Never give up! An inspiring win by Dani in South Africa: Photo Credit: Ingo Kutsche
The Angry Bird, Daniela Ryf completed a training block in Gran Canaria just prior to traveling to Ironman South Africa. A back injury in that final week of preparation almost curtailed her South Africa trip altogether. The final decision to start was made just the evening before the race, so with clipped wings she lined up the next morning not knowing if she could complete the event. However much to her credit, once safely through the swim, and the first half of the bike, the bird ‘felt her pushing legs‘ return and decided it was time to fly. Following up with another sub 3 hour Ironman marathon run, the Ironman South African Championship was secured.
Post race interview with the Ironman African Champion.
Race Recap from Coach Cameron Watt:
Josh Amberger finished his first Ironman in South Africa over the weekend. First out of the water, he went with the eventual race winning move with Hoffman and Nils before finding his limit late in the bike and then soldiered on to finish… the objective was to search out an early season Ironman with a world class field to accelerate Josh’s experience in Ironman and allow him to see first hand in the moment how the big boys excecute an Ironman and to taste the genuine real level, not the fake cake one….in hindsight couldn’t of picked a better one with Hoffmann and Nils putting on a display that re-confirms they are 2 of the best in the world on their day… Certainly wasn’t your typical Ironman build for Josh, racing the innaugral SuperLeague event 2 weeks out, but these tests both mental and physical are priceless in the long term development if one is to be competitive at the German National Championships in Ironman.
Jess Ripper raced 70.3 Lizhou in China after doing all his prep indoors as he lives in the ski fields of Japan in Hokkaido. We implemented a bit of ski and skate training on the slopes to break up the turbo and treadmill sessions and Jess was rewarded for his dedication and consistency over winter with a Kona spot!!
Race Recap from Coach Andrew Wright:
Congrats to the guys I coach on programmes who raced 70.3 Liuzhou. Was a great weekend. Outstanding race by Kate beating a few pro women.
Kate Rutherford- 1st AG women and Kona Slot
Edwin Wong – first 70.3 event
Fenny Liu- 75 min PB
Race Recap from Coach Mat O’Halloran:
Last Saturday, top Indonesian long distance triathlete Andy Wibowo of Bali, raced the inaugural Liuzhou Ironman 70.3 in the people’s republic of China.On a fast day, Andy finished 5th, in the very competitive 35 to 39 age group, in a respectable time of 4h16. While this was not as fast as Andy had hoped for, he’s in better form than 12 months ago. So now he looks forward to “switching gears” into the 2nd quarter of the season!
Race Recap from Coach Michelle Barnes:
First up was Joby who raced Oceanside as a last hit out before Ironman Texas in a few weeks. Joby is a seasoned athlete but needed a bit of help with his swim and some tweaks, in my opinion, so he was able to have a strong bike and still access his strong run. We changed a bit around with his regular routine, was able to see his swim in Scottsdale which gave him something to work on and focus on especially in the race and revamped his whole race nutrition. It was great to see it all paid off as Joby placed 2nd in M40-44 AG with a HUGE swim and bike PB from the year before and even ran a minute faster with a smokin’ 1:21 off the bike. Also an overall 70.3 PB for Joby- all looking great for Ironman Texas on April 22.
Lori Russett’s big race if the year was Lavaman- the famous OD race in Kona Hawaii! She had the goal of placing top 10 and nailed it despite an allergic reaction to a bug bite 48 hrs before the race! Lori kept her cool in the lead up and on race day after a few more punches were thrown at her. She showed what racing triathlon is all about and came out the other side with a huge swim PB, an overall OD PB and 7th in her AG! So proud of her!
Consistent Colin Raymond, a dedicated father & businessman was my last athlete to race this weekend and he also took on Oceanside 70.3. Colin was quit relaxed going into this race possibly a bit too relaxed in his pre race rituals;-) Colin’s swim has improved a lot from last year and it showed with a swim PB from the previous year! Another positive from the race is he didn’t get the usual stomach cramping with some different nutrition. Although he did find the bike and run tough he held it together to get to the finish line. As a coach I think it’s critical to assess the race straight after as we are always learning from our mistakes. Some analysis and assumptions of the race and bike position have already been done and we have a plan in place to make sure Colin is ready to be a fit and strong as possible to race Ironman Mt Tremblant in August!
