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Kōkua: Helping Others One Triathlon at a Time

Posted by on Thursday, September 5, 2013 @ 11:04 am | Leave a reply

By Nicole Clark

Back in February, I heard from my husband, Nick Clark, about the potential for a Newton Running Ambassador Team. Then, I noticed the application on Facebook to apply for the inaugural IRONMAN Foundation Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon team. It took me about a week to finish up the application process and another month until I received an official email stating that I was chosen to be part of the team.

Being part of this team is quite an honor. We have more than 40 teammates from around North America with one common goal: to give back to the communities in which we are racing. Our team motto is kōkua, which means “extending loving, sacrificial help to others for their benefit, not for personal gain…” This sums up exactly what our team is all about. I wanted to be part of a team that wasn’t focused on PR’s, splits and power, although that is perfectly fine, I felt like this team was going to be more than just that.  I love training, racing and being at different venues, but raising money for the different charities and community outreach programs for select IRONMAN races has been an amazing experience to be part of.

Kokua

I am fortunate enough to live in a great community. I have amazing friends and family all over the country who have supported this experience. I reached out to a local restaurant in Louisville, Colorado, Lucky Pie, where they support fundraising events. They were kind enough to allow me to host a silent auction social. We had wonderful local business who donated for the event, ranging from teeth whitening, local triathlon shop packages, to autographed Craig Alexander Newton Running visors. We also had representation from Newton Running, Ironman and IMF teammates.

The monies raised by my teammates and I will go to local Henderson charities served by the IRONMAN Foundation at the IRONMAN World Championship 70.3: Coronado High School Band, Coronado High School, Clark County School District, Foothills High School, Student Council Getting 2 Tri Foundation, Grant a Gift Autism Foundation, Green Valley C.H.A.N.C.E., Green Valley Women’s Basketball, Green Valley Wrestling, Greenspun Junior High, Henderson Lacrosse Club, James Gibson Elementary, Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation, Pinecrest Academy, SECTA Student Organization of Latinos and Somerset Academy of Las Vegas.

I qualified back in September 2012 at Branson 70.3 for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships 2013.  What a great set up for the year ahead. This made fun planning for upcoming races. Leading up to Vegas, I raced the Boulder Tri Series and Kansas 70.3. I had the opportunity to race Vegas two years ago, while living in Florida. Now that I live in Colorado, with the ability to train at altitude and really knowing how to ride hills while also having the advantage of knowing what the course is like, I feel like I am a little more seasoned and prepared for a great race. I’m really looking forward to having fun, enjoying the weekend with family and friends coming to support me and meeting new teammates at our charity project.

Ironman 70.3 World Championships donation page
Nicole Clark’s Blog
IRONMAN Foundation Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon Team
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Meet The Dogs Of Newton – Week 14 Daisy

Posted by on @ 8:18 am | Leave a reply

DAISY1Hello my name is Daisy! I’m the newest member of the Newton Dog family.

I was born at the end of May and every week my biological Mom would send pictures of me getting bigger to my new mom in Colorado. This became known as “Woof Wednesday”. There was stiff competition between me and that hump day camel but I won out as the camel has gone to pasture & I am living it up at the Newton School of Running.

My mom thinks I’m wicked cute- but don’t let that fool you. I’m a bit of a sheep in wolfs clothing. I act soooo cute & then I flip my wolf switch where I run around like a crazy puppy and jump and nip at people. My mom keeps talking about taking me to class to get trained up… but I don’t think it’s much of a threat because I hang out at a school all day and nothing too authoritative happens there. They even have this cool display that has these neat socks hanging off of it that just sit there and wait for me to come by & play with them. My mom frowns upon this but Timmy thinks it’s funny- so I’m going to keep doing it.

Speaking of the School of Running, I even have my own fan club of ladies from the bank next door that come over to visit me. Come to think of it… I heard that the school was much less inhabited before I came and now there are people flocking to the door to hang out with me!

