Charity

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December 23, 2011 on 11:51 am | In Charity | No Comments

Challenged Athletes Foundation

Community. Family. Home. TriSports.com was built from a foundation of family and community contribution. It is part of who we are- and where we came from. We continue that legacy of giving back to our community and sport. From our involvement in the Challenged Athletes Foundation to volunteering at the Ronald McDonald house and even cleaning up our roadways with our Adopt A Road project.

TriSports.com also supports the local Junior El Tour Program to get kids on bikes, teach them good exercise and lifestyle habits and enable them to participate in events that reinforce goal setting and an active lifestyle.

Jr. El Tour

Each year our TriSports.com Deuces Wild Triathlon Festival donates 100% of its proceeds to a host of charities that include local organizations and the Challenged Athletes’ Foundation.

TriSports.com employees volunteer throughout the year in support of charity events and projects that continuously give back to our local- and national- community.

Being a part of our community is a part of who we are at TriSports.com, and that means giving back is a natural part of our business.

Races

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December 23, 2011 on 11:46 am | In Races | No Comments
Youth Deuceathlon

Youth Deucathlon at Dueces Wild Triathlon Festival

In our hearts, we are racers- athletes. Our culture was born from racing and competing and has grown from a commitment to racing and participation at all levels- from beginner to world class.

TriSports.com Sponsored Athlete

TriSports.com supports athletes and events around the country- and around the world. From our top professionals like Leanda Cave, Ford Ironman Arizona Champion and 3rd pro at the Ford Ironman World Triathlon Championships in Kona, Hawaii in 2011 to our grass-roots triathlon team that provides coaching and support for local athletes of all levels.

Our commitment to racing goes beyond just generating results. It includes supporting events around the United States with sponsorship and logistical support. We even host our TriSports.com Deuces Wild Triathlon Festival here in Arizona, the largest multisport festival in Arizona including a 70.3 distance triathlon, an X-TERRA off-road triathlon and children’s races.

Racing and supporting the sport is a part of our foundation at TriSports.com- and a part of our future.

Solar

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December 23, 2011 on 11:29 am | In Solar | No Comments
Solar Panels on the roof at TriSports.com

Solar Panels on the roof at TriSports.com

Tucson has 284 days of sunlight per year. 284 opportunities to convert clean, waste-free, ultra-low impact solar power into environmentally responsible energy.
The solar farm built on the TriSports.com Headquarters in Tucson, Arizona is one of the largest private solar farms in the U.S. Over 90% of TriSport.com’s energy is clean, renewable, ultra-low impact solar. The project to convert to solar took nearly a year to complete, and longer to plan. When the last panels were erected in fall of 2011 the energy consumption footprint of TriSports.com was reduced to near zero.
The local renewable energy specialists at Technicians for Sustainability installed the 128 kilowatt system on the roof and in front of TriSports.com’s headquarters and warehouse in Tucson. There are 416 panels pointing south toward the arc of the sun through the Arizona sky during all seasons.
Solar is one more part of TriSports.com’s commitment to the environment. It is renewable, safe energy for the future of our business, community and our desert landscape.

Solar Parking lot panels near completion

Water

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December 23, 2011 on 11:28 am | In Water | No Comments
Water Harvesting Tank in front of TriSports.com

Water Harvesting Tank in front of TriSports.com

There is no more precious resource in the desert: Water.
TriSports.com uses an advanced water harvesting system, one of the largest private systems in the U.S., to reclaim the precious desert rainfall into usable water. As a result, less water is pulled from commercial sources reducing our impact on the environment and on the local environmental infrastructure.
Water is channeled from the roof of our headquarters building in Tucson, Arizona into two massive 18,000 gallon storage tanks. The tanks store water for use in a vital irrigation system that sustains all of our irrigation and non-potable water needs, reducing our water consumption significantly.
Our water harvesting system is so advanced it is a City of Tucson Water Harvesting Demonstration Site, an example to other businesses of how to manage the desert’s most precious resource.
Water harvesting is one more part of our commitment to our community and environment, and a huge part of who we are at TriSports.com.