Alan Sweeney told me late fall last year that he had signed up for Ironman South Africa at the beginning of April. My first thought is we need more time but as a coach my job is to do my best to have the athlete as prepared as possible so this is what we did. Al is a busy CEO and is a father of 4 so getting the right amount of training to be competitive while balancing work, family life is certainly a challenge but I see him doing the best he can. We were both feeling quite confident going into SA but as it happens with a huge long haul flight, Al had to also deal with some adversity on race week and on race day. Despite everything Al improvised and overcame and still managed to get to the finish line with an Ironman PB! In my opinion we just need a bit more time for Al to race his potential but he’s certainly better than where he was last year and with a good amount of recovery we can build to his best Ironman yet at the end of summer 🙂
Race Recap from Coach Rafal Medak:
A great weekend of racing for Coach Rafa athletes!
I had two athletes racing Ironman South Africa.It was not an easy day, although not as windy as it could be the ocean was very choppy moving in all directions, the winds on the bike were more friendly but the heat of the run was much harder to deal with. The temperatures reached over 30C and the athletes were hoping that the burning sun will be covered by a cloud, no such luck. To make it worse the wind which was very quiet on the bike wake up and started blowing very hard making it for a very tough day.
In the female race Ana Berenguel did a great job considering far from perfect preparations. She started with a very strong swim fighting the waves and having some navigation issues as the Garmin shown 4.1km swim distance. Once on the bike she executed the plan to perfection, conservative first loop followed by a very strong second which was significantly faster then fist one. Once on her feet she run very strongly only slightly slowing down towards the end. The run conditions took their toll but she fought hard and finished strong and taking 12th place in F40-44.
The AG40-44 mens race felt a bit like world championships with top Age Groupers from around the world on the start line including Kona winners and multiple IM AG champions. Rafal and I have been working together for almost 6 months with one objective to make him race ready on 2nd April. We have focused on the process, very consistent training, working on his strengths and slowly eliminating weaknesses, day by day, weak by weak, month by month often repetitive ‘boring’ sessions. We never discussed the chances of getting the Kona slot. We have both been racing IM for years and we know that such a discussions can be detrimental to training and performance although I’m sure we both had it at the back of our mind. There are so many things that nobody can control on the race day, punctures, ocean conditions, temperature, wind and some people handle it better than the other. Rafal has shown what he is made of, all the race he stayed focused doing what he did in training and he executed a nearly perfect race. A very strong swim – a first PB of 60min followed by a PB on the bike 4:53 and a very strong run. I would add another PB: most calories consumed on the bike and on the run from all his IM races. You need right amount of fuel to go hard. The result – he finished 6th in his AG in 9:29 and he will go to Kona!
I’m very proud about Ana’s and Rafal’s performance – hard and consistent training is paying off. Congratulations to both athletes from a very happy Coach and Trisutto Team!
Katey Pusey decided to do something somewhat different this weekend and entered a 10 miles bike Time Trial race. She not only finished 4th female finished ahead of a number of TT specialised but also beat quite a few male competitors! Great effort Kati, well done, more to come from this ‘uber-biker’!
Race Recap from Coach Mary Beth Ellis:
I had three athletes racing this past weekend.
In the HITS Ocala Olympic distance race, Scott Wright finished 2nd in his age group and 12th overall with a solid swim, bike, and run. He is getting stronger and building towards Ironman Arizona with some great summer racing planned on his way to the big one.
In the Savinrock Half marathon, Sergio finished 3rd place in his AG battling tough conditions and weather: 31-degree rainy, windy, and hilly Connecticut. Sergio is building towards finishing his first Ironman in Lake Placid this summer. He’s juggling a busy work and fur parent schedule as we ramp up his training to get him ready for the big one.
At Ironman South Africa, Jennifer led the overall age group race in the swim and bike but had to stop on the run for health reasons.
Race Recap from Coach Carson Christen:
Mark Miller started the Prickly Pedal MTB race this weekend in Arizona. Mark has showed great form this Spring and it carried over from the road to the MTB. He had yet another podium, finishing a close 2nd place. Mark continues to work hard, and we are continously looking for ways to improve the fitness just that much more and eek out some more victories. Keep it up Mark!
Carlos Martinez took part in the Apaxco Duathlon this weekend. He was able to keep a steady and controlled pace on the first 5k run, and throughout the bike, leading to a solid 2nd run where he came in 10th OA. Great work Carlos!
