May 9, 2012 on 1:53 pm | In Announcements, Life at TriSports.com, Random Musings | No Comments
Construction is moving along rapidly up in Tempe on the new store. We took what we have learned at our Tucson location and teamed up with Architekton to accomplish one small task – take the greatest triathlon retail store on the face of the planet and make it even better in Tempe, and oh, yeah, keep sustainability at the forefront of the project. Our general contractor, Caliente Construction , is now well on the way to getting us moved in by the end of June, 2012. Here are some pictures of the progress.
April 23, 2012 on 10:46 am | In Fat Tires, Life at TriSports.com, Random Musings | No Comments
This past summer I did quite a bit of crazy riding to get ready for the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race. One of the guys that I trained with was Paul “PT” Thomas. This conversation took place about 16 hours after the finish of the Leadville 100 Mtb Race (August 13, 2011) between me and PT (who subsequently went 7:13, a blazing time especially at the young age of 41).
Vangina – the name of Paul’s VW Euro Van
Noreen – Paul’s wife
Debbie – Seton’s wife
Molino – A basin about 5.5 miles up the famous Mt. Lemmon climb in Tucson.
Sabino – A popular walking/running/cycling canyon in Tucson.
PT: How do the pistons feel?
SC: Feeling good, I just got back from an easy ride up to Molino Basin. It was a bit warm.
PT: I am actually motor pacing behind the Vangina as I write. I told Noreen to keep it between 45-48 mph.
SC: Just got back from my run. Kept it easy, just two repeats up Sabino. I had to run on the road because it was getting dark.
PT: Interesting….I don’t want to make it seem like I am one upping you, but Noreen ran outa gas after 3 hours of motor pacing. We are fixing up a cabled harness and I am going to ride the Specialized, pulling the Vangina 30 miles to Deming.
SC: That sounds similar to my experience earlier today. Our plane ran out of fuel right after we landed so I volunteered to hop our and pull that bitch to the gate.
PT: I am way too familiar with runways. I once had to tow a plane up to speed that needed help as it was carting the space shuttle Challenger back to Florida….not to “one up” you though.
SC: Yeah, I remember that, they had me on that mission hooked up to a power bike to provide aux power for the shuttle.
PT: Sorry for the delay in responding…I was pre occupied with taking the lug nuts off with my bare hands. Noreen thought I should rotate the wheels as the Vangina was pulling to the left a bit.
PT: F#*c….after all of that manual labor, we figured out it was not the wheels, as now it is pulling to the right. I switched my one legged drills from left to right leg.
SC: Damn, I am spent. There was a creaking under the house so I had to lift it off the foundation so Debbie could have a look underneath. Turns out it was just noise from my one-arm clap push ups I was doing.
(2:26 PM next day)
PT: Just read this one. You are the winner as I am laughing hard!!!!!
April 1, 2012 on 10:13 am | In Announcements, Random Musings, Tech Tips | No Comments
Tucson, AZ (April, 1, 2012): TriSports.com, the world’s premiere triathlon store, announces its patented new leg shaving technology known as Hybrid Shave Technology. After 2-years of research and development using wind tunnel, CFD and real world data, the engineers at TriSports.com have released their findings. Seton Claggett, who earned his Master’s in Hydrology from the College of Engineering at the University of Arizona, says “we have been using this proprietary shave method with our athletes for years but as we have grown as a company we know that for the betterment of the sport and in light of great customer service that we should reveal our research to the world.”
The Hybrid Shave Technology uses a scientific approach to removing leg hair on cyclists and triathletes to improve aerodynamics and speed. “The experiment,” says Tom Demerly, one of the chief investigators on the project, “was performed over many conditions and using many different shave patterns and what we found was that using basic aerodynamic principals of laminar boundary conditions coupled with muscle formation resulted in the ideal real-world power conversion on the bike.”
The final testing came down to analyzing the real world results of 1) Hairy Leading Edge Legs, 2) Full Shaved Legs, and 3) Short Stubble Leading Edge Legs (the Hybrid Shave Technology). Full hairy legs performed exponentially worse than the three chosen tests. The results are shown in the diagram above. “It was amazing how superior the performance was using the Hybrid Shave Technology”, said Claggett, “the power savings were staggering. It is amazing how basic aerodynamic principles such as using the Navier-Stokes equation and Reynolds numbers to estimate the boundary layer conditions of a hairy legs work in wind tunnel and real world testing.”
The results have shown an actual average power savings of 10 Watts over distances greater than 30k (compared to a full hairy leg and almost 6 Watts over a fully shaved leg). Over a 112 mile relatively flat course with little wind the TriSports Hybrid Shave Technology will save you about 6 minutes. “6 minutes”, says Claggett who used the Hybrid Shave Technology at the 2011 Ironman Arizona, “is a ton of free time, especially if you are trying to get to the finish line as fast as possible.” Claggett consequently won his age-group by a mere 45 seconds. “You can spend hundreds of dollars on an aero helmet, thousands of dollars on aero wheels and an aero bike, or you can use the TriSports Hybrid Shave Technology and get the same benefits – do everything and you are all-in.”
A video showing actual footage of the TriSports Hybrid Shave Technology
Conclusion: Hold off as long as you can during the season to get the training benefit of hairy legs and then shave them just before your “A” race. The results of the TirSports Hybrid Shave Technology speak for themselves, so when you do shave, use this method if you want to optimize aerodynamics.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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!
November 17, 2011 on 6:00 am | In Community, Employee Adventures, Giving Back, Life at TriSports.com, Random Musings, Uncategorized | No Comments
This weekend is the 9th edition of Ironman Arizona and for all 9 of these, the TriSports.com staff, family, friends and loyal customers have been on the course volunteering and racing. This year will be no different. Our great customers from around Tucson, Phoenix and beyond come out in droves to support the TriSports.com aid station that is nestled under the 202 and Mill Ave bridges. This aid station serves as a safe haven for volunteers, racers and spectators because of the built in “roof” above. Along with volunteering, we have four great staff members, representing four different departments (customer service, accounting, buying and management) stepping up to the line representing the red, white and blue of TriSports.com. All combined, over 40% of our staff will be involved with the event in some way, shape or form.
I have to say that we are very fortunate to work in our facility because it really does feel like the entire TriSports.com staff is behind you. They understand when you had a hard day on the bike, a great run or a meeting in the Pain Cave. Most of the time when you see someone dragging in this building, it is because they just tortured themselves on some epic workout. Why? Because we live the endurance lifestyle, it is what we do, it is who we are. See you up in Tempe!