Articles by Emily Cocks

Two popular races are on tap in North America this weekend–Couer D’Alene (1st edition of a 70.3 this year) and the widely successful 70.3 Mont Tremblant. Both races have competitive fields but a larger and deeper field of champions is lining up north of the border in Canada for more points and a larger prize purse.

Across the pond, IM Austria is taking place. This race is notoriously fast and beloved by Ironman athletes and fans. Spectator support is top notch and many athletes have made a name for themselves by winning in Klagenfurt.

Ironman 70.3 CDA

HaleyC

Haley Chura

You had a challenging end to the year (hit by car ahead of Kona and subsequent DNF there) and then an injury to start 2016. How excited are you to just get out and enjoy racing??

I am incredibly excited to be healthy and back on a start line. I’ve really missed the triathlon community and little mini-reunions that happen at races. The timing of my accident was devastating and I raced Kona hoping for a miracle, but then found out my fibula was still fractured months later. It’s been a long road back, but it’s definitely changed my perspective on why I train and race. I’m so thankful for the people I get to be around in this sport. Their support has kept me going the past few months and I’m so happy I have another chance to prove them right!

I saw you have been spending time training in Montana. How long do you plan to stay out west and train? Have you gotten in a good block of training ahead of CDA?

My parents live in Bozeman, Montana and I’ve done training blocks here the past couple summers. I love Bozeman for its open roads, miles of empty trails, perfect summer weather and outdoor enthusiastic community. After my crash I struggled with a slightly irrational fear of cars and driving, making Atlanta a tough place to live. I decided to come up to Montana for a change in scenery and to get myself back on the road. I still spend a ton of time on the trainer, but I’ve logged a few spectacular outdoor rides and runs and I’ve met some really great people. I think I’ll be here at least through the summer, though the local bike shop also sells cross country ski gear, so maybe I could learn to love snow and stay a bit longer!

You are known to be “off the front” with a strong swim and bike. Do you mind being the hunted? Perhaps it is like that run you did when the cars were chasing you (Wings for Life World Run)? You ended up running 31 miles right? Perhaps it is good to visualize something like that in a race!

I love racing from the front. Similar to a race like Wings for Life with an unknown finish line, sometimes when I’m leading I have no idea how long that lead will last so I try my best to savor every second and give myself a little pat on the back for getting out there and doing my best. It sounds funny, but sometimes I admire my own courage.

What is on the schedule after CDA 70.3?

After CDA I’m hoping to race a few more 70.3s, then gear up for a fall Ironman. After a few false starts earlier this year, I’m a little tentative to set concrete race plans, but if things keep progressing as they have been I’m confident I’ll be racing even stronger than before the crash within the year.

TriPreviewShow (1)

The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a comment and rating. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast

Episodes can now be played on Stitcher!

Articles by Emily Cocks

Professional triathletes are racing in North Carolina and over in Europe this weekend. However it is hard to decipher from the start lists who is actually going to be at the races. Instead of writing a woefully inaccurate “here’s what might happen” preview I will just say the following:

-Raleigh 70.3 will be hot and humid and it might rain on Sunday.
-IM France will be hilly and technical on the bike and people might crash.
-Kraichgau is in Germany and please don’t ask me to pronounce it. Kienle is CONFIRMED to be racing so he’s the favorite.
-We do know that Daniela Ryf is racing Switzerland 70.3 so she will probably win unless something goes really wrong. She won by 18 minutes last year.

Ironman 70.3 Raleigh

Lauren Bar

Lauren Barnett

Chattanooga was a solid start to the year for you but you mentioned in your race report that you suffered a bit on the run. Do you think you gained some fitness and strength from the race and can capitalize on it in Raleigh?

Chattanooga 70.3 was just 2 weeks ago, so the quick turnaround is a bit of an experiment for us. I know my body responds very well when I race 3 weeks apart, but the 2 week spread is a learning curve! One thing I’ve already grown to appreciate though is being able to come home, do laundry, and pretty much stick everything right back into the suitcase – and it’s DONE! 🙂

Chattanooga 70.3 was my first race of the season and with a stellar field it was the perfect “rust buster” – when racing amongst a world class field like we had, there just is no room for error. So it was good to get the cobwebs out and get back to a place of “oh! This is what it feels like to hurt, to push the limit, to race hard” again – sometimes those are just things you can’t quite replicate in training. It’s the longest I’d gone without racing, but it’s been a busy year with 4 household moves that have landed us in Kansas City, which has been pretty amazing! We love it here and are finally feeling a bit more settled. I did struggle on that second loop of the run after holding 3rd since pretty early on during the bike, but I’ve raced enough to realize that some days it comes so easily, and I’m just fluid and fearless, and other days, that same effort comes very very hard. Something that normally comes a lot easier to me (the run!) was a struggle that day, but it was still a good day – getting back out there is such a gift! And yes, after each race I seem to get a big boost in fitness, and I am excited to carry that over into Raleigh 70.3.

Last year in Raleigh you almost ran down Meredith Kessler (who sometimes suffers in the heat). Do you like to be chasing on the run or would you rather just get into first on the bike and then hold everyone off?

The race last year was exciting!! Meredith is an amazing athlete and was very consistent all day. A good chase fires me up, but who doesn’t like to be leading off the bike!? 🙂 I’m confident in my running abilities so that’s a position I prefer to be in! Raleigh was toasty last year so we were all pushing the limits – and I’ve checked the weather for this weekend. . . it looks like it’ll be sizzling!! We have rain in the forecast too, so I’m sure it’ll be quite humid. I’m popping salt tabs already!

Have you made any changes to your training since moving to Kansas City? How are you settling in, do you have a group to swim/bike/run with or do you do a lot of your training on your own?

