Category Archives: Athletes

Tim Berkel – IRONMAN Cairns Race Report

Posted by on Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 12:52 pm | Leave a reply

Tim Berkel running his way to a 2nd place finish!

Tim Berkel running his way to a 2nd place finish!

About a month ago, I had a rethink of my season, and made some mid-season alterations to my calendar, and my focus for the remainder of 2013. Rather than bore you with the details of the next six months, I’ll try to cover these races as they happen.

Several weeks ago I began my preparation to do an Olympic distance race (i.e. Port Douglas 5150) on one weekend, then back it up the following weekend with the Cairns Ironman 70.3.  The reason I decided to do these races is that it had been such a long time between races and also coming off a chest infection, I just wanted to see where I was at in terms of fitness.  The 5150 was mainly a hit-out event, and I was preparing myself to have a good crack at the Ironman 70.3.

So the 5150 race was great, I felt good and enjoyed it, I got a 6th place there, which was what I expected for the field of athletes, and my ability in short course racing. I spent the week in Port Douglas (about an hour drive north of Cairns, Queensland) training with Clayton “Clayto” Fettel and Joey Lampe. I had recovered so well and was feeling on top of my game.  Clayto was racing the full Ironman, while Joey and I had booked our start for the Ironman 70.3, which was being held simultaneously with the full distance event in Cairns.

Then, in a moment of sheer stupidity, the thought came into my mind to give the Ironman a crack.  With no proper Ironman-build in my training, and only six days from race start, I tossed out the idea to my Team.  Weirdly enough, I got the support of my coach, manager, and wife, which mutually supported the idea, and with less than six days to go, I got the go ahead to do Ironman Cairns. My preparation for this race was not what I usually do, as it was all about the 70.3 distance, so it was to be interesting to see how the body would hold up.

Race morning/wife’s birthday, I was lucky enough to see a nice clear ocean , which I was told was infested with Croc’s (the reptile, not the fluorescent foam shoes) and only a little whisper of breeze. My swim was pretty crappy and I came out further back than I normally do due to missing two weeks of swimming (as I had a chest infection leading into this race).  So after a quick transition I was onto the bike and looking forward to a scenic ride up the coastline and seeing the gorgeous tropical North Queensland …I wish!!!

It was “balls to the wall” to play catch up to just get back onto the main pack of riders I was expecting to come out of the water with.  So I caught New Zealand ‘s Cam Brown, Matty White and Todd Israel around 15km mark.  Knowing that Luke McKenzie, Clayto, and Chris “Macca” McCormack weren’t in that group, I knew I had caught onto the group riding in equal forth.

Another 15km up the road we caught Macca. Feeling quite good, I was driving the group up into Port Douglas.  Macca took a turn up front and I was sitting second with Cam, Matty and Todd still intact.  We approached a bit of a tight spot on the road, and we naturally bunched up, and there was a Technical Official sitting off the back of our group.  He rode up to me and issued me a drafting penalty. It was a silly mistake, where I wasn’t able to drop back quick enough in a technical section of the course.  He might not have had the best angle to see it, but he made the call, and I had to cop it.

It was a little disappointing as I felt I had been off the front of my group for most of the ride and this happens in such a silly spot. So I then decided to surge forward and haul a$$ up the road as I had to get into the penalty box, knowing I didn’t want to lose the ground I made to even catch these boys in the first place.  Plus I knew I still had Luke and Clayto out front, which is a scary combination, as they both are strong cyclist.  In my angered state, I was able to gain around 2 mins by the time I jumped into the penalty box (…with a gorgeous view might I add).

When I saw the boys go past, I might have uttered a few choice words, and I apologize to the Technical Officials which were staffing the Penalty Box.  My emotions may have gotten the best of me in that situation, but I had already worked so hard after a poor swim, to have to claw myself back again.  After my penalty was served, I was out of the box on a mission.  I caught the boys back at around the 130km mark.

On the ride back into T2 us boys were having a little friendly banter when Matty White decides to pull a turn… Coming past me, he says “I’m a #@%ing cheat”.  LOL.  Makes the ride a lot more enjoyable when you have good guys out there, keeping you motivated, and talking a bit of smack.

Back into the transition I was told a few splits and McKenzie was 21:58 up the road.  Geeeeezzzz, I thought to myself – I’ve got a bit of work, and it was going to have to happen quick smart.  So Macca and I ran together for a bit, before he took off.  I let him go, but soon caught back up to him. Macca didn’t seem his usual self, which was understandable due to him being in hospital at the start of the week with a Kidney infection.

We ran together for around 4km and Macca was feeling worse, poor guy. I then dropped Macca and whilst running I saw McKenzie on the way back from the Yorky’s Nob loop, and it was pretty clear to me he had a massive lead. I thought to myself the only way I was going to make time up was to run hard into the head wind.

