Triathlon News and Notes: 70.3 Timberman Returns, USAT Announces Award Winners, and More

A look at some of the buzz we’ve picked up in the sport over the past seven days.

Photo: Ironman

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Before we get to the rest of the news this week, this weekend also marked the final automatic Olympic qualifying event, where Americans Taylor Knibb and Morgan Pearson earned their spots on the Tokyo team with surprising performances.

Ironman adds Timberman 70.3 back to its lineup

From 2001 to 2016, athletes flocked to northern New Hampshire for the Timberman triathlon. Ironman took over in 2010 and remained the organizer until it abruptly pulled the race from its schedule. But now, Timberman 70.3 is back; albeit at a different venue. The new race, set for Sunday, August 22, has shifted to Laconia, some four miles from the former site in Gilford. Participants will swim in Lake Opechee, ride along the nearby rolling hills (plus a quick spin around the New Hampshire Motor Speedway), and run on a trail along the lake’s edge before finishing in downtown Laconia. Registration opens Monday, May 17.

Train like an Olympian at USAT Foundation’s Fantasy Camp

USA Triathlon Foundation is offering limited spots to train alongside Olympic hopefuls in Park City, Utah. For a $3,000 donation (with proceeds going towards the USAT Foundation), age-group athletes of all levels and genders can train with some of the top male athletes in the county, as part of Project Podium, USAT’s men’s elite development program. Camp participants will glean insight from coaches including Parker Spencer, Andy Potts, and Joe Maloy, have access to classroom sessions with leaders in the endurance field, and enjoy a training schedule packed with swims, rides, and runs in some of the most scenic spots in the country. The camp runs from July 8 through July 11; click here for more info. 

USAT announces 2020 Multisport Award winners

Earlier this week, USA Triathlon recognized its 2020 Multisport Award winners, an annual honor highlighting those who fuel the multisport lifestyle through service, sportsmanship, and community contributions. Among the winners included Chris Nikic, who earned the Doug Clark Sportsmanship Award for becoming the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon when he crossed the finish line of Ironman Florida in Panama City Beach in November, and Janelle Alexander, who collected the Jeff Jewell Spirit Award for her commitment to promoting triathlon among African American athletes through her work with the Network of Multi-Sport African American Athletes (NOMSA3). 

Click here for a full listing of all award winners. 

Barnana founder (and former pro triathlete) shares how he built his brand

Inc. magazine ran a profile on Caue Suplicy, the founder of Barnana and a former professional triathlete representing Brazil, highlighting how he started the San Diego-based snack company. Suplicy says he first got the idea for the chewy bites—which are made from bananas and plantains in Brazil that would otherwise be tossed because they were too ripe or too large to be exported—by eating dehydrated bananas on rides and runs, and later sharing them with his training mates once he moved to the U.S. “In a way, it was a massive secret,” Suplicy told the magazine. “Here, no one knew about dehydrated bananas, but in Brazil, that’s what everyone ate.” Today, Barnana has 20 employees and partners with nearly 2,000 family farms in Brazil to supply the organic, sustainable snacks. 

Boston, Chicago bring triathlons back

As COVID-19 restrictions ease and urban areas open back up, major cities are ushering in the return of triathlon. On the heels of the New York City Triathlon announcing its 2021 date, now Boston and Chicago both shared that they, too, will host races this summer. Both the Boston  Triathlon and the Chicago Triathlon will take place in their respective cities on August 28 and 29, each offering sprint- and Olympic-distance races, plus kids events (registration remains open for both races). And, as with most races (especially those in major cities), safety remains top of mind for event organizers. Said Allison Humbert Wilkinson, Senior Marketing Manager for Life Time Events, the sponsor of the Chicago Triathlon, “With all participants, volunteers, spectators, and Life Time staff working together to follow our COVID-19 protocols, we’re confident that we can put on a safe and fun event.”

Hero nurse triathlete helps save a life during St. George 70.3 race

The harrowing tale of the life-saving actions a handful of triathletes took to save a fellow competitor’s life is shared in the St. George Spectrum & Daily News this week. Bruce Paddy was around the 20-mile mark on the bike course of the Ironman St. George 70.3 race two weeks ago when he suffered a heart attack and collapsed. Just seconds later, Stacy Mendez, a registered nurse anesthetist in Lake Forest, Illinois, approached him, hopped off her bike, and began to assist Paddy, who soon stopped breathing. After flagging down other athletes for extra help, the small group began CPR on Paddy and stayed with him until paramedics arrived (he later underwent quadruple bypass surgery and is expected to fully recover). “If someone collapses you go to them, help them out,” Mendez, who went on to finish her race, said. “You don’t think twice. It’s what I do on a daily basis.”  

PTO reveals new stats site

Can’t get enough pro triathletes stats? Data buffs can geek out on the Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) new stats platform. The site offers comparisons of PTO Professionals across different distances and courses, including the ability to see the best performances in individual disciplines. With a goal of delivering data to fans in an exciting and user-friendly way, the PTO will also update its site with race results from PTO pro athletes on race day, eliminating the need to search multiple sites. “Triathlon, by the nature of its three disciplines, creates immense amounts of data,” said Charles Adamo, Executive Chairman of the PTO. “We are now able to showcase PTO Professionals via personality-driven storylines and supplement it with the in-depth performance data that highlights their tremendous competitive accomplishments.”

Podcast Notes

  • Triathlete’s own Chris Foster shares his personal story of racing around the world (and chasing an Olympic dream) during his time on the U.S. National Team on the Triathlete Hour. 
  • Open water swim gurus Gerry Rodrigues and Jim Lubinski of Tower26 head to the Zwift Powerup Tri podcast to talk about all things swimming, including form and training.
  • The Oxygen Addict podcast brings on Greg Whyte, a college professor and fixture on the ultra-endurance scene (and an Olympian in modern pentathlon) who chats about competing in the Norseman triathlon, which was featured in the award-winning documentary Black and Whyte.
  • Greg Bennett chats with Delly Carr, a world-renowned freelance sports photographer, who shares about some of his favorite images and the stories behind them.
  • ProTriNews talks with pro triathlete Chelsea Burns, who chats about Olympic implications in Yokohama and what else is going on in the World Triathlon Series scene.
  • Dr. Krista Austin, a sports scientist and nutritionist, offers an insightful look into the connection between performance goals, body composition, and food consumption on TriDot.
  • The Mile High podcast features Sue Reynolds, author of The Athlete Inside: The Transforming Power of Hope, Tenacity, and Faith, which chronicles her journey from being morbidly obese, losing 200 pounds, and winning a world championship in her age-group. She’s joined by her coach, the renowned Bobby McGee, who the show refers to as the “Yoda of coaching for running and triathlon.”
  • Heather Jackson talks to Fitter Radio about her recent racing, coping through the COVID restrictions, and her plans going forward.

Jan Frodeno Reflects on His Final Ironman World Championship

Immediately after finishing 24th place at his final Ironman World Championships, the Olympic medalist (and three-time IMWC winner) explains what his race in Nice meant to him.