With the move to Kansas City for Brandon’s job with AMC Movie Theaters, God just opened the door for me to pursue triathlon full time. I’d been balancing racing with a full time job as the Director of Marketing for Innovation360 in Dallas, so as of this year I’m dedicating myself fully to the sport. It’s been awesome! We’ve bumped the volume up a bit, but the biggest difference is the amount of recovery I can get. Sleep!! It’ll be fun to see how things unfold now that I have more energy and time to dedicate to training, recovery, and sponsors. We’ve been pretty blown away with the caliber of athletes here. I’ve got a great group to swim with and the outdoor long course pool just opened (praise God!) – they push me hard every day. And now that it’s getting nice and warm, I’ve been able to ride with a few different groups, but up until recently I’ve done most of my run/ride training solo which works well for me, too. The biggest thing is that access to training is so convenient here. I just go out my front door for all the riding and running and there are awesome country roads and endless trails in every direction. I feel like I’ve discovered a bit of a gem of a training location and don’t want to tell anyone about it! 🙂

LSiddall

Laura Siddall

Raleigh will probably quite the opposite in terms of weather vs. St. George (cold and rainy). What will you do to prepare for the heat and humidity?
What? Are you saying the warm heat and humidity of the San Francisco climate isn’t conducive to Raleigh?

I’ll be ensuring I’m looking after myself in the days before the race, keeping on top of fluids etc. and will be conscious on race day of my body temperature and use appropriate cooling techniques if necessary. If I go faster it’ll be over quicker right?

Are you heading straight to Europe after the race to prepare for Challenge Galway and Challenge Roth?

Raleigh was a late addition to the schedule, so it’s a quick trip over there and back. I’ll then have another couple of weeks with Matt Dixon in San Fran before heading to Europe for the Challenge events.

You wrote in your race report about St. George that you were a bit flat on race day and did not race up to your capabilities. After feeling like that do you just stay the course with your training and trust that you will have the race that showcases your abilities? Did you make any small changes after St. George related to swim, bike or run?

Having faith in the training and trust that we are on track is key. St. George was part of the process but just part of a bigger picture. So whilst on the day I didn’t fully fire, I’m still confident that the work I’m doing with Matt and Paul Buick is heading in the right direction.

Is qualifying for Kona on your radar for 2017? Will you do some late season Ironman races to get some good points up on the KPR rankings?

At the moment my schedule for the back half of 2017 has about 3 or 4 different routes I could go down, so we are keeping a few options open as to how things pan out over the next few months.

Challenge Roth hadn’t been on the agenda at the beginning of the year, and that soon changed, so lots of options moving forward which is pretty exciting. It’s hard to qualify for Kona, which is as it should be, it should be the very best of the best qualifying for sure. The process at the moment though I feel is a little imbalanced between 70.3 and IM points, and so trying to chase points can be tough. That said I would very much like to race Kona at some point, so we’ll see how things shape up.

TriPreviewShow (1)

The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a comment and rating. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast

Episodes can now be played on Stitcher!

Articles by Emily Cocks

The World Champion, Jan Frodeno, is back racing in Lanzarote this weekend. The course serves up a mass start for EVERYONE, big hills, winding descents and lots of wind. Frodeno just needs to “validate” but he’s a competitor and if he is close to the front his competitiveness probably won’t allow him to back off. He will be challenged by fellow German Timo Bracht, David McNamee, Ivan Rana and Jesse Thomas.

The women’s field is smaller so someone could make a bit of money and a name for themselves with a podium finish. Lucy Charles is competing in her debut professional race but should be near the front, men included, after the swim. Diana Riesler is a strong cyclist and will use the tough course to her advantage. Alyssa Godesky, Tine Holst and Caroline Livesey can all challenge for the podium. On a course like Lanzarote the athletes who roll with the punches will finish near the top.

Chattanooga 70.3 is only a P500 race but has a strong field due to the fact it is the World Championship course in 2017. Athletes want to get a taste of what to expect next year. The swim will be fast and keep everyone closer together which favors athletes like Sebastian Kienle and Cam Wurf (who??? read below!). However, Sam Appleton and Leon Griffin are not quick to roll over and can make their moves on the run.

On the women’s side defending champion Ashley Clifford is facing a tough field. Heather Jackson is looking to rebound after an extremely out of character performance in St. George. Magali Tisseyre was 4th in St. George and is a threat for the win. Lauren Barnett was 9th at the 70.3 World Championships last year and is lining up for her first race of the year. A down current swim plays to her strengths; the bike and run. Leanda Cave, Jeanni Seymour (6th at St. George), Mirinda Carfrae and Ruth Brennan Morrey will all be in the mix on Sunday.

Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga

cameronwurf

Cameron Wurf

After racing age group in 2015 (9th overall at IM Whistler with the fastest bike split by 10 minutes) this will be your first race in the pro ranks. We know you have the bike nailed—how has training been going for the swim and run? I saw on twitter that you have been doing some training with Tower 26 in LA.

Last year cannondale supported me to take a sabbatical from racing on the road for 12months with the idea being my hunger to race full time would return. I decided to enter a couple of triathlons to keep me competing in something and also ensure I didn’t get to out of shape. Oceanside was up first and I loved every second of it. I didn’t plan on doing another until listening to Bonner Paddock speak 2 weeks before the Whistler ironman. Here was a guy who’d completed Kona with cerebral palsy and broke 26 bones in his feet in the process!! I asked Cannondale to enter me in the next ironman which happened to be Whistler in 2 weeks time. I obviously hadn’t prepared at all, I’d run 3 times since oceanside and that was my longest run ever. They said I was crazy and should wait and take one seriously but I said I’d be ok, let’s give it a shot. Surprise surprise I loved every second of that one as well and that’s when we started talking about me switching sports again! I’d said I’d give training a go for Kona but as fate would have it I wasn’t meant to train in 2015 and I broke 2 bones in my foot a week after Whistler. I rode my bike 4 times before Kona and basically went along as a tourist to see what it was all about. Even with a broken foot I loved every single second being out on the race course and decided yep, why not, I’ll give this ironman thing a go and here I am lining up in my first race since Kona as a pro in Chattanooga.

