CAF

By Seton
September 10, 2009 on 10:36 am | In Giving Back, Random Musings | No Comments

One of the charities we focus a lot of time and energy on is the Challenged Athletes Foundation. We are so passionate about CAF that we even started TriSports Racing - a 501(c)3 non-profit – that puts on a weekend of racing here in Arizona (the Deuces Wild Triathlon Festival) with a huge bulk of the proceeds going to CAF. In fact, we have donated in excess of $50,000 to CAF over the last five years.

Last year I hauled my brother out to the CAF Triathlon Challenge in La Jolla, CA to do a relay. My brother was so moved by the event that his company is now donating a percentage of their profits to CAF as well.

There are a lot of great causes out there and CAF is one of many that TriSports.com has chosen to support.

Children, don’t try this at home…or in your car…

By Lisa R.
September 9, 2009 on 12:04 pm | In Employee Adventures | No Comments

July 29, 2009  Goal: Decide for the first time on this day I’d like to race TriSports.com Halfmax USAT Long Course National Championship to attempt to qualify for Worlds (sure, why not?).   Setback:  Realizing I have to qualify before I get to Halfmax and I have only a few races available to do so.  Plan of action:  Race UltraMax Kansas 50 to qualify.  Another setback:  race is only a week and a half away and there is no way I’m paying that much for airfare at this point!  Plan of action:  Channel my inner trucker and drive there!!

Friday, August 7, 2009, 3:00pm:  Car is all packed up (I love my little Honda Fit – it fits everything!) and I’ve finished my to do list as TriSports.com‘s Sponsorship Coordinator.  Head on out of town for some pure asphalt love on the 17.5 hour drive to Kansas City!!  Ahh, nothing like the beginning of a  road trip; there is so much hope and promise in the air… My goal is to get to Amarillo, TX to sleep for a few hours before moving on.  Reality – I only made about an hour outside of Albuquerque before I couldn’t go on.  The gale force winds that started blowing from the southwest helped me to get 40mpg – awesome!  A few hours sleep in the back of the car – yes, the Fit can hold a twin sized air mattress in the back – with a bike tucked neatly on the side.  Nothing like spooning with your Zipps before a race…

Continue the drive to Kansas City…is that a really pretty sunrise, or am I just seeing colors at this point?  I cannot stress how important my CEP compression socks were to me the entire trip – not a sign of cankles yet and I get all the attention with my knee high socks at the gas stops!!  Remember all that hope and promise as the trip began?  It’s gone now.  I’m starting to get bored with my ipod  and my voice is getting hoarse from singing to all the songs.  The trip gets quiet as I now begin to realize I haven’t bathed in almost a day and I need to be hydrating for a race the next morning AND I still am not sure where I will sleep tonight.  Minor details, I guess.

I start to get closer to the race site and it’s getting close to dinner time.  There are prerace rituals I won’t give up, and thanks to my iphone, I find an Italian restaurant on the way, call in my order, and swing by to pick it up on my way to Hillsdale Lake, where the race is the next morning.  Oh please, I hope the campsite doesn’t close at 6pm – it’s 6:05 now and if I’ve missed a campsite by 5 minutes after this long of driving, it could get ugly!  Whew, I made it.  Got my camping map, starving from the smell of garlic bread and pasta in my car, I drive along to find a place to “camp” for the night.  Compression socks on, still no cankles – a miracle. 

I pull into an area (I’m lost at this point), and ask a friendly family where I am.  They’re not sure either and they offer me a spare parking spot they don’t need – SCORE!!  I look to my right and there’s the showers, to my left, the tents from the start/finish line!!!  I couldn’t have found a better spot.  I shower up, break out the pasta, air up the mattress, open up the hatch to the car, sit back, relax and watch the sunset…perfect!!  Get the bike set up for tomorrow morning, set alarm and spoon the Zipps again for another night – awww, how sweet.

I’m wondering why in the world I’m doing this and what kind of toll it will have on my body for the race the next morning.  Then I’m realizing I only have a short time after the race tomorrow before I get to pack up the car and head back to TriSports.com by Monday morning!!!  Nevermind that for now – tomorrow’s race day.  Remember that sweet tailwind blowing the car up to the race?  Not going away for race day.  Next thing?  I’m too stubborn to abandon my 1080 Zipp front wheel because, well, it just looks too cool paired with the Zipp 900 disc.  All in all, the bike ride wasn’t too bad, but my shoulders were way more sore than they should have been from trying to hold the bike steady… 

Add to that wind the 95 degree temps and the classic Midwestern humidity and you have an eventful race day!!  I managed to finish, despite the questions I asked myself during the run – thinking I was going to pass out, I slowed the pace to something manageable, took as many waters at the aid stations as I could, and stopped at the aid station with ice to stuff ice into every imaginable piece of clothing to cool me down.  I’m glad I wore socks for the 10 mile run, with the tiny gravel pieces on the trail, and my Zoot Ultra Race 2.0′s held up quite well, although I may argue they are best suited for distances only up to 10k. 

All in all, I raced well – well enough to claim a spot as a “qualifying entrant” to the TriSports.com Halfmax USAT Long Course National Championship!  Just enough time to pick up race schwag, throw on my Zoot Recovery Tights – priceless – and hit the road for home.  Would I do a crazy trip like this again?  I don’t think so.  But man, does it make for a good, long story…

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