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004 : LINEUP

LAVA publisher JOHN DUKE



associate publisher HEATHER GORDON



art director ERICA KRYSTEK


senior editor JAY PRASUHN


senior photographer

DONALD MIRALLE : photo editor SAMMY TILLERY online editor JENNIFER WARD BARBER : account executive SEAN WATKINS : account executive KIRK BAUSCH : account executive LAURA AGCAOILI : office manager KAYLA NEWBY-FRASER editorial intern JILLIAN GERBRACHT Phone 858.366.4444 : Fax 858.504.7062 : Subscriptions & Customer Service 800.839.4537; Circulation Inquiries : Editorial Inquiries : Web Site

LAVA: (ISSN 2155-1081), 514 Via de la Valle, Suite 300, Solana Beach, CA 92075, is published Dec/Jan, Feb/Mar, Apr/May, Jun/July, Aug/Sept and Oct/Nov. The entire contents of LAVA are copywrited and may not be reproduced, either in whole or in part, without written consent. LAVA™ and Serious Triathlon™ are trademarks of World Triathlon Corporation. Basic subscription rate is $19.95, Canadian remit $30.45 in US funds (includes GST); other international mail $47.95 in US funds only. Standard Postage paid at Beaver Dam, WI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to LAVA, PO Box 469023, Escondido, CA 92046. Printed in the U.S.A. SUBSCrIBE, rENEW, GIVE A GIFT, rEPOrT MISSING ISSUES, PAy yOUr BILL AND ChANGE yOUr ADDrESS AT LAVAMAGAzINE.COM










Can Australian Mirinda Carfrae or Great Britain’s Julie Dibens steal Chrissie Wellington’s Kona crown?



By Frederick Dreier

Finding performance: The art and science of recovery

020 : iTRI


By Matt Dixon, MSc

Harvard professor, Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier and Ironman Paul Gompers

When triathlete Randy Clark was diagnosed with cancer he didn’t get off his bike—he rode harder

018 : SEEN & HEARD

By Don Norcross

By Don Norcross



When a reporter finds herself surrounded by devastation, her own triathlon training takes on a whole new meaning

The top-10 male and female pros give LAVA their thoughts on this year’s race

By Kathie Klarreich

108 : COACH’S COUNSEL Tight competition: The ins and outs of compression wear By Troy Jacobson

112 : SIDELINED Straight to the finish line: Three ways to stay out of the medical tent By Dr. John Martinez

120 : THE HYPE Prenatal performance: What are the benefits—and what are the risks?


By Aliyah Shahid



032 : ON DISPLAY Orbea Ordu and Wilier Imperiale

Love the heat: hot weather acclimation strategies

By Jay Prasuhn

By Ben Greenfield

036 : PRO FILE


Terenzo Bozzone and his FELT DA

Now what? Once you’ve secured a spot in Hawaii, the real challenge has just begun

038 : REVIEWED SRAM R2C vs. Shimano’s Di2 shifters; Zipp Firecrest 404 carbon clinchers

By Abby Ruby, Ph.D.

By Jay Prasuhn


044 : WORKBENCH Have bike, will travel: The right bike case can save you money and ease your mind


By Mark Deterline

142 : IN FOCUS

Frankfurter Sparkasse European Championship; Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene; Life Time Fitness Triathlon; Ford Ironman Lake Placid

050 : ALL ACCESS Speed demons: LAVA tours the Pearl Izumi Speed Shop By Jay Prasuhn

By Scott Tinley

068 : RAPP REPORT The eyes have it: Your sports eyewear should offer you more than just style By Jordan Rapp



058 : TECH FEATURE The sport Unobtainium built: The role of technology in triathlon subculture

Crab cakes and chainrings: Subaru EagleMan Ironman 70.3 By Nan Kappeler

160 : THE LAST WORD ON THE COVER: Mirinda Carfrae runs along the Wonderland Lake trails in Boulder, Colo. PHOTO DONALD MIRALLE

Luke Bell vs. Kate Major

Craig Alexander, 2x Ironman World Champion, relies on the Orbea Ordu to carry him to victory.




t mile eight, I threw up. I remember being surprised earthquake, and she wanted to discuss different angles for I was able to vomit at all, considering I hadn’t eaten the story with me (see her full story on Page 88). any breakfast and hadn’t washed down more than The fuzzy picture of her face broke in and out as we a few of sips of water before heading out the hotel room talked, and suddenly I saw her eyes open wide as she door. I placed my shaky hands on my knees, looked up stared out at what I can only assume to have been her at the blue sky, and then glanced down at my running window. “Oh God,” she said. “It’s raining.” shoes—which radiated with the searing heat emanating She was visibly upset, and I found myself unsure of how from the pavement of Ali’i Drive in Kona, Hawaii. to console her. “Right now I’m staring at an enormous tent I’m going to die here, I thought. After a couple minutes of city full of survivors who are about to become covered in necessary self-pitying on the side of the road, I straightened mud,” she explained. “It’s just … it’s really frustrating to just up and slowly started slogging toward downtown Kona. sit here and not really be able to do anything.” It was August 2000, I was 20 years old, and I had conThe struggles that Klarreich continues to face during her vinced my parents to leave the reporting stint in Haiti are nothperfect 72-degree weather in ing shy of heart-wrenching. But Honolulu for the austere condievery day, she and the people of tions of the Big Island. I wanted Haiti continue to press forward. to see the hallowed grounds of The challenges of a nation trying the Hawaii Ironman, an event I to rebuild itself from the rubble had watched on TV since I was and the challenges of pushing 14 years old. yourself through the Hawaii IronIt rained non-stop for the man are hardly parallel, but Klarfirst three days we were there; reich did find a connection that the kind of tropical downpour moved me, and I hope will move where all you can really do is you as well. watch the humidity fog up the Whether you find yourself windows and count the geckdealing with family problems os climbing the walls of your halfway through your training Me at the Kona International Airport circa August 2000. patio. On the morning of the for a 70.3, you’re stuck on a fourth day, the clouds parted— island full of devastation that and the sun poured in. It was as if someone had picked makes training seem more like a luxury than a necesup the island and shoved it into an oven. That was the sity, or you wake up on race morning in Kona and the morning of my feeble attempt to run along the famous winds are already picking up strength, you will have to Ironman marathon course, and I remember thinking I make the choice whether or not to keep moving forward. would never—ever—underestimate the powers of the Obstacles—be they tangible or purely emotional—are island again. a given on race day in Kona, and for endurance racing Flash forward 10 years, and I found myself on Skype in general. So in this, our official pre-Kona issue, I would with a woman stuck on a very different island—Haiti. Jourlike to tip my hat to those who are pushing through nalist Kathie Klarreich had sent me the beginnings of a the pre-race obstacles and moving steadily toward the personal account of her attempts to train for a triathlon starting line in Hawaii, prepared to face whatever dewhile covering the aftermath of the island’s devastating mons may lie ahead. Sincerely, Susan Grant-Legacki Please write to me with your thoughts about this issue at LAVAMAGAZINE.COM


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AliyAh ShAhid (“Prenatal performance,” Page 120) knows what it means to turn to athletics to maintain her sanity. “I know if I’m going for a run, I’ll leave all my frustrations on the pavement,” says Shahid, currently a multimedia editor for the New York Daily News. The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism alum has also written for Boston Magazine, Mint, The New York Post and The New York Times.

Scott tinley (“The sport Unobtainium built,” Page 58) explores the relationship between tech and triathlon. What does Tinley think is the largest tech innovation to come out of triathlon? “Aerobars,” he says, “because they have come to visually signify the sport in many ways.” Tinley has written numerous books including “Racing the Sunset” and “Triathlon: A Personal History;” he has also written for





Fred dreier (“To topple a queen,” Page 72) graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2010. The Colorado native used to share a pool lane with Julie Dibens in Boulder during his days as a triathlete. “She [was] extremely fast,” he remembers. Dreier was an editor for VeloNews magazine, and he covered the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He currently covers crime and politics for the New York Daily News.

Intent on preventing what she calls “compassion fatigue,” KAthie KlArreich (“Finding a foundation,” Page 88) hopes to reach people who care about triathlon as much as she does, and remind them that the situation in earthquake-stricken Haiti remains dire. Besides her reporting stint in Haiti, Klarreich has written for The New York Times, The Miami Herald and Time magazine.

016 : THE BUZZ


just received my first issue of LAVA yesterday, and in a word ... AWESOME!! I had to read it thoroughly three times in a row in front of my very understanding and patient wife. Not to diminish the importance of other tri periodicals out there, as I understand it is a closely related community and there are needs met by all of them, but LAVA launched past the needs of a first-year triathlete to present a magazine from which I gleaned every kernel of information from cover to cover. I don’t need another glossy overview of a pro’s race day nutrition, but understanding some of the specific ways family has influenced Craig Alexander’s development and later reading about the effects that proteins, carbs, fruit and veggie fiber, etc. have on my diet—those are the kind of nuggets that will help incorporate multisport more seamlessly into the rest of my day. Looking forward to issue No. 2. —Jeff Hosler Via the Internet


just finished reading the Coach’s Counsel Article “Tears in Utah” by Paul Huddle and Roch Frey. I wanted to go out and buy “Joe Schmoe” a cuddly teddy bear and a box of tissues. I wanted to send him them with a flowery card that reads, “Dear Joe, sorry you invested thousands of dollars in your first Ironman and DNFed. Hope you learn from this life lesson and finish your next Ironman.” My hat is off to WTC and the race directors of Ironman St. George for coming up with a really tough and beautiful course for an Ironman. The time cutoffs,

in my opinion, are necessary to ensure good race-course management and safety. It was my fourth inaugural Ironman (Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona and St. George). The event at St. George was well organized and had great volunteers. Was it my best Ironman time? Not even close: I finished in just 14 hours compared to the 12.5 hours I hoped and trained for. It was my worst Ironman finish, but one of the most rewarding. If Joe wanted to do an “easy” Ironman course, he should have signed up for Florida (boringly flat) or Arizona (nearly as flat). Even those courses don’t guarantee a finish. The reply from Paul and Roch was right on, although a bit too consoling. It’s an Ironman! Preparation is key to having a successful day. The athlete should know the course and understand the challenges. There were plenty of blogs and postings on the Internet to help one understand that Ironman St. George was not going to be a walk in the park. Weather was going to be a factor. But as it turned out, it was a nearly perfect day, even for someone from the frozen tundra like myself. We can’t control the weather or the course, we can only control our attitude and our preparation. I had my best finish at the 2006 Ironman Wisconsin with a third-place finish in my age group after being first off the bike. I was disappointed I didn’t get an Ironman Hawaii slot, but satisfied I did my best in some very tough conditions. My advice for Ironman first timers, know thyself and know thy course. There is no failure in trying, only in not trying to do your best. Learn from the disappointment and move forward.

By the way, I love the new magazine. Well done and well focused on the endurance distance. I’m looking forward to future issues. —Dan Conway Shoreview, Minn.


irst off, I would like to offer you congratulations on the launch of your new magazine. I had heard it was on its way out, and found it in my mailbox today. I was excited to check it out and during a quick scan before reading the articles, I noticed a blatant “f” bomb picture on Page 138. I do not know what your company’s views are toward the profanity and the intentional zooming to this portion of Simon Whitfield’s blackboard as a highlight. I am not sure if this is also a complimentary place to place to promote the “IronKids” series on the opposite page. I would love to hear your feedback on your position and whether this will become a recurring theme in your future magazine issues. —Scott Langford Via the Internet

[Editor’s note: While we regret that this reader expressed concern over the use of profanity in our first issue, it is our belief at LAVA Magazine that in the case of Simon Whitfield’s training board, we were simply showcasing how seriously he takes his job and how hard he pushes himself mentally. We will continue to be selective with any future profanity, ensuring that it is not included without careful thought to its context and consequence.]

Please give us your feedback about LAVA by emailing the editor at


Samantha McGlone

Foster Grant Ironman 70.3 World Champion POWERBAR® User Since 1994

LEARN | TRAIN | SHARE @ WWW.POWERBAR.COM POWERBAR® is a trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

IRONMAN®, IRONMAN TRIATHLON®, and 70.3® are trademarks of WTC


American Matt Chrabot talks to the TV cameras after his second-place finish behind Matty Reed at the 2010 Life Time Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis.

018 : SEEN

HEARD : 019


three hours The average amount of time Skirt Chaser 5K Block Parties last. Post-race, runners enjoy live entertainment, a fashion show and dating games—in an effort, says Nicole DeBoom, founder and CEO of Skirt Sports, to “mix racing, flirting and entertainment in an innovative social fitness environment.” Source:

3,687 miles Miles covered by the riders in this year’s Sea to Shining Sea Bike Ride. A team of veteran riders—many of whom rode despite disabilities resulting from duty in Iraq or Afghanistan—endured rain, snow, heat, and wind over the 64-day journey across the U.S. in an effort to redefine athleticism and honor those who serve overseas. Source:

The amount of weekly mileage increase an average runner should aim for in order to avoid stress fractures and other overuse injuries of the foot.According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, stress fractures of the foot are becoming more common as runners are tackling longer distances and engaging in heavier training. Source:

$100,000 DollARS

Total donation to be contributed by The Ironman Foundation to aid oil spill relief efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I knew the guys were closing hard, but when I saw I still had 20 seconds heading into that last lap, I thought I could do it.” —Great Britain’s Tim Don, on his victory at the Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup in Des Moines, Iowa on June 13, 2010.





The number of athletes expected to race in the Ironman 70.3 U.S. Collegiate Championship on Oct. 17, 2010. The event will coincide with the Ironman 70.3 Austin (formerly Ironman 70.3 Longhorn) and will showcase full-time students who double as top-notch athletes. Source:

The number of miles team members of the Ride for Semper Fi will cover over four days this October as they cycle from Scottsdale, Ariz., to San Diego, Calif., in order to help raise awareness for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, an organization that provides financial aid to injured or ill Marines and Navy sailors. Source:

020 : iTRI


Age: 46 | Resides: Newton, Mass. | Profession: Tenured professor at the Harvard Business School; co-founder of investment management fund Spur Capital Partners | Accomplishments: Three-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier (1984,’88,’92); at 20, was youngest qualifier at the ’84 Trials; fourth at the ’88 Trials; marathon PR: 2:11:38; age group winner at three 70.3 races in the past two seasons; 55th out of 183 in his age group at the 2009 Ironman World Championship, his first Ironman. daughter, Sivan, is deferring entry to Harvard for one year while working on a community service program with an inner-city school.) All the kids participate in sports year-round. My wife’s a national-level masters distance runner. She ran a 2:53 marathon. Instead of going to the movies, we’ll go downstairs to the gym; I get on my trainer and she gets on the treadmill. Sometimes all five of us are working out in the gym at the same time. We argue about what show we’re going to put on the television.

My family was active and interested in sports. I played everything from baseball to soccer to basketball. I was OK, but never really good. My freshman year in high school in southern Illinois, I went to see the football coach. He takes one look at me—I’m maybe 4 feet 11, 110 pounds at the time—and says that I should run cross country. I liked it and stuck with it. I retired from professional running in 1992. I remained an active runner but didn’t race. I focused on my career. Five years ago I developed a major knee injury that required microfracture surgery. I started swimming and biking for rehab. I told myself if the knee healed well enough to do any running, I’d jump in and do a triathlon. That was part of my motivation for the rehab.

I will tell you, as with most runners who come to triathlon, it’s the swim thing that’s the biggest struggle. That’s the part of training I hate the most.


Probably the biggest misconception about Harvard, particularly the business school, is that everyone comes from having done consulting or investment banking. The Harvard Business School is very much interested in people who are interested in socially responsible business activity. There are students who have been schoolteachers, people who worked with nonprofits, people in the military. Our student body is more diverse than people would give us credit for.

I do 80 percent of my biking on the trainer. All my long rides are outside but almost all my hard rides are indoors. I watch movies, sports, DVR a lot of things. The Tour de France is a good motivation. The thing about working out indoors is you don’t have to worry about weather, you don’t have to worry about traffic, you don’t have to worry about anything.

My favorite workout would be a long bike ride: 100 miles. I get into a zone. By comparison to running, you cover so much more countryside. To be able to push it for fiveplus hours, it’s a satisfying workout. The biggest plus to having a professional long-distance running

background is the ability to push yourself past the pain and fatigue. When you’re running a marathon at a 5-minute-per-mile pace, you’re right on the edge of blowing up. I’ve been married for 20 years. We have three daughters, ages 18, 13 and 12. (Gompers’ oldest

When I was running professionally, Mark Allen was dominant at Kona. Watching it on TV, you build it up in your mind. And it’s one of the few places that lives up to the hype. One of the most memorable experiences for me was the run. It’s a tough day and out on the Queen K or by the Energy Lab, there aren’t a lot of spectators. The other athletes are cheering you on. They’re saying, “C’mon. Run with me.” It’s just this great, collective, magical experience. — Don Norcross LAVA

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“I’m working on my nutrition so I won’t have the stomach problems I had last year, and I’ve been training hard on my swim and improving my power on the bike. This year there are a few more very strong women doing the race, like Julie Dibens, but I respect each and every woman out there.”

“I definitely felt the pressure last year, people seemed to be looking at me to challenge for the crown and I really wasn’t expecting that much attention. This year I am working a little harder on becoming a better cyclist; that’s where I need to make the biggest improvements if I am going to have a legitimate chance at the win in Kona.”

“Since 2008 I have raced four more Ironmans and I have learned how to ‘race’ an Ironman from start to finish. Not only did winning [Ironman Coeur d’Alene] give me a ton of confidence, but it reinforced the importance of patience during the race, being diligent with nutrition and being relentless mentally.”

“If you think of it as an Ironman or a marathon [the race] will be intimidating. Break it down mile by mile, step by step and just focus on getting to the next point rather than getting to the finish. For me, never having done an Ironman I think this advice is invaluable.”

“I know my fitness this year is above what it was last year, and hopefully by Hawaii it will be even better. Being familiar with the course and the conditions like I am is a huge advantage I think. I train in heat camps like the one in Thailand where the temps are at 45 degrees Celsius, so I’m prepared for the hot conditions.”




We asked who we believe are the top-10 male and female pros headed to Kona to give us their thoughts about the 2010 Hawaii Ironman.

Tereza Macel (cze) age: 36 Kona resulTs 2004–2009: 4Th place in 2009

saManTha Mcglone (can) age: 31 Kona resulTs 2004–2009: 2nd place in 2007; 6Th place in 2009

caTriona Morrison (gBr) age: 33 Kona resulTs 2004–2009: 18Th place in 2009

caroline sTeffen (sWi) age: 32 Kona resulTs 2004–2009: 3rd place 2006 (25-29 age-group)

chrissie WellingTon (gBr) age: 32 Kona resulTs 2004–2009: 1sT place in 2007; 1sT place in 2008; 1sT place in 2009

“Last year heading into Kona deep down I believed I was capable of finishing in the top10, but I did not have the confidence to share that belief. The main lesson I learned for this year is to bring more confidence going into any race that I do— especially Kona.”

“Chrissie is still the girl to beat. She just keeps getting better. I’m back as the dark horse; my favorite place to be. I’ll sneak under the radar and pop up where they least expect it— ninja-style.”

“Last year I learned mostly about the environmental conditions of the race—this year I’ll be taking extra care on the sunscreen front! I don’t like to give up and I’m in there until the bitter—or sweet—end.”

“I’m hoping for a strong, smart race and a top-10 finish, but everyone who is racing in Kona has a chance to finish in the top three. Hawaii is different compared with any other race; no matter what you did over the whole season it doesn’t matter when you get there. In Kona the cards are reshuffled.”

“I will treat the race with the respect it deserves, draw experience from the training and racing I have done and go out there and give it my all. The girls will push me to my limit, and hopefully I will do the same to them. I have the target on my back, and instead of letting it crush me— I thrive on it.”