Chattanooga has a notoriously fast swim and the current assist tends to keep everyone closer together. Does this play to your strength—the bike? Sebastian Kienle is planning to race, are you excited to ride (and maybe drop) him?

I like the fact that Chattanooga has a fast swim, when I was a rower so many more crews were in the race for the win in a tail breeze, I guess swimming is the same! I’ve been training with the gang at Tower 26, we’ll being swam over the top of at Tower 26!! Hopefully it’s gets me out of the water not to far behind the field, fingers crossed! Luckily I’ve got a really fast wetsuit, need all the help I can get.

That’s exciting to hear Kienle will be there, I doubt I’ll see him on the course at all but it will be an honor to at least line up on the start line with him, that guys a legend, cool.

What is your plan for 2016 after Chattanooga? Do you want to qualify for Kona this year? If so, will you race Cairns or Frankfurt to get enough KPR points for qualification?

After this I’ll race Cairns which I feel will be better suited to me at the moment than the half distance. I simply don’t have the speed in the pool or running to be competitive in 70.3’s but I seem to have the physiology to go at a good pace for a long time. I’ll try and execute my race plan and then after the finish we can think about points. I’d love to qualify for Kona as a pro one day, not really sure how that all works but I guess I could also race Whistler again to tally some points, at least I already know my way around that one.

You were a pro cyclist for a few years. Were you a one day racer or ride more often in the stage races (Grand tour or shorter ones like Tour of California)?

In my cycling days I raced a bit of everything, a few grand tours, a few classics, a few week long races including California‎. I had my better results in TT’s than on the general classification but never really hit my straps racing road bikes, I’d didn’t seem to handle having so many people around me very well. I happy to be doing what I’m doing right now.

MattR

Matt Russell

Coming off a 2nd place at IMTX, where is your recovery for 70.3 Chatt this weekend?

Body feels really good coming off of IMTX. I started running again on Tuesday. Thankfully my body recovers fast and I normally race better with back to back races. However I don’t do many 70.3s so this will feel like a sprint to me.

You are known for fast runs and racing a lot in a year, do you plan on backing off now having secured your KPR points?

I might be known for fast runs but lately I’ve have having the fastest bike splits. I had the fastest bike split at Wildflower a couple weeks ago and again had the fastest bike split at IMTX.

I do race a lot. IMTX was my 3rd Ironman this year and was the best out of the 3. I do plan on taking 8-10 weeks off from racing this summer. Then I’ll jump back and race Ironman Mont Tremblant, Ironman Chattanooga and then Kona. I wouldn’t do IM Chattanooga if I thought it was going to hurt my Kona. Instead, I believe it will help Kona. My racing history shows that my second back to back Ironman is more successful. An Ironman 2 weeks out is a warm up to my “A” race Ironman.

Did IMTX play out like you wanted it too? Looking back is there a certain part of the race were you could of made a different decision to make a run at 1st place?

I was happy with how IMTX went for me. There was nothing more I could do. I was averaging 6:07 mile pace for the first of the 3 loop run course. Patrick seemed to get faster as the race progressed which is crazy to think since it was a very hot and humid race. I was happy with my race. Someone said to me that if it was a legit course (bike was 95 miles and 17 miles short) , I would have went 8:01 and Patrick would have been sub 8.

Ironman Lanzarote

Godesky

Alyssa Godesky

You know how things get blown a bit out of proportion about races (i.e., it was soon hot, cold, windy, etc.). Well, you have been on the course, most namely the bike, for a week now. Is it as tough as they say?

Yes!! The hype is 100% accurate here, and in fact with the winds the past few days I thought it was even slightly under hyped! Wind and climbing is the name of the game. If you can keep your wits about you for that, there are some good fast sections too, but I think it more so depends on your ability to handle the other 2!

At Challenge Wanaka you crashed in some crazy cross winds. Has it been good to feel the wind in Lanzarote this week and become more comfortable with it? Are you rocking a shallower rim front wheel for the race?

Absolutely was the right call for me to be out here riding in these winds early. The island effect with winds is truly unique and can’t be recreated elsewhere- totally worth seeing it head of time. Even though my comfort level is up, yes, I’m definitely rocking a 303 in the front on Saturday! 🙂

How is the run course? Everyone talks about the bike but not the run? I know it goes along the ocean—is it mostly flat yet baked in sun?

Yep–flat and hot and the wind effect will be a factor (it’s one ~20k loop and then 2 ~10k loops). Both in headwind for effort and making it hotter in one direction. I’ve heard though the crowds are great so I’m looking forward to that offsetting some of the pain!!

TriPreviewShow (1)

The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a comment and rating. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast

Episodes can now be played on Stitcher!

Articles by Emily Cocks

Check out The Triathlon Preview Show podcast this week for great information on Ironman Texas and WTS Yokohoma. Plus a great twitter conversation has started with several professionals and “analysts.”

Guest on the show this week were: Jason Pedersen for a WTS Yokohoma talk with Emily Cocks.

Matt Hanson, Liz Baugher, Jocelyn McCauley joined Zach Miller for a Ironman Texas Talk. Also Jodie Robertson joined Zach for a quick talked about Ironman Texas, her first Ironman race.

