TriCats Splash and Dash

February 29, 2012 on 12:22 pm | In Giving Back, Sponsorship | No Comments

By the TriCats

Sunday, February 27, 2012 marked the date of some major competitive events for our country: there was the Oscar Awards, the Daytona 500, but most importantly, this day marked the 4th annual TriCats Splash and Dash hosted by the University of Arizona TriCats.

The TriCat Splash and Dash finish line.

The TriCats put on this aquathlon every February in order to raise money for their upcoming trip to the Collegiate Triathlon National Champions.  The race is an 825-yard swim followed by a 5-kilometer run on the University of Arizona campus.  Plenty of local Tucsonans as well as collegiate athletes from U of A, Northern Arizona University, and Arizona State University come out to race this fast-paced aquathlon.

This year, TriSports offered a new twist on the event and agreed to give a $500 gift certificate to anyone who beat the fastest TriCat racing the event.  Since most of the TriCats had their hands full setting up the event, only three of our athletes raced.  Beat three collegiate athletes.  Sounds easy right?  Wrong.  Among the three TriCat’s  was Ben “The Newt” Kanute, a freshman sensation from Chicago with high hopes of winning Collegiate Nationals this year.

Competing in the event alongside Kanute were two Canadian elite triathletes, Andrew Yorke and John Rasmuseen, who are in town for some warm weather training.  Yorke and Rasmussen, are both high quality swimmers and can hold their own on the run course and Kanute was sure to face a challenge.  In addition, The Newt was assigned to swim in lane number 1, the farthest lane from the transition area meaning he would have the longest run coming out of the water.

The Newt about to start the race!

Not surprisingly, The Newt completed the short swim with Phelps-like speed and was first out of the water.  Yorke followed close behind and it was clear that the race would be won by the strongest runner.  Yorke cut Kanute’s lead to a mere 22 seconds with just a mile to go on the run, showing a valiant effort and some all out guts.  Kanute, noticing his lead slipping, stepped up his game and showed why he is considered one of the best young triathletes in the country.  Coming across the finish line in a blazing 24:04, and The Newt took the title home for the TriCats.

The Newt and Yorke share race stories after the race.

The 4th Annual Splash and Dash was a great success and a lot of fun for everyone who participated.  The TriCats were able to raise some money for their upcoming attempt at winning a National Championship and provide a fun racing atmosphere for the Tucson community.

A great thanks to for all of their support and to everyone who raced and volunteered!

Want to help the TriCats go to Nationals? Donate here! Invest in the future of the sport!

Avondale Criterium #2

February 28, 2012 on 10:09 am | In Racing | No Comments

By Justin Orkney

The TriSports Cycling/Eclipse racing men’s team had a successful outing this past weekend at the Avondale Criterium.  The course is a quick six-tenths of a mile with only 3 turns, which proved to be a great opportunity for the team to race on our new Orbea team bikes and Zipp Firecrest wheels.  Ben Lair, Andre McNulty and Justin Orkney lined up for the pro 1/2 race alongside other prominent Arizona teams such as Bicycle Haus, Landis/Trek, Carlos O’Brien and Jetset Racing.   From the gun the race was very fast with each team trying to establish a strong break.  The first half of the hour and fifteen minute race included a barrage of attacks, but none were able to establish a clean break away.  With about 35 minutes left in the race, a breakaway of four was away free and clear.  The break included Justin Orkney of TriSports, Brian Forbes of Jet Set, Michael Dziedzic of Landis/Trek and a William Westfall from Bicycle Haus.  Since most of the major teams were represented in the break, it looked strong from the beginning.  With Orkney and Forbes riding hard to extend the gap, which grew as large as 40 seconds, the break became just two.

McNulty and Lair were happy to discourage any organization in the peloton that would potentially threaten the break away and the two men maintained a healthy lead over the field.  Despite an organized effort by Bicycle Haus and Landis/Trek to reel them in towards the end of the race, it proved too late and the break stayed clear with Forbes winning the final sprint just feet ahead of Orkney.

The men’s team is looking forward to carrying this momentum into the Tucson Bicycle Classic, just days away.

The Boy in the Red Tri Suit

February 15, 2012 on 12:14 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

The Emerald Health Triathlon, Ohio, 1985 or ’86. A half Ironman. That’s what they called them before “70.3’s”.

Time has distorted the memory in some ways, sharpened it in others.