Craig alexander (aUS) age: 37 Kona reSUltS 2004–2009: 2nd plaCe in 2007; 1St plaCe in 2008; 1St plaCe in 2009

dirK BoCKel (lUx) age: 34 Kona reSUltS 2004–2009: 7th plaCe in 2009

terenzo Bozzone (nzl) age: 25 Kona reSUltS 2004–2009: 11th plaCe in 2009

raSmUS henning (den) age: 35 Kona reSUltS 2004–2009: 5th plaCe in 2009

“Having won the last two years does give you a little bit of confidence going in, but it really doesn’t guarantee anything. Those wins are history now, and on October 9 the gun will go off and it’s a new day. You still have to put in the hard work.”

“I think this year I have to take more risks—but risk is always a doubleedged sword—you can gain a lot, but you can also lose everything. I do want to race a bit more aggressively this year, and hopefully I will be rewarded.”

“My higher race load this year has helped harden up my legs and the experience I gained last year in Kona was priceless. This is the hardest one-day sporting event in the world and if we start asking for the wind to go away and the temps to drop, well, we are only cheating ourselves.”

“Torbjorn [Sindballe] has taught me a few things about keeping cool, but the most valuable advice he gave to me was to focus on the last part of the bike ride, since most athletes over-pace in the beginning, and many minutes can be won on the way back from Hawi.”

ChriS lieto (USa) age: 38 Kona reSUltS 2004–2009: 18th in 2005; 9th plaCe in 2006; 6th plaCe in 2007; 27th plaCe in 2008; 2nd plaCe in 2009

“I wouldn’t be going back if I didn’t want to improve upon last year, although the race I had last year improved my confidence in my preKona training. I wasn’t super excited with my run in Kona last year; I just felt it got me to second place but it wasn’t to my full ability. I am going there this year to put in the run I know I have within me.”

the men THE MEN the men THE MEN the men

the men THE MEN the men THE MEN the men


COMMITTED Craig Alexander 2008-2009 Ford Ironman Kona World Championship Winner Chris Leito 2009 Ford Ironman Kona World Championship Runner-up

Good luck to the world’s best IM Triathletes in Kona. Thanks for riding fi’zi:k.

EnEko LLanos (EsP) agE: 34 kona rEsuLts 2004–2009: 5th PLacE in 2006; 7th PLacE in 2007; 2nd PLacE in 2008; 14th PLacE in 2009

“My wins so far this season at Ironman Lanzarote, the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon and the European Long Distance Championships were great for me. After last year’s bad race in Kona I lost some confidence, but now I know it was just a bad day, and I’m still improving and getting stronger.”

chris MccorMack (aus) agE: 36 kona rEsuLts 2004–2009: 6th PLacE in 2005; 2nd PLacE in 2006; 1st PLacE in 2007; 4th PLacE in 2009

“Success in Kona comes with having the courage to take a chance in a race where mistakes are magnified. I think this year people might be prepared to have a go. I know I will. I don’t care if I blow up. I love to suffer on the Big Island. I go to this race for the suffering.”

andy Potts (usa) agE: 34 kona rEsuLts 2004–2009: 8th PLacE in 2008; 9th PLacE in 2009

andrEas raELErt (gEr) agE: 34 kona rEsuLts 2004–2009: 3rd PLacE in 2009

“One of my biggest goals for this year’s race is to stay focused the entire time. There is no shortage of things to concentrate on during that race, but it’s really hard to sustain that level of focus for so long. If I can do that and just really stay mentally in the game, I really think it will pay off.”

“Last year I was inspired by Crowie; how he managed his way through the good and bad patches. The key to winning Hawaii is [finding] the balance between the right strategy, minimizing risk with nutrition and speed, while being willing to risk something at the same time. I believe that only 10 percent of physical skills and 90 percent of willpower determine this race.”

norMann stadLEr (gEr) agE: 37 kona rEsuLts 2004–2009: 1st PLacE in 2004; 1st PLacE in 2006; 13th PLacE in 2008

“If Wimbledon was Boris Becker’s living room; Kona is my backyard. The two victories in 2004 and 2006 changed my life and I want to pay tribute to the great audience out there. All I can say is that I will try as hard as possible, do my best and fight as hard as I can.” LAVA




gary geiger

031 : GEAR : G 030


G : GEAR : 031


on display 036

pro file 038

reviewed 044

workbench 050

all access 058

tech feature 068

rapp report

“The guys in the basements and back rooms and industrial wind tunnels realize that for many, triathlon is a fantasy sport—if they want to play the role of dream merchant, free speed has to work, regardless of the price.” (The sport Unobtainium

built, Page 58)

032 : ON DISPLAY : 

ORBEA ORDU $10,999 : with Shimano Dura-Ace $2,999 : silver-level frameset only By Jay Prasuhn

SIZES: 48, 51, 54, 57 cm COMPONENTS AS TESTED: Shimano DuraAce Di2 groupset, 11–23 cassette; Shimano Dura-Ace wh-7850 carbon clincher wheelset; Selle Italia SLR T1 saddle COLORS: Nude carbon, red/nude carbon, blue/nude carbon

✓ ROLL IT: If you’re a powerful

rider and prize stiffness as a primary selling point; there are few stiffer bikes on the market. The bike is straight-up fast.

✗ RACK IT: If you absolutely must have the bike with the lowest drag coefficient in your tri club.



aving the fastest bike means the most aerodynamic bike in the tunnel, right? Maybe if the bike could ride itself down the road sans rider. The bike actually makes up only a small percentage of its aerodynamic capabilities on the road (with your body making up the larger percentage). So what else matters? How about ride quality? That’s where Orbea steered its focus with the Ordu. The bike Craig Alexander has ridden to two Kona crowns has a diamondized aero tubeset with a longer trailing edge; a design that has earned aesthetics fans and detractors alike. Those hard edges make the bike less aerodynamic than bikes with smoother profiles when tested in the wind tunnel, and Orbea makes no bones about it. Yet for any aero disadvantage, the key component for Crowie is a good fit and a stiff, straight-tracking ride. “We tried to create not the most aero bike, but an exceptionally high-performing bike,” said Orbea’s Tony Karklins. “It’s aerodynamically competitive against some more aero bikes, but it’s certainly a better-riding bike than most of our competitors’.” Both Crowie and Greg Bennett were consulted in the bike’s design, and the result is a bike with a two-position seat post providing a slack 74 to 76 degrees of effective seat angle in concert with a short head tube—a long, low design that fit an acute


segment of athletes. To widen the consumer base, Orbea now offers an optional 78-degree to 80-degree post, which will satisfy the fans of a steeper and deeper ride. But as Karklins alluded to, the ride quality is among the finest. And it’s thanks to that squared design; the hard lines reinforce the frame torsionally throughout every tube. This makes the bike a strong, stiff climber out of the saddle, and a hard charger on straights while in the aerobars. In 2011, we’ll see this Kona winner in top-end regalia, including a gold-level bike frameset (with new high-modulus carbon that’s 200 grams lighter than previous models) hung with Dura-Ace to a new trickle-down silver-level frameset model complete with Ultegra at $3,299. Orbea will also offer a dedicated Shimano Di2 bike at $11,000, fully piped with no external cable ports and a battery mount on the non-drive chainstay. LAVA

sportswear designed for athletes

Craig Alexander

Amp Merino Track Jacket

The Amp Merino Track Jacket is designed with an athletic slim fit. The abrasion resistant outer surface is engineered with a hybrid blend of Merino, polyester and nylon to avoid pilling and snagging while the inside is a fused moisture wicking liner. The vintage knitted collar and cuffs maintain their shape and offer added warmth while the shell provides insulation, breathability and natural moisture management. The vintage brass zipper is easy to use and offers an old-school aesthetic.

Enter LAVA25 in the comments/special instructions box to receive 25% off of your order at

034 : ON DISPLAY : 


✓ ROLL IT: If you want a bike for

✗ RACK IT: If you must have the aesthetically sleekest road rig out there.

$3,899 : with Shimano Ultegra and Fulcrum R5 wheelset $2,899 : frameset only By Jay Prasuhn

challenging short distance to half Ironman bike courses (think Savageman) with a genuine pedigree that won’t break the bank—or your back.

SIZES: S, M, L, XL COMPONENTS AS TESTED: Shimano Ultegra 6700 groupset, 11–23 cassette; Fulcrum R5 wheelset; Selle Italia SLR XP saddle COLORS: White/silver, nude carbon/red



ero road bikes are in fashion for triathletes for good reason; they’re appropriate for their versatility in daily training and race-day utility, particularly on courses where vertical ascent goes into thousands of feet. Yet few come with the credentials that we demand of our dedicated tri bikes. Designed in the wind tunnel by aero guru John Cobb, Wilier’s Imperiale has those credentials in spades. “I worked with form and clay on that bike in the tunnel” Cobb told LAVA, “and we were really happy with it in the end.” The most visible aero cues, many taken from Wilier’s Cento Crono tri bike, are the flared down tube (which tucks closely with the front wheel’s trailing edge) and seat tube, and a fork with a slim teardrop trailing edge that Cobb says does great in keeping air off the spokes. The frame is anchored by a beefy BB94 bottom bracket with integrated bearings (which is optimized for Campagnolo, comes with a Shimano spacer, and requires an optional adaptor for SRAM and FSA cranksets). That BB is further reinforced by a pair of airflow “fins” that extend from the chainstays under the BB. The BB structure, paired with the frame’s aero tubes, make the Imperial plenty stiff. With a head tube angle about


a half-degree slacker than most race bikes, geometry isn’t geared toward overly aggressive road racing, meaning it actually handled quite well in the aerobars. “I hate twitchy bikes, so I was really happy with that,” Cobb said. Aero tubesets aside, the finest feature of the bike comes at the rear dropouts. Instead of meeting at a sharp point, the seatstay and chainstay curve to meet one another and create a smoothly designed swing arm that acts as a load-bearing spring. It’s largely this design that makes the Imperiale a great choice for triathletes. The bike doesn’t come with aerobars, but with shorty clip-ons installed, it was remarkably comfortable on rough roads, with exceptional vertical damping. LAVA

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NAME: Terenzo Bozzone BIRTHDATE: 3/7/85 AGE: 25 HEIGHT: 5’10 WEIGHT: 156 lbs. RESIDENCE: Auckland, New Zealand FOOTWEAR SIZE: Men’s 10 WEAPON: Felt DA, 54cm LAST SEEN: 2:03:00 bike split, 1st place overall, 2010 Ironman 70.3 New Orleans



WEAPON LOGISTICS: While the DA was re-worked for ’11, this race-proven design will become the B2 LAVAMAGAZINE.COM

 : PRO FILE : 037







model. Bozzone runs zero saddle offset from bottom bracket and 11cm of drop from saddle to pads. LAVAMAGAZINE.COM

038 : REVIEWED : G

A month’s supply of 120 capsules of First Endurance Optygen HP retails at $75.

SRAM’s R2C shifting system.

sammy tillery

Both shimano’s di2 and srAm’s r2c represent significant advances on the standard bar-end shifter. LAVA tested each and weighs the pros and cons to help decide if either is right for you.

A tEctonIc shIft: sRAM R2c Vs. shIMAno DI2 By Jay Prasuhn


ook at the lowly bar-end shifter. Poor thing, kinked like an old man bent at the waist. They were once called bar-con (bar-end control) shifters, meant for the end of touring-bike drop bars. When triathletes adopted them for aerobar use, it was a not-forintended-use product. But it was passable, and it stayed that way for decades until the debut of Shimano’s Di2 and SRAM’s R2C systems.

AerodynAmics. Both systems bring aerodynamics into the equation. As SRAM’s sister brand, Zipp offers the R2C Vuka with a bulbous lever, claiming a six-second saving over 40 kilometers versus a standard shift lever. For SRAM (and Zipp), the lever’s upward or downward movement pulls (or releases) the cable. A ratchet returns the lever to a static central position (hence R2C—return to

center). That center point can be adjusted upward or downward within a 40-degree range, with the optimal position being in a dead horizontal plane, keeping the lever in line with wind direction. The Shimano Di2 shift “lever” isn’t a lever at all, but rather a set of shift buttons on a light plastic post. And with a mount that doesn’t allow any upward or downward canting, it’s dead aero.

ergonomics. The Di2 shift buttons are mountable inboard or outboard, or as we’ve seen, rotated upward to create an effective thumb-drive shift. Tested inboard, we executed shifts of the bottom button with the index finger wrapping under the shift knob, while using the thumb to execute shifts on the top buttons. Pretty easy.

The SRAM lever itself doesn’t fill the hand the way the Di2 does, and before our test, we thought this would be SRAM’s failing (especially when we compared it to the more voluminous Zipp R2C Vuka shifter). Yet we found it to be surprisingly comfortable and easy to use as well.

Action. Either system seriously reduces the amount of force required to execute a shift—which is enough for us to get excited about. Shifts into the big ring on standard levers, especially with s-bend or straight extensions, are a challenge; you often have to rise from the saddle to reach down and pull the lever upward, breaking position and exerting effort at an often-awkward leverage angle. We tested R2C using SRAM’s new Gore Ride-On sleeved cable system, which greatly


The new amphibian species ride Prologo: Terenzo Bozzone | Luke McKenzie | Joe Gamble | Jenna Shoemaker

NACK rail: weight 170gr. TI SOLID rail: weight 220gr. Available with/without SLIDE CONTROL


sammy tillery

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Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting system.

added to a smoother, lighter shift. A big plus with the R2C is the ability to shift up to three cogs at a time in the rear with a longer pull of the shifter, allowing for wide-range shifts—especially helpful on rolling terrain. Instead of holding the lever to shift, we pistol-gripped the lever’s base and slotted the lever between the index and middle finger; a turn of the wrist put enough force on the lever to move it. With the lever in line, pulling it up was a simple proposition—especially with the front derailleur shifter. Shimano’s electronic system is even easier. Similar to a mouse click, the button depresses, and the shift occurs. A feature unique to Di2’s electronic capability is the “overshift” on any upshift. To ensure the chain doesn’t drop off your intended gear, the derailleur pushes the chain up a fraction of a centimeter above the cog or front big ring, then micro-adjusts downward until it’s in line. It’s brilliant, faultless technology that a mechanical system can’t match.

Di2 buyers have the option to purchase ST-7971 brake levers, which also integrate a unique second set of inboard shifters, allowing shifting at the brake levers (when climbing, for example). The one downside to Di2 is the speed of shifting on rolling courses, with each button click representing one cog movement—no gear dumping here.

tional integrated Shimano brake/shift levers are $480 more. R2C shifters will work with existing cabled systems, whether SRAM (using a SRAM or Zipp lever) or Shimano components (pairing with Zipp’s lever). The upgrade investment exists solely with the levers. SRAM’s R2C prices at $350; Zipp’s Vuka R2C prices at $375.

Compatibility and priCe.

SynopSiS. Both brands have significantly improved the functionality of a crucial product in our sport—each in a unique way—and choosing between each may depend upon your racing penchant. On hilly terrain, Shimano’s brake lever-integrated shifters shine, allowing safe shifting at the brakes without having to reach out to the extensions. And Di2 shifting, regardless of terrain, is literally effortless. But SRAM’s R2C has its advantages. Cost, yes, and there’s the shifting-speed element for those who prize getting into a preferred climb or descent gear more quickly, to maintain their optimal cadence.

As the world’s sole electronic group, Shimano’s Di2 shifting parts are not compatible with any cable-actuated components. SRAM’s R2C executes its shifts on a 1:1 cable pull ratio, which matches only SRAM components. However, Zipp’s bulbous Vuka R2C lever is available in SRAM and Shimano-compatible mechanical iterations. Shimano’s complete TT groupset includes bar-end shifters, front and rear derailleurs, cables, lithium-ion battery (which lasts about 1,000 miles between charges) and wiring harnesses, and prices at $2,540. Op-


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ometimes it pays to not be first. While everyone was in a rush to bring carbon clinchers to the market (many failing along the way with rim heat dissipation issues), Zipp quietly worked for two years. When the Indianapolis-based company debuted its Firecrest 404 carbon clincher in the spring of 2010, it was something significantly more than just another wheel. The big story with the 1,557-gram Firecrest 404 carbon clincher? Rim shape. Zipp widened the sidewalls on the Firecrest, and our digital calipers measured them at an asadvertised 25.5 mm. The rim continues to flare out to as wide as 27.5 mm before sweeping back in to a uniquely blunted rim apex. Zipp’s testing showed that both widening the rim’s brake track and changing the sidewall’s curvature profile improved ride quality (the wider rim shape moves the center of pressure closer to the rider, making for a wheel that’s easier to handle) and stiffness. It also showed better drag numbers in the tunnel, with a tire’s sidewall at the leading edge traveling a more linear path to the brake surface instead of bowing in to meet the bead hook. Zipp says its new carbon clincher not only beats all other in-class carbon clinchers aerodynamically, it even beats its own tubulars. Zipp provided LAVA with some interesting tunnel data: its old 404 tubular wheel saves 71 seconds at 300 watts over 40K at a 10-degree yaw versus a baseline Mavic Ksyrium. The 404 Firecrest? It saved 73 seconds. And Zipp’s counter to the massive heat buildup on carbon clincher brake surfaces during heavy braking is the integration of a special heat-resistant resin based on materials used in Formula 1 brakes. You’ll have peace of mind, knowing that you can race them hard and brake hard— without any issues such as tire-to-rim displacement. You may or may not notice the extra speed, but you’ll certainly notice the plush ride the wider rim yields. Not to mention the cool confidence in knowing that a flat tire on this clincher is an easy fix for anyone. It’s no surprise that Zipp debuted this new technology on its flagship 404 model, with the wheelset pricing at $2,700. But if history is any indicator, we can probably expect to see Firecrest applied to Zipp’s other wheels in due time.


Clocks everywhere are running scared. The next-generation Felt DA has arrived, and beating the clock just got easier. Proven more aerodynamic than any other bike on the planet, and developed with our elite triathletes, including Terenzo Bozzone. For the complete story use your smartphone to scan the QR code above or go to And pity the poor clock.

044 : WORKBENCH : 

HAVE BIKE, WILL TRAVEL The right bike case can save you money and ease your mind. By Mark Deterline

Arbitrary rules, ridiculous fees and seemingly endless frustrations. You’d think that the government and airlines would be facilitating no-cost, hassle-free bike transport to promote travel, as well as activities that encourage health and reduce emissions. Until they do, let’s consider ways to help you get to events more easily.


The Hen House Travel Case fits the frameset and components in one case and wheels in another for a more airline-friendly option.



The good news is that both travel-bike and bike case manufacturers are making gear that is technically innovative as well as durable and good-looking, so purchases feel more like worthwhile, long-term investments. Handing over bags at check-in can still be a drag since most cyclists and multisport athletes are subject to airlines’ automatic bike or oversize luggage policies. Based the choices available, you can take one of the following routes: ✓ Easily packed, but subject to fees ✓ Sleek and compact, yet fees may still apply ✓ Two-piece and legal; more effort, but big savings

Hard-shell cases are appealing because they tend to provide the most substantial protection. They can be pricey, but if getting a bike to your destination without a scratch is your number one priority—the cost and longevity of the case itself be damned—then a model like Sci-Con’s Aerotech Evolution may be just the ticket. Molded in ABS plastic, it’s lightweight, and flexible enough to absorb most impacts without cracking while being firm enough to resist deformation for maximum pampering of your rig. Frame sizing and geometry can present challenges, and integrated seat masts only add to the potential complexities; a hard-shell case’s


virtues are sometimes its biggest vices. Designed to provide crush-proof protection, its rigid hinges, fastening systems and structure can prove the most likely to break under frequent use. Nevertheless, Sci-Con, Tri All 3, Serfas and other manufactures offer what is still a good, heavy-duty option. As far as unapologetically oversize cases go, models like Sci-Con’s AeroComfort Plus may represent the best of both worlds, at least for a standard road bike. It’s certainly one of the easiest to pack and transport. The padded soft shell features a rigid steel base frame to which the frame and fork are anchored via the dropouts using conventional quick-release levers. Wheels have their own internal, padded and zippered side compart-



Lighter, stronger and tuned to your running. Everything plastic isn’t.


The best fit and internal environment your foot could ask for.

ASYMMETRICAL LACING A better fit for your asymmetrical feet.




Top-loaded cushioning that’s plush along the whole length of your foot.