Raymond Botelho got into the fun by throwing some picks down on twitter. I give mad respect for this since not many professionals will come out and give picks for races.

I had to respond and give more then podiums picks which I gave in the podcast.

TriPreviewShow (1)

The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a comment and rating. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast

Episodes can now be played on Stitcher!

Articles by Emily Cocks

Two big races are looming on the horizon (St. George and IM Texas) so this weekend the racing in North America is all about Wildflower. It seems that TriCal is sick of Jesse Thomas winning every year so they brought in the course record holder, Terenzo Bozzone, to challenge him. However, the swim-run-bike-run set up is not the course Bozzone raced in 2006 and the run after the swim plays to Thomas’ strengths. It’s going to be a battle and perhaps, with IM Lanzarote loaming on the horizon for Thomas, someone else can finally rise the banner at Lake San Antonio. Dark Mark claimed it would be him, but he was not on the released list???

Liz Lyles is returning to defend the title she stole from Heather Jackson in the final 200 meters last year. Lyles has had a slower start to the year but is building momentum into IM Brazil at end of the month. This course is suited for her and most likely, she will be strong on Saturday. Laurel Wassner was 4th last year and loves all the hills on the course. Lauren Goss was not on the original list but she is planning to make her first start at this iconic race. She is coming off a podium at St. Anthonys and if anyone is wondering whether she is good at hard, hilly races, she won St. Croix 70.3 last year. Robin Pomerroy, Emily Cocks and Mackenzie Madison make up a list of challengers for a top 5 placing.

It is fall in Australia and that means Port Macquarie is getting ready to host a solid field for an end of season (in the southern hemisphere) Ironman. Josh Amberger is lining up for his debut Ironman and as one of the best swim/cyclists in the sport he will be out in front at the start. However, with a debut Ironman, the question is pacing and nutrition—will he get it right? If Tim Reed didn’t overtrain he will be a threat, especially after a strong outing at Oceanside, finishing in 2nd place. Dougal Allan lit up the bike courses at Wanaka and New Zealand so look for him to be making his moves before the field hits the run course.

The start list on the women’s side is not as long but there are some strong athletes lining up for the race. Gina Crawford has had a subpar start to the year but if she gets her issues sorted she can take the title. However, she is going to be contending with a hard charging Beth Gerdes, who has not raced an Ironman since Kona and is rested and refreshed. Michelle Bremer is the defending champion and won’t give up that stop too easily. Dimity-Lee Duke and Lisa Marangon will be in the mix on Sunday as well.

There are three other 70.3s this weekend–Busselton in Western Australia and Pays d’Aix and Mallorca in Europe. Here’s what you need to know: Andreas Dreitz tore it up at Oceanside and Galveston, and is starting in Mallorca. He will be challenged by Tim Don and Bart Aernouts. In addition, hiding on the women’s list is Nicola Spirig, who broke her hand at WTS Abu Dhabi. If she starts, there is no doubt that Brett Sutton thinks this is a good way to kick start a solid bit of training leading into her gold medal defense at the Olympics in Rio.

Ironman Australia

Beth G

Beth Gerdes

You haven’t done an Ironman distance race since Kona. How important was this break from IM racing and training for a strong 2016? I can imagine that after lining up for 6 (we can count Malaysia as part of the year) Ironman distance races in one year it was really important to take a step back and let the body recover. It’s not only the racing, but the Ironman builds that can be tough on the mind and body, correct?

Having a break after Kona was really important to me. I had raced a ton over the end of 2014 and all through 2015 (yes, 6 IM starts as you mentioned. So, I really took a solid off season of time with my family, planning and executing the Island House Triathlon. The big break allowed me to hit 2016 refreshed and really build into the year. I didn’t start doing any of the super long Ironman training (ie. 5-6 hour rides or 2+ hour runs until 10 weeks out from IM Australia. I can’t mentally sustain high volume year-round so it has been nice to compartmentalize it!

You are driving down to Port Macquarie with Wynne this week—what do you have to keep her busy in the car? I can imagine that as a active almost 2 year old she will have trouble sitting still for 8 hours?

The big car ride with Wynne (8 hours!) is tomorrow so we will see- it could be tougher than Ironman. I am armed with Peppa Pig episodes on the ipad, but I still need to download some toddler tunes for the stereo tonight!

Have you thought about what you are doing racing wise are IM Australia? Will you head back up to train in North America after Luke races IM Cairns in June?

After IM Australia, the plan is another small break, then IM Switzerland in mid-July. Luke will be racing IM Cairns mid-June, so I will play support crew!

TriPreviewShow (1)

The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a comment and rating. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast

Episodes can now be played on Stitcher!

Articles by Emily Cocks

The World Triathlon Series has one more southern hemisphere race in Capetown before heading north for the rest of the spring/summer. The sprint race in Capetown will be fast and furious and, most likely, it will come down to the 5k run. If that’s the case it is hard to look beyond Mario Mola. However, with more moderate temperatures, Jonny Brownlee could be a threat if he is recovered from his bout with heat exhaustion he suffered at the Gold Coast race. Joao Silva can also run so look out for him; he had a solid start in Abu Dhabi and looks to be back in form after an off year in 2015.

The women’s race highlights the first races of the season for Vicky Holland and Non Stanford. They both were on the podium at the Rio Test Event and the Chicago Grand Finale. Jodie Stimpson will be racing after a strong start to the year followed by a heartbreaking race at WTS Gold Coast when she had an off day and failed to make the GBR Olympic team. Mari Rabie is racing at home and has had a good start to the year, being in the mix in every race. Others to watch are Rachel Klamer and two Americans, Sarah True and Kirsten Kasper.