The race unfolded across open farmland on smooth roads. Even though it was a major event there were only about 200 competitors. The “pro” field was three men. A lithe foreigner with a vaguely Anglo accent, favored to win. A tan man from California and a boy with a red tri suit from whom we expected little.

The sun was out. Dust from farm fields blew on breeze that gathered early. The swim was inconsequential. Empfield wasn’t around yet. We didn’t have wetsuits yet. I had been racing every weekend and had good form. We spread out quickly among the top athletes on the bike course. After the first twenty minutes I didn’t see anyone on the bike course. “Volunteers” stood at corners to direct us. They were spectators really, local farmers whose plots butted up against the roads. They watched more out of curiosity than concern for competitive outcome.

The race unfolded, the wind picked up, it got warmer. I recall being about twentieth out of the bike to run transition, that’s what we used to call “T2”.

The run was out and back, 6.5 miles each way. Good. We could get a look at who was in front of us. A mile and a half before the turnaround the kid in the red trisuit was coming back toward me. He had about eighteen minutes on me. Hmm. There was a big gap, then the foreign pro. He was fit but he looked in distress on the run, his face twisted like a forgotten fig bar. The third pro followed at a more reasonable interval.

How did that kid in the red trisuit get so far out in front?

The race ended. I don’t remember how I did. I got a plaque with green writing on it at the awards ceremony. Hanging out at the little host hotel a debate was raging between officials, race directors and the kid in the red tri suit. He had an older man with him too. Apparently the boy had won the race, but been relegated for missing a turn on the course. The other pros were adamant since there was an unprecedented $500 prize purse on the line. There was no way this kid could have won. He was only 15 I think.

A jury of sorts was assembled. An inquisition was held. Questions and accusations flew. The boy was fiery and determined to argue his case. The others were dismissive of his performance. Finally it was determined that if each of the marshals could confirm the boy completed the course his win would be bona-fide. If any volunteer did not see the boy in the red tri suit pass, he would be relegated. The survey began.

“Yeah, well… I seen him comin’. He went through here first.” The first farmer said. The survey continued. The final farmer told the officials, “Well, that boy came along before we was set up. Just puttin’ up our table to watch. He came tearin’ through here in that red suit. It was a long time ‘fore we saw anyone else.”

The other pros were deflated. The result stood. The boy in the red tri suit was awarded the check. He left in a businesslike manner.

When the results were mailed to us I saw the boy’s name at the top: Lance Armstrong.

Lance Armstrong circa 1985/87

TriSports Cycling at Valley of the Sun

February 14, 2012 on 10:48 am | In Racing | No Comments

By Heather Dunphy

The first stage race for the 2012 TriSport’s Cycling ladies was thrilling!  Valley of the Sun, in Phoenix Arizona, attracted a variety of high caliber category one and category two riders from around the country to compete in the three day event.  A special appearance from Evelyn Stevens, who is on the U.S. Olympic team for the women’s road race this summer, kept all of the ladies on the top of their game!

Heather Dunphy and Kimberly Truitt

The 14.2 mile time trial, held the on the Sun Valley Parkway, was smooth, open and windy.  Heather Dunphy came across the line in tenth place, followed by Tracey Perez, Chloe Black, Kristen Hetzle and Kimberly Truitt.  After a good night’s rest, they were eager to take on the road race.  The tragic car/bike accident in the pro men’s race casted a morose shadow over the event, thus forcing a neutral lap, followed by 45 minutes of uneasy waiting for the course to clear.  The race was shortened to 32 miles, making it exceptionally fast from the (second) start.  The first climb shattered the pack, but TriSport’s leading lady Chloe Black made the break.  For eight miles, Heather Dunphy (Trisports) tried to bridge, but was swallowed by the peloton.  Black finished in 8th place and Dunphy took the peloton sprint for 11th.   Hetzle and Truitt followed soon after and the evening was spent relaxing with the team and downing burgers at a local eatery.

Chloe Black preparing to pounce on the final sprint.

Music, smells of food, the cheering crowd, and aggressive racing gave the downtown criterium a festive vibe.  From the start of the 40 minute race, accelerations from the top pro women lap after lap kept the field fighting for position.  Black took the first prime and aggressively stayed in the top five most of the race, while Dunphy, Truitt and Hetzle glued together any cracks in the peloton.  In the final sprint, Chloe Black claimed third place followed by Dunphy, Hetzle and Truitt.  The weekend ended with tired legs, but excited spirits for the next team race at the Tucson Bicycle Classic in less than three weeks.