Raising the Bar, or Seat

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November 30, 2011 on 12:16 pm | In Announcements, Community, Giving Back, Random Musings | No Comments

We are once again raising the bar on what we feel a true triathlon store should offer in the way of amenities.  You must have an indoor pool (check), you must have a dedicated bike fit studio (check), and you must have a treadmill to do foot strike analysis (check).  Our newest addition – Port ‘o Potties.

Only at TriSports!

Seriously, how many of us practice using these things?  You really need to know the ins and outs of these giant plastic stink tanks. Sit or squat?  Use TP or run it a bit dirty?  Share or wait in line? These are all decisions we have to make when racing and we think it is important to practice every aspect of racing.  So, next time you are at a store that says they are a triathlon store you know what to ask them – Where is the pool, fit studio, treadmill AND Port o’ Pottie.  See you in line at the races!

Race Report: Leanda Cave @ Ironman Arizona

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November 29, 2011 on 3:02 pm | In Athlete Profile, Races, Sponsorship | 2 Comments

My first Ironman victory!

This past weekend I had a very emotional and rewarding victory at Ironman Arizona – my final race of 2011!  Here is a summary of my 2011 season: 13 races, 3 of which were World Championship events.  Two Ironman races, two long distance triathlons, six half-ironman, two Olympic distance and one duathlon.  I managed five wins, four 2nd places, two 3rd places, and two random off the podium finishes of 6th place.   Pat on the back me!   I’m exhausted!

My main goal for Ironman Arizona was to break 3-hours for the marathon.  I also really wanted to win because I hadn’t won an Ironman yet.  At the back of my mind I wasn’t so confident about achieving either goal.  It was a big ask from my body and very ambitious after racing so much since the Ironman World Championship in Kona 6-weeks earlier.  But I had nothing to lose because it was the last race of the season for me.  I had a bloody good reason if I sucked and it was a bonus if I could pull it off.  But in terms of racing itself, I just wanted to be done.  I was looking forward to getting to the finish line more than the process for this race.

On race morning I woke up with one thought in my head: “oh crap, I’m racing an Ironman today”.  The whole idea started to dawn on me.  But it was too late to back out now.  My sister, Melissa, and her boyfriend Tim, had come all the way over from London to watch me race.  I was committed!

Photo by: Hai-Ping Hwang-Twigg

I pumped my tires up, went for a little jog and headed over to the swim start.  The water in the Tempe Lake is a pretty cold 60 degrees this time of year, and we have to swim a bit of a way to the start line, which means hanging out a little too long in the cold water.  I froze.  I’m not good in the cold at the best of times.  I tried to warm up but just felt tight and lethargic.  When the gun went off, I was slow off the mark.  Any hope of hanging on to the feet of the male pros quickly vanished.  I did have a couple of other pro woman around me (we had yellow swim caps, and the males had grey), and they would be my company for the swim.  I come from a swimming background and normally the swim is just getting from A to B and I don’t think much of it.  But it seemed to be taking forever, and just before the last turn buoy my left calf completely cramped and I had to stop.  Then the most sportsmanlike thing happened.  Meredith Kessler, who was swimming on my feet, stopped and asked if I was ok!  Couldn’t believe someone would be so kind to do that.  I waved Meredith on and just thought to myself as I waited for my cramp to ease how amazing and generous some athletes really are.

I exited the water in 4th place, about 3 minutes down on the leader, Amanda Stevens and a minute down on Meredith Kessler and Kelly Williamson.  The gap wasn’t huge, and I thought I could reel them in over the course of the bike.  But that idea was sidelined when I discovered I had a flat tire right out of the gate.  I ran back into transition to get a spare wheel from the mechanics tent, but they told me all their spares were out on the course about a mile up the road.  So to get me by, they put air in my tire and discovered the valve was loose and I didn’t have a flat after all.  With the valve tightened and air in my tire, I thought I was good to go and started to wind up the gears to get back into the race.  But then my chain started slipping and I couldn’t get into any of the harder gears.  At this point I had gone about half a mile past the spare wheels on the course, but I knew I had to go back as I had no other option.