Christian Pleul started his first triathlon of the season at the TriaHatz in Germany. A very well paced day showed he has some good fitness and the consistent training is paying off. He continues to put in the hard work in the pool, and we already saw a 10sec/100m improvement in his swim, in just a short months time. Onto the bike and run, he maintained strong effort and finished out a good day. We keep moving forward towards his bigger goals this summer! Nice work, Christian!
Isabelle Boberg started her season off at thte Neuseen MTB Trophy in Germany. Having only worked together for a few weeks, she showed that the training is already having good effects on her fitness. The goal for the day was to get her teammate the victory, and they did just that, with Isabelle coming over the line just a few short seconds after in 2nd place! A very good start to the year, and full systems ahead to the Deaf-Olympics later this summer! Congrats Isabelle!
Sascha Moryson tested his fitness this weekend at Hellenthal Marathon. 68km of sticky mud and wet trails led to some inconsitent rhythm and slow going. At the end of the day, Sascha came home in 6th place. With a training camp coming up, and bigger races down the road, we found out what we need to work on and need to reach the podium next time! Keep it up, Sascha!
Dan Whitney went to sunny California this weekend for the Oceanside 70.3. Some sickness, and a business trip to India threw a wrench in our training the few weeks before the race, but Dan did everything he could and produced a PB at the distance. A 5min PB in the swim, and a 15min run PB showed how much the training had improved race fitness. Way to stick it out Dan.
Race Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:
This weekend was such an emotional roller coaster, following my athletes racing Ironman South Africa. I will need more time to recover fully than athletes to recover from their race.
Carmen Grosse put the hammer down in PE. In 2016 she unfortunately had a really bad accident just the day before she was supposed to fly to the “Big Island”. She was not able to race. Big disappointment! The months afterwards were a stoney path back to health, self-confidence and building up a good fitness level. But Carmen executed all I told her with her unmatched determination and after spending one weekend with my squad on Mallorca, I was sure she is going to have a brilliant race in Port Elizabeth. Her pool times were really challenging my pro boys and girls. She proved this on the swim at IM South Africa. Carmen was 7th woman overall(!) out of the water, including all the professional ladies. Carmen hammered her new bike and finished all off witrh a fantastic marathon. It was a one woman show, winning her Age Group by a huge margin of almost 2 hours(!!), a time good enough to easily win the below Age Group as well. Even the commentators were surprised by Carmen’s performance. Have a look at the little clip to see her beautiful smile and joy while running towards the finish line.
Carmen was superb!
One of my unluckiest athletes this weekend was Rico Giovanoli. Rico travelled to South Africa with the goal to win his Hawaii slot. He had a fantastic race and proved impressively that you can train really well in the winter months without doing any big training camps before a very early season race. But with a 16th place in a very strong Age Group (35-39) he just missed his Kona slot by 2:30mins. To get a Kona slot always needs a bit of luck. However, I consider his race in South Africa as his break-through race: Rico now is on a level to win a slot at amlost any race without needing a lot of luck anymore. I’m sure we will see Rico joining the big dance on Hawaii very soon!
Alicja Medak showed one of her best races ever. Good swim, solid bike, strong run (faster marathon than her husband, sorry for that, Rafal). Coming in 4th, she just missed the podium and one of the 3 slots in her AG. But there was allocated another slot to her AG plus there was a roll down slot. So her result would have been good for 2 slots altogether. Of course, she took her’s and is my 2nd Kona qualifier made at IM South Africa.
Steve Ringel wanted to get a Sub 11 hours finishand missed that goal by just 30 mins. While Steve has a very stressful job he was not able to do any training the week before his travel to South Africa which is indeed not a perfect preparation. He pulled out the best of the race on that day. In all 3 disciplines Steve had a solid performance. At the end he had an 11:29hrs finish but we work towards breaking the 11hrs barrier soon.
Last year one of my athletes Sandra Schöni was running the Freiburg half-marathon, when a guy ran into her heel which caused a partial rupture of her plantar fascia, a serious injury which forced Sandra to many weeks of no running at all. To forget this trauma I decided to send her to the same race again this year. I wanted Sandra to walk out of this race with a good feeling and a bright view on the new season. That’s exactly what we reached. When she passed the sport where the accident occured last year, it was abig relief and she finished her race with a big smile.