ULTRAFIT Dynamically adjusts to the unique shape of your foot with every stride.

046 : WORKBENCH : G ments. There’s generally no need to remove or adjust the stem, handlebars, pedals, seat post or saddle. The case houses it all the same way it’s ridden, save for aero extensions. Zip the case shut, then shoulder or wheel it to the check-in. Picking it up at the oversized baggage claim is just as easy. It’s not bombproof, but it’s virtually dummy-proof. EVOC and Aerus also offer compelling designs at attractive prices. Then there’s world-class cardboard, used by road warriors like Chris Lieto. I’m constantly impressed with how nonchalantly prolific competitors like Lieto box and transport their super bikes. “A cardboard box is easier to pack than most bike cases,” offers Lieto. “Trek ships all their bikes in custom cardboard boxes; I use those. Straps and foam are included, so everything’s good to go.”

Ritchey: bReaking away Tom Ritchey, bicycle industry icon and avid cyclist since his teenage years, is simply not at home anywhere without a performance ride he’s made himself. Ritchey’s addiction to two wheels led him to create a new standard in travel bikes, his BreakAway line. It diverges somewhat from our bike case discussion, as the Break-Away solution represents an actual bike that can be disassembled and that fits into its own custom case. The Break-Away line doesn’t include a TT bike, but if much of what you’re looking for in a travel case solution is simply having a bike wherever you travel, then one of Ritchey’s models could be the answer. The uniqueness of Ritchey’s Break-Away bike design is that its parts can be easily assembled and disassembled, yet make up a full-on performance bike. The main and rear frame triangles are joined almost seamlessly at two places. First, at the seat clamp by an additional bolt assembly that connects the rear triangle not to the main triangle but to the seat post that acts as a common anchor. Then the two triangles are joined by a collar along the down tube that is deceptively minimalist and elegant, as opposed to being designed as a folding bike or even a standard bike that is cut and then equipped with couplers. Ritchey’s Break-Away is certainly revolutionary; however, virtually the same limitations apply as with a traditional bike and

case scenario. John McMillan, Break-Away product manager, explains: “Technically the bike case is slightly oversized, but most customers experience no issues at check-in. A smaller Break-Away case is in the works that should eliminate all chance of check-in issues.” McMillan recommends users fill the extra space in their case with clothes both to protect the bike and make it appear more like regular luggage. “Often this enables a cyclist to travel with just one checked bag,” says McMillan.

RusteR: bReaking it down T.J. Tollakson, one of triathlon’s most popular athletes as well as one of its tireless innovators, was not one to sit idly by. Necessity was once again the mother of invention, since Tollakson sought to reduce costs and simplify his own life as much to fill a void in the marketplace. The most salient part of the Ruster Sports offering was the reasoning behind it: “The problem with traditional bike cases is that they are 30 pounds empty, then you add a 20-pound bike,” explains Tollakson. “Baggage handlers end up manhandling them a bit more because they’re heavy and bulky. Also, TSA will often want to unpack a bike to inspect it. I’ve had two disc wheels punctured following an inspection because things were put back incorrectly.” Tollakson’s objective was this: Design a system that would meet size requirements set by airlines so that the broken-down parts of his complete bike would qualify as luggage, avoiding the issue and related fees altogether. “Fees were inconsistent but steadily increasing, from $50 to $80 and even $100,” he continues. “Most of the time it was $80 each way which already seemed like a lot back then. Now it’s as much as $200 each way internationally, when it used to be free.” Tollakson’s two-piece Hen House Bicycle Travel Case meets airline standards for checked baggage: bike and wheel cases are each less than 62 linear inches. The wheel case provides comprehensive and reinforced storage for your wheels as well as room for sundry items that can serve as additional padding. “I’m flying roughly 65,000 miles a year. I would be paying $10,000 or more each year if I were paying fees each time,” emphasizes Tollakson. “With my system, you don’t walk

up to the counter with all of that anxiety, worrying about coming up with some kind of story. Check-in personnel usually don’t even ask about it.” Wheels often represent the biggest challenge, which is another reason why the Hen House may move the industry in a new and better direction. “The wheels themselves are 28 by 28 inches,” points out Tollakson, “so if you’re trying to get the wheels into the same case as the bike, it’s going to be a problem. I’ve actually never had a problem carrying wheels with me onto the plane— the case takes up 56 linear inches. If it’s a full-size jet, I can put the wheels in an overhead bin. If it’s a smaller, regional jet, I may need to do gate-check, but I’ve never been denied. Once you’re through the gate or on the plane, attendants are generally really helpful. If they realize you’re carrying an expensive disc wheel, they tend to be accommodating, finding a suitable and safe place.”

tHERE is NO sHamE iN usiNg a stRONg CaRdBOaRd sHippiNg BOx—just BE suRE yOu HavE a qualifiEd mECHaNiC CONfiRm its stRuCtuRal iNtEgRity.

Fortunately, there is currently no shortage of travel bag choices. And there is no shame in using a strong cardboard shipping box—just be sure you have a qualified mechanic confirm its structural integrity and pack it competently, or learn to do so yourself. Lieto’s most helpful insight may be in how he avoids the cost and hassle of dealing with airlines altogether: “Most of the time I ship UPS both ways, or at least coming back from a trip or race. It takes the bike an extra day or so to get back, but it’s way cheaper than the airlines.” Tollakson offers a final perspective in the cost-benefit analysis that may help you take the plunge: “If you can find a system that avoids airlines’ oversize baggage fees,” he asserts, “it will quickly pay for itself—often several times over.” LAVA

Samantha McGlone

E-114 weight



At first glance, an Argon 18 bicycle is a striking sight for its unique, distinctive look. But an Argon 18 is more than just another pretty bike; it’s also an exceptional example of current technologies, well-conceived and appropriately applied. These technological solutions are the end product of lengthy and involved thinking about the dynamic properties most desirable in a bike. We have names for our exclusive design concepts and manufacturing methods: AFS, HDS, S3, the 3D Headtube and ONEness Concept. Learning more about our technological innovations will give you a better understanding of why an Argon 18 offers a truly unique riding experience. Every Argon 18 model exhibits road manners found in no other bike and this, put simply, is the result of our ongoing quest for that elusive optimal balance.

optimal balance Tel.: (514) 271-2992

048 : WORKBENCH : 



You love your bike, so treat it well by giving it a first-class travel compartment.


SCI-CON AEROCOMFORT PLUS; $650; 17LBS; ALBABICI.COM Padded soft case with steel base frame. Zippered and padded wheel compartments. Least amount of disassembly and packing effort.




AERUS BIOSPEED TRAVEL CASE $315; 9.5 LBS; AERUSCOMP.COM Thick foam for protection, reinforcing sewn into bottom and sides. Separate compartments for wheels and extra storage. Includes shoulder strap.

EVOC BIKE TRAVEL BAG; $400; 16.3 LBS; EVOCUSA.COM Padded wheel compartments. Pockets and inner straps keep parts in place. Padding and rubber reinforcements protect components. Large skate wheels with sealed bearings.

RUSTER SPORTS HEN HOUSE CASE; $495; 8.8 LBS (FRAME BAG) 4.2 LBS (WHEEL BAG); RUSTERSPORTS.COM Unique two-piece set that can be checked in as standard baggage. Includes velcro straps, fork/stay blocks to secure frame during travel.


RITCHEY BREAK-AWAY; $2,895; 4.2 LBS (FRAMESET ONLY); RITCHEYLOGIC.COM Ti/Carbon Road kit includes couplers, cable disconnects, case with padding, torque key and full instructions on assemble/dismantle and packing.

craig alexander: his career-defining MoMenT TM

augusT/sepTeMber augusT/sep T T/sep TeMber 2010 : issue 01

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050 : ALL ACCESS : G

SPEED DEMONS LAVA tours Pearl Izumi’s Speed Shop prototyping group, and learns that for this band of elite design and fabric engineers, solitary confinement has its advantages. Story and photos by Jay Prasuhn

Lunchtime test: Employees at Pearl Izumi headquarters in Broomfield, Colo., head out on the company’s daily lunch ride, a spin that often serves as a prototype testing session for staff product designers and engineers.


solation. Being sequestered from the masses and their cacophony brings a sense of focused clarity that can lead to strokes of brilliance. For decades, men have escaped the routine of the house to their garages, perhaps working on a project car. Or building an intricate model. On the flip side, being alone can lead to madness—see solitary confinement in federal prisons for those effects. But when the two combine? The result is often mad science— stuff like flying squirrel suits and aero fabric.

It was our fascination with those “squirrel suits” that led us to a nondescript business park in Broomfield, Colo., to visit Pearl Izumi. The fabled cycling apparel company, founded in the ’60s in Japan, has deep bloodlines in cycling that run up to the present, with company president Juergen Eckmann, a former German national TT squad member heading up operations. The brand now maintains successful running and triathlon apparel lines, as well as cycling and running footwear in addition to

their mainstay bike apparel line. The company is staffed with true enthusiasts who field-test everything within its walls, resulting in a ranking of 33rd in Outside magazine’s 2010 Best Places to Work issue. Proof? On our visit, the office went completely dark at noon for the company lunch ride. A walk through the front door at Pearl Izumi revealed the standard elements of any office setting; cubicles, partitions, fluorescent lighting, a bit of prairie-dogging between colleagues,

I can’t believe how light Nanograms are. It’s like riding with the weight of one pedal instead of two. My foot is so close to the spindle, I can hold the gear better, and I have a real awareness that 100% of my power goes right into the bike. ®

– Chris McCormack – 2007 Ironman World Champion

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True custom cut: Two-time Kona champ Tim DeBoom (left) goes over his 2010 season kit as it’s literally hand-crafted by Pearl Izumi Speed Shop designers Ron Rod (center) and Lia Bybee (right).

pearl izumi’s speed shop exists within the building as its own entity. it’s not beholden to budgets, or schedules, or expectations. and less typically, lots of footwear and apparel samples covering the desks. Development groups that head up run, tri or footwear divisions congregate in pods as they work on the new lines for the year. It’s that heads-together system that led them to completely revamp their bike shoe line with a sole that matches up better with the narrower forefoot of the North American runner. Lots of forward-thinking smarts in these design groups. But away from the office, out in the drafty warehouse, is where the magic happens. Joined on our visit by Pearl Izumi-sponsored

pro Tim DeBoom, we descended a set of stairs at the rear of the office, dumping us out into a cavernous supply stock area. In a cordoned area adjacent to aisles of boxed product, next to the wall of racked employee commuter bikes, is a set of desks with computers, spools of thread in every color imaginable and an array of industrial sewing machines, threads hanging overhead and feeding into the machines like an aimless spider web.

Welcome to the Pearl IzumI SPeed ShoP. Wonder how Pearl Izumi comes up a black tri kit that uses heat-reflective fabric? How it comes to create a fabric and cut that is more aero to the wind? A leg gripper that doesn’t put a death grip on your quad, yet won’t ride up your thigh? Welcome to real-world fabric and materials design and prototyping. Pearl Izumi’s Speed Shop exists within the building as its own entity. It’s not beholden to budgets, or schedules, or expectations. The crew’s mission is to dream up solutions, no matter how wild, then make them a reality and

give them to athletes to instantly test. Some fail, some go forth to reach production. Generally, they all wow. To wit: David Zabriskie wearing a flying squirrel skinsuit (with a solid line of fabric connecting the upper arm and ribs) at the Tour de France this year. Tim DeBoom’s race kit, featuring aero fabric panels. It’s why you see DeBoom in the wind tunnel, playing not with bike position but fabric placement as it relates to the tunnel-tested fabric. The Speed Shop began in 2007 as a small group tasked with developing cutting-edge products for its Slipstream ProTour team. That segued into custom design for its pro triathletes, DeBoom, Leon Griffin and Cameron Dye. Conveniently, most of the athletes live or train nearby in Boulder, so they can provide instant feedback on design. When the company moved into its current offices in 2008, the group operated much like a splinter group within the company, its isolated location down in the warehouse giving the group instant access to the tools needed to tinker, on the spot.

054 : ALL ACCESS : G “The cool thing about the Speed Shop is they are not constrained by our regular twice a year seasonal timelines, which allows them to be really creative and focused on innovation with our athletes,” said Pearl Izumi marketing manager Geoff Shaffer. “All of the advancements end up in the line eventually, but not until they are totally happy with the finished project.” The area is a true skunkworks. Any idea, concept or prototype material comes to life in this garage-tinkerer environment. If an idea pops into mind, it goes to sketch, and then they wheel a chair to the sewing machines and make a sample, which then goes into the hands of a pro athlete—whether DeBoom or Garmin-Transitions rider Dave Zabriskie—to test. By the same token, if one of their pros has an odd request, they can make it happen, usually the same day. They specialize in “odd.” In fact, while we perused the area, DeBoom chatted with Speed Shop designer Lia Bybee about this year’s race kit design and re-arranging panel placement. “It’s kinda byzantine—we can create anything, changing art in a day,” Bybee said, add-

ing with an innocent glance at DeBoom “but Tim is not one of those high-maintenance athletes! Honestly, he’s been amazing. He helps us so much understand the real-world needs as they apply to triathlon, like stitches and which are best against chafing.” Fellow Speed Shop designer Ron Rod explained that after a sublimation printer creates the custom design (with all sponsors in the right places), the process of creating a race suit from a white fabric to its sublimated design finish takes 45 seconds. But that’s not, as DeBoom says, the wonderment part. “For me, it’s the fact that it’s not gonna wear away, and you can’t feel it; it’s not like a screenprint; it’s in the fabric, so it moves and breathes so much better than anything screened.” When we visited, the Speed Shop team had DeBoom’s fully-sublimated season race kit— collar, sleeves, chest, back—laid out like a nearly finished jigsaw puzzle, ready for stitching. The Speed Shop is a testing ground for their overseas production. For the pros, it’s done in-house, but the Speed Shop serves as a testing ground for what eventually pass-

es merit for stocking in your local shop. So when DeBoom’s Kona kit is ready, it’ll be made about 20 miles from where he lives. “Flatlocking, cover-stitches, button-holers, bar tackers, all this in an industrial setting is great. Most places don’t have this, and it really speeds up the process of getting these things into our consumer line.” For example, one of the most significant advances from the Speed Shop in Pearl Izumi’s tri apparel line comes with the development of its Transfer Aero fabric, one of the first aero fabrics on the market. The grid pattern was developed by Pearl Izumi’s Japanese offices. Tested in the wind tunnel, company designers found that when stretched over the skin, the fabric’s checkerboard orientation created a boundary layer along the fabric surface, allowing air to pass over the rider with less resistance than occurs against bare skin. The technology was first implemented in the Garmin-Transitions time trial skinsuit and in Tim DeBoom’s Kona race kit. And in an example of trickle-down technology, the aero fabric is used in the top end of the retail tri apparel line.

CONQU MY DR ERING E AMS My Mo u olyMp ntain is fulf ic and profe illing My ssiona Dream l drea ing is e asy, bu rigoro Ms tm


us train aking t he drea ing sch amoun m a rea edule w t of me lity is m it h n no less t a is bala uch ha than 3ncing re l focus while rder. Re 4 work pushin sponsib ality is positiv outs a g throu ilities to a e throu day. It’s g h a m g c h y famil o a both th dreams n n imme s t a n y, my s t e good fe a realit asurab e li ng of fa ponsors days an y… one le tigue. R and my d the b pedal s eality trainin ad day troke a g. It’s s s. I kno t a tim ~ Matt taying w how e. Wha reed, p to mak t’s you ro triath e my r moun lete tain?



056 : ALL ACCESS :  “Originally we were going to use an Eschler dimpled fabric, but the grid fabric outperformed the dimpled fabric by so much,” tri apparel manager Kelly Emich said. Pearl Izumi claims eight percent energy savings at 25 miles per hour. Pros can often “make it work” on some apparel, but when it comes to running shoes, there is no “getting by.” Just a few years into the running footwear segment, Pearl Izumi is learning it’s a hard nut to crack, but they are quite literally gaining traction. “That’s one area where I’m really picky,” said sponsored Aussie pro Leon Griffin. “When I came to them about sponsorship, everyone would think it was for apparel but it was more so for the shoes. I’m always paranoid that I’m gonna feel terrible after trying new shoes, but these were great—I was straight out the door doing two-hour runs in ’em. That to me is a good sign that it’s a good, stable shoe.”




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And while DeBoom is accustomed to being consulted on product, it’s a treat for Griffin. “I’m looking forward to the development. I’ve never had a role like that and they’re developing a racing flat, and they’ve asked for my input. I’m not one of those ‘yes’ athletes that’s gonna agree with everything, and they want that—they’re dead keen at making real race shoes.” Which is what Pearl Izumi wants. Running product manager Mike Thompson gave us a glimpse of a new Streak II (and the tri-specific Transition) race flat that will round out the company’s growing running shoe line, pointing out pen marks DeBoom drew on the sole of a race-tested prototype Streak II where he thought lugs should be made smaller or moved. “From a product creation standpoint, going into a market where we’re still a new player and small player, he’s awesome,” Thompson said. “It throws us off calendar, but we’re getting world-class feedback. He’s a great runner, but he is genuinely exceptional at giving us feedback and can articulate it. He has picky feet—which I like.” What did Tim want in a race flat? “It’s 10 mm offset heel to toe, but 10 mm of EVA super breathable,” Thompson said. “If I can satisfy a guy like him, I feel confident I can satisfy the masses.” Indeed, token efforts are weeded out quickly in a market as discriminating as triathlon is. Yet in short order, not only has Pearl Izumi penetrated the market, but they’ve done so with genuine goods, tested on pros and proven at the races. It’s a process not lost on the company. “Historically we’ve not had it, and even up to two years ago we didn’t have it, but now, we’ve got tri in our DNA,” Shaffer said. “And we’re proud of where we’re going with it.” Added Thompson: “It’s definitely Kona worthy, and we’re committed to continuing to push the technology.” Which will certainly mean more chaos from the Speed Shop crew out back.

larry rosa

058 : TECH FEATURE : G 059


THE spoRT UnobtainiUm bUIlT From its early beginnings in the 80s, triathlon has relied on technology not just for speed, but also to satisfy the subculture’s insatiable need for all things cutting-edge.

n an icy basement near White progenitor Brian Maxwell is Bear Lake, Minn., a bespectaone of those people destined cled young man tinkers with to forge a better way because his girlfriend’s racing 10-speed. there has to be—must be—a Steve Hed, equal parts dreamer better way to move through and scientist, can make the bike time and space. For people By Scott Tinley go faster. Some men court womlike them, building a better en with flowers and poetry. Hed mousetrap is not so much an offers free speed. endeavor as a definition of In a tiny bedroom north who they are. of San Diego, cycling aficionado Richard Bryne is thinking about “lay It’s 1983 and triathlon is a fledgling subculture sport on the rise. The down style” handlebars for RAAM riders, steep seat-angled frame ge- economy is strong, endurance athletes are bored with the predictable ometry for time-trialists, and an indoor rig he calls the Turbo-Trainer. He simplicity of running, and out of the boggy shallows of San Diego’s Misdoesn’t know or care if they will work or if he will profit from his labors. sion Bay a new sport has emerged: one that combines style and speed. Byrne, along with Steve Hed, Oakley founder Jim Jannard, and PowerBar There are no strings that bind the sport to prior generations and no


limitations stemming from tradition. Triathletes are products of a consumptive society that rewards hard work with material things and fuels their competitive fires with adult toys. They want to set trends, styles and records, and their minds and checkbooks are open. But the intersecting story of technology and triathlon’s growth is not limited to the athletes. The tale is best told by considering the many and varied factors, beginning with the relationship between designer and athlete. “When it comes right down to it,” suggests Hed, “triathletes are as geeky as the scientists.” He adds, “When we started producing wheels in 1984 there were perhaps 200 people in the world who needed a disc wheel. And that hasn’t changed much.” Hed suggests that while triathletes are always in search of that free speed, perhaps other motives helped to form the 1980s cottage industry of multisport technology. Multisport athletes covet both fashion and function; a new concept in the world of sport manufacturing. After 18 months of planning by

design guru Bob Scott, O’Neill Wetsuits rolls out the first North American swimming wetsuit that spring. Although the 1 mm vest/hood combo is a groundbreaking initiative, it’s still an under-developed product: It might keep you warm—in the mountains—but no one swims faster with its use. Simultaneously, Piping Hot, a surfing wetsuit company out of Torquay, Australia, builds a few high-neck long john-style suits that float a weaker swimmer’s torso. In good Aussie fashion, the athletes claim it’s all about preventing hypothermia while donning them in 85-degrees F water. The guys in the basements and back rooms and industrial wind tunnels realize that for many, triathlon is a fantasy sport—if they want to play the role of dream merchant, free speed has to work, regardless of the price. Technology cannot exist for its own sake. In the summer of 1984, Scott Molina debuts the Oakley Eyeshades. He looks like a bug, but the glasses work and Molina, one of the best


courtesy richard bryne

Start of a revolution: tinkerer Richard bryne created the first aerobar, used by Jim Elliott, (shown here) at the 1984 Race across america. these bars were the first version of what has become triathlon’s most identifying piece of equipment.

durance athletes in the world, starts a trend. Within weeks, coastal San Diego is swarming with Oakleys. In the Berkeley, Calif., foothills, Maxwell and his wife, Jennifer, are tweaking protoPowerBars in their kitchen while across the bay in Santa Cruz, Calif., idea mogul Jim Gentes is crafting Darth Vader look-alike helmets for a company he will call Giro. Their

As Bryne recalls, it all began with an initial rejection of the emerging technology by road cycling and a total embracement of anything new and flashy by triathletes. “Tech was exciting,” Bryne’s voice gains volume and punch. “Triathletes used new equipment as both a justification of their commitment and a symbol of their intent. A new set of pedals signifies a lot more than the shaving of a few grams of weight.”