I was wearing a bracelet on race day in honor of a local triathlete, Sally Meyerhoff, who lost her life earlier this year after a truck hit her on a training ride.  It read: “Be Relentlessly Positive”.  I looked down at it through all this commotion a number of times, and it really flushed away all the doubts and negative thoughts about the situation and it gave me the energy to forge ahead.

Eventually I changed my rear wheel and essentially lost about 6 minutes in doing so!  But I was good to go now and that’s what I did.  Linsey Corbin had caught me and encouraged me to make an effort with her to chase down the girls ahead.  We kept gaining time bringing the initial 8-minute deficit down to 5 minutes after the first lap, then 4 minutes by the start of the 3rd lap.   By the time I reached transition, Meredith Kessler, Michelle Vesterby and I were 3:30 down on Stevens.  Lindsey was a further 2 minutes back after suffering in the last lap of the bike.

I went out on the run in 4th.  I set out feeling pretty average.  I’m not sure anyone feels amazing when they get off a 112-mile bike ride!  My transition was pretty slow and I found myself chasing down Versterby in the first 2 miles.  I then had my sights on Kessler, who I caught at about 4 miles.  Meredith hung with me for a few miles, but had to slow a bit to find her own pace.  So now it was just me chasing down Stevens.  By 6 miles the gap had closed to 1 minute and by 7 miles I was in the lead!

I forged ahead and kept my sub 3-hour marathon goal in mind.  I was feeling pretty good on the 2nd lap.  But I knew the worst part of the race for me is yet to come.  This was my 4th time racing Ironman Arizona, and in the past, I have fallen to bits in the final lap.  I tried to put that in the back of my mind and concentrate on the goal ahead.  My coach Siri was screaming at me about some really fast overall time.  She was saying I was on target to go under 8hrs50min for the race.  I was just thinking there was no way!  I’m just going for my run goal and now to win my first Ironman.  But she was right.   I came down the finish chute in 8:49!!  I also ran a 2:58 marathon!! Wow.  My body amazes me.  After I crossed the finish line, I ran back down the chute to slap hands with the crowd.  I’ve always wanted to do this!  Then of course I did the Blazeman Roll.

My support team is what made this season possible.  A HUGE thank you to the crew at K-Swiss, Accelerade/Endurox R4 (my secret recovery formula), Sandy at Gita Sports and the boys at Pinarello, Blue Seventy, Nuun, my team back home at TriSports, Tri Bike Transport, NOVA Light, Chuck and Jim at Easton/Bell/Giro, SKINS, Oakley, TorHans Aero and Computrainer.

Thanks to my family and friends for all you support throughout 2011.  2012 is going to be even greater!!

Yours in sport,

Leanda Cave

Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 24, 2011 on 6:00 am | In Community, Random Musings | No Comments

We are thankful for :

Our wetsuits that keep us warm.

Our super aero bikes.

Our running shoes that help us go fast.

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook on Monday for Cyber Monday deals!

A Visit from the Voice

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November 23, 2011 on 6:00 am | In Employee Adventures, Random Musings | No Comments

If you have ever done an Ironman, or ever been to see one, there are two things that are most certainly consistent – the M-dot logo and the voice of Mike Reilly. Mike has announced over 100 Ironman races over the years and has said the words, “You are an Ironman,” tens of thousands of times. His voice is the welcome home committee for many of us that cross the line. I have been racing Ironman races for over 12 years and am about to do my 8th race; in all but one of them Mike has been there to welcome me across the finish line. Mike and I are on the board of Triathlon America together and have gotten to know each other a bit better over the last year. On his way to Ironman Arizona I persuaded him to make a right hand turn off of I-8 onto I-10 (he lives in southern CA) to come and visit our operation.