St. Anthony’s Triathlon is a classic non drafting Olympic Distance race in Florida, hosting triathletes in St. Petersburg for the 33rd year. A solid elite line up will battle for the $65,000 prize purse. Alicia Kaye is returning to defend her title. However, she is more focused on longer distances after the cancellation of the Lifetime Series and that might take away from her short course prowess. Sarah Haskins was dominant on the Olympic Distance race circuit for years, but, like Kaye, has begun to focus on longer distances. Magali Tisseyre was 2nd last year and and started the season very well at Palmas 70.3 a couple weeks ago. Heather Lendway, Lauren Goss, Kaitlin Donner and Jen Spieldenner will all be in the mix out of the water and will factor into the race. Mirinda Carfrae will make her move on the bike and the run.

On the men’s side the defending champion, Cam Dye, is back. The shorter distance is unquestionably Dye’s strength and he usually gets away from the field on the swim and bike. However, will he still have that short course speed and power? Top Ironman athletes Tim O’Donnell and Tyler Butterfield will also be on the start line but could get gapped in a shorter race. The rising star in 70.3 racing is Sam Appleton and it will be interesting to see how he performs in a shorter race. He did compete in ITU at the beginning of his career so if he can tap into some of that speed and power he could be factor.

FT_Logo_RGB_Small

Play Fantasy Triathlon Today!

Fantasy triathlon contests are up and running for WTS Cape Town this weekend. Do not delay and get your picks in now! Play Here!

St. Anthony’s Triathlon

Mark

Mark Bowstead

Your last race was your debut Ironman in Taupo in early March (10th place in a big field). How did you recover and is it refreshing to hit some speed and shorter efforts after an Ironman build?
Yes Ironman was my last race, it was a great race for me and I was so happy with the time (8.29) but that only got me 10th. Recovery was very good, I had a week off then a week maintain a bit of fitness (doing what I felt like) as I had another week off coming where I was on holiday with my girlfriend in Florida going to all the theme parks there. it was lots of fun. I haven’t really done any specific work for the shorter distance but I just felt the urge to move away from the usual longer training for a little and to do a race where I can go max from the gun and see what happens. And I enjoy going to St Pete, they put on a great race there. Its like triathlons spring classic.

St. George is on the schedule after St. Anthonys. Will this race blow out the cobwebs and get you ready for a solid race in Utah?
No doubt, with the field in St. George, the pace is going to be like an Olympic distance race for the first part of the race as people try to get a good position out of the swim and onto the bike. Yes, St George is after and i figured with an Ironman base in me doing a shorter race a couple weeks out might help there. I have no doubt it will be on like donkey kong all day in Utah and It will be exciting to see how I stack against the best. I did that race a couple years ago and got destroyed (25th!! haha) so hopefully a little better.

Any more Ironmans planned for 2015 or are you focusing on a strong 70.3 season?
Hopefully an early season Ironman build and then recovery will bode well for the remainder of the season and provide another level of strength in all three disciplines. Thats a good question. I said no initially, but with the this whole qualifying system if I want to go to Kona next year I may do one around October if there is one, then focus on doing better than this year in IMNZ and hopefully that plus a few 70.3’s would be enough. Or do an IMNZ and Cairns double, not sure. But we will see. The remainder of this years focus is boulder 70.3 and Sunshine Coast worlds.

Jen S

Jen Spieldenner

Your last big Olympic distance race was Hyvee in September 2014. You did really well, 6th place in a huge field, if my memory is correct. Are you excited to get back out there for a high octane 2 hours of racing?
Yes, I love Olympic distance racing. I feel like you can push the limits a lot more than you can in 70.3s, which makes for a fun painful day.

Oceanside was not quite the start you wanted. However, I am sure fitness and strength was gained. Did you feel the training starting to gel after the race? And maybe, mixing it up with some speed will take you to another level before St. George?
Training was going really well before Oceanside, but I just wasn’t able to execute on the given day. But that is racing, your fitness doesn’t always translate to the race course, but that doesn’t mean the fitness is not there. I am excited to have another opportunity here at St. A’s to express all the work I put in over the winter and the gains that I made. We will see how it all plays out on Sunday 🙂

Given the quality of the start list (Haskins, Goss, Kaye, Tisseyre) it seems that professionals want to race this distance. Do you wish the Toyota Cup Series, or something similar, would come back?
Of course I wish there was an Olympic distance series in the US. I know I for sure would race a bunch of those races and I would assume a lot of other pros would too.

TriPreviewShow (1)

The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a comment and rating. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast

Episodes can now be played on Stitcher!

Articles by Emily Cocks

Update Andy Potts is out of NOLA

After a plethora of races last weekend all over the world there is only one race in North America this weekend, New Orleans 70.3. This is another P500 race with a 30k prize purse and, unlike Galveston, the depth of the professional field reflects the lack of points and cash available at the race. No disrespect is meant to those racing because there are a few big names in both fields.

Andy Potts and Sarah Piampiano are back to defend their titles. Similarly, they are preparing for Ironman Texas in a month so we will see if their legs are tired from the training. Matt Chrabot lost to Potts by :40 last year and is looking to turn that result on its head. Andrew Starykowicz raced Galveston last weekend, biked 140 miles on some sort of iteration of the IMTX course (that still doesn’t exist) so we will see how his legs react on race day.

Piampiano will most likely be chasing Laura Bennett but if history repeats itself Piampiano is the stronger cyclist and should be in the lead before T2 or, at the latest, early on the run. Amanda Stevens has been on every start list since Oceanside so who knows if she is actually racing. Some new names on the women’s side could add a podium finish to their resume on Sunday.