“TRIATHlETEs UsEd nEw EqUIpmEnT As boTH A jUsTIFICATIon oF THEIR CommITmEnT And A symbol oF THEIR InTEnT. A nEw sET oF pEdAls sIgnIFIEs A loT moRE THAn THE sHAvIng oF A FEw gRAms oF wEIgHT.”

products will be fast, functional and fulfill a growing desire for cultural identity in the crowded world of sport. No one dreams that two decades later, Oakley, PowerBar and Giro would collectively be valued at close to a billion dollars and owned by large multinational corporations.

Mid-80s multisport was about sameness and difference; an emerging desire to set oneself apart through both performance and panache. So, while cocktail-party conversation might begin with expressions of wonderment and questions about race preparation, inevitably it would circle around to queries like “Do

photo credit: oakley


The bug-like Oakley Eyeshades worn by pro triathletes like Scott Molina were soon seen on athletes throughout San Diego and beyond.

you change your clothes between events?” “Why doesn’t someone invent a flat-proof tire?” and “Does Unobtainium really work?” The story of triathlon is the story of tinkering, of trying to do something better during a time and place when the future was wide open. Dan Empfield, perhaps one of the more insightful technophobes and creator of Quintana Roo wetsuits and bicycles, suggests that there was a kind of perfect storm of socioeconomic conditions in the early days of triathlon. “Success is entirely about the culture that one comes from,” he argues. “You need to be born at the right time.” While Empfield might be downplaying the necessary vision, creativity and good business practice needed for success, he’s saying that if he or other designer/developers from the early 1980s tried to replicate their efforts today, they might fail under the weight of challenges unique to the present. Empfield cites cases of smart people behind great ideas who entered the multisport market during that storm, but could not sustain the production, sales and distribution momentum. Victor de Silva’s late 1980s neon rage, Tri Fit, Roger Sanders and Bill Goldfoos’

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courtesy timex

The Timex Ironman watch has been a bestseller since its debut in the late 1980s.

AeroLite pedals, Ralph Ray’s 90-degree seat-angled time trial bike and Bill Gookin’s Gookinade all faded from the market and the race courses and now exist mostly in custom orders, garage rafters and on eBay. If there is a pattern in their demise, it lies in an inability or lack of interest in altering the fashion/function ratio to match athlete/consumer tastes. And it must be noted that some folks just wanted to keep their world headquarters in a corner of the garage. For other designer/owners, an opportunity to take the chips off the table and sell their company was just too appealing. Others have argued that without both a love of the game and blind dumb luck it became harder to stay afloat as the sport became gentrified and the larger players like Nike, Reebok, Trek and Gatorade entered the market. The unfortunate truth of manufacturing in a market-based economy is that you either grow and diversify, sell out or let it go. Consider the Timex Ironman watch. Not an overly techy item, at one point it was the largest-selling watch style in the world. We were all so proud when President Clinton was seen running with one. The Timex Ironman keeps on selling by altering its look at least twice each year. It now relies more on what the marriage of the two brands represents than how many lap times it can store. As the sport grew, labels developed, prices fell, sales and athlete sponsorships increased—and we all went along for the ride. As with any good business, successful designers and companies knew their market and adapted accordingly. Companies like Hed and Scott USA—holder of the license for the aerobar developed by Boone Lennon and Charley French— have held their own with expanding product lines, inventory controls, a


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Brad Kearns (right) debuts Scott DH aerobars for the first time in a multisport event during the 1987 Desert Princess World Duathlon Championship in Palm Springs, Calif.


smaller but historically rich brand name, and constant athlete input. Not insignificantly, the percentage of highly active athlete/employees in small to medium-sized sport-related companies has often ranged as high as 80 to 90 percent. The involvement of professional athletes in testing and design has also been high in triathlon. But perhaps the least-known player in this ever-evolving market was the first. Nick Forte owns a micro-sized clothing manufacturing operation near Manhattan Beach, Calif., and is the creator of the first one-piece spandex tri suit in 1981. It was a custom order for transition specialist Mark Montgomery. “Why try to shave 15 seconds in your swim when you could take off a minute in transition?” Montgomery was fond of asking. Forte never got rich but still makes cool and interesting one-off clothing items for athletes. And he did what every triathlete secretly wanted—he found a way to highlight a well-earned body shape. Forte was selling function, but sexuality was included in the price. When cycling legend Greg LeMond rolled out his so-called “secret weapon” (Scott DH bars) to secure his eight-second victory over Laurent Fignon in the 1989 Tour de France, we all rolled our eyes in sync. Triathlete Brad Kearns had first used those bars two years earlier at the Desert Princess World Duathlon Championship in Palm Springs, Calif. That day, I chided Kearns and told him that his bars looked like a sprinkler system. And then I went into the hotel lobby to call Boone Lennon about getting a pair.


ThE EyEs hAvE iT Your sports eyewear should offer you more than just style. By Jordan Rapp

photo russ hennings


An Oakley sunglass impact-protection test at the company’s headquarters in Foothill Ranch, Calif.

uman beings process about 90 percent of their sensory input visually. While that number obviously changes with circumstances—such as when we fumble our way to the toilet in the middle of the night or catch of a whiff of bacon cooking on a hot griddle—the fact remains that, as a species, we are extraordinarily reliant on our eyes. As an admitted non-expert in the field, other than knowing how important good eyewear is if (or when) you crash on a bike, I sought guidance from two people who are experts, though with extremely different backgrounds. Dr. Hylton Mayer is an assistant professor and Director of the Cataract Surgery Section of the Yale Eye Center in New Haven, Conn. Andy McSorley is the brand manager for Oakley, one of the most technically oriented companies in the world when it comes to eyewear design. Both of these individuals gave invaluable insight into what matters when it comes to keeping your eyes safe. Sports eyewear should function in three ways—impact protection, UV protection, and optical clarity. Impact protection is generally considered the most critical aspect of performance eyewear, because, according to Mayer, ocular trauma is the number two cause of blindness in the U.S., and the standards that eyewear is required to meet with regards to impact protection are very low. The most stringent standards are the ASTM F803-03 standard, which covers only impact protection, and the ANSI Z87.1 standard, which is a more general standard for eyewear, covering both impact protection and also optical clarity. According to McSorley, Oakley chooses to use the ANSI Z87.1 standard because they feel it is the most complete standard for eyewear, but as it was originally an industrial standard, it was something Oakley had to seek out for sport optics. The ANSI Z87.1 standard sets performance metrics for high-speed, small-projectile impacts (imagine a car throwing up a rock at you as you bomb down a descent) and also


russ hennings

Your choice in eyewear may very well be your last line of defense against road hazards like glare and stray pebbles.

blunt force impact (you crash and your face hits the pavement), both of which are demonstrated in a sobering display in Oakley’s test lab, where a steel BB is shot from an air gun and then a 500-gram spike is dropped from a height of about four feet onto a dummy’s eyewear-clad face. The differences between different brands can be astounding. UV protection is an area where there is pretty good parity among most of the top brands, though Mayer emphasized that the standards are low and many cheap glasses filter only one of the three spectrums of UV light. UV damage can lead to three serious conditions: the acute condition known as “snow-blindness,” which is actually a sunburn of the cornea, and the chronic conditions of macular degeneration and an increased risk of cataracts. To limit this damage, Mayer said it’s important to get total full-spectrum UV protection, which blocks 100 percent of UVA, UVB, and UVC light in addition to harmful blue light up to 400 nm. While unseen UV rays can profoundly damage your eyes, plenty of seen things—if not seen clearly while riding or running—can be equally hazardous. Optical clarity is not really protection for your eyes as much as it is allowing your eyes to protect the rest of you. According to Mayer, clarity is extremely important. As much as it may seem obvious, he said, “being able to see the road clearly is not insignificant.” As with impact protection, he emphasized that the required standards are very low. The ANSI standards use three different tests to measure the performance of a lens—a clarity test, which measures how images are blurred by optics; a refractive test,

which measures how optics magnify images; and a prism test, which measures how optics may shift an image. Oakley gives a visual demonstration of the tests on, under the sub-heading “Optical Superiority,” though the tried-and-true test of simply putting on different glasses back-to-back provides a reasonably good proxy for the end user. Along similar lines of protection is the polarizing of lenses to cut down on glare, which can render any athlete unable to see, even out of the clearest lenses. But Mayer explained that incorrectly polarized lenses can actually increase the intensity of the light that hits your eye. Usually, polarizing filters are either rolled onto a lens or laminated in a sandwich between two lenses, both of which offer plenty of room for error or for a negative impact on other performance metrics. To combat this, McSorley explained how Oakley injection molds their lenses with the polarizing filter in place, which they feel gives them the best control over the process and prevents any compromises on overall quality. As with optical clarity, there is another indirect way in which eyewear can keep you safe, though this pertains strictly your eyes, and it’s because of something eyewear doesn’t do. Mayer explained how most soft contact lenses “soak up chemicals from the surrounding water” and “serve as an incubator for amoebas and protozoa.” The effect is magnified because contacts are sitting on your eyes. With such a wide range of sport-specific optics now available in prescriptions, there is no reason to wear contacts during a race and plenty of reasons not to.

Armed with the knowledge about what’s important for protecting my eyes, I wanted to learn how that manifests into an actual product you put on when you go riding. One overarching measure is the consistency with which eyewear can meet these metrics for protection. Some products do a great job in one area, but fall short in another. Cast urethane, an impressively impactresistant material that you can hit with a hammer without damaging the lenses, performs poorly in optical clarity tests due to inconsistencies in the casting process. Oakley uses pure polycarbonate that is raw and un-recycled, as that can introduce impurities. To make a lens, the polycarbonate is injection-molded at 300,000 psi into a stainless steel mold for an extremely repeatable fabrication process that is the benchmark for the industry. Most coatings are done by vapor deposition, where, for example, the reflective titaniumdioxide and silicon-dioxide coating Oakley calls “Iridium” is heated to gaseous form to ensure an even distribution on the lens; the exception is

whilE unsEEn uv RAys cAn PROfOundly dAmAgE yOuR EyEs, PlEnTy Of sEEn Things— if nOT sEEn clEARly whilE Riding OR Running—cAn bE EquAlly hAzARdOus.

the photochromic (light-sensitive) “Transitions” coating, which is distributed by centripetal force onto a lens spun at high speed. This is all done to ensure that Oakley’s trademark “High Definition Optics” are never compromised. If you’ve enjoyed reading this, thank your eyes by rewarding them with a good pair of glasses. I’d hate for you to miss out on my next column. LAVA

Jordan Rapp received his B.S.E. in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 2002. As a professional triathlete, he is able to work as a true field engineer for the product development teams at Specialized Bicycle Components and Zipp Speed Weaponry. When not riding his bike, he can be found behind his laptop fulfilling his duties as the Chief Technology Officer for


TO TOPPLE a queen By Frederick Dreier

Photography by Donald Miralle

Mirinda Carfrae and Julie Dibens top the list of threats to champion Chrissie Wellington at this year’s Ford Ironman World Championship. Do they have what it takes to win?


Every seasoned triathlete has experienced the thrill of flight. It’s the elusive synergy of brain and brawn, when the body reaches top speed yet the effort feels smooth—almost easy. As athletes say, it’s when things “are clicking.”


074 : FEATURES 075


Mirinda Carfrae’s last brush with that sensation came along Ali’i Drive at last year’s Ironman World Championship. Although a talented runner, Carfrae had never completed a marathon, let alone an Ironman. But when her feet met the pavement, and her legs began the 26.2-mile trek to the finish line, Carfrae took off. “I had no idea what it was going to feel like, but I kept passing people,” the Australian remembers. “I was running down Ali’i with so much energy, going way too fast, trying to calm myself down because I was so excited.” Carfrae sped out of the gates pushing sub-6-minute miles—far too fast a pace to sustain over the course. But as she eased into her quick turnover, Carfrae began blowing by other women: Dede Griesbauer, Rachel Joyce and Tereza Macel. As she caught and passed Spaniard Virginia Berasategui at mile 22, Carfrae was assured second place.

whilE cARFRAE hAS AccEpTEd wEllingTon’S dominAncE ovER ThE FiEld, ShE’S noT REAdy To ThRow in ThE TowEl And RAcE FoR SEcond plAcE—noT yET.

Cafrae’s record-setting run (2:56:51) catapulted her into the public eye as a new challenger for future Ironman events. Only 29, she had already amassed a results sheet full of victories at the Olympic and 70.3 distance. But Carfrae faced a grim reality: On her best day, when her body and mind connected to create record-breaking speed, she’d still been beaten by Great Britain’s Chrissie Wellington by a crushing 20 minutes. “She was so far ahead,” Carfrae said. “She was so strong on the bike, but she was the second-fastest runner of the day too. I wasn’t chasing her, I knew she was gone.” Nine months after her record run, Carfrae tops the short list of women who will challenge Wellington at this year’s Ironman World Championship. But how to topple the three-time champion? Wellington’s 8:54:02 performance last year didn’t simply shatter Paula Newby-Fraser’s 17-year Kona course record, it broadcast a clear message to the women’s field: Wellington is the strongest. Period. While Carfrae has accepted Wellington’s dominance over the field, she’s not ready to throw in the towel and race for second place—not yet. She points out her own freshman mistakes as room for improvement in Kona. Having exited the water four minutes down on Wellington, Carfrae settled into a group that included Belinda Granger, Joanna Lawn and Michellie Jones, among others. Carfrae said she was afraid to push the pace in the presence of the veterans. “I was like, OK, is this the pace we’re supposed to ride? It felt easy,” Carfrae said. “I rode about 15 meters off the back of the group. As it turns out, I was pacing off of girls who were not having a great day, and I was having a great day.”

076 : FEATURES 077

Carfrae credits Wellington’s sub-five-hour bike split as the factor that truly set her apart from the rest of the women’s field. So she’s spent the better part of 2010 beefing up her strength on the bike with her coach, former ITU world champion Siri Lindley. Gone are the quality tempo running sessions which helped propel Carfrae to the Ironman 70.3 world title in 2007, as well as 70.3 victories in California and Calgary last year. This year Carfrae rides long and steady miles on rested legs, and completes her long runs under fatigue to simulate race conditions. And after spending the lion’s share of her adult life as an elite triathlete, Carfrae—who discovered the sport after playing basketball as a youth—says she has time on her side. At 29, she has yet to reach her pinnacle as a female endurance athlete, which usually comes in the mid 30s. The full depth of her talent, she believes, has yet to be explored. She’s never even had a running coach dissect her stride. And since she looks at her career in the long term, Carfrae believes that she has plenty of time to catch and beat Wellington, who, at 33, is entering her prime. “I don’t know if it will happen this year,” Carfrae said. “I think on my best day I’m in the ballpark. But it’s going to happen, we’ll get her at some point.”

JulIe DIbens: steppIng up to IronMan. Things were clicking for Julie Dibens on March 13 at the inaugural Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. Dibens, 35, whose world titles at the XTERRA and 70.3 distance, and her Olympic qualifications in 2000 and 2004 make her arguably Great Britain’s best allaround triathlete, hoped the 3K swim, 200K bike and 20K run in the Middle East could give her a taste of long-distance racing. “I’ve talked with plenty of short course athletes who have stepped up to [Ironman] and they are bored, they say it doesn’t feel like they are racing,” Dibens said. “The biggest thing for me is enjoyment. If I’m out on a five-hour bike and I’m like, ‘Oh, this sucks,’ then I’m not going to race Ironman.” Dibens suffered a flat tire on the bike in Abu Dhabi, and she struggled with the baking heat and a course that, other than a few laps on a Formula 1 track, left much to be desired. But her body reacted well to the longer distance, and she enjoyed the event, which she said convinced her to race Ironman. It helped that Dibens beat second place Leanda Cave by four minutes. The result put Dibens atop the short list of challengers to win in Kona. The jump to Ironman appears the natural career arc for Dibens. A former NCAA Division I All-American swimmer at Louisiana State, Dibens transitioned into

AlexanderÕ s road to success on the race course required something a lot of pros struggle with: patience.


triathlon in 1998, and within two years had qualified for Great Britain’s Olympic squad. A partially torn ACL kept Dibens from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, but Dibens continued to race, and earned a spot for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where she placed 30th. But ITU-style racing was a poor fit for Dibens, whose comparative weakness on the run negated her worldclass swim and bike legs. And Dibens often struggled with injuries, including a painful toe dislocation in 2004 that led to three surgeries. “We sat down and seriously thought about switching to cycling,” Dibens said. “I really didn’t know if I was going to run again.” Rehabbing the injury took two years, and put the final nail in the coffin for Dibens’ ITU career. She returned to triathlon with few expectations, and with her eyes set on the longer 70.3 events as well as the XTERRA off-road series. Within two seasons, Dibens had claimed the XTERRA world title and was nipping at the heels of the best 70.3 racers. She claimed the 70.3 world title in 2009. “It reignited things in me, it showed me I can be great at triathlon,” Dibens said of her 2007 XTERRA world title. “I like races where my strength on the bike can be a factor.” With her Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology, Dibens is one of the few athletes at the top who coaches herself. For her Kona prep, she forced herself to pile on the mileage She was wary of applying too much volume to her run for fear of inflaming her old injuries. However, Dibens has chosen not to limit her racing, as many prospective Ironman champions do. So far, her 2010 season has included victories at Wildflower, the Rev3 event in Knoxville, Tenn., and Ironman 70.3 Boise. “Racing is what motivates me to get out the door, it helps break my season up into blocks,” Dibens said. “There’s no way I could just race once in March and then [once] in October. That’s too big of a training block to wrap my head around.” As for Wellington, Dibens realizes her countrywoman is in a league of her own. Dibens owns the advantage in the water, and on her best day she could hold Wellington’s wheel—or possibly even drop the champion—on a long ride. But Wellington’s talents on the bike and marathon give her a definite advantage over Dibens. And Dibens is also an Ironman novice, so problems with nutrition and pain could affect her race. “I honestly have no idea whether I’m going to be in the ballpark, but it’s not going to stop me from trying to beat [Wellington],” Dibens said. “It really is like going into the unknown for me. I go from being excited to being like, ‘What the heck am I doing?’”


“i honESTly hAvE no idEA whEThER i’m going To bE in ThE bAllpARk, bUT iT’S noT going To STop mE FRom TRying To bEAT [wEllingTon],” SAyS dibEnS. “iT’S REAlly likE going inTo ThE Unknown.”