German national Champ and para-cyclist Thomas Schäfer raced his first MTB-Marathon of the new season. While there is still a lack of race specific intensity he showed a great performance. Although there was a mis-guidance of 7mins Thomas claimed a great 3rd place in his Age Group.
Gourmet chef from Merseburg (Saxony-Anhalt) Steffen Warias wanted to do a brick session at the weekend and therefore he raced the local Duathlon in Halle. After a few weeks of no running we were not sure how fast he can run and cycle and didn’t expect anything special. But surprisingly he was doing really great. The first 5kms of running were easily and 20 mins and then he cycled really well and with the final 2,5kms run Steffen won his Age Group. Really great start into the season.
Well done too all athletes racing this weekend. Looking forward to a great season!
Race Recap from Coach Annie Emmerson:
Prior to this past weekends Greater Manchester marathon Pete had many pre-race inhibitions… he really had a thing about running the marathon as he hadn’t had a good experience previously. He rang me about 5 weeks ago and said ‘I don’t think I should do it, I’m not fit enough’, we had a chat about it and I basically said don’t be daft, all the triathlon training you’ve done in the last few years will carry you through and you will run a 3.15…
Pete was amazing! His post race tweet summed up the result:
Marathon demons well and truly extinguished. Race went perfectly 3:12:33
Great runs this weekend also by Jacqui Saxon with a big PB at the Lincoln 10k and by Paula Robinson, with an AG win (and 6th overall) as she warms up for the upcoming London Marathon.
Race Recap from Coach Cali Amaral:
Fantastic weekend for our Team. We started on Saturday with a first place in the professional Short Triathlon with Patricia Barros who on Sunday competed 70.3 Triathlon Long Distance of Pirassununga and finished 1st place in her category and 6th overall, Still on Saturday Karina Freitas got vice champion 40/45 and Marcelo Pasquini 6th overall place and Vice champion 35/39;
On Sunday in the Bauru city triathlete Helena Cirelli got 1st place in the tradicional 10 km Ecoruuner race. Our team is getting better and better every race. Coach Concludes.
Race Recap from Coach Christian Nitschke:
Cornelia Stähli ran the Berlin Halfmarathon last Sunday. The goal was a new personal best and that was achieved by 2min with a finishing time of 1:35:04, despite feeling weak on the first half of the run. Surely because it was completely impossible to do a proper warm up when you start with 35000 other runners. Since it is just a short drive from Rostock I used the opportunity to meet her in Berlin. We had a good talk about the training and the upcoming races.
Already on Saturday Florian Blumenthal ran his first 10k run race of the year. He came to me in December with an injured shoulder, Achilles tendon and groin. It was the main priority to get him going again without any pain. Even though 40:28 is no personal best for Florian we achieved this goal to race pain free. There is much more to come this year. Next stop for both will be the Wallisellen Triathlon next weekend to kick off the European Triathlon season.
Deborah Bomstein did her 2nd 70.3 race last Saturday in China. She only started with triathlon last October. Despite many obstacles she finished strong and could improve her swim and run performance even though the water was freezing cold and she threw up twice on the bike, where she could not play out her strength. Well done Deborah! The upcoming European races will provide a better water quality 😉
Thierry Dondlinger raced Ironman South Africa. A finishing time of 10:25 was far under our expectations. Time to rest now and find a new race to show the improvements on raceday.
Race Recap from Coach Bella Bayliss:
Vinny Veness raced Ironman South Africa, he had a lucky escape on Saturday afternoon while having a spin before raking the bike. He was badly bruised and his bike quite broken, but with mechanical help was able to fix his bike and grin and bear the pains to start AND finish the race on Sunday!
Vinny swam 1.03, he rode 4.59 and ran 4 hours. Vinny felt the effects of the crash during the race but did not let it stop him. Coming from the cold winter of the UK he found the race hot and I know that the 12 hour plus days at work for the months into the race effected how he was feeling towards the end of the race too. Well done Vinny on finishing this Ironman. This will have set you up nicely for the next.
