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Triathlon News & Notes: St. Anthony’s Returns, Former Youth Triathlete Heads to Winter Olympics, and More

Plus, $100,000 for youth programs and 2022 winter tri world champs. The news from around the multisport world this week.

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USAT announces youth stimulus package to get more kids into triathlon 

In an effort to bring more kids into triathlon and potentially grow the sport, USA Triathlon has announced its 2022 Return to Racing Youth Stimulus Package. The $100,000 package, aimed to increase opportunities and access for youth multisport programs, will include funding for race directors to put on USAT sanctioned youth events and clinics, as well as registration and memberships for youth clubs–particularly aimed at those in underserved and underrepresented communities. “Children across the country have been adversely impacted by the pandemic in myriad ways and it is imperative we do our part in 2022 to help them to continue to get back to participating in sports with their friends in safe environments,” said Rocky Harris, CEO of USAT. “The youth stimulus package encourages all our industry professionals to produce more educational clinics, host additional youth events and start new youth and junior clubs. We can’t wait to get to work with our community and grow the sport.”

Sika Henry’s tri-umph among the top 2021 events in black history

Sika Henry, who this year became the first Black woman to turn pro in triathlon, is mentioned in a Dec. 17 New York Times feature titled “Who Made Black History in 2021?” The piece lists Henry’s accomplishments alongside other standouts, including Vice President Kamala Harris, poet Amanda Gorman, and several others. Last month, the New York Times ran a lengthy story on Henry, chronicling her rise in the sport and the 2019 bike crash that nearly derailed her career. (If you want to hear more from Henry, including her bout with depression after going pro, listen to her on this week’s Ali on the Run podcast.) 

St. Anthony’s triathlon returns 

It’s back! After two years of COVID-related cancellations, the St. Anthony’s Triathlon is set to go on May 1. A long-time mainstay on the triathlon scene, the St. Petersburg, Florida race has welcomed top pros and thousands of age-groupers for nearly four decades. The race weekend includes Olympic and sprint events, plus a Meek & Mighty triathlon on Saturday, April 30 for kids and newbies. Registration is now open; click here to sign up. 

Locations for 2022 cross, duathlon, and winter world champs announced 

This week, World Triathlon announced locations for some of its upcoming championship events. This includes the Romanian city Targu Mures for the 2022 Cross Triathlon & Duathlon World Champs (set for next June), plus the Italian mountain town of Asiago for the 2022 Winter World Cup (Feb. 18-19). The latter event includes a run, mountain bike, and cross country ski, all on snow.

Former youth triathlon phenom heading to Olympics in aerial skiing 

Winter Vinecki, a  two-time IronKids national triathlon champion who became the youngest person ever to run marathons on all seven continents at 14, is now focused on a new sport: Aerial skiing. Now 23, she has been named to Team USA for the 2022 Olympic Games (athletes aren’t officially on the team until approved by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee). Through her many athletic endeavors and fundraising efforts, Vinecki has raised more than a half-million dollars for prostate cancer research in honor of her late father. You can hear more from her on the My New Favorite Olympian podcast. 

Drink Simple founder, triathlete, shares start-up tips  

Kate Weiler, a triathlete and the founder and CEO of Drink Simple maple water, is featured on What It Takes, a video series from Northeastern University. In the video, Weiler explains how she came up with the concept of Drink Simple while competing in Ironman Mont Tremblant. Weiler also shares the highlights and pitfalls of entrepreneurship and how to build a start-up.  

Podcast Notes

  • Triathlete’s new pop-up podcast, The Cooldown with Stef & Phil, dropped its first episode this week featuring three-time Ironman world champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander. The podcast, which will run for eight weeks, is hosted by Stef Hanson, from Witsup, and Phil Wrochna, of First Off The Bike, and feature hot topics in the sport, the big issues, and welcoming guests to help them debate all the ins and outs of tri.
  • Fitter & Faster welcomes strength and conditioning coach Nate Helming to talk about why strength training is important for triathletes and what it should look like.
  • Top pro Matt Hanson joins the Real Triathlon podcast to share details about his return to training after knee surgery as well as to rehash the Clash Daytona race.
  • Pro triathlete and new mom Chelsea Sodaro heads to the Zwift Powerup Tri podcast where she discusses how pregnancy and motherhood has changed the way she trains with hosts Matt Lieto and Sarah True.
  • Alex Coates, a former elite triathlete  for Canada and a current Ph.D. student in Exercise Physiology, heads to the Nitty Gritty Training podcast to talk about her research on the consequences of Relative Energy Deficiency In Sport (RED-S) and how to fuel for health and performance.
  • Ironman South Africa and Mallorca champ Ruth Astle continues to make the podcast rounds, this week heading to Oxygen Addict.
  • Simon Ward brings on Patrick McKeown, author of the books Oxygen Advantage, Atomic Focus, and Breathing Cure. to talk about how effective breathing can improve athletic performance.
  • Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) CEO Sam Renouf heads to MX Endurance to offer more insight about the newly-announced PTO Tour and more.
  • New pro and PhD student Rachel Zilinskas joins the IronWomen podcast to talk about why she decided to give up her Ironman World Championship age group slot to go pro, as well as her recent races.