I overtook Clayto which put me in second place.  I kept getting splits from the awesome spectators lining the course.  It’s a long run into town, then multiple loops along the foreshore, so the end of the race is full of spectators.  I was consistently reducing the 21:58 deficit that Luke built on his Swim/Bike combination.

I ended up crossing the line in second, and was only 4:38 back, taking over 17 minutes of Luke’s lead at T2.  I ran a 2:44:24 marathon which was over 10 minutes faster than the second fastest Marathon of the day.  I guess looking back now the results it could have been a little different if I didn’t get my drafting penalty.  As I could take 4 minutes off my time, and possibly fresher legs at not having to play catch up twice during the bike leg.  But all-in-all, I can’t complain and I have lived and learned from my mistakes …until next race!

Well done to Luke McKenzie on a champion effort. Also, I take my visor off to Macca – legend, and tough as nails!

So for me now the game plan is a few easy days then back into it as I head back to the states for a couple of races in a few weeks.

Thanks again to my wife-Bel, family and supporters, my Manager (Mike), the doggies. Sponsors; Scody, Giant, Newton Running, Daikin Air Conditioners, Endura, Shimano, Oakley, Garmin, Blue Seventy, Altitude Training Systems, Continental Tyres, Hypnotic Zoo, Scicon.

Special mention to my Coach-Grant Giles. Thanks for always believing in me and pushing me to succeed when I thought I possibly couldn’t. He is a great mentor, friend, and supporter and the number one coach. Go Team Aeromax!!!

 

Cheers,

Tim

 

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Thad Beatty for Kona Inspired

Posted by on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 @ 2:57 pm | Leave a reply

Thad Beatty, guitarist for country stars Sugarland, wants to inspire an to be inspired. Over the past couple of years, Thad has gone from a musician on the road who was 75 lbs. overweight, eating poorly and simply unhealthy. Then he decided to make a change.

In the last year, apart from becoming an Ironman, Thad has become a part of the Newton family. He’s also a member of the Ironman Foundation – Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon Team as well as an ambassador for Ironman’s Kona Inspired.

The Kona Inspired program provides seven slots for the Ironman World Championship driven by aspirational stories and voted on by the triathlon community. The program returns this year as a global opportunity with the support of the Ironman Foundation.

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Team Alchemy: Pezz and Rock n Roll New Orleans

Posted by on Saturday, February 23, 2013 @ 5:45 pm | Leave a reply

On the road again!  Headed to the New Orleans Rock n Roll Half Marathon and I am excited for a variety of reasons! First and foremost, I have never been to New Orleans and actually will be staying in Louisiana for a couple days after the race because one of my former assistant soccer coaches from PSU lives there. It will be great to hang with her and her family and not have to hop on a plane immediately after. In addition, a few Team Alchemy/Newton ambassadors, including the accomplished runner and doctor,Mark Cucuzzella will be there. They will be speaking, puttting on clinics, and having a “Hello Better” weekend selling some of our latest 2013 shoes! I LOVE going to races where there are people from Newton because it gives me an extra sense of support and encouragement, not to mention a solution in case I happen to forget my racing shoes at home (Yes, this has happened before :/).

But I guess what makes the whole thought of racing in New Orleans more exciting than some other races is that I’ll be toeing the line with not only America’s Top Half and Full Marathoners in Shalane Flannigan and Kara Goucher, but also many of the fastest women in the WORLD, including Meseret Defar, a multiple world record-holder and gold medalist distance runner!!  (http://www.iaaf.org/news/news/defar-flanagan-and-goucher-join-farah-in-new) That is just an honor in itself!! 

So of course, this all begs the question, how does a “1:13 girl” like myself get ready to compete with women from all over the world who consistently run under 1:10, 1:09 and even 1:08 for a Half marathon???  I think the answer is actually pretty simple. For now…she doesn’t :) !! Sure, it would be easy to go out the first few miles with some of these women at a pace that I am only prepared to go for a few miles.  And I may be super competitive, but I’m not SUPER STUPID!!!! I think sometimes the hardest job of any runner is to know where you are at and what you are capable of, while not limiting the possibility of something special happening. I’m sure many runners would like to be in a different place, a faster place, a higher ranked place.  But you can’t rush your goals, and so my goal for this weekend is pretty simple. I would like to run the fastest time I’ve ever run in a half-marathon. I’ve had some decent weeks of training prescribed by Coach Mark Hadley that have included some top quality workouts and long runs. But I can’t neglect the fact that I’ve also had some tougher days where I did not perform as fast as I would have liked. Overall though, I’m ready to tackle the half-marathon distance once again and running in a race with the best could be a great opportunity to achieve my goal of getting a personal record. I’m hoping to run my own race and stick to the plan that Mark has suggested, and I’m sure it will involve hard work and an attempt to push past pain, as it always does. But if the conditions permit, competing against the clock and myself will be a tough enough task, so i’m not too worried about the rest!! And as I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I know that for me, all I can give is my best effort. God has the job of making it good enough:)

Have a great weekend of training and racing runners! Enjoy the journey!! 