Angela Naeth Wins Panama 70.3!

February 13, 2012 on 3:10 pm | In Announcements, Athlete Profile, Sponsorship | No Comments

With the spot light shinning heavily on the men’s race over the weekend thanks to Ironman’s newest poster boy, Lance Armstrong, little notice was paid to the heavily stacked woman’s field at Ironman Panama 70.3. With names like Leanda Cave, Angela Naeth, Kelly Williamson, Magali Tisseyre, and Natascha Badmann on the start list it was anyone’s race and it was promised to be a fierce one.

Leanda Cave on the run at Ironman 70.3 Panama.

True to fashion, Team TriSports athlete Leanda Cave lead the race out of the water (20:10) in her Blue Seventy PZ3TX and into T2. Hot on her heels was TriSports teammate Angela Naeth who clocked the fasted bike split of the day (2:26:31) on her BH GC Aero. Shortly into the run Angela passed Leanda, never looked back, and added her second 70.3 win to her growing list of accomplishments.

Angela Naeth, the happy champion.

Congratulations to both Angela and Leanda on their excellent showing of early season fitness. We can’t wait to see how the year unfolds!

For the love of Saucony

February 10, 2012 on 11:18 am | In Employee Adventures, Product Information, Random Musings, Tech Tips | 2 Comments

There aren’t many products that I gush about, but I have found myself more than once in the past few months on the sales floor gushing to a customer about the Saucony Kinvara. I had been a long time Mizuno Wave Rider wearer, but after my last 70.3, the first thing I did was take off my shoes. My heels were once again blistered, my feet ached, my shoes were soaking wet and seemed 5 pounds heavier. It was time to find a new pair of running shoes.

The TriSports Shoe Wall

I headed to the TriSports shoe wall and consulted with one of our expert shoe fitters. I wanted a light weight shoe with good drainage, enough cushion to run an Ironman marathon, and a lower heel-to-toe drop (around 4-6mm). I tried on the Brooks T7, the K-Swiss Blade Light, and the Saucony Kinvara. Right away the Saucony’s were noticeably different. The shoe’s upper was soft and flexible, free of unnecessary decorations, and allowed for good ventilation. The heel cup was also very pliable and securely wrapped around my narrow heel. With 4 mm of drop between the heel and toe it was the perfect shoe for transitioning to a more minimalist style of shoe.

Saucony Kinvara

Fast forward 5 months and I still love my Kinvaras. I am well over the “300 mile limit” and the shoes still feel like they did when they came out of the box.  If you are in the market for a light weight trainer/racer with a low profile, try out the Saucony Kinvaras, and if you need a stability shoe, try the Fastwitch. Happy running!

Learn more about Saucony shoes at TriSports University!

McDowell Mountain Circuit Race

February 6, 2012 on 9:51 am | In Sponsorship, Racing | No Comments

By Heather Dunphy

The ladies were in full force this weekend at the McDowell Mt. Circuit Race.  Chloe Black, Kristen Hetzle, Kimberly Truitt, Tracey Perez and Heather Dunphy wore the red white and blue of Trisports around the 1.8 mile narrow circuit.  The weather couldn’t have been nicer with temperatures in the mid 60’s and a light breeze.

Heather Dunphy leads the charge gapping the field in the break.

With 20 women the field, and some top local talent, we were near the front the entire race.  The ladies shut down every attempt at a break until about half way during the race, there was a gap in the field and Heather Dunphy accelerated in order to widen the gap.  Immediately the Trisport ladies went to the front to slow down the field in order to allow Dunphy the chance to stay away with the others in the break.  Dunphy rotated and worked hard with the others to stay away while the field was out of sight on the twisty narrow circuit.  After capturing two primes, Dunphy settled in for the sprint finish.  “I didn’t even have to sprint for the primes, I was just taking my turn at the front and it happened to be a prime lap!”  Around the final turn, Dunphy was in third position waiting for others to pounce, but waited too long and finished fourth.  “With hindsight, I should have dropped back a bit, gained some speed and powered to the line.”  Every race is a good learning experience!  The Trisport ladies did an excellent job of blocking and the team work is beginning to really gel as we get to know each other’s strengths.

Heather Dunphy hoists her matching PBR prime over her head.

A podium shot would have been preferred, but I couldn’t leave the race without hoisting one of my prime prizes over my head for this photo.

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