I am happy just hanging out but I love to go on adventures. The car isn’t my favorite place but it brings me to visit lots of cool stuff so I tolerate the ride. Once I adjust to the altitude I will be spending my mornings on runs with my mom. Times are tough this high up… I sure hope she brings me back to visit her people at sea level soon!

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Losing Weight to Triathlon: Fleet Feet Spokane’s Wade Pannell

Posted by on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 @ 2:14 pm | Leave a reply

FleetFeetWadeSix years ago, the owner of Fleet Feet Spokane, Wade Pannell, was living in Bozeman, Montana. The former competitive cyclist — in both road cycling and mountain biking — was working in resort real estate development and wining and dining more than he was working out. “I was sixty pounds heavier and needed to get fit,” says Pannell. “I would say I was big boned. It was a good excuse. But when I lost the weight, I realized I really wasn’t.” Finally, a friend with whom he grew up suggested he was out of shape and Pannell says, “I took it to heart.”

He began to run. “I couldn’t run a quarter mile without stopping and walking.” Yet, for Pannell, running took the least amount of time and was the easiest to do on the road when he was traveling for work. He also found the running community much more accepting than the cycling community, whose participants he says can be more competitive and critical. “In running you’re always in a pack and it’s much more community based.” He found the community he needed at Fleet Feet Bozeman. The store offered a plethora of programs to help people like Pannell get started. Pannell found this invaluable. And, he says, “Once I ran my first 5K, the old competitive juices were back.”

Back in shape, and 60 pounds lighter, Pannell began to enjoy riding again. From there, he set his sights on triathlon. “I ran the Boston Marathon in 2010, and in 2011, I completed my first Ironman Coeur D’Alene.”

While his training was picking up speed, Pannell’s work moved him to Spokane, Washington. Before leaving Bozeman, Pannell had been dabbling with the idea of opening a Fleet Feet or changing his line of work to training and helping people get fit. Once in Spokane, he and his wife decided that the city presented the perfect opportunity to open a Fleet Feet. They opened Fleet Feet Spokane last summer, in August 2012.

Spokane County has a population of roughly 450,000 people, and it only had one real specialty running store, explains Pannell.  “It was an underserved market and historically a very running focused community. We send about two or three high schools to national high school championships each year. Yet there was only one main specialty store.”

With an inventory focused on triathlon more than the average Fleet Feet, Pannell reached out to Newton Running in April, 2013. Ever since, Newton has been the store’s number 2 vendor with the Gravity leading the way, then the Isaacs and Pannell expects the Energy to do well, too. “I’ve been running in Newton for the last five years. Newton is not one of those brands most Fleet Feet’s open with. But we are very tri oriented. A few employees and myself coach a tri group and we were in a tri club with about 250 people. So for our audience it makes sense to find some brands with more of a tri focus.”

Newton’s message also aligned with that of Fleet Feet Spokane. “As we worked with training people and talking about minimalism and everything people need to do to become better runners, Newton’s education and biomechanical feedback was a nice segue for what we were doing and what we were about,” Pannell explains. “Not only has Newton given us fantastic support with their tech rep and corporate backup, but we’ve probably held five run clinics. Each time we get 20-30 people. I love the drills that Danny gives. And they brought in Chris Legh during Ironman Coeur d’Alene.”

Pannell says more than 50% of people who come in to his store probably should be introduced to Newton. “It’s the person who wants to run better, more naturally and improve their form, and who likes a lighter shoe or is a triathlete. All of those categories add up to a large portion of our customer base, so it’s a natural fit to bring out a Newton.”

And it’s not just triathletes and serious runners who like the shoes. Who is his unexpected customer? “We have the unexpected walkers who love Newtons. We fit a fair amount of people who are baby boomers who just want to be in comfortable footwear. I’m surprised at how many choose Newtons. The Energy will be great for that group.”

