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Sophomore Success Stories...

emy-pets.gifIn 2010, first-year triathletes Dan Hedgecock and Claire Bootsma were outshined by fellow ROY nominees Jenny Shaughnessy and Sam Janicki. The MTN Guys did not predict that Hedge and Claire would achieve stardom in their sophomore seasons. In 2011, they were their respective gender's Triathletes of the Year. Hedge even earned a USAT AOY HM. Boots was considered for the same honor as well, but did not make the final cut. Claire did however end Cathy Yndestad's four-year reign atop Team Minnesota.

In 2003, CY was nominated for ROY. We did not foresee her winning the Most Improved award the next year, but she did.

Similarly, we did not predict Heather Lendway's mercurial ascension from MN Rookie of the Year in 2012 to arguably the the best female amateur triathlete that America has ever produced in just a year's time. In her first three seasons, ...

Stuff About Being the Only Triathlete in the Family...

energizer.gifBy Nicole Ekesten (nicolekesten.blogspot.com)

This post was shared on the Challenge Family America's Blog 3 weeks ago but wanted to re-share on my actual blog and add a few things that I couldn't share in my 850 limit :)

Many of us had similar starts to triathlon. We were drawn to the sport because it sounded intriguing, challenging and like something we wanted to accomplish for ourselves. I quickly learned, however, that my involvement in triathlon doesn’t just affect me–it affects my entire family. Endurance sports include more than just a few hours on random weekends; they can be consuming, expensive and sometimes cause a wedge in our relationships. As I enter my seventh year of triathlon, I want to share with you a few mantras I have found to keep myself and my family priorities balanced.

Racing isn’t just about me.


When I first started racing, my family would come with me to every race. We would drive all together, they would watch me set up transition, wait for me at the swim start and cheer throughout the day. It was great to have the support but I really didn’t think about them much and, after a while, they grew tired of supporting. I never considered that waking up at the butt-crack of dawn just to sit around on some camping chairs in a field (or better yet, a parking lot) to see me for a few glimpses over the course of a few hours wasn’t fun!  ...

Getting Unafraid of Open Water...

SWIM-ART.gifAdvice for avoiding panic attacks and other perceived perils of open-water swimming.

By Meredith Atwood (triathlon.competitor.com)

My first open-water training swim may have been one of the worst in the history of open-water swimming. The horrifying tale went something like this: 43 degrees outside, 62 degrees in the lake and my first time in a wetsuit. I knew the open water would be tough, but I was a good swimmer. I would be fine.

As I inched into the cold water, I noticed that my chest felt tight from the wetsuit, but I was hanging tough—until I put my face in the water. The shock of the cold floored me, and I immediately panicked and sucked in water. “I’m OK,” I said to myself. I put my face back into the water. More water in my lungs. I tried not to inhale the water, but the reaction was automatic. My coach at the time was gesturing: “We’re going to swim out to that first buoy and then take a left and swim past the four buoys and circle back.” I could not breathe. Swim? You want me to swim?  ...

Gender-Specific Diet Stuff...

woman-skinny-athletic-208x3.gifBy Brooke Schohl (usatriathlon.org)

When it comes to endurance sports, you know that fueling well is hugely important. The right fuel plan can increase energy levels, improve body composition and boost performance to the next level. Athletes who pay close attention to their intake, and strive to consume a clean diet of healthy, natural foods have a leg up on the competition.

There are some sex-specific fueling strategy differences between men and women, though. Which makes sense — we have unique anatomies, different nutrient requirements and diverse fueling habits.

Don’t be left in the dark, follow these women-specific guidelines for this year’s race season, ladies!

Ensure You Are Getting Enough Vitamins and Minerals

Female athletes like you are at higher risk for iron, calcium, B vitamin and zinc deficiencies. These nutrients are responsible for building bone and muscle, as well as being involved in energy production; all of which are essential to athletes. Iron insufficiencies occur commonly due to menstrual losses, and can lead to fatigue and low energy metabolism. Follow the philosophy of food first, supplements second when preventing or addressing nutrient deficiencies....

Is Peeing Penalizable?

pee-boy.gifIronman head referee Jimmy Riccitello answers your questions about the rules of the sport.

By Jimmy Riccitello (triathlon.competitor.com)

It depends on where and how you peed. If you relieve yourself while in a Porta-Potty or bathroom, you will not be penalized. Peeing outside of a bathroom, in plain view of others, however, should result in a penalty.

Let me start by saying that public urination is illegal in all 50 states. Extreme cases of public urination may even result in being charged with indecent exposure or public lewdness, which, in turn, may require the person to register as a sex offender. Even if an event or federation does not have a specific rule that prohibits peeing during a race, athletes who are witnessed by a race referee peeing in public may still be cited for public nudity (included in all triathlon rules that I’m aware of) or unsportsmanlike conduct.

The only sure way to avoid a penalty is to use one of the Porta-Potties along the course. If there are none, you should take major precautions to relieve yourself somewhere well off the beaten path and/or completely out of sight of any human being—especially a policeman, race referee and your fellow triathletes....

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