Ironman 70.3 NOLA

Sarah P

Sarah Piampiano

Last year you ended up with a flat during the bike but were able to run your way to the win. So, NOLA definitely has some good memories (1st pro win, defending champion) even with the flat. Did that teach you to stay calm and just keep fighting even when things don’t go perfectly?

Absolutely. I’ve always held a strong belief that fighting to the finish is important as you never know what can happen. Certainly this rings true in Ironman racing, but with last year’s race in New Orleans where I had 2 flat tires, I felt like my day was over – and then to come back and win was so rewarding. Not every race will end like that, but it solidified in my mind that you just can’t give up mentally and that things can turn around.

Monterrey 70.3 was a solid start. How do you feel after another 4 weeks of training? You are aiming for IM Texas in May so I am sure training is kicking into high gear right about now.

Thanks so much! I was very happy with my Monterrey race given where I was from a fitness level standpoint. The race itself gave me a much needed fitness boost and since then my training has really been very solid and steadily improving. So I am feeling in a great place. I still have some work to do to get read for IM Texas, but I think we are happy with where things are at the moment.

Speaking of Texas, have you heard about the bike course and how there is no confirmed course yet? As someone who has Kona qualification sewn up (7th place 2015 & win at IMWA) are you a little more relaxed about it? You don’t “need” the points for qualification at this point. However, this is what you do and you are training hard for the event.

Haha – it is funny that you should mention that. For the last several weeks I’ve been in an intense IM training block and have hardly been online. I only just learned (through word of mouth) about the course change!

To be honest though, I don’t feel stressed at all about it, despite this being a key race of my season. The course change may impact wind directions at various points in the course, in general the terrain there is rolling and I expect the new course will have a similar profile to years past. I’m also heading there early so will hopefully have a chance to preview the new course in advance. This is a uncontrollable thing – stuff like this happens and it is impacting me in the same way it is impacting my competitors so I don’t worry about it that much.

There have been races (like Monterrey 70.3, for example) where you can’t preview the course at all before the race because of road closures, etc – you just have to roll with the punches on these things.

Matt C

Matt Chrabot

Panama was not good but you had a solid result at Monterrey 70.3 to get the season going. How are you feeling heading into NOLA? You narrowly missed taking the victory last year, losing a close duel with Andy Potts. Potts described his race in Oceanside as “complete shit” to me. I anticipate he will be motivated since he hates losing (a lot).

Yeah I have no idea what happened to Potts in Oceanside. Would be nice to know. Old age? I’m feeling great and would like to kick ass in NOLA. Training has been going better than expected.

Many athletes are getting ready for Ironman racing in the May-June timeframe. You don’t have an Ironman distance planned until Kona. Do you think this helps you have more speed and power than those who are doing big miles to prepare for IM Texas, Brazil or Cairns?

Big miles are very important to IM training. Unfortunately, it doesn’t bode well if you want to successfully race before and IM. Tons of sacrifice. I like to dream about Kona, but the amount of low hanging fruit in late September and October is hard to overlook.

TriPreviewShow (1)

The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a comment and rating. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast

Episodes can now be played on Stitcher!

photo credit: The Spirit of New Orleans via photopin (license)

Articles by Emily Cocks

The season is officially underway and excitement is going to hit a fever pitch, relatively speaking, with WTS Gold Coast, IM South Africa, Palmas (Brazil) 70.3 and Texas 70.3.

Here’s the short version breakdown:

-Both Brownlees are on the start line and will be barking orders at the peloton
Gomez and Luis are not racing so no Olympic preview—do they plan this??
-It is Stimpson vs. Jenkins for the last GBR Olympic slot
-It is also a big race for the Australians AND on home soil so they are going to be fired up.
Katie Zaferes is fit and ready to rock it—listen to the podcast HERE to get the inside scoop on what Tommy told me ahead of the race.

South Africa is usually very windy, the course is hard and this year it is going to be boiling hot. Look out for some blow ups. Frodeno is out and Swallow is facing a larger group of challengers with the cancellation of IM Melbourne.

Palmas is in Brazil and boasts a strong field vying for 1500 points and a large prize purse. This one will be contested in hot weather as well. I can not tell from social media posts but it looks like Angela Naeth is skipping this one and Leanda Cave might be as well. Cody Beals made the trip after some visa issues which threatened to ruin the whole thing.

-For some reason a slew of professionals decided to hit Galveston and fight over 500 points and a small prize purse. Maybe it is the good scenery and straight forward run course that no one ever gets lost on (sarcasm)? Anyway, Sanders just won in Oceanside and Sarah Haskins is a strong contender for the win on the women’s side. It is supposed to be pretty gusty on the bike course this weekend so it might break up the groups.

FT_Logo_RGB_Small

Play Fantasy Triathlon Today!

Fantasy triathlon contests are up and running for Ironman 70.3 Texas, Palmas, Ironman South Africa and WTS Gold Coast this weekend. Do not delay and get your picks in now! Play Here!

Ironman 70.3 Texas

Sanders

Lionel Sanders

First, the new bike position, how did it feel in Oceanside? It looks great but you never know until you do a really long hard ride in the new position. Are you going to make any tweaks? Aero geeks on triathlon forums want to know!
The new fit is definitely a step in the right direction. I felt fast, yet still comfortable and powerful. I don’t think it is perfect though, and will continue to hone it as the season progresses. Continuing to move my seat back will likely be part of that process. What I was most surprised by was how good my run legs felt. Without a doubt, the old position was negatively impacting my run.