FrIenDs anD Foes In ColoraDo. Wellington’s third Ironman title last year led to the inevitable comparisons to Newby-Fraser, whose eight career titles are still a record. Indeed, Wellington’s dominance at Kona is reminiscent of that of the South African, who regularly finished in a different time zone than her competition. So how should an underdog such as Dibens or Carfrae approach the monumental task of taking down the champion? Karen Smyers, who methodically chased down a fading Newby-Fraser to win Kona in 1995, said Dibens and Carfrae come into the race with a handful of advantages, namely the lack of pressure and media attention. Smyers said the underdog tactic in Kona is to focus on one’s own race. Basing one’s performance on that of the dominant athlete can lead to a drop in morale. It’s a long race, after all, and frontrunners can fade, suffer crashes or injuries, or—like Newby-Fraser—experience severe physical problems. “My mistake was always defining my race on how I was doing against Paula,” Smyers said. “It would always get me in a really bad funk midway through the race because I couldn’t ride with her. So in [1995] I let her go, and my goal was just get close enough to make things interesting.”

Carfrae and Dibens hold an advantage that Smyers never had. The two both live and train in the same town as Wellington. On any given day during the summer months, Carfrae, Dibens and Wellington can all be found swimming laps at the afternoon swim practice at Flatiron Athletic Club in Boulder, Colorado. Flatiron’s swim practices look like a who’s who of triathlon: Locals Simon Lessing, Dave Scott and Joanna Zeiger hold court on the pool deck alongside a smattering of visiting athletes from Australia and Europe. But while the three used to do the occasional biking and running sessions together, these days they have gone their separate ways. “Chrissie and I trained together a bit last year, the fact that we’re racing against each other has changed that,” Dibens said. “We don’t like to give an inch. If we trained together every day, we’d try to bury each other. It would not be good—we’d both end up in a basket.” Carfrae echoes Dibens’ sentiments. She and Dibens train together on occasion—Carfrae pushes Dibens on the long runs, and Dibens challenges Carfrae on the bike. But as for regular sessions including all three, Carfrae shakes her head. “It would turn into a smash session. I only have so many efforts like that in my body and I’d rather save it for a race,” Carfrae said. “We’re all

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on the verge of overtraining. You put sessions like that in, and it could be enough to put me over the edge.” Scott, who said he rarely trained alongside his rivals during his Ironman reign in the 1980s, now coaches Wellington from his base in Boulder. He said the three women are regulars at his late-morning swim workouts, and although they swim in different lanes, the three are “equally ferocious in the pool.” “They have this barometer of discomfort that is above the top end,” Scott said. “They are mentally strong as nails.” Scott said Dibens and Carfrae strike him as talented women who

have the confidence that is necessary to win in Kona. Scott points at their respective 70.3 world titles as proof that they own the mindset to win major races. But at the end of the day, Scott said he’s still putting his money on Wellington. So is Smyers. She said she’d love to see an underdog like herself attain the top step at Kona, but the sheer weight of Wellington’s dominance in Ironman tips the scales in her favor—by a lot. “I’m very impressed with Mirinda and Julie, but you’d be nuts to bet against Chrissie at this point,” Smyers said. “But I guess that’s why they hold the race, right?” LAVA

084 : FEATURES 085


When 56-year-old triathlete randy Clark



The letter arrived a couple of weeks after Randy Clark, then 54, went in for his 2007 physical. The doctor raved about Clark’s heart, lungs and cholesterol count. “You have the body of a 38-year-old,” the letter reads. Clark returned to his doctor for what he assumed would be a routine follow-up. The doctor said there was some concern with the blood test, specifically related to his prostate. An immediate exam indicated inflammation. The doctor wanted a biopsy. The biopsies revealed widespread cancer of the prostate. “He was just stunned,” says Clark’s wife, Anne Rizzo-Clark. Clark underwent surgery to remove his prostate and parts of the bladder where the cancer had spread. Nearly 30 radiation treatments removed cells in the pelvic region where doctors were fearful the cancer had also spread. Two years after the original diagnosis, in September 2009, an exam showed that the cancer had returned to the pelvic region. A doctor estimated Clark had 18 months to 10 years to live. “This is it,” Clark told Anne. “This is the beginning of the end.” “Of course,” says Anne, “Randy just heard the 18 months.” Clark could have opted to undergo treatment with the steroid Lupron to fight the cancer, but the drug can have brutal side effects including mood swings, weight changes, loss of libido. Says Clark, who lived in San Diego County for 33 years until moving to the Seattle area in June, “I opted for quality of life.” What would you do if told you might only have 18 months to live? Travel the world? Skydive? Squeeze in as much time as possible with family and friends? Clark—a rugged man who worked as a masonry contractor, who raced 13 Ironmans but none since 2005, who qualified for Ironman Ha-

waii four times—decided, “I’d like to do an Ironman again.” So he quit working and began training for August’s Subaru Ironman Canada.

The V-shaped scar on clark’s righT Thigh

came courtesy of a Skilsaw accident requiring more than 60 stitches. Kids on the beach look at the scar, drop their jaws and ask, “Were you bitten by a shark?” Clark’s shins and hands are nicked, scraped, knotted and discolored from brushes with rebar, stone, concrete, even one electrocution. “To me, it’s just baffling,” said Paul Thomas, a longtime friend of Clark’s. “I’m thinking this guy’s made of stone. You think the guy’s indestructible, then you tell me he has prostate cancer with PSA levels to the moon? You scratch your head and say, ‘Well, I guess none of us are indestructible.’ ” Clark’s beaten body also serves as a road map to a life lived hard. “From ninth grade on,” he says, “it was party. A wide spectrum of recreational drugs over the years. I’m not embarrassed for what I did. It made for a full life.” He was arrested at 17, served jail time for marijuana possession, but didn’t change his ways. From his early 20s to his mid-30s, Clark’s routine was as follows: log eight hours at a construction site, hang with guys at the site after work while splitting a couple cases of beer; move the party to a bar; down more Coors. Eight, 10, 15 beers a day. He’d order a couple of late-night, double-cheese pizzas for dinner. Or stop at McDonald’s for a Big Mac, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, fries, a milkshake and for dessert, an apple pie. At 6 feet, his weight ballooned to 240 pounds. By his mid-30s he’d smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for nearly 20 years. Friends wondered if he’d live to see 40. Concerned about Clark’s reckless lifestyle, his brother, James, once told him, “I don’t think the [homeless] people on Market Street decided to move there.”

of stone Was diagnosed With CanCer he didn’t get off his bike—he rode harder . By Don Norcross

Photos by Jay Prasuhn


Clark relaxes with his 9-year-old son, Cam, and his wife, Anne.

Family and friends can preach and nag all they want, but sometimes it takes an epiphany for a man to change. In Clark’s case, the epiphany involved a woman. He doesn’t remember her name. They only knew each other for a couple of days in 1989. They talked one day and decided to meet for a run. They jogged a bit and returned to the starting point. “That’s just a warm-up,” the woman said. “And I’m dying,” recalls Clark. He only lasted a couple of blocks during the “real” run. The woman continued for miles. Days later, the woman moved—but Clark kept on running. He stretched his workouts one telephone pole at a time. Replacing one addiction with another, he was running 50 miles a week within a couple of months. He lost 70 pounds in four months. Within a one-year span he built a collection of more than 50 race T-shirts, stretching from 5Ks to half marathons. A friend introduced him to triathlons in 1991. Addictive personality? He did his first Ironman in ’92. By ’93, he qualified for Kona. Since meeting that woman in late 1989, he hasn’t smoked a cigarette. His alcohol consumption has been limited to a sip of champagne at his 2000 wedding in Maui, where he was racing at the XTERRA World Championship. Of his 180-degree about-face, Clark says, “I didn’t want to be some loser.”

tember 2009, Randy and Anne sold a property, which enabled Randy to sell his tools and quit work. He resumed taking vitamins, minerals, fish oil, natural anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. His job since moving to Washington? Swim, bike and run. Blood tests in January and April indicate that while the cancer is still active, there’s a possibility it may not be growing as rapidly as it once was. “Randy has a really positive outlook on dealing with his cancer and not knowing what the future holds,” says Donna Phelan, a pro triathlete who trained with Clark in San Diego. “I guess he’s preparing as if this one might be his last.” Anne sees things differently. “I don’t think the 18-month or 10-year rule is going to apply to him, based on his lifestyle change,” she says. “And he’ll do Ironman Canada, hopefully make it into Ironman Hawaii this year. Then he’ll have his [blood] tests, and if his levels stay steady, I just foresee him doing another Ironman next year. And the next year. And the next year.” Which would necessitate another lifestyle change for Clark. “If that’s the case,” says Anne, “he’s going to have to get a job.”

MonThs ago, randy clark was nerVous—nervous

To see how Randy Clark finished at Ironman Canada, please visit

because he felt so damn good. Since news of the cancer’s return in



088 : FEATURES 089

FOUNDAT finding a




early three months after the January 12 earthquake hit Haiti— the tremor that killed more than 230,000 and left more than a million and a half homeless—I woke up in my Port-au-Prince apartment determined to go running. I hadn’t run since the 7.0 struck— my motivation, like the country’s infrastructure, had imploded. I used to run in Haiti when I lived and worked there as a journalist in the 1980s and 1990s. I didn’t run to get in the zone, but to move my body. It was a relief from the daily stresses of social unrest, economic uncertainty and political upheaval. It was also a test of concentration—dodging potholes, finding footing on uneven cobble roads, avoiding piles of garbage and reckless drivers. When I finally moved to Miami, I ran on beaches, on sidewalks framing seaside homes and multi-million dollar mansions. Then I added a swim in the ocean and began to do laps in one of the numerous pools readily accessible in my neighborhood. Eventually, I upgraded from my one-speed cruiser to a sophisticated tri bike, and joined a group of triathletes who soon became family. Weekday trainings tumbled into long weekend rides, bricks and cross training topped off with fruit smoothies laced with spirulina and chlorella.

When ABC reporter and triathlete Kathie Klarreich was sent to Haiti in the aftermath of the tiny country’s massive earthquake, she found the broken nation’s plans to rebuild and her own off-kilter training program to be frustratingly complicated and heartbreakingly intertwined. By Kathie Klarreich ❘ Photos by Maggie Steber

090 : FEATURES When the ground threw Haiti off-center, I had just begun my offseason training, preparing for Miami’s new Ironman 70.3 in October. I had complete confidence in my coach’s plan to shave six minutes off my previous time and still avoid the medical tent, where I had ended up after my first half Ironman two months earlier. Hours after the quake, ABC asked me to join their crew. When we landed in Port-au-Prince on a charter the next day, training was no longer on my radar. I, like the rest of Haiti’s nine million, switched to survival mode. The first few nights I slept on the airport tarmac, then moved to a tent on the grounds of a barely functioning hotel. I lived on PowerBars and bottled water. The simplest tasks seemed monumental in light of the surroundings: 245,000 ruined or hopelessly damaged structures that produced tens of millions of cubic yards of broken blocks, twisted metal and pulverized concrete. Enough debris to fill the Louisiana Superdome, top to bottom, 17 times. Death and destruction were everywhere. In contrast to an orderly routine in Miami, my life as a journalist in Haiti was chaotic and unpredictable. Every day I witnessed a new nightmare as medics tended the injured, rescuers fought to save lives and the homeless scavenged for shelter, food and water. Days blurred into weeks. By the end of January, I worked my way into a hotel that had sporadic electricity, running water, a restaurant and a pool. But in my hastily packed bag, I had never thought to bring a swimsuit. Even if I had, I doubt I would have been able to take the plunge, literally or figuratively. It just didn’t seem right, knowing that on the other side of the gate hundreds of thousands of people were living in makeshift tents of bedsheets and bamboo poles, or in cardboard homes that were precariously perched in danger of sliding down muddy slopes in the event of a heavy rain. But after a brief visit to the States a month later to get more supplies, I returned to the same hotel and decided that it was time to dive in, as much for my soul as for my body. Stroking through the water reinforced the message friends and family had been hammering at me: Take care of yourself! This was, after all, a marathon—not a sprint. Eventually, I left the hotel and moved into an apartment just a half mile from the home I had lived in years before, a home which had collapsed. As I unpacked my suitcase, I pulled out my running shoes and made a vow that the next morning I was going to start to get back in shape. I had no goal in mind—training for a sprint, to say nothing of a half Ironman, seemed as remote as returning to my pre-earthquake life. But I wanted to be in control of something, and exercise seemed like the most logical choice. I dreaded the thought of how my body was going to react after such a long hiatus, but a slow jog was going to be better than no jog at all. Even in my neighborhood—popular with early morning walkers—joggers were an anomaly. Being a woman, and white, made me stand out even more, but after a few weeks of navigating the same hills as the regulars, I became one. On any given day, I passed the same sports enthusiasts, the same goats, chickens, pigs, the internally displaced emerging from their tents, brushing their teeth, washing their faces from buckets of water. Women starting charcoal fires to sell coffee or whipping up a pot of mayi moule (cornmeal) were as much a part of the scenery as the ti machan (market women) with their baskets of Chiclets, cigarettes, candies and crackers. I still turned away from the men sitting on the side of the road, men wondering how they were going to feed


their families while I ran to burn calories they couldn’t get enough of. That’s the thing about Haitians. Their life is a daily exercise—in endurance, survival and resistance. The same kids who carried five-gallon buckets of water on their heads were now removing steel rods and slabs of cement. People, especially schoolchildren, have always walked everywhere. Walking is cheaper than jumping on one of the brightly colored painted tap-taps (local jitneys) or hailing a shared taxi. In their free time, barefoot boys kick a makeshift ball on any patch of street wide enough to skirt the rubble. Soccer is the glue that has kept the country together, with the World Cup providing just a bit of relief from the heat and hot tempers of the summer months. It was a national tragedy that 30 members of Haiti’s Soccer Federation, including referees, coaches, players, administrators and medical officials, died during the collapse of the Federation headquarters. The loss could not be properly mourned, and will never be properly mourned, given the enormity of the number who died in the quake. Soccer, to say nothing of sports, has never been part of Haiti’s official school curriculum. Over the years, legislators have tried to pass a law requiring sports in schools, but have had no luck. Some private schools, the same ones that offer international baccalaureate programs, offer physical education, but the price of tuition for those schools is more than most Haitians make in a year. The building that housed the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Civic

Action was destroyed on January 12, as were most other government ministries. Employees moved to trailers parked on what was once the farm of the Duvalier family, a father-son dictatorship that ruled the country from 1959 to 1986. On the day that I visited the Ministry, three months after the quake, I walked through one trailer that had a few desks, a couple of computers and a creaky air conditioner wall unit. Each employee had his own personal water bottle. No one in the Ministry could tell me what the current budget was, but the $38 million that had once been earmarked for 10 sports centers had been gobbled up by the emergency. The original plan was to have a center in each of the country’s 10 departments—sports centers that would have included a track, a gym, a volleyball/basketball court, tennis courts and a place to train for judo and karate. Understandably, the Ministry’s priorities shifted after the quake, but the Ministry itself seemed committed to pushing for a physical education program in the reconstruction process. By providing something as basic as intramurals, Ministry director Valiollah Gillus argued, a child could learn to know something broader than a four-block neighborhood. “To love your country you have to know it,” Gillus said. “Sports can open up a whole new world for them.” That’s the national perspective. On the international front, administrators were talking about preparing Haitian athletes for competition


in Mexico. Over a demitasse in an air-conditioned room decorated with framed posters and leather chairs, Secretary General Alain Jean-Pierre explained that Haiti’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) had helped athletes compete in the Olympics, the Pan American games, the Central American games, and on occasion, the Francophone games. Success stories have been rare; marathoner Dieudonné Lamothe won the Francophone games in 1988 and in 2001 Dudley Dorival came in third in the world championships for the 110-meter hurdles. Mostly there wasn’t enough interest, or money, to send anyone anywhere. In Beijing’s Olympics, Haiti was able to send a handful of athletes to compete in three sports: track and field, judo and boxing. The Haitian blue and red flag was carried by judoka Joel Brutus, a double medal winner in the Pan-Am games. Seven athletes and officials who represented Haiti in Beijing were killed in the quake. Offers to house and train athletes poured in from around the world after January’s disaster, as training in Haiti was still a struggle. Four out of the five tracks in the capital were still serving as tent camps months after the quake. The German Red Cross set up their home base on one of the facilities, the Carrefour Sports Center, which used to house the country’s only 50-meter pool, but that pool hasn’t been operational in years. When the pump broke shortly after the center opened in 1980, the government decided it wasn’t worth repairing. There are no other public pools in Haiti—all other swimming pools are connected with private schools or hotels. There has never been a history of swim competition. There has never been a triathlon. Ever. Cycling was popular in the 1980s, but I have never seen more than a handful of cyclists in the 24 years that I’ve been following Haiti. Now I understand why. Drivers, to say nothing of the sorry state of the roads, have even less respect for bicycles than they do other vehicles. Accidents are as common as the flies that swarm the piles of garbage lining the streets. The IOC claims there is a road race to commemorate Flag Day every year, but I’d never seen any advertising, and despite

repeated efforts to find out where the race was going to be held this past May 18, there wasn’t a bicycle to be found. Without a place to cycle, and with limited access to a pool, I had to accept that my training as a triathlete would have to be put on hold. As much as I wanted to drive across town to run on the one available track, the one flat area that wasn’t going to tax my knees and overload my aerobic engine, I also knew I couldn’t afford the two hours it would take to drive there and back. Traffic, which was horrendous before the quake, became even worse because of the destruction and onslaught of international aid vehicles competing with heavy machinery for limited space. From my doorstep, I have two choices: up or down. I almost always run up so that I can finish on the downhill. And when I say up, I mean up: some 800 feet in less than a mile. The terrain is familiar, and yet it’s not— old landmarks that I used to run by years ago are gone. In their place are stubs of buildings, broken pieces of friends’ lives. No matter how many times I run these roads now, it is still hard to make sense of something that makes no sense: the seeming randomness of what remained erect and what was crushed. And so much worse—who died and who lived because of a split-second decision made when the earth began to tremble. Rebuilding Haiti is like a slow jog. But unlike a specific training program, where the cycling, swimming and running coach work in a coordinated effort with the athlete to devise a plan to reach a precise goal, getting Haiti on track is exponentially more complicated. There are many architects, and to have a successful end product each one should know what the other is doing. Especially since everything in Haiti is a priority, from infrastructure to housing to water to electricity, education and the economy, fitness and recreation. I’m still working on executing my own game plan. My running times are slowly improving, and my strength is returning. Although I’m not yet back to the level of fitness I had before the quake, I know that if I stick to the plan I have, I’ll achieve my results. I am hoping that the same will be true for Haiti. LAVA

IT’S LIKE HAVING OUR OWN SUPERSONIC GUINEA PIG. CONGRATULATIONS TO TIM DEBOOM for his impressive win at Rohto Ironman ® 70.3 Hawaii. And thanks for helping design gear, like the P.R.O. Tri Series Speed Suit, worthy of the top of the podium. Tim is an integral part of our team in Boulder, Colorado, where he tests our gear to the bleeding edge and tells us what’s working and what’s not. Without feedback from world-class athletes like Tim, we’d never be able to make race gear that keeps crossing the finish line in first.

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074 : TRAINING : T 098


the full spectrum 108

coach’s counsel 112

sidelined 120

the hype 128

to your health 132

competitive edge

“Nutrition and hydration issues leading to gastrointestinal problems are a few of the leading


causes of medical tent visits on race day.”

—Dr. John Martinez, Hawaii Ironman medical tent volunteer (Straight to the finish line, Page 112.)