Mike Reilly with some of the TriSports.com retail staff!

I have to say it was a pleasure to have him in the building, as I think almost everyone one had a life story that involved him. He is pretty much like Kevin Bacon, except in triathlon you are only 2 degrees or less away from him. If you haven’t met Mike Reilly, I will tell you that he is the real deal; he cares about this sport and more importantly cares about the people that are fortunate enough to have found this sport as part of their lives.

Seton Claggett, Mike Reilly, and Pam Kallio

The Gluten Free Triathlete

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November 22, 2011 on 11:10 am | In Nutrition Tips | No Comments

There is a lot of talk today about different types of diets that claim many desirable health benefits. The two most popular I hear about are the Paleo diet and gluten free diets today were talking only about gluten free diets. Before you go head over kilt into something, I feel it is best to understand what you are going into and for what reasons. You need to understand if you need to be gluten free? What being gluten free means? Why you would want to be Gluten Free? Also what are you going to be losing by going gluten free?

Gluten is everywhere?
Gluten is the major protein that is found in wheat products such as breads and pasta. The gluten protein is found in the wheat seed and is approximately 80% of the protein found in whole wheat products. The gluten protein has elastic properties that give the desired doughy texture to the products it is found in. The gluten protein can also be refined in a wheat mill and used as an additive in many manufactured food products because of its elasticity characteristics, availability, and low cost to refine.

Gluten Free or Not?
There are truly only 2 reasons why a person should be gluten free and hundreds of reasons why people actually choose to be gluten free. The first reason is Celiac disease. Celiac Disease effects about 1% of the population comprised predominantly of white American Women in their mid to late 30’s. Celiac disease is an autoimmunity disease that causes the intestines to inflame and inhibit all absorption of nutrients. Celiac disease if un-treated is a very serious disease that causes dramatic weight loss and needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. The second reason is gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity affects about 10% of the population and is becoming more and more prevalent. The cause of Gluten Sensitivity is unknown but it is likely a cross of gluten allergies and some other unknown stress related problems. The symptoms of gluten sensitivity can range from extreme to mild discomfort, just to be safe this is something that needs to be discussed with your doctor.

Health Benefits of Gluten Free
If you lie outside of the 11% of the population that has been diagnosed with a gluten problem and you choose to be gluten free there are a number of health benefits. These health benefits include weight loss, and a leaner body composition. I personally do not believe that it is the removal of gluten from the diet that gives you these health benefits. The benefits of you are seeing come from decreasing the amount of processed foods you eat daily and from preparing food from home. If you are going to go gluten free you are making a life change that is going to cause you to be more conscious of what you are putting into your body. From an athletes perspective this is key to performance gains and life long health regardless if you remove gluten or not.

Health Benefits of Gluten
If you took the time to read the last paragraph then you understand now that the health benefits from being gluten free are not actually from being gluten free. The health benefits are from taking the time to see what you are eating, preparing foods from home and by limiting the amount of processed foods from the diet. Gluten is not bad for you, it does not make you fat or sick, heavily processed foods and inappropriate portion sizes are most likely the culprit.

Take Home Message
If you have a serious gluten problem that a doctor has diagnosed then always follow what they say. If you are the other 89% and are looking for performance and health gains you need to make the decision to go gluten free all together which is a difficult task and takes time to become efficient at. Or the other option is you can slow down daily, don’t eat out so much, take the time to prepare foods at home and limit the amount of processed foods in your diet. Option 2 is what I’ve chosen, and I think if you give it a good old college try you will find that it’s not all that hard to do. Slow down, and eat well!