P.S.

Following the Rock n Roll Half,  I’ll thankfully  be racing in some more spectacular opportinuties with fast courses and fast people. The Gate River Run 15k National Championships (http://www.gate-riverrun.com) and the Shamrock Anthem Half- Marathon (http://www.shamrockmarathon.com/anthem-half-marathon.htm) are scheduled for March while the Cherry Blossom 10 mile is on the schedule for April.  Woo Hoo!!

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Sir Isaac Newton was an Alchemist

Posted by on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 @ 8:44 am | Leave a reply

6a00d8341bf67c53ef0133f51209a0970b 800wi resized 600At Newton Running we often refer to Sir Isaac Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That defines the sweet spot on every Newton Running shoe. 

A piece of Sir Isaac Newton trivia that is not widely known is that he was a practicing alchemist. Sir Isaac Newton spent days locked up in laboratory, and it’s even been suggested that he finally succeeded in transmuting lead into gold. Perhaps that explains one of the oddest things about his life, that at the height of his career, instead of accepting a professorship at Cambridge, he was appointed Director of the Mint with the responsibility of securing and accounting for England’s repository of gold.

Therefore, it only seemed fitting to use Alchemy to identify our elite running Team at NewtonIMG 0399 resized 600 Running.  We are creating a platform with Team Alchemy for athletes to turn their dream into gold. It’s an elite Team with a different spin.  Our Team members range in age from 23 to 47. They race any distance from 1 mile to 100 miles. Unlike many professional athletes with big endorsement deals who’s focus is spent only on their sport, Team Alchemy looks for athletes balancing their training and racing with family demands and busy work schedules outside of running.  They are ordinary people who love to run and fit it in like you and I, they are just gifted the ability to run fast, and that’s right… they love Newton Running shoes.

Watch them race in events like the Naples Half Marathon, Boston Marathon, Colfax Marathon relay, Newton Running’s own local race the Bolder Boulder and even some big mountain runs like the Leadville Trail 100 this summer. Check in on Fernando Cabada this weekend as he tries to run a marathon PR and take the win at the Houston Marathon. The Team races all over Colorado and the US to support its charter: to help create a connection between Newton Running, the Newton Running Lab, and the Colorado running community and beyond.

Beside watching the Team race or spotting one of them around town training, if you are in Colorado, come join the Team for a social/ fun run any Thursday from the Newton Running Lab in Boulder at 6pm. All paces are welcome. Stick around after the run for a sports drink or adult drink.  Follow Team Alchemy on Facebook.  We live this stuff!

~Stephen Gartside, Team Alchemy Manager

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Craig Alexander on ESPN Australia’s Aussies Abroad

Posted by on Friday, August 31, 2012 @ 11:00 am | Leave a reply

As we approach both the 2012 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas as well as the big daddy in Kona it’s a good time to take a look at some of the back story on the man who currently holds both titles. As the man known as “Crowie” to his legions of fans, Craig Alexander is a true gentleman and ambassador for the burgeoning sport of triathlon and this video tells us a bit more about who the real Craig Alexander is.

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Tim Berkel talks Ironman 70.3 Japan 2012

Posted by on Thursday, July 5, 2012 @ 2:57 pm | Leave a reply

This year’s Ironman 70.3 Japan came down to the wire with two amazing athletes. One, former World Champion, Chris “Macca” McCormack, who’s been at the top of the food chain in triathlon for a long time. The other, Newton pro triathlete and young gun, Tim Berkel.

In this video, Tim gives a bit of the inside scoop on the 2012 Ironman 70.3 Japan!

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Race Report: Rachel Joyce, Ironman 70.3 Kansas

Posted by on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 @ 10:31 am | Leave a reply

It’s been two weeks since Kansas 70.3 so this blog is way overdue. In fact there’s been so many races on the triathlon circuit and quite a few more miles in my legs, that it feels more than two weeks ago. My trip to Lawrence was short and sweet and I had a great time during my stay. In a large part this was due to my wonderful home-stay, Laura (and her husband Jeff who was away for the weekend but crucially made it back in time for celebratory margaritas after the race), and to race director, Ryan and his huge team of volunteers who put on a professional but super friendly and relaxed race.