Personally, Pannell runs in the Distance. “If you want a shoe to be a stronger, better runner, I can’t think of a better shoe to give you that feedback than the Distance.” And for people who are worried about the transition and strengthening process that accompanies running in Newtons, he says, “You’ve lifted weights before right? Did it hurt? Well, if you’re going to increase your strength in your legs, you should have some muscular discomfort. It’s nothing to be scared of, just manage it properly.” He adds, “Once people commit, they get it. Even those who were skeptical about Newton are now very excited about running in them.”

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Training with KPeasey

Posted by on Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 8:32 am | Leave a reply

By Kyle Pease

Brent and Kyle Pease are a team of brothers from Atlanta Georgia who compete together in athletic competitions — despite the fact that Kyle is relegated to a wheelchair, the result of Cerebral Palsy at birth. Brent, his older brother, pushes, pedals and paddles Kyle in 5k’s, 10k’s, marathons and triathlons to encourage those who witness their efforts that anything is possible. Through their foundation, The Kyle Pease Foundation, the duo raise funds to promote success for persons with disabilities by providing assistance to meet their individual needs through sports.  

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The following is from Kyle Pease’s blog: Where There is a Wheel There’s a Way:

I’ve been finding it difficult to fall asleep at night knowing that everything that Brent and I have been working toward is just around the corner. Up until this point, the greatest moment of our running career occurred recently at the Peachtree 10K, where we became the first assisted pair in the long history of the race to compete. It doesn’t get any better than the local crowds cheering our names as we traveled 6.2 miles through the familiar streets of our hometown Atlanta…or does it?

Now, just two months later, Brent and I will make Pease history as we try to have the word “Ironman” etched next to our names. For this, we will cover 140.6 miles through the water and roadways of rural Madison, Wisconsin — 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles on the bike, and finishing with the 26.2 mile marathon. Our goal is to break the 17-hour mark, which of course would make us forever IRONMEN. But even though Brent and I are hoping for a time between 14 and 16 hours, I’ll be honest anything this side of 16:59:59 is good enough. But that one second, is the second that differentiates an Ironman from a couple of guys who competed to truly becoming Ironmen.

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Now, as strange as some people find it, I have been training harder than I ever have in my life. Many people think that I have the easy part. Although Brent may agree with them while he’s paddling, pedaling and pushing me for 140.6 miles, it is important for me to be prepared for this, too. I have never sat on a bike for nearly nine hours and the average human body is not likely to fare well without proper preparation. Brent and I are training far longer and more often than we normally do in order to get both of our bodies used to the many miles and hours out on the course. I’ve been eating better than I normally do and have been trying to increase my liquid intake. I’m struggling a bit there, as I don’t really enjoy drinking water, but it’s very important to stay hydrated. It would be a shame if Brent was up to the task, but I wasn’t. It’s important to me to not let my brother and my teammate down.

My trainer, Matthew Rose, (yes I have a trainer) tells me to visualize the shoot. The thought of 45,000 screaming fans lining the shoot at the end of the race is something I just can’t imagine, despite his efforts to help me mentally imagine what it will be like. That is the golden carrot hanging just in front of me that will motivate and inspire me and subsequently inspire Brent to the finish line.

Yet, there’s one very important thing for my readers and our fans to remember, becoming an Ironman is not and never will be for or about Brent and me. It’s about our Foundation and the people who we are hoping to inspire: People who see what we are about to accomplish and believe that anything is possible through our efforts.

We are very proud of the Kyle Pease Foundation and take great pleasure in seeing the looks on the faces of the athletes who compete with us. It is exciting to know that through the efforts of a few, we have impacted the lives of many. Although Brent and I will be thrilled to wear the Ironman medal around our necks on the evening of September 8th, we really know that the medal symbolically hangs from the necks of all those friends, fans, athletes and sponsors of the Kyle Pease Foundation. We know that through their continued inspiration and efforts that the only thing that will not be humanly possible is finishing in a second more than 16:59:59. Off to Wisconsin!