T : TRAINING : 099



PurplePatch Fitness founder Matt Dixon discusses the recovery element in his Pillars of Performance training philosophy. By Matt Dixon, MSc

sammy tillery


ollowing Chris Lieto’s breakthrough second-place finish at last year’s Ford Ironman World Championship, I received a lot of questions about what we changed in his training, or what the magic ingredient was that elevated his performance so far beyond what he had achieved previously. The long answer would take many pages, but I kept finding myself coming back to “He stopped talking about recovery and started actually doing it.” While every athlete pursuing optimal performance must put in very hard training, the effectiveness of that training (some would say the secret ingredient) is dependent on how well he or she recovers. In my last article, I laid out my belief that far too many athletes and coaches rely on highvolume training, with limited focus on other key factors that elevate performance. This approach tends to leave many, even most, athletes arriving at their key events very fit, but tired. I consistently observe dedicated athletes who train extremely hard but do not make noticeable gains due to accumulated fatigue. To counteract the tendency to over-train, I outlined a philosophy with added emphasis on recovery, functional strength and nutrition. These three areas, coupled with swimming, biking and running, make up your six pillars of performance. Thinking of them as pillars or columns supporting your performance should make it easier to accept that they require equal attention. The focus of this article is on the recovery pillar. Reaping the rewards of recovery starts with understanding how it benefits you (comprehension), choosing to embrace it (commitment), and integrating it into your training (action, or in this case, inaction).

BeneFits oF recovery.

Many of you are nodding your heads, agreeing that recovery


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is important, but are thinking you don’t have time in your busy schedule to rest or that you already take one day a week off. Recovery is more than taking an occasional day off and hoping for the best. The main priority of recovery is not simply to recuperate from your last workout(s), but also to maintain your metabolic health (strong immune system, balanced hormonal profile and free of disease; see sidebar “Metabolic health defined”). With all the internal and external stressors you face in daily life, with the addition of training, your body is facing an ongoing battle to resist and manage stress. Poor metabolic health is equivalent to a shaky foundation. If your training is built on a rickety structure, performance gains will come grudgingly. Worse yet, trying to build (train) on a weakened structure risks a total collapse in the form of injury. Nearly all overuse injuries are directly related to an accumulation of too much work relative to your structural ability.

Remaining healthy and injury free allows for consistency in training. With recovery integrated into your program, you may feel like you are recovering before you really need it, but such a proactive approach allows longterm consistency—the biggest single factor in performance gains. Now that you have a greater appreciation for the benefits of recovery, you’re probably still struggling to justify committing valuable training time to it. It’s time for some priority adjustments.

Re-pRioRitizing RecoveRy.

For the vast majority of athletes, lack of recovery is the biggest weakness in their training, and there are many reasons (excuses) for why it is an afterthought for so many. It is already a challenge to build a training plan that address all three disciplines of swimming, biking and running, which often leads to squeezing additional workouts into days or times that would normally be left for rest. This problem is compounded by the dominant culture of “more is better,” which

nEaRLy aLL ovERUSE injURiES aRE diRECTLy RELaTEd To an aCCUMULaTion oF Too MUCH woRk RELaTivE To yoUR STRUCTURaL abiLiTy.

promotes training as a platform to push beyond our limits to find new levels. Ultimately, this philosophy points to the primary reason athletes avoid real recovery—they are overly confident. I always say that it takes tremendous courage to recover properly. After all, we receive no instant validation of improvements while recovering, we do not get to enjoy the emotional high of completing a great workout, and we always tend to wonder of what our competition is doing while we take time out to rejuvenate.


METABOLIC HEALTH DEFINED I consider metabolic health to be the global physical state of homeostasis (balance). Being metabolically healthy is not merely the absence of disease, but having the major functions of your body perform at a good level. There is not a single test that can declare that you are metabolically healthy, although we can build a picture of health with some objective and subjective markers that can add up to showing optimal health. You are metabolically healthy when you show:

✓ Absence of disease ✓ Balanced hormonal profile ✓ Strong immune system

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When in this state you should feel vibrant and be in a position to make fitness and health adaptations and improvements. Periods of great metabolic health and vibrancy lead to consistently great performance.

The first, and biggest, step to prioritizing recovery is having a road map and training plan that you believe in—one that incorporates recovery. Without a plan, you are directionless, and without direction you are much more likely to lack the confidence to truly recover from your hard work. With the plan, on your recovery days, you can confidently tell your buddies you are exercising: exercising your strength and willpower to be ready for your next workout and to achieve optimal performance.

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INTEGRATING RECOVERY INTO YOUR TRAINING PLANS. Implementing recovery into your plan does not simply mean setting aside a day each week and assuming you are good to go. It permeates your training at several levels. Recovery day: This is a day that you are not aiming to achieve any cardiovascular fitness gains through hard training. This may be a complete day off exercise, or it might be very low intensity for a short duration. To be truly effective it is optimal to keep daily life stressors low on this day too, so work travel does not really count as recovery! Recovery workout: This is a single workout that you perform to facilitate recovery from a previous workout, or prep for an upcoming hard workout. The intensity is generally very low and the duration short, although you may include some very short (seven to 10 seconds) surges to stimulate the central nervous system and stay sharp. Recovery blocks: These are multiple days in a row of lower volume and intensity work-

outs to allow healing and full adaptation. They last 3 to 7 days, and are normally needed every 10 to 16 days of training. The traditional approach of three weeks of hard training followed by one full week of recovery does not provide enough recovery and often leads to the last week of hard training being lower quality and filled with risk of accumulated fatigue and injury. Recovery phases: At least two or three times per year you need an extended respite from hard training, consisting of 10 to 21 days to allow the body to heal, rejuvenate and recover. The typical off-season is an important part, but it is worth building one or two phases into the mid-part of your season as well. Most of my athletes have two or three “seasons” (at least emotionally), and if only I could align them, I might get a break, too! Types of daily recovery: Outside of building in specific training recovery workouts and blocks, there are daily habits that will maximize your chances of bouncing back from tough workouts and staying healthy. ➠ Sleep: This is the single most important component of staying healthy and injury free, in terms of quantity, quality and consistency. There is simply nothing more productive than consistently good sleep. ➠ Rest from activity: Limited or no activity is pure recovery and promotes healing. Plain and simple. ➠ Nutrition: Proper amount, quality and timing of nutrition are imperative. Most triathletes under-consume relative to the energy


COMPETITION RECOVERY While the focus of this article is recovery in training, recovery from races is also critical. Avoid making the mistake of inadequately recovering from a race before jumping back into training:

Rest in: The recovery needed from a race is often determined by how tired you are going in. Make sure you are fresh going into the race and you will recover more quickly on the other side.

Rest following: The biggest mistake is to begin training before you are fully recovered. While muscular soreness might go away in a few days, you are not metabolically recovered. An Ironman takes many days to truly recover (14 to 28 days), and a LARRY ROSA

70.3 distance event still requires seven to 14 days to adequately recover.

Keep eating: As you recover from a race, and the training volume drops, the tendency is to reduce calories. Maintaining caloric intake, composed of plenty of oils, proteins and vegetables, will aid the recovery process.

Keep active: Some activity is generally beneficial, but limit the metabolically stressful “high volume” training. For the first three to five days post race your exercise sessions should be no more than 45 minutes. If you have the luxury, there is nothing wrong with doing two to three short and easy sessions per day, but if you are time-limited then avoid longer sessions.

Avoid load bearing: Cycling and

➠ Fueling: While it is obviously related to your nutrition, fueling has a different goal. Fueling refers to the calories that you take in during and immediately following training. The primary focus during this time is carbohydrate intake, with some protein, and it is critical to replenish glycogen stores, limit additional metabolic stress and facilitate muscle rejuvenation. ➠ Miscellaneous: There are several other factors that help in the recovery process but are secondary to the top four. They include compression gear, massage and warm/cold treatment. While they can certainly aid recovery, they are nearly meaningless without the support of the primary four.

swimming are much preferred choices for activity immediately after the race. You can maintain load-bearing activity by including walks or very easy runs with long walk breaks.

demands of training, and many lack sufficient nutrients (vegetables and fruit), fat and protein for proper recovery and health maintenance. Read the nutrition-oriented articles in this magazine or even work with a nutritionist, but make sure you support this pillar, too. LAVAMAGAZINE.COM


It takes a bold athlete to truly make recovery a priority in training, especially in the current culture and methodology attached to many training programs. Recovery is highlighted as key, but so often relegated as an afterthought. Within the triathlon community, we are held in the highest regard for our ability to suffer and train harder than anyone else, but seldom do we pay the same respect to the smart athlete who is not only willing to push limits in training and racing, but also support those efforts with integrated recovery. Programming recovery into your plan is not laziness; it’s smart. Anyone can train hard; the best know how to recover.

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TIGHT COmpETITION Coach Troy explains the ins and outs of compression wear. By Troy Jacobson


Dear COaCH,

I will be racing Ironman Hawaii this year for the fourth time, and while I’ve never worn compression socks while racing, it seems like more and more people do, especially at the longerdistance races. Is there really any advantage to wearing them on the race course as opposed to wearing them only for recovery? Are there certain conditions—like the hot humidity of Kona for instance—where certain types of compression socks offer an advantage? Do you know if there is any advantage to wearing the full socks compared to just the calf sleeves? Furthermore, how does one use compression socks optimally—do I keep them on for an hour or sleep in them? —Compressed Out Spokane, Wash.


sammy tillery

Dear COmpresseD-OuT,

By now, most serious triathletes have read the research and have seen photos of their favorite pro athlete wearing compression garments during races. The trend started back in around 2006 as savvy, forward-thinking athletes and manufacturers adopted compression technology from the medical field, where compression hosiery is used to combat deep vein thrombosis and other venous and arterial insufficiencies, and started applying it to athletic uses, including post-workout recovery and as a training and racing performance aid. Flash forward to today, and the use of compression garments continues to escalate as more and more manufacturers and athletes jump on the compression bandwagon. At first, upon the introduction of compression garment use, I was skeptical, as I’ve seen “performance boosters” come and go over the past 20 or so years. I thought they were



silly-looking and just another fad running its course. However, I now believe this fad has proven its worth and the technology and use of compression for athletes will continue to evolve. The jury is still out as new and more complete research on the topic needs to be completed. According to the website of one of the leading manufactures of compression garments, wearing their full-length compression socks can reduce one’s running time in a marathon by 5 percent (or about 12 minutes for a fourhour marathon) as well as increase arterial blood circulation by 40 percent under “physical strain.” This same manufacturer claims that when the sock is wet due to sweating or dousing with water, it can actually cool that part of the body during hot races, thereby theoretically enhancing performance in hot, humid conditions like those found in Kona. And the truth is, even though many top pro athletes are under contract to endorse their compression garment sponsor’s products, few if any would compromise their performance by wearing or using a product they didn’t believe would help them improve. LAVAMAGAZINE.COM

As a practical matter, I would recommend experimenting with compression to come to your own conclusions. For recovery after hard training, follow the commonly recommended strategies of ice (for up to 15 minutes) and elevation of the legs, and perhaps wear your full-length compression socks for an hour. For training and racing, give them a try and see how they make you feel and if they actually give you a quantifiable boost in performance. In the final analysis, only you know if they actually work as advertised for your situation. Never close your mind to new legal and ethical ways of enhancing your performance by leveraging technology. Please e-mail me with your personal findings of whether or not compression is for you … I’d like to get your feedback!

The official coach of Ironman, Troy Jacobson is a former pro triathlete with sub nine-hour Ironman Hawaii credentials and was a top half-Ironman distance racer in the 1990s. The creator of the Spinervals Cycling Workout series, Jacobson has coached triathletes of all levels since 1992. Visit or email him at






PR at your next race.


StraIght to thE fINISh LINE Three ways to stay out of the medical tent at the Ironman World Championship (or any other “A” race for that matter).


By Dr. John Martinez


ronman athletes spend months training for their big race. No triathlete plans or expects to end up meeting the medical staff on race day. Don’t let all that training go to waste by spending part of your race day in the medical tent.


AdApTIng To rACe CondITIons

Racing at the Ironman World Championship or other races with hot and humid weather can present a unique set of challenges to triathletes not used to the weather conditions.

Becoming properly acclimated to these hot and humid conditions can be the difference between a successful race day and a disappointing result and a trip to the medical tent. Successful full adaptation to heat can take up to 14 days, but the body will begin to adapt after the first several days in a hot and humid climate by increasing heart rate and sweat rate while decreasing blood pressure and the sweat sodium (salt) concentration. During the acclimation stage, it’s important to focus on remaining properly hydrated due to the increase

in sweat rates and fluid loss [Editor’s note: For more on heat acclimation, read “Love the heat” on Page 128]. This initial increase in sweat dilution and sweat rate can continue for upwards of one week until the body adapts.


gAsTroInTesTInAl prepAredness

Nutrition and hydration issues leading to gastrointestinal problems (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hyponatremia and dehydration) are a few of the leading causes of medical tent visits on race day.



Want a guaranteed one-way ticket to the medical tent? Try changing your nutrition plan the day before the race. Switch out the carbohydrate-electrolyte drink you’ve trained with all season for that new drink mix you got a great deal on at the race expo. Sound far-fetched? Believe it or not, it’s a story we hear every year in the Hawaii Ironman medical tent. Timing of your race-day meal can have an impact on your swim. One study looking at race-day nutrition habits found that triathletes who ate 30 minutes or less before the swim had a much higher incidence of vomiting during the swim. A high-fiber pre-race meal can also lead to a much higher risk of abdominal cramping and nausea during the race as can pre-race meals that are high in protein or fat. The solution? Stick to your typical high-carbohydrate pre-race meal at least an hour before race start—preferably two to three hours for solid foods—and then switch to a sports drink leading up to the race start.

Stomach or gastrointestinal issues on the bike and the run can lead to dehydration or hyponatremia (low blood sodium levels), and potentially ruin your Ironman triathlon experience. The stomach and intestines behave quite differently during exercise than when at rest.

waNt a guaraNtEED oNE-way tIckEt to thE mEDIcaL tENt? try chaNgINg your NutrItIoN pLaN thE Day bEforE thE racE.

As you increase your exercise intensity, there is a marked decrease in blood flow to the GI tract (anywhere from 30 percent to 80 percent depending upon the exercise intensity).

This diminished blood flow will significantly affect your ability to absorb water, electrolytes and carbohydrates. As a result, most triathletes can only absorb 250 to 300 calories per hour while racing. That isn’t much—essentially a gel and a bottle of Ironman PERFORM sports drink every hour. As the race intensity and your heart rate increases, your GI tract’s ability to absorb continues to diminish due to a shunting of blood away from the stomach and toward the working muscles. Blood flow may actually drop to critical levels, resulting in areas of the intestine not receiving enough blood and oxygen; this is a condition known as bowel ischemia and is considered a medical emergency. It is critically important to have a well-rehearsed race nutrition plan; practice it during your workouts prior to race day and in early season races. Train like you plan to race. Focus on trying to maintain a steady hydration and nutrition plan during the long bike, run and brick workouts

116 : SIDELINED : T during your training program. Figure out your sweat rate and use this information to calculate how much extra fluid you may need during the race. An easy method is to weigh yourself nude before and after each long workout and calculate the weight loss. One pound of weight loss is equal to approximately 16 ounces of water loss. Triathletes who have a significant weight loss during a workout (more than 3 percent of their starting body weight) need to focus on adding more frequent hydration to their nutrition and hydration plan.


larry rosa

Avoid (And understAnd) hyponAtremiA

Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is another concern in the triathlon medical tent. Our knowledge and awareness of this potentially life-threatening condition has increased dramatically over the past 15 years. Hyponatremia is usually due to overhydration with water or sports drinks that have a low sodium content. However, in hot and humid events such as the Ironman World Championship, there are a number of triathletes who suffer from dehydration hyponatremia.

HYPONATREMIA WARNING SIGNS ✓ HeadacHes ✓ Nausea aNd vomitiNg ✓ BloatiNg of tHe stomacH ✓ swolleN fiNgers, HaNds or feet ✓ difficulty coNceNtratiNg or coNfusioN ✓ agitatioN or irritaBility ✓ seizures

Hyponatremia usually occurs in triathletes who drink too much fluid before and during the race. One cause of exercise-related hyponatremia may be inappropriate release of the hormone (ADH—antidiuretic hormone) that controls water retention by the kidneys. In a normal athlete, this hormone decreases during exercise; however, in athletes prone to hyponatremia, the

118 : SIDELINED : 


Hyponatremia usually occurs in slower participants because they can drink more fluid than they lose in sweat and urine and typically stop at every aid station to take in extra fluid. Hyponatremia can be prevented by avoiding excessive water intake during the race. The goal should be to roughly match your fluid intake with your fluid loss through sweating with a goal of limiting your overall fluid loss to 1 to 2 percent of your pre-race body weight. Drinking fluids with a higher sodium content may help prevent hyponatremia, although we have seen some cases of hyponatremia in triathletes who only drank sports drinks, and not water, during the race. Staying out of the medical tent isn’t difficult. It simply requires a well-thought-out plan and execution as well as adapting to the race conditions.

athlete may secrete a higher amount of this hormone and will not be able to maintain a normal fluid balance. In most triathletes, the kidneys can handle the extra fluid by producing more urine, but in the triathlete who is susceptible to hyponatremia, the kidneys do not process the extra fluid

and the blood becomes more dilute. The triathlete then experiences a relative decrease in their blood sodium concentration. Due to the heat and humidity in Hawaii, we often see extremely dehydrated triathletes with hyponatremia who have that telltale salty coating covering their bodies due to their excessive sodium sweat loss.

John M. Martinez, M.D. is a San Diego sports medicine physician and part of the medical staff for the Ford Ironman World Championship and USA Triathlon. He is also an Ironman triathlete with four Ironman finishes.


craig alexander: his career-defining MoMenT TM

augusT/sepTeMber augusT/sep T T/sep TeMber 2010 : issue 01

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EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

“Be Ready to Soar” – June 12, 2011!!! Experience It!

2010 EagleMan Pro Female Champion, Samatha Warriner writes: “Magnificent organization and logistics…the course was great, an honest course and beautiful at the same time. I loved every moment of the 2010 experience!” Professional Triathlete, Michellie Jones writes: “A must do…Put it on your list!”


orchester County’s EagleMan Ironman 70.3 is named in honor of the majestic bald eagle, symbol of freedom and opportunity, and inhabitant of the vast Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, an integral part of the bike course. The Choptank River swim is always a formidable challenge. The flat bike and run courses are often windy, hot and humid with little shade. The shear mental and physical challenge of EagleMan cannot be underestimated.

Professional Triathlete, Chris Legh states: “…racing on the international circuit for 17 years… there is more to a race than just swim, bike and run…, when you commit to a challenge such as Ironman 70.3 you should be rewarded with a complete experience. Eagleman 70.3 is that complete package… a race director named VIGO who cares for his athletes both amateur and professionals alike, an event with a social conscience and best of all, a lightening fast race course.” Professional Triathlete, David Kahn writes: “A first class event…2011 EagleMan will be at the top of my list.”

EaglEMan will sElEct only thE toughEst to travEl thE “road to Kona”. photo: Linda Roy Walls

Contact information • Race information visit or email • Expo & Vendor opportunities contact Chip McAuliffe • Sponsorship opportunities contact BMC Group Kristen Hughes or call 240.568.9181 ext. 204

Qualifier for The Ford Ironman World Championship – Kona and The Foster Grant Ironman 70.3 World Championship – Clearwater

120 : THE HYPE : T

PrEnaTal PErformancE More and more women are continuing to train—and even race—while pregnant. What are the guidelines for women to keep in mind and what are the risks?

jay prasuhn

By Aliyah Shahid


regnancy didn’t stop Rebecca Marks Rudy from training for a triathlon. Just four months after giving birth, she was ready to race again. Sure, race day was different for the 32 yearold on that July day in 2008. She woke up at 4:30 a.m. to breast pump so her four-month-old son Jack would have milk while she was racing. She hauled the pump to the start of the New Jersey State Triathlon. While other participants

were warming up, chugging water and gulping down energy gels in the moments before the race, this new mother pumped on the beach. “There were some stares, but I was fine with it,” said Marks Rudy, a nutritionist who lives in Princeton. “Pregnancy is still looked at as a condition, and it’s not.” She had previously asked the race director if she could leave the pump at the information tent prior to the race. The surprised director

agreed: “Well, that’s a request we’ve never heard before,” he told her. The race began. Marks Rudy swam through the calm waters of Mercer Lake. She biked two loops through West Windsor Township. She ran along the water and on paved trails that were laid out especially for the U.S. Cross Country Championships. At the end of the 200-yard dash to the finish line, Marks Rudy’s husband, mother, son

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122 : THE HYPE : T

jay prasuhn

and daughter were cheering. She finished the Olympic-length triathlon in two hours and 34 minutes, placing fourth in her age group. But unlike other participants who sip on juice boxes, refuel on bananas and get free massages after the race, Marks Rudy’s work wasn’t over. Within 15 minutes of finishing, she was breast-feeding baby Jack. “You do what you have to do,� she chuckled. Marks Rudy isn’t alone. Melissa Pennock, a mother of six in Lindon, Utah, has trained for triathlons during her pregnancies with three of her children. Six years ago, she completed a 5K run, 10-mile bike ride and 350-meter pool swim—all while she was about four months pregnant with her daughter Sierra. Pennock wasn’t aggressive during the race. “I was just being careful not get kicked in the pool,� she said. “I was proud of myself and was thinking, ‘They probably don’t even know I’m pregnant and I’m glad I’m here.’ I felt a greater sense of accomplishment because I was pregnant.� Pennock’s father is an obstetrician and stressed to her that it was safe—and even healthy—for women to exercise during pregnancy.