2011 Ford Ironman Arizona

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November 21, 2011 on 3:45 pm | In Employee Adventures, Random Musings, Sponsorship, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Do you remember the first time you watched an Ironman? Did you get goose bumps at the swim start, shed a tear as you watched athletes cross the line, and get up early the next day to sign yourself up for next year’s race? That is how most people end up doing an Ironman. I, on the other hand, signed up for my first Ironman on a whim one day at work, without ever witnessing one. With a long list of sponsored athletes, coworkers, and friends racing Ironman Arizona, I figured I should go see what this Ironman thing is really all about.

I arrived about 45 minutes prior to the swim start giving me enough time to park, swing by Starbucks, soak in the energy, and head to the bridge. The energy throughout Tempe was like Christmas morning, with everyone bubbling with the anticipation of the long day to come. Watching 2,500 people tread water below the bridge was incredible, and as the cannon went off and the athletes started their day, I tried to picture myself on the beach in Idaho.

The 2011 Ironman Arizona age group start.

After a quick breakfast and more caffeine, I found myself on a curb about ¼ of a mile from the bike course turn around. The day was perfect for racing, with temperatures in the mid 70’s, mild wind, and 0% chance of perception. Here I was able to get a good picture of how our athletes were doing. Torsten Abel looked calm and confident in the chase group (12th place), which was quit a few minutes (about 8-10) down from the lead pack. I knew the day was still young and Torsten has a killer run, so I wasn’t worried. Leanda Cave came out of the water in 4th but experienced a crash and some mechanical problems and looked pretty frazzled as she exited T1 in 8th.  I was worried, but by the time she finished lap 1 of the bike she looked focused and back on her game. Woohoo! Seton was cruising right along, enjoying the cheers, and hamming it up as he rode in 3rd place in the men’s 35-39 age group.

Seton got off the bike in 3rd in the M35-39 age group.

As the pro’s took to the run course, I made my way to the best aid station at Ironman Arizona –  Aid station #7 under the Mill Ave. bridge, which is staffed by the employees and customers of TriSports.com and headed up by our Vice President, Debbie. My goal on the run was to make people smile and with the help of my trusty hot pink sign, I think I accomplished just that.

Who doesn't love a "That's what she said" joke?

The run consists of 4 loops; with each lap I watched Leanda’s lead increase and Torsten run his way up through the ranks. As they passed through the TriSports.com aid station for the last time I made my way over to the finish line just in time to see this happen…

Then came Thomas Gerlach. Thomas received his pro card about a month ago and this was his professional Ironman debut. 8:57, not too shabby!

Team TriSports' Thomas Gerlach

Not too long after Thomas crossed the line, Leanda passed under the Ford arch with the biggest smile I have ever seen from the mild mannered and reserved Brit. A few month ago Leanda was in the shop and said, “I want to win one of those,” referring to an Ironman. With numerous 70.3, ITU and coveted race wins (Alcatraz, Wildflower), it was only a matter of time until she won one. It was incredible to watch one of the most decorated athletes in our sport finally cross the line first at this distance.

Leanda Cave wins 2011 Ironman Arizona.

Just 18 minutes after Leanda, TriSports.com CEO, Seton Claggett, came running down the shoot to win the men’s 35-39 age group, finishing 50th overall and 8th amateur. Imagine what he could do if he didn’t have 2 small kids and a company to run?!

Seton win the M35-39 age group and his bet with Leanda Cave.

Charisa Wernick hung tough and rounded out the top 10 for the pro women after a Tour de Porta-Potty during the second half of the marathon.

Charisa Wernick rounded out the 10 ten at IMAZ.

For Billy Oliver, the day didn’t go quit as planned. After a 2 minute swim PR, Billy crashed on the 2nd loop of the bike. He only suffered some minor road rash, so he dusted himself off and got back into the race, willing himself to the finish only 3 minutes slower then his IMAZ PR. Bad ass.

Billy Oliver pushes through the pain.

Could I have asked for a better first Ironman to watch? I don’t think so. Multiple podium finishes from friends, watching Team TriSports athletes dig deep and push through the pain, all while spending a lovely day in Tempe, Arizona. Congratulations to all those who competed yesterday; you are an Ironman!

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