Going into the race I felt pretty uncertain as to what to expect from myself. Since moving to Boulder at the end of April my training had been up and down. Knocked out with an infection, it took me a while to acclimate to the altitude and then just as I was getting into the swing of training I strained a ligament in my back which basically had me out of action 10 days before Kansas. I felt like I was missing the consistency I usually draw confidence from going into a race, but having already had to pull Florida 70.3 from my schedule I was going to make it to Kansas start line whatever so I spent much of that week in and out of physio, chiropractor and massage appointments. I had to race to try and pay off my medical bills. A strained ligament doesn’t repair over night but come race week I was moving much more easily and bagging some good sessions during my “inverse” taper. I’d almost put all thoughts of my bumpy prep into the race out of mind until I listened to a message from my coach, Matt telling me that I should forget all the training I’ve missed. Doh! So, what do I then do but remember … Luckily I’m quite good at the amnesia game!

Race morning arrived and everything went pretty smoothly. I was pleased to hear that the swim would be non-wetsuit, and a quick look at the lake showed it was going to be a bumpy swim too. Watching the men head out and soon spread out in all directions I figured it would be pretty hard to find feet (and by feet I mean Amanda Stevens’s super speedy feet!) So, I enjoyed the bumpy lumpy swim and got to enjoy longer than normal in the water for 1.9km. Onto the bike, the Kansas course was my cup of tea. Undulating, windy and nice and warm to boot. I caught Amanda, who had a 1 plus minute lead from the swim, at about the 15 mile mark. I felt pretty good and pushed on. I was using a disc, thank you Shimano, for the first time and it felt fast especially when the wind caught it at the right angle and it felt like a sail: pushing me on. In the latter part of the bike I could definitely feel it was heating up….the run was going to be fun!

Heat I was happy to deal with, I was less certain as to how my back would feel after 90km in the aero bars. I’d used the hills to get out the saddle and stretch things out a bit so I was optimistic. Heading out of T2 I had the usual heavy leg feel but from my first couple of mile splits I could see I was running pretty well…maybe too fast: i didn’t want to blow up. I had a few guys in front of me so I used the out and backs to try and keep pace with them. There was a particularly cruel hill with no shade that I felt like I was crawling up! Luckily round the corner there was the aid station where Laura and her friends were volunteering and their cheers pepped me up.

With temperatures of 90 degrees plus, running down the yellow brick road to be greeted by Dorothy and the full Wizard of Oz crew was a good sight. My first race since touching down in Boulder and my first 70.3 win. I like Kansas …even more so when I discovered that the post race food included pulled pork rolls.

As always, lots of thank yous. To all my sponsors for kitting me out with the best kit: Cervelo, Newton, Aquasphere, Shimano, PowerBar, XLabs, ISM and Biestmilch. My fabulous home-stay hostess, Laura and to Ryan and the volunteers for putting on a great race. To my support crew scattered far and wide: coach MD, family and friends (you know who you are) who’ve put up with rather an up and down past 2 months!

Next up is Challenge Roth – which I am pretty darned excited to be racing. I’ll keep you posted on adventures in Germany!

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Monday Race Hangover

Posted by on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 12:00 pm | Leave a reply

This weekend saw a ton of triathlon goings-on in the Newton family! Craig Alexander hit the bricks in his first race since his epic victory at Ironman Melbourne in March at Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in Maryland. The reigning Ironman (BOTH distances) World Champ was out of the water with the lead pack in a time of  23:17. He followed this up by laying down a blazing bike split of 2:03:57, which came on a flat but windy course that gave many athletes trouble. Coming out of T2 25 seconds down on the race leader, Craig and his Newtons did what they do best and took control of the race by posting a 1:15:07 half-marathon split for a winning time of 3:44:57.

A few hundred miles to the West, Newton pro Rachel Joyce was taking on brutal race conditions at Ironman 70.3 Kansas. After post the second fastest women’s swim time of the day in very choppy conditions, Rachel completely dominated the rast of the race. She posted the fastest women’s bike split by 7:11 (2:22:10) as well as the fastest women’s run split (1:21:21). These splits combined found Rachel just shy of a whopping 23 minutes in front of the second place finisher!

Holding down the Newtonian contingent at Ironman 70.3 Kansas on Sunday was part of Newton’s crack legal team, Thom W. On a day that saw winds kicking up a few white caps on Clinton Lake as well as record temps on the bike and run course made for a race that was a bit less than perfect. In the end though, Thom was super happy that he made it through such tough conditions and notching off his 2nd 70.3!

There were three Newtonians who joined Craig at Eagleman as well. Scott Burrow, Steve Johnson and Andrew Maxwell all set off into the tough heat, humidity and breeze. After flatting during the swim (“How?” you ask? In high heat tires/tubes that are pushing the limits of their inflation can expand and burst), Scott went on to have a solid race. Taking a break from his duties at the Newton Running Lab here in Boulder, Steve had a killer day, winning his age group with an awesome 4:03:47 which punched his ticket to Kona in October. Congrats Steve!

Big props to all who raced in Newtons this weekend!

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