Aquathon action from Lanzarote. Photo Credit: James Mitchell Photography
On Lanzarote we had 24 of our TriActiv kids racing an Aquathon, (which was the 2nd points race for the older kids, but the first in the series for the younger kids. We had some racing their first Aquathon ever, and we had kids who are more experienced and looking like young professionals. In the youngest category,
- PreBenjamin we had Holly, Nicolas (2nd place) and Charlie (3rd place) aged 5-6 years old racing over a challenging 125m run, 50m swim, 125m run,
- In the Benjamin category we had Matias (3rd place), Tom (4th place) and Israel racing over 25m Run, 100m Swim 250m Run.
- In the Alevin category we had Leo (3rd place) Daniel, Harry, Sienna, Sidney, Becky and Alba racing over 500m Run, 200m Swim 500m run. In the Infantile category we had another exciting race but in the end Harry took the win from Jorge (2nd). Ben also raced strong over this 1km Run, 400m Swim, 1km Run.
- In the Cadete category Mia Leadbeater looked stunning to take the win, hard working Anne took 2nd and TriActiv taking the whole podium with Tiffany 3rd, Clara top 10.
- In the boys category Marcos battled hard to get 2nd, and Thomas also top 10.
Fantastic racing from Lanzarote. Photo Credit: James Mitchell Photography
Race Recap from Coach Mateo Mercur:
It’s been several years since Ollie Saxon has run a personal best. In 2014 he set his mark for the 10K at the Lincoln road race. This weekend he set out to prove to himself that consistency, hard work, and an aggressive race plan would put him in the position to set a new personal record. While I was standing on a different start line across the Atlantic, ready to coach another race at 70.3 Galveston, I got a message from Ollie. “Absolutely chuffed to bits! 41:52. PB by 20 seconds.” Well done Ollie. As you wrote in your message; “Consistency sure pays off.”
Blaine Egan raced the Oakland Half Marathon to get a solid effort under his belt leading into 70.3 St. George next month. He went 1:28:34, to set a new personal best by 3:45. He took it out strong and hung in there for the final 3 miles when the wheels started to come off. To paraphrase Sutton, “I’d rather see an athlete fail gloriously than succeed with weakness.” Blaine went out after it, and that shows what he’s made of.
Lauren Capone got her 2017 season started at 70.3 Galveston. After a winter of focused work on the bike she is starting to see some honest headway. Despite the heavy crosswinds, LC got down to work and actually finished the bike with a smile on her face! LC had a minor leg issue come up in the week before the leading into the event, and although the run is typically her strength, this time I had her shuffle to get the time on her feet. LC had a solid bike and the right attitude going into the run. In all it was a promising start to the season.
Race Recap from Coach Edith Niederfriniger:
Stefano Matalucci (M40-44) raced IM South Africa. He is a very hard working CEO and therefore it’s not always simple to squeeze in the Ironman training sessions, but Stefano did a great job during this last months of preparation in european winter and finished in 11:39.50. For sure it was not easy to race in the hot conditions of Port Elizabeth. Well done Stefano!
Irene Coletto (F35-39) raced at the Italian Duathlon Championship (10-40-5 km) near Brescia and demonstrate that hard work pays off! Irene trained very well during the last months (we are preparing IM Lanzarote) and in 2:12.15 she placed 3. female overall and won her age group! Irene had also the best bike split in the field, so very well done. Now let’s continue to focus for our main goal!
Giovanni Marion (M55-59) run the Roma marathon, finishing in 4:07.19. Only two weeks ago his mother passed and the decision to run was a last minute one and for sure a very emotional one. Hats off Giovanni for this decision, your mother is very proud and I too. We will prepare Ironman Austria, believe!
Emanuele Mutti (M25-29) run the Milano marathon in 3:04.22. Excellent race for him, this time meant also 2nd place in his category at the National marathon Championship for firefighters. So Emanuele, not only you are a very good triathlete, but also a very fit firefighter! Let’s continue to prepare your first Ironman race later in the year.
Race Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:
Mark Richardson raced in Ironman South Africa, his first Ironman since Kona in October. Mark qualified here last year, so knows the course well, and had prepared thoroughly through the tail end of the UK winter. Exiting the swim in 6th place and with a 5th fastest bike saw Mark perfectly positioned going into the run. However some nutritional errors during the bike caught up with him on the run, and even though Mark did the right things at that point, couldn’t keep the engine fuelled. A solid 13th place, to start the season, as we now look to Austria as next Ironman.
Congratulations to all our athletes competing this weekend.
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