In the exploding sport of TRIATHLON, Multisport MINISTRIES helps Christian men stand strong and healthy for Christ. Join with others across the USA and around the world.


“No man competes to lose. But competing without character guarantees losses even if you finish on the podium or set a PR. Multisport Ministries was founded to equip and encourage you, the Christian Triathlete, to “run in such a way that you will win.�... Join our team of Olympic, world class, and amateur competitive triathletes today. We know you’re racing, now it’s time to race with more purpose.�

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Racing is competition and healthy competition builds character.

SMART CHOICES Craig Alexander 2009 Ford Ironman World Champion


Chrissie Wellington 2009 Ford Ironman World Champion











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124 : THE HYPE : T

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For many female athletes, pregnancy might seem like a threat to all the hours of physical training, mindful eating and hectic scheduling they’ve devoted to their practice. But while PRs may be hard to come by during and immediately after pregnancy, experts say a bun in the oven doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay on the sidelines. To be sure, there are risks—but they can be alleviated with the proper precautions. “I would never tell anyone that you cannot do this or do that,” said Dr. Raul Artal, chair of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health at Saint Louis University. “I would tell them what the potential risks are and it becomes a personal decision. Is it worth it?” One major risk, he said, is hyperthermia, when body temperature increases to dangerous levels—not uncommon for athletes who don’t drink enough water. Hyperthermia can be especially dangerous during the early stages of pregnancy when organ formation occurs, and dehydration can sometimes lead to premature labor. Pregnant women should be sure to drink plenty of fluid.

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126 : THE HYPE : T



Pregnant triathlete’s meal Plan *This plan was for a woman who was 32 years old, 128 pounds, and 5 feet 4 inches. Follow the lower calorie range if you are exercising lightly. The higher calorie range is intended for the second trimester caloric demands (about 300 extra calories per day) or with increased exercise. Meal/Snack Pre-workout Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner Evening Snack

calorie range 100–200 300–350 100–150 350–450 100–150 450–600 250–500


Egg-white omelet with 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites: 135 calories Choice of vegetable (broccoli, tomato): 30 calories 1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted: 90 calories 1 tsp butter/margarine: 45 calories Total: 300 calories

SAMPLE LUNCH ➠ 3 ounces roast turkey: 135 calories 2 slices whole wheat bread: 180 calories 1 slice cheese (less than 1 ounce): 90 calories Lettuce, tomato: 5 calories 1 pear: 60 calories Total: 470 calories

SAMPLE DINNER ➠ 1 1/2 cup light cheese ravioli: 300 calories 2 ounces lean ground turkey: 100 calories 1/2 cup marinara sauce: 50 calories 1 cup broccoli or asparagus tips: 60 calories 1 cup melon: 60 calories Total: 570 calories —


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Artal pointed to an Olympic athlete he consulted who was preparing to race 10,000 meters in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. She went into premature labor, likely due to hyperthermia, at 32 weeks. She was lucky her baby survived. “There are people who have done triathlons and nothing has happened,” said Artal. “It’s taking an unknown risk.” New York City triathlon coach Sara Dimmick said that while she would encourage women to train (carefully) for a triathlon during pregnancy, they should avoid actually racing.

There are all sorts of risks—notably trauma to the baby. A woman’s center of gravity changes during pregnancy. She might fall. And during the swim, she risks getting kicked in the stomach. Some coaches suggest switching to a stationary bike or aqua jogging during pregnancy, and avoiding slippery running trails. Pregnant women shouldn’t try to train through exhaustion the same way they might during normal circumstances. “Each day is different,” said Dimmick. “If you

T : THE HYPE : 127 are exercising and you become light-headed or out of breath more than usual, I would stop training for the day or take it at a slow, easy pace.” Artal added that pregnant women should not exercise for more than 45 minutes at a time without taking a break because glycogen stores deplete quickly during pregnancy. Take a sugar break. Pennock, who has raced in approximately 20 triathlons in the past decade, said that while she was pregnant, she would focus on one exercise, either swimming, spinning, or jogging at a low intensity every day. “Before, I was already working out. I just had to listen to my body more,” she said. “Some people think pregnancy limits you, but exercise actually made me feel better.”


Artal said women should start really taking it easy at the six-month mark. “Even Olympic champions slow down. It’s in their nature.” Pregnant athletes also need to keep a close eye on what they eat. The nutritionist Marks Rudy says prenatal vitamins are important, as are iron, protein, folic acid and calcium. Find a doctor you trust, someone who can help you set up a nutrition plan for your training during pregnancy. “It’s about being creative and exploring other options,” said Marks Rudy, who works for, which offers online triathlon coaching and sports nutrition services. “Your decisions don’t have to be ideal. There’s a middle ground. If your body is saying, ‘Only a bagel and cream cheese will be satisfying!’ you do that.” Because of pregnancy-related food cravings and aversions, unexpected nausea and immediate hunger pangs, pregnant women should keep a variety of healthy snacks on hand, like bananas, apples, dried fruits and low-fat cereal bars. Rudy Marks added it may be beneficial, especially for pregnant women, to eat a light snack 30 to 60 minutes before a workout. Lowfat, low-fiber carbohydrate options like oatmeal, whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese, or low-fat yogurt with 1/4 cup of low-fat granola are good options, she said. “I tried to eat healthy and ate a ton more often,” Pennock said of her race training during her pregnancy. “If my stomach was empty, I felt a lot more nauseous. I cut up fruits and vegetables and kept them in my car. I always have snacks in my purse.” Most importantly, pregnant triathletes should be flexible, Marks Rudy said. “Understand when you’re pregnant that it’s nine months of your life that you may not be at your peak fitness or optimal nutrition,” she said. “If you’re used to having salads every day and suddenly that’s disgusting to you, it’s okay to make changes. There is life after pregnancy. Life will be different, but your body will come back.”

128 : TO YOUR HEALTH : T 129

LOvE THE HEAT How to use heat acclimation strategies to achieve optimal performance in hot weather races.


By Ben Greenfield


articipants in the 2008 Ironman Louisville event may recall stepping onto a Tanita body composition scale during athlete check-in. This scale measures approximate hydration levels, and data collected from all 1,782 participants revealed some interesting key findings: • In men who tested with a hydration level above 65 percent, 97.78 percent finished. Men who tested with a hydration level below 55 percent either finished in the bottom 18 percent or did not finish. • In women who tested with a hydration level above 60 percent , 92.5 percent finished. Women who tested with a hydration

level below 50 percent either finished in the bottom 13 percent or did not finish. In this article, you’ll learn why the Tanita study revealed hydration to be such a crucial component of Ironman, what the implications are for a hot and humid race like Ironman Hawaii and how to design a complete hydration and heat acclimation strategy for any race, no matter whether you’re from a hot or cold climate. The average person’s body contains about 85 pounds of water, over 60 percent of which is inside the cells. When the water outside the cells becomes depleted, which happens at a rapid rate during exercise in hot or humid conditions, the water inside the cells moves

out to replace the lost fluids. As the cells dehydrate and shrink past 3 percent fluidvolume loss, physical performance begins to suffer. After 5 percent water loss, concentration loss occurs; after 10 percent water loss, consciousness severely decreases, and after 11 percent fluid loss (slightly over 15 pounds in an average individual), death may occur. In addition to loss of cellular function, dehydration depletes blood volume, which limits cooling, and oxygen and sugar delivery. Meanwhile, loss of electrolytes via sweat affects normal electrical function of the body, resulting in cramping and loss of muscular contraction control.

In hot weather and humid conditions such as at Kona during the Ironman World Championship, the average temperatures on race day will range from 82 to 95 degrees F, with the humidity hovering around 90 percent. In these conditions, the sweat rate of the average individual will be a minimum of 1 liter per hour, and can reach up to 2 liters per hour, which is 70 ounces of fluid, or nearly three water bottles! Furthermore, with a sodium loss of 800–900 mg/liter in these conditions, a heavily sweating athlete can reach nearly 2 grams of sodium loss per hour, accompanied by a significant loss of other minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. While we can’t all have the genetic gifts and ability to tolerate the levels of heat and humidity in the lava fields, the body can be trained to tolerate extreme temperatures, retain higher amounts of water and blood volume and lose less salt. This process is called acclimation. The first step of acclimation requires gathering actual fluid loss data for your specific body. A simple method is to weigh yourself nude prior to exercise, and then conduct two hours of exercise outdoors or in a controlled environment that simulates race-day conditions. After the session, re-weigh yourself, account for any fluids you have consumed, and determine your total loss of fluid. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you drank 50 ounces


of water over two hours, and your weight loss is two pounds, or 32 ounces, then you know your total loss over two hours was 50 + 32, or 82 ounces. A simple rule is to replace 40 percent to 50 percent of fluid loss at regularly timed intervals during exercise, with an upper limit of total water intake at 33 ounces per hour, which is the maximum fluid absorption rate of the body (additional fluid can cause water intoxication). Attempt to limit total fluid loss during exercise to no more than 2 per-



cent, but remember that during very long training sessions that exceed five to six hours, you may also lose a pound or more in energy stores (glycogen, fat and muscle tissue). Next, you must engage in heat acclimation sessions—preferably beginning 14 days from your planned event. The ideal length of a heat acclimation exercise session is 60 to 90 minutes, and should simulate race-day conditions as closely as possible. For coolclimate athletes, this will mean training indoors with a radiating heat fan or humidifier placed near the indoor bike trainer or treadmill, or exercise sessions in a sauna or steam room. During these sessions, you should not only train your body to absorb your goal fluid intake, but should also engage in regularly timed electrolyte consumption of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. While excessive clothing is not necessary, a nonbreathing cotton layer covered by a nylon shell can enhance humidity in the absence of a humidifier. In the final week leading up to the race, ensure that you continue to adequately hydrate, both during and after exercise sessions, preferably with at least 2 L of water per day. In addition, the body’s electrolyte stores can be maintained with salt capsule or tablet consumption, use of oral or topical magnesium

and consumption of smaller amounts of trace minerals in liquid or capsule form. On race morning, consume 20 to 25 ounces of water per hour leading up to the race, tapering fluid consumption approximately 30 minutes prior to the swim start. While a heat acclimation strategy will significantly assist with race-day performance, additional cooling techniques should be used during the event, including frequent skin and clothing exposure to ice and cold water, wearing vented or meshed apparel, using a visor and sunglasses, limiting excessive food consumption and avoiding heavy sunscreen use (which can affect sweat rate). If you’re properly heat acclimated, then during the race you will experience decreased core temperature, heart rate, salt loss and rate of perceived effort, with increased exercise tolerance, cooling capacity and blood volume. While you can never expect to finish a race such as the Hawaii Ironman in a fully hydrated condition, you can absolutely control the damage and performance detriments that occur, which will translate into a bigger smile on your face at the finish line!

Ben Greenfield owns the Rock Star Triathlete Academy, and runs a free blog and podcast at



Nutritionist Ben Greenfield gives his picks for hot weather nutrition and topical items to keep you cool when the weather gets hot.

Nuun U-hydration tablets $23.85 / 3-tube pack; Nuun tablets offer a highly portable, tasty and low-calorie way to keep yourself hydrated before, during and after competition.

PowerBar Ironman PERFORM sports drink $1.49/bottle; One of the few sports drinks found on the course at the 2010 Ford Ironman World Championship, Ironman PERFORM offers an optimized blend of glucose and fructose for maximum glycogen delivery to muscles.

Model: Bandy aka “Banded Gila Monster” Resides: Originally from Arizona and Nevada, but currently resides in a nice one bedroom, one rock home at the Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Phelan, Calif. Fun fact: While living in Arizona, she loved watching the Ironman Arizona athletes cycle by from her roadside burrow.


Athlytes electrolyte capsules $29.99 for 100 capsules; Developed for athletes undergoing the most grueling conditions, Athlytes are formulated with vitamins B2, B6 and MSM to aid delivery to muscles.

Ancient Minerals Topical Magnesium $29 for 8 oz.oil spray/ $39 for 8oz. gel; Topical magnesium provides a safe, fast and potent way to deliver magnesium to your muscles.

Advertisement: science & nutrition

New ReseaRch uncovers how elite athletes are gaining the edge: critics call technique an Ò unfair advantageÓ. BY MARK HANSEN Athletes of all ages and from all sports have long sought ways to improve their performance through nutritional supplements and creative training strategies. A new supplement developed for competitive athletes is generating controversy and threatening to revolutionize several endurance sports. the product that has been generating so much debate is ePo Boostª -an all natural supplement developed by u.s. based Biomedical research Laboratories. ePo is industry shorthand for erythropoietin, a hormone produced by the kidneys that regulates red blood cell (rBc) production. IncreasIng red blood cell productIon has long been the focus of competitive athletes due to the impact of rBc levels on oxygen intake and utilization. the greater the red blood cell production, the greater the bodyÕ s ability to absorb oxygen, which in turn gives an athlete more strength and endurance. strength and endurance are precious resources to any athlete. thus competitive athletes have tried various techniques to gain an advantage by increasing ePo and rBc levels. traditional techniques for boosting rBc levels include synthetic drugs and blood doping. these practices are both dangerous and banned by organized sports associations. Fans of ePo Boostª point out that the patent-pending formula is all-natural and is clinically proven to increase erythropoietin levels, resulting in greater strength and endurance. the scIentIfIc evIdence behind ePo Boostª does seem to represent a breakthrough in sports medicine. A 28-day double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, performed by dr. Whitehead from the department of Health and Human Performance at northwestern state university, showed that the ingredients found in ePo Boostª increased ePo production by over 90% compared to the group taking the placebo1. the supplement group also showed dramatic improvements in athletic performance (as measured by vo2max and running economy). one of the active ingredients in the formula is echinacea Purpurea, an herb that stimulates the immune system and is normally associated with alternative treatments for the common cold.

surprisingly, dr. WhiteheadÕ s study revealed that echinacea promotes a substantial increase in natural levels of ePo (erythropoietin). industry experts were shocked to discover that this simple herb had such an effect on the body. sInce Its release last year, competitive athletes have flocked to this new supplement, which offers all the benefits of greater ePo levels with none of the dangerous side effects or legal trouble. A company spokesman confirmed that the patent-pending formula contains active components that have been shown to boost ePo levels, resulting in greater strength and endurance.

Jason Walkley, a member of the royal Air Force elite triathlon team in the united Kingdom claimed an increased tolerance to fatigue after taking ePo Boostª . Jason stated, Ò i recently ran a 26.2km race completely at my Lactate turn Point (LtP) without a drop in pace, and with 5 km to go i really turned the screw on my competitors and increased my pace significantly over the last 5km.Ó mr. Walkley is not alone in his praise of the product. ursula Frans, a top marathon runner from south Africa used ePo Boostª in her preparation for this yearÕ s two oceans marathon. Having finished in the top 20, she stated that her performance and endurance were substantially improved with ePo Boostª . the product has appeared in several magazines and dozens of websites and blogs. According to published reports, the promise of ePo enhancing products has even been picked up by olympic athletes such as Jenny thompson and dara torres. not everyone is so endeared to the product. several athletes have said the supplement gives some athletes an unfair advantage. they

describe the performance improvements as Ò unnaturalÓ and pointed to athletes from cycling and long distance running as evidence that people are catching on to the supplement and using it for a competitive advantage. any athlete can use epo boostª without a prescription and without changing a diet or exercise regimen. the company offers an unparalleled guarantee. Athletes can use the product for a full 90 days and if not completely satisfied, send back whatever product is remaining - even an empty bottle - and get a Ô no questions askedÕ refund. A company spokesman, speaking off the record, admitted that the product doesnÕ t work overnight and that most athletes wonÕ t see the extreme performance enhancements for up to four weeks. in a world infatuated with instant success, that kind of realistic admission might cost some sales but is likely to keep customers happy. While the controversy over the advantage athletes using ePo Boostª are obtaining is unlikely to go away anytime soon, one thing is for sure: blood doping and synthetic drugs are a thing of the past now that amateurs and professionals alike can tap into a natural product that generates olympian-like strength and endurance. Biomedical research Laboratories accepts orders from its website at www.ePoBoost com. A company spokesman confirmed a special offer: if you order this month, youÕ ll receive Free enroLLment into the companyÕ s elite Athlete club where youÕ ll qualify to receive a full 25% discount on all your bottles of ePo Boostª . And so you donÕ t go a day without ePo Boostª in your system Ð increasing your endurance, youÕ ll automatically receive a fresh bottle every 30days and your credit card will be billed the elite Athlete club member Price of $44.95 plus s/H Ð not the $59.95 fee non-members have to pay. there are no minimum amounts of bottles to buy and you can cancel at any time. the number to call is 1-800-590-6545, and you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1. Whitehead et al. int J sport nutr exerc metab, 17 (2007): 378-9.


NOW WHAT? Once you’ve secured a spot in Hawaii, the real challenge has just begun.

sammy tillery

By Abby Ruby, Ph.D.


ou’ve clinched the coveted spot. Now, while your training buddies are indulging in pizza and beer or playing on their mountain bikes, you are staying focused for another push at glory. Late season qualifiers like Ironman Canada and Ironman Louisville present a whole new challenge for the Ironman athlete—namely, recovery and rebounding with two back-to-back races. Theoretically, you have focused for the last six months and built up your strong base and

race day fitness to be fast enough to win your way to Kona. Instead of kicking back and reveling in your accomplishment, you will need to reload and get back out there in preparation for the big day. Racing an Ironman in August and another in October does not leave too much room for idle time; however, it is crucial that you do recover from your race day effort in order to ensure quality workouts leading up to Kona. Take at least a week of active recovery following your qualifier. Active recovery can be

a hike with the family or the dog, or an easy spin on the bike. Deep water running is also an excellent way to flush the legs from that hard race day effort. I repeat: You should engage in no active training or intensity for at least seven days following the Ironman at which you qualified. You will not lose fitness in those seven days, but you can severely impede your Kona preparation by digging a deeper hole of fatigue that will be hard to recover from before the big day. So allow the effort of your qualifying race

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134 : COMPETITIVE EDGE :  to make you faster. You do this by allowing adequate recovery for at least seven days. On the eighth day, you can go out for a longer endurance ride or run. Keep the intensity in the endurance zone and just build to longer workouts in that second week following your



Ironman. Finally, by week three, you are ready to ramp up the intensity, but make sure you add ample recovery between efforts within the workout and between intensity days. Without the 14-day breather you will likely not be able to produce quality workouts anyway. So take

MAKE EVERY SECOND COUNT Tr i a t h l o n Tr a n s i t i o n M a t s T M AT P R O . C O M for merly LICKETY-SPLIT ®



October 2, 2011 • Stroudsburg, PA


oin us for this challenging fall race on a beautiful course in the Pocono Mountains, starting at the Delaware Water Gap

and finishing on the bucolic Main Street of historic downtown Stroudsburg, PA. Enjoy one of the East Coast's most popular vacation destinations.