Galveston is quite the opposite from California course and temperature wise (dry vs humid, hillier vs flat)? What, if any, changes will you make this week to get you ready for the race?
The race in Galveston is about as close to my training room as possible. The bike is dead flat with almost no corners. The run is dead flat. The temperature and humidity is very close to the room as well (average of about 72F and 70% humidity in the room). If anything, I would say Galveston is a lot more “business as usual” than Oceanside. There will be some very strong bikers there, so my plan and goal is to leave a little bit more out there on the bike, and see what happens.

I know you have been working with Gerry Rodrigues of Tower 26 a bit on the swim. How is that evolution going? Are you starting to “believe” you can be a fast swimmer? You were only 3 mins back of Potts in Oceanside. Were you “okay” with that gap?
Gerry came to my hometown a couple weeks ago to see me swim in person. Fortunately, he thinks there is still a lot of room for improvement. It’s not going to happen over night, but I am determined to make it happen. One of the big things that he changed in me is my psychology. I used to dread the swim and make comments about myself like “I suck at swimming.” You certainly will never be a good swimmer with that attitude! The 3 minute gap to Potts was okay. Any improvement is good improvement. I by no means am content with that though.

Ironman 70.3 Palmas

LisaR

Lisa Roberts

Panama 70.3 was an amazing race with you just getting into 2nd place with an amazing run. Does that give you confidence for your race in Las Palmas? I assume you are even fitter now!
Thanks! I am incredibly happy with my race in Panama. It does give me quite a bit of confidence coming into Las Palmas, knowing that I can run harder off the bike than I think I can. I do believe my fitness has taken another step forward, not only because of the effort I put in at Panama, but the training I’ve put in since then.

Are you building towards a May/June Ironman race? Perhaps returning to Nice, France?
Yes, I am building toward a May/June Ironman. France is a definite possibility. I have a great love of that race and with a 4th, 3rd and 2nd place there already, the lure to take that final step to the top of the podium is hard to resist! But, then again there is Ironman Texas to consider. Closer to home, for sure. Maybe I should consider a Texas-France double?

Your swim is improving but you still come out of the water a little bit behind. Do you think that plays to your advantage? You don’t have to get caught up in the tactics of being at the front and can just ride your pace (ie, fast!)?
I would like to get out of that @#%* water a bit quicker than I currently am. As much as I like setting my own bike/run pace and working through the field, I feel my slower swim times are a disadvantage. Especially if I want to win more races. But as they say, your biggest weakness can become your greatest advantage!
I do my fair share of bike racing in addition to triathlon, so I believe having better contact to the faster swimmers on the bike may in fact lead to a faster bike split for me – letting my bike racing instincts take over to really see what I can do!

TriPreviewShow (1)

The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a comment and rating. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast

Episodes can now be played on Stitcher!

Articles by Emily Cocks

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside

The triathlon season in North America officially kicks off this weekend with 70.3 California in Oceanside. This race was once an Ironman distance (a LONG time ago) but is now one of the most popular races on the calendar. Registration sells out in minutes—just ask our columnist, Kelly O’Mara, she missed the chance to race here by waiting too long to register. Anyway, along with being popular with amateurs the race is always stacked to the gills with professionals.

When you look at the men’s start list it is plausible that any number of men could win. Andy Potts was second last year and ran down Lionel Sanders in the last couple miles. Sam Appleton is not quite as well known as Potts and Sanders in North America but he could make a big name for himself this weekend. He holds the course record at another classic, Vineman 70.3, so expect to see him vying for the win on Saturday. Tim Reed, Appleton’s former coach, is also racing. It is his first time in Oceanside and he could definitely give the other men a run for their money after spending the summer season in his native Australia training. Sebastian Kienle is also back after finishing third here in 2014. The names keep on coming: Trevor Wurtele, Taylor Reid, Jesse Thomas, Joe Gambles, Eneko Llanos, Andreas Dreitz….. Since it is the first race of the season expect to see a few surprises, good and bad.

The last three years the women’s race has been won by someone named Heather. Heather Jackson won in 2013 and 2015 while Heather Wurtele took the title in 2014. It is hard to say “even year, Wurtele wins” with the other women lining up in the 2016 edition of the race. Caroline Steffen is here for the first time and just won Subic Bay 70.3. This race definitely won’t be as warm as the Philippines but I doubt that will slow Steffen down. Camilla Pedersen just finished second to Wurtele in Monterrey so we know she is fit. Holly Lawrence was the surprise leader off the bike last year and hung on for third place. She will be out of the water at the front again and will have a big crew chasing her down. Alicia Kaye, Amanda Stevens, Mary Beth Ellis, Michelle Vesterby, Jen Spieldenner and Ellie Salthouse are just a few more of the names that could make their way to the pointy end of the field.

FT_Logo_RGB_Small

Play Fantasy Triathlon Today!

Fantasy triathlon contests are up and running for Ironman 70.3 California this weekend. The winner of the contest will receive a Rudy Project Transition 46 Bag! Do not delay and get your picks in now! Play Here!

Photo: Patsy Healy/Real Racine

Photo: Patsy Healy/Real Racine

Heather Wurtele

You and Heather Jackson have gone 1-2 the past 3 years…HJ with two wins (2013,2015) and you with one (2014). It’s an even year so we can probably pencil you in right?

Ha ha. Ya. Sounds good. It has come down to a battle between the two of us the last couple of years, but we’ve both had to run down some strong swimmer/cyclists. To win here you have to put together a very strong all-around performance and it’s going to be challenging as always. There are several athletes here, e.x. Caroline Steffen, that I’ve never raced in a 70.3 before, so that makes things even more exciting.

However, in all seriousness, the start list is stacked per usual. Like this time every year, it seems that some will be very fit and ready to hit it and others will be building for races later on in the spring. Does that make it easier for you to just focus on your race and go as fast as YOU can on race day?

Honestly, that is always my focus. I love big, competitive races where your fellow athletes really challenge you to give your best performance. When it comes down to it all that you have control over is your own race and rising to the challenges that each day presents.

(QUESTION FOR YOU AND TREVOR) The WTC checks for PEDs. Do you think they also need to start checking for “mechanical” doping?

Yes. We know that this technology is out there so it would be great if there were proper checks for it and consequences for cheaters.

SAM

Sam Appleton

Are you ready for the “Spring World Championships?” This race always brings out some big names and you get a chance to race some athletes you haven’t race too much (if at all) like Potts, Kienle and Lionel Sanders.

I’ve never raced Andy Potts before, but i have battled Kienle and Sanders a couple of times. Unfortunately those times i raced them i was far from my best so i am looking to rectify that this time around at Oceanside. It is definitely a really deep start list, but its early season for a lot of guys so anything can happen. I’ve been training really well since blowing out the cobwebs at Buenos Aires 3 weeks ago and i am feeling confident in my own ability.

Most of the talk is battle between Kienle, Potts and Sanders. Do you like going in under the radar? To be fair, you do own the course record at Vineman and Potts has won there before so it should be a good battle….

I think i am under the radar on the media front(especially in North America as i havent been racing here for too long), but i am sure most of the guys racing know who i am and what i capable of. I had a great race at Vineman last year and if i am able to bring that kind of form to Oceanside i know i will be competitive. The start list is loaded with guys but i will just go about my business and treat it as any other race. I am really excited to get out there and test the form against some of the best guys in the world.

The WTC tests for PEDs. Do you think they should also check bikes (pros and amateur) for “mechanical doping?”

I used to think that mechanical doping was more of a farce than anything else but the UCI found someone in the Cyclocross World Champs so i guess its more prevalent than i first thought. I definately think PEDs are far more common but it cant hurt to get more testing on all forms of doping within the pro and amateur ranks.

TriPreviewShow (1)

The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a comment and rating. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast

Episodes can now be played on Stitcher!

Articles by Emily Cocks

Ironman 70.3 Monterrey

After a few stops and starts the North American season really gets cracking this weekend with Monterrey and Puerto Rico 70.3s. You might think Mexico and say hot weather, right? Well, in Monterrey that is not always the case. In fact, last year, the rain wreaked havoc on the bike course due to four kilometers of slick cobblestones. See the video evidence here:

The 2015 champion, Tim Don, is back to race along with runner up, Kevin Collington. They will be challenged by a long list of strong contenders like Matt Chrabot, Ben Hoffman, Ben Collins, Trevor Wurtele, Cody Beals, Drew Scott and Francisco Serrano.

The women’s race in Mexico boasts last year’s champion, Magali Tisseyre, who won by almost 11 minutes with a smoking 4:00:48 half ironman. If she races like that again the other women are going to have their work cut out for them. However, Heather Wurtele usually comes out strong in the early season and is likely gearing up for a big race in Oceanside on April 2. Camilla Pedersen has come over from Europe to race and she is strong across all disciplines; look for her to be in the mix from the gun. Sarah Piampiano was second last year and will be moving up after the swim with a strong bike and run. Emma Pallant is an unknown to most in North America but she has the bike and run to move up by the time the finish line rolls around. Other contenders include Liz Lyles, who had a mediocre race in Panama, Emma Kate Lidbury and Kirsty Jahn, who placed 4th in Panama at the end of the January.

MAG

Magali Tisseyre

The weather looks like it might be similar to last year (rain and colder temps). Does this give you some confidence since you know how to get over the cobbles safely? You are right! It seems like the weather on race day could be a challenge again. It’s surprising, as these are not the conditions to be expected around here this time of year! I am not too worried about the wet cobbles section. I like that it adds a technical aspect to the bike race and I do think it is an advantage to have experienced it last year. What was less talked about from last year’s race was the run surface. It was slippery! In some sections, each foot step was a slip and it got quite frustrating. Now I know what to expect…haha. After Monterrey, you start your 70.3 regional Championship world tour, correct? Is Monterrey a good race to see where you are after a hard winter of training and get some insight on anything that needs tweaking? Yes! After Monterrey, the 70.3 regional championship adventure begins!! I’ll be headed to South American champs, North American champs and European champs. Starting with Monterrey is nice. It is fast and flat and I don’t mind that at all for the first race of the year! Monterrey is also an easy trip from California and the timing worked great. I have been back to training for a while now, I am ready for some race action.:))

Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico

Unlike Mexico, Puerto Rico is guaranteed to be hot and will probably become a race of attrition once endures the relentless hills and heat on the run course. Andrew Starykowicz has won twice in Puerto Rico and only races one way—off the front. Once he grabs the lead it is tough to wrestle it from him. Tim O’Donnell won the inaugural edition of the race and is back to start his 2016 campaign with a win. He has the goods to run Starykowicz down but everything will depend on the gap off the bike. Cam Dye will push the pace on the bike but he has not shown a great run in a 70.3 yet. Other contenders include Frederik Van Lierde, Romain Guillaume and Leon Griffin.

On the women’s side, Sarah Haskins is the one to beat. She has won in Puerto Rico before and remains undefeated at the 70.3 distance. Linsey Corbin is starting her second race of the 2016 season after an injury derailed all of 2015. She had a good race in Panama and should be even more fit for this race. Jeanne Collonge and Tine Deckers are threats as well and will move up during the bike and run.

TriPreviewShow (1)

The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a comment and rating. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast

Episodes can now be played on Stitcher!

photo credit: Old Town San Juan via photopin (license)