IRONMAN 70.3™ and M-DOT 70.3™ are trademarks of World Triathlon Corporation. Produced by Philadelphia Triathlon, LLC


larry rosa

it easy and reap the rewards of your Ironman effort. Use it to your advantage by allowing adequate recovery. While adding an extra rest day to your workout plan may cause you anxiety, if that is what it takes to enable you to nail your intervals when you are ready to ramp it up, then it is well worth it. Remember that you don’t need a tremendous amount of volume coming into Kona. You’ve just raced an Ironman. You have the base. With this in mind, the focus for September should be: 1) Proper recovery 2) Race day intensity intervals 3) Triathlon-specific training Too many athletes overdo it in their quest for Kona because they think more is better. More is not always better, especially if it compromises the quality of the workouts. If you are noticing that your interval times are slowing instead of improving, then you likely need to add another rest day to the schedule, or at least an active recovery day—which can include 30 to 60 minutes of easy spinning in a very light gear. Rest assured, you are likely not

Reg: $1299.98




20 hours of volume per week

16 hours of volume per week

1 day off

1 day off, 1 day active recovery

10% of total volume should include intervals with intensity

30–40% of total volume should include intervals with intensity

1 brick workout every other week

1 brick workout per week

getting slower, you are instead not recovering between efforts, so you are unable to perform at your peak level. Fatigue masks performance improvements when it is not managed properly. Coming off an Ironman race necessitates the scrupulous monitoring of fatigue levels, particularly if an athlete is diving right back into their training plan, as most will need to do in preparation for Kona. Keep in mind that you have the base; you don’t necessarily need to add volume to the


training plan that got you your Kona slot. In fact, it would be wise to dial back the volume of the plan that worked so well in Canada or Kentucky and instead increase the intensity and recovery. Below you will find a recommendation as to how to modify your Kona Qualifier training plan to optimize your preparation for Kona given the quick turnaround time between the two races. The above recommendations may be scary. I know as Ironman athletes there is an al-

lure to the six-hour ride and two-hour run in preparation for the big day. Instead of grinding out a slow and steady bike or run, add intervals to the workout and cut back on the volume. Instead of the six-hour ride, do four hours with 2x60 minutes at Ironman intensity or 30 minutes at endurance pace. I offer the same suggestion for the run. Instead of 120 minutes at endurance pace, do 90 minutes at goal Ironman pace, and do your run off the bike. Brick workouts will optimally simulate race day conditions and will maximize your time, so you can use the remainder of your weekend to recover. It is in the recovery that the body grows stronger—not the overload. Well, it’s a combination of the two, as you well know; however, without adequate recovery, the body cannot adapt properly to the overload of training. Mentally, this is a very challenging concept as it is hard to wrap our brains around the fact that taking a day off will make us faster. It will. Give the above recommendations a shot and race to your potential in Kona. I’ll see you on Ali’i Drive.


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in focus 150

boarding pass 160

the last word

Great Britain’s Chrissie Wellington runs past flags decorated by family members of her fellow racers at the 2010 Challenge Roth in


Germany.Wellington took the title for the third time, breaking her own 2009 course record by more than 12 minutes, finishing in 8:19:13— landing her in

seventh-place overall.

R : RACING : 141


142 : IN FOCUS : R 143



MEN’S tOP FINISHERS 1. Andreas Raelert : GER : 8:05:15 2. Timo Bracht : GER : 8:10:22 3. Chris McCormack : AUS : 8:14:43

WOMEN’S tOP FINISHERS 1. Sandra Wallenhorst : GER : 9:04:27 2. Caroline Steffen : GER : 9:06:42 3. Yvonne van Vlerken : NED : 9:10:21

Germany’s Andreas Raelert took the lead early during the bike; pushing it so hard that he had an 11-minute lead heading onto the run, eventually crossing the tape in 8:05:15. Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen gave defending champion Sandra Wallenhorst a run for her money, keeping her lead more than halfway through the marathon before Wallenhorst was able to pass her and reclaim her title in 9:04:27.

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ironman Coeur d’alene JULY 27, 2010 : COEUR D’ ALENE, IDAHO 2.4 mI. SwIm : 112 mI. bIkE : 26.2 mI. RUN

men’S ToP FiniSHerS 1. Andy Potts : USA : 8:24:40 2. Courtney Ogden : AUS : 8:38:17 3. Michael Lovato : USA : 8:41:17

Women’S ToP FiniSHerS 1. Linsey Corbin : USA : 9:17:54 2. Meredith Kessler : USA : 9:23:52 3. Kelly Williamson : USA : 9:39:23

In his first Ironman start outside of Hawaii, American Andy Potts also took his first Ironman title. Potts took the lead from the men’s swim leader John Flanagan shortly after heading out of T1 and held his position throughout the day despite a gallant running effort by fourth-place finisher Luke Bell of Australia. Fellow American Linsey Corbin garnered her first Ironman title as well after taking the lead over New Zealand’s Gina Crawford halfway through the bike, holding it throughout the marathon and notching a new course record time of 9:17:54.

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lifetime fitness triathlon JULY 10, 2010 : MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. 1.5K SwIM : 40K bIKE : 10K rUN men’s toP finishers 1. Matt Reed : USA : 1:48:52 2. Matt Chrabot : USA : 1:48:56 3. Craig Alexander : AUS : 1:49:57

Women’s toP finishers 1. Sarah Haskins : USA : 2:04:06 2. Rebeccah Wassner : USA : 2:05:56 3. Sara McLarty : USA : 2:11:37

Defending champions Matt Reed and Sarah Haskins raced hard to reclaim their titles in Minneapolis, keeping them on track to reclaim the overall Toyota Cup Championship titles this October in Dallas. Despite leading the race heading out of T2, American Cameron Dye was quickly passed by Reed, who ran to first place in 1:48:52, followed closely by fellow American Matt Chrabot. American super-swimmer Sara McLarty stayed out in front until early in the run when Haskins passed her to secure the win more than six minutes ahead of second place.

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ironman lake placid JULY 25, 2010 : LAKE PLACID, NY 2.4 MI. SwIM : 112 MI. bIKE : 26.2 MI. rUN

men’S Top FiniSHerS 1. Ben Hoffman : USA : 8:39:34 2. Petr Vabrousek : CZE : 8:46:33 3. Maik Twelsiek : GER : 8:48:33

Women’S Top FiniSHerS 1. Amy Marsh : USA : 9:27:30 2. Caitlin Snow : USA : 9:44:18 3. Lisa Marangon : AUS : 9:51:31

Ben Hoffman snatched his first Ironman title amongst the beautiful Adirondacks in Lake Placid. Germany’s Maik Twelsiek held the lead for much of the race before Hoffman finally chased him down at the halfway mark of the bike, eventually crossing the tape in 8:39:34. Amy Marsh led the women’s race from PHOTOS LARRY ROSA

start to finish, and despite a 3:03 marathon by 2008 champion Caitlin Snow, Marsh crossed the line more than 15 minutes ahead of her in 9:27:30.

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Crab Cakes Chainrings Fun and food on Maryland’s eastern shore during the 2010 Subaru EagleMan Ironman 70.3. By Nan Kappeler

Photos by Larry Rosa


ich in natural beauty and American history, Cambridge, Md., plays host each June to the EagleMan Ironman 70.3 triathlon. Located on Maryland’s picturesque eastern shore, a peninsula expanding hundreds of miles between Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Cambridge has become a hotspot for endurance events. Endless miles of flat terrain in unspoiled countryside coupled with overwhelming local support keeps racers coming back each year. The race also offers spots for both the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater, Fla., and the Ford Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

Hometown feel, big-time race. Welcome signs posted on local businesses, charming Victorian-style homes and a well-laid-out course give this race the feeling of a grassroots event. More than 800 volunteers from the community help out; some bring their own boats to watch the swim, while others spend the day assisting racers at remote bike and run aid stations. But even with the number of entrants totaling more than 2,000 and a top-notch pro field including Michellie Jones, Samantha McGlone and Terenzo Bozzone, the race staff continues to put on a flawless race. Local families invite both age group and pro athletes to stay in their homes. Racer Butch Wabby and his wife Karen from Franklin, Tenn., have stayed the past two years in the guest cottage behind the house of Tom and Maria Johnson, a Cambridge couple they befriended in 2008 on a street corner in town. Volunteer Jeannie Weitzel and her husband Blaine— who participated in the EagleMan triathlon—hosted several athletes at their home and prepared a scrumptious pre-race pasta dinner, inviting other homestay racers.


The downtown area of Cambridge, Md., offers authentic New England cuisine, shopping and charming Old World flair.


triatHlon History. In 1980, Fletcher Hanks, a pioneer of triathlon racing, put on the Cambridge Endurance Event. No wetsuits were allowed in the 2.4-mile swim, 20-mile run, and 50-mile bike event. “He thought cyclists had an advantage and having the runners go second would equalize the race,” says EagleMan race director Robert Vigorito. When Hanks decided to retire in 1992, the race was set to end until Vigorito offered to take it over. By 1994 the venue had changed to the normal swim, bike, run sequence and the name changed to the EagleMan triathlon. In 1996 the race became an Ironman qualifier and participation doubled. Today, the triathlon sells out each year and includes a swim/bike AquaVelo race. The town also has deep roots in cycling: Cambridge made history in the late 1800s when residents formed the first known bicycle club in the United States. An official event guide from 1896 collected by triathlete and Cambridge resident Jim Creighton lists 17 spring races, at distances ranging between one-third to fourmiles. The awards for these races were various, including $25, a medal, a diamond ring, a searchlight and new tires. cultural experience. As one of Maryland’s oldest colonial cities, the area offers an opportunity to learn about civil war

Athletes participating in the EagleMan 70.3 enjoy miles and miles of country roads during the bike ride, and while the course is mostly flat, the high winds and heat add to the challenge.

history. Check out the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center (424 Race St.) and find out more about how the Cambridge native led hundreds of slaves to freedom in the late 1800s through the Underground Railroad. Discover hints of history by walking through the brick-paved downtown streets lined with beautiful 18th and 19th century houses. Plaques mounted throughout the area note significant historical events. Located across town is the LaGrange Plantation (902-904 LaGrange Ave.), a 1790s-era house that displays period furniture, portraits and memorabilia from several of the county’s past governors.

fun tHings. You’ll find plenty of places in the downtown area to score the perfect outfit or souvenir. Check out the Dragonfly Boutique (406 Race St.) with distinctive women’s clothing and accessories. A Few of My Favorite Things (414 Race St.) sells wine, cheese and novelty items. Along Route 16 (about 10 miles into the EagleMan’s bike course) is Emily’s Produce, a fruit and produce stand. Grab one of her delicious homemade strawberry, blueberry and peach pies or fresh baked breads. Further down the road is a great photo opportunity at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea and cemetery (915 Hoopers Island Road), a historic church built in 1669 to serve the Roman

154 : BOARDING PASS : R 157 peake Bay Bridge, it’s a straight shot to Cambridge. By air, your best bet is to fly into the Baltimore-Washington International airport and rent a car for the 90-minute drive. There is no public transportation available to the race site. Avoid traveling on Friday between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. when the Washington/Baltimore area heads for the beach. Plan to stay for dinner on Sunday or stay through Monday. Sunday traffic back over the bridge is extremely heavy from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Bikes can be shipped to On The Rivet Cycle And Sport (2833 Ocean Gateway East). The family-owned full-service bike shop is available for repairs and supplies. Check out their vintage Colnago and Bianchi collection.

eats. The Choptank River and other nearby waters provide Maryland’s eastern shore with an abundance of mouthwatering fresh seafood. Mussels, rockfish, blue crabs, oysters and clams are caught daily by local fishermen and are available at many local restaurants. Try the Maryland crab cake—a mixture of crab meat, bread, mayonnaise and Old Bay seasoning at the Portside restaurant (corner of Trenton and Maryland Avenues). Try Jimmy and Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill (421 Race St.) for crab balls and fried oysters. Dress is very casual. sleepinG. Several chain hotels close to the race site include the Hyatt Resort (which has a two-night minimum), The Days Inn, Holiday Express and the Comfort Inn. More hotels are available in neighboring cities Easton and Salisbury, located about 15 to 30 miles from the race start. TIP: Avoid staying on the other side of the Bay Bridge (Annapolis area). In the past, accidents on the bridge have caused racers to miss their wave starts. Bed-and-breakfast inns offer colonial settings and lavish breakfasts. In-town choices include Victoria Gardens Inn, a restored landmark located on the water, and the Cambridge House Bed and Breakfast in the historical district. Both are within a mile of the race start. Campsites are available at Cambridge South Dorchester High School grounds, located about three miles from the race start. Cost is $25 per tent or RV. Bathrooms, showers and lockers are on-site. Homestays are available for professional and age-group athletes through the race director. What to expect. In past EagleMan races weather temperatures

Catholics of the area. Take time to visit the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (Route 335, just past Hoopers Island Road). The refuge is the largest stop along the East Coast for migrating birds and is also a permanent home to dozens of species of birds, ducks, reptiles and endangered animals. The area also offers several different places to hike, sail or explore. The Nathan of Dorchester offers a chance to sail on a traditional Chesapeake Bay skipjack. Learn about construction of the vessel during the two-hour trips each Saturday. The crew also demonstrates oyster dredging and other aspects of a waterman’s life on the bay. (1:00-3:00 p.m., Long Wharf, end of High Street).

GettinG there–and back. The town is located approximately 90 miles east of Washington, DC. Once you cross the 4.3-mile

have been comfortable and finish times have been quick. But Mother Nature isn’t always kind or predictable come race day. This year a combination of a 101-degree Fahrenheit heat index coupled with 68 percent humidity proved to be especially challenging for most competitors. On the plus side, the course is a good prep for Hawaii, minus the hills. “Out of all the races I have ever done this one was the toughest,” says first place age-group finisher Donna Kay-Ness, 47, from Somers, Conn., who has competed in 11 full Ironmans and—she maintains—too many 70.3 races to count. “I remember saying to myself on the run ‘Just do what you can. Keep the legs turning over,’” she says.

sWim. The 1.2-mile swim is a well-marked rectangular course in the Choptank River. The water can be choppy (hence the name) and the currents swift. This year on race morning the 79.6-degree Fahrenheit water temperature reading measured by USAT led to a no-wetsuit ruling. Racers enter the water by heading down a boat dock and starting the race between two buoys. With no run into the water the start is civilized, but

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 : BOARDING PASS : 157 a strong head-on current this year proved to be difficult, especially out to the first buoy. “The current was a lot worse than other years,” says first place finisher Terenzo Bozzone, who also placed first last year and second in 2008. “We swam against the current out, made a right, then kept getting pushed inside the buoys. We should have had the current with us going in, but we didn’t.”

BIKE. The 56-mile course is extremely flat on smooth, two-lane roads traveling through the countryside. Some roads stretch 15 miles without a turn. Intersections are well-secured by police and volunteers. Roads are rather exposed, passing through cornfields and a wildlife refuge. With little to block the wind, expect to battle some crosswinds and headwinds, especially in the second half of the course. This year the wind was continuous with a tough headwind during the last 10 miles. RUN. Hands down the most challenging part of this year’s race was the flat, out-and-back course. “Everybody said the run is fast because it is flat. At least on hills you get some recovery but in this race there was none from the blistering heat,” says Dave Welsh, 47, a two-time EagleMan finisher from Westminster, Md. “If it wasn’t for the volunteers and their support and aid, I would have stopped at the turnaround point.” With most racers entering the course in the late morning, the temperature had already reached 90 degrees F with unbearable humidity. Aid

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stations every mile were abundantly stocked with the essential fluids and extra treats such as a snow cone machine with grape and cherry flavors at the halfway turnaround mark. There was also ample ice and volunteers anxious to assist runners putting ice in hats and down shirts. Despite the rough weather conditions, racers supported each other. Jersey Shore Triathlon Club member Alex Shapiro encouraged nearby racers to run with him to the next mile, and offered “celebration walks” at each aid station. Dedicated volunteers remained at their stations until the last participants completed the race, about an hour before the skies turned dark and a thunderstorm rolled through the area.

RACE RECAP. Former University of Texas swimmer David Kahn exited the water first but American Andrew Yoder took over the lead early into the bike. Bozzone, who said pre-race that he was a fan of heat and wind because “it spreads the field on a flat course,” found himself struggling just 30 minutes into the bike, but by the run turnaround he had regained the lead by over a minute. “It was a tough day,” he says. “The heat definitely slowed down the whole field. It becomes more of a game of strategy. It was one of those days where you want the finish line to come to you quicker.” After trailing in the swim, New Zealand’s Samantha Warriner quickly took over the women’s lead on the bike. Canadian Samantha McGlone and Australian Michellie Jones maintained the next positions. Warriner’s strong run put her across the finish line five minutes ahead of secondplace finisher McGlone. LAVA


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BELL vs. MAJOR Australian pros Luke Bell and Kate Major have collectively earned more than seven top-10 finishes at the Ford Ironman World Championship since their debuts in 2002. These two longtime friends sat down to discuss coaching changes, performance slumps and their thoughts on this year’s race. Luke Bell: You changed coaches, to Siri

LB: Looking at Kona this year, with the

[Lindley]. What was your reason for changing

men’s field, how do you reckon it’s changed,


the level of competition from where it was when we first started? From my perspective,

Kate Major: I needed something different, to spice things up. My enthusiasm for the sport was going down a little bit. I just wanted to try something different. It’s going well and I’m enjoying it again, it’s working at least for the enjoyment part, and I’ve had a few good performances in the last few races. It’s finally kicking in now. How about you? You changed coaches and started working with Matt Dixon this year, how’s that going?

you used to have a handful of guys who would perform well at the race, and you’re thinking, well, there are five guys that could win this. And now, at any given race, there are 20 guys that could win it. You’re going out there, and it’s a race: You’ve got surges, you’ve got people disintegrating all over the place. You’ve also got guys running the first three miles well under 6-minute-per-mile pace; you’re looking at 5:40 mile pace sometimes. I know Crowie likes to keep it around 5:30s for the first mile or two,

LB: It was a similar situation for me. I had a

with that intimidation factor. What’s it like in the girls’ race?

few years of slumps. I had to ask myself, “Am I doing this for

KM: I think you have to have patience, but at the same time you do have to take those risks or you’re not going to be in the mix. There’s about 15 to 20 girls now. And a lot of new people coming through that you haven’t heard of. It’s like when Chrissie [Wellington] came through, everyone was like, who is that? And that can happen again. That can happen at any time.

fun? Is this still enjoyable?” I knew it was time for a change. I wanted to last another seven years, and I knew that I had to do something to bring the fun back into the sport. What a change.

KM: You just need a couple of good breaks, I think. All you need are few good training sessions and races. Then you think, I’ve got my mojo back, it’s there. You just have to put it all together, and that’s the hard part. And I guess that’s why we do what we do.

LB: After I took last year off—a vacation year, really—I went to Hawaii [as a spectator] and I was like, “What’s everyone stressed about? It’s a race. What’s the big deal?” It gave me a whole different perspective going into it this year. It’s

tle world and it’s hard to see what else is go-

weird: you’re friends with everyone and you’re

ing on. You ask, why is this happening to me?

all hanging out but once race week comes, they

When you look at Craig [Alexander] when he was my age, and where he is now, and it’s worlds apart. I think that’s where I’ve been

sammy tillery

LB: You get so wrapped up in your own lit-

can walk by and will give you the cold shoulder. Two days ago we’d be sitting together, having a coffee, but now you’re snubbing me? It’s funny how races change people. When you’re in the

able to draw the confidence to realize that the game, although it’s been great, it’s been like a preseason. The real game begins now. You realize in the back of your mind that the good days are still to come. That’s what I try and think about, to keep me going.

KM: I wonder if your body changes again, from your mid to late 20s, and then from your late 20s to your early 30s. It’s all a mathematical mind game. You’ve got to do the best you can with what you’ve got, and that’s all you can do.

race, you think that every moment is that important moment. But outside of the race, it all looks the same.


For the entire interview, go to


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2010-1011 Lava Magazine  
2010-1011 Lava Magazine