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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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Race Preview: Ironman Texas

Posted by on Monday, April 22, 2013 @ 10:49 am | Leave a reply

Ironman Texas

by: Alex Weber

I chose to race Ironman Texas, first and foremost, because I wanted my first ironman race to be in my home state of Texas.  I get sentimental with races sometimes and felt like I wanted this accomplishment to be close to home.  The course had a reputation for being flat and spectator friendly, which I was also really excited about!  If you are from Texas, or anywhere in the south, it is especially easy to travel to the race and there are lots of options for hotels and restaurants nearby.  Even if you are from out of town, IAH international airport is only about 30 minutes away from the race venue. This race is a great excuse for out of town athletes to experience Texas and all the state has to offer.

Check In

Check in for the race was very organized with lots of volunteers.  Everything was clearly labeled and explained, which a relief was since this was my first 140.6. The race packets also had lots of great “goodies” inside.  Keep in mind that the expo/check in is located outside though which can get pretty warm (May in Texas).  If you are racing but still want to do some shopping at the expo, I would suggest going earlier in the day and taking fluids with you to stay hydrated.

Swim Preview

The swim course was pretty simple with only a few turns, therefore only having a few opportunities for bottlenecks with the swimmers.  The first turn is about ¾ of a mile out, leaving time for the athletes to spread out and get in a groove before having to take a sharp turn.  The first turn was the only congested part of the swim course.  Beware that once athletes take the last turn into the canal part of the swim, the water can get pretty choppy since the canal is not very wide.  However, it is most likely that the athletes will be spread out enough by then to eliminate some of the waves.  Also, athletes should plan on warm water temperatures and most likely not needing a wetsuit if they feel comfortable swimming without one.  The course is only one loop which is much easier than having to do two loops that require more energy to enter and exit the water multiple times.

[CLICK FOR SWIM COURSE MAP]

Bike Preview

The bike course is also one large loop, with sufficient markers and volunteers stationed at possible points of confusion.  The majority of the course is flat and fast, which allows athletes to get comfortable in their aero positions and race at a good pace.  It is very important to remember fluids on the bike course as the weather has the potential to be very hot.  Aid stations are located every ten miles with sufficient water, energy drinks and food for the athletes but it is important that athletes always have enough water on them.

I felt pretty good on the bike up until around mile 90 when my body hit a little wall.  In order to stay focused and encouraged, I started to treat the aid stations as small “goals” that I had to reach.  By mentally giving myself shorter goals along the long course, I was able to distract myself and keep pushing to the transition area. The course is not very spectator friendly for those who parked in the race venue area at the Woodlands Waterway because traffic makes it hard for spectators to get in/out with cars.  The best place for spectators to see the athletes is at the beginning of the course (before athletes leave the Waterway) and when they return to T2.  A significant amount of the course winds through quiet, country roads with very few cars or people, thus it is important that athletes have enough nutrition and bike maintenance supplies.  However, other parts of the course are on busier roads where the only the shoulder or right lane is blocked off for the riders.

[CLICK FOR BIKE COURSE MAP]
[CLICK HERE FOR BIKE COURSE ELEVATION PROFILE]

Run Preview

The run was definitely the best part of the race.  The course was three loops and very spectator friendly.  Part of the course runs along the canal while the back half winds through neighborhoods.  The course was pretty flat and very well marked, with no confusion for the athletes and aid stations promptly stationed at every mile.  To my surprise, I felt pretty good on the run, giving the credit to the awesome people out there cheering and my Newton shoes of course!  The last mile before the finish was amazing with the huge crowd and winding finish, definitely making all of the hard work worth it in the end.

[CLICK FOR RUN COURSE MAP]
[CLICK HERE FOR RUN COURSE ELEVATION PROFILE]

Transition Preview

Transition was well organized and clearly marked for the athletes.  Lots of volunteers were available in the changing tents which was helpful.   I actually took quite a long break in T2 and had a quick chat with some of the volunteers while I ate my peanut butter sandwich (15 minutes to be exact!).  They were more than happy to have the company in the tent.  Always be sure to thank the fantastic volunteers along the way!

Summary & Tips for Spectators

The whole race venue is great for spectators, with the Marriott hotel located right next to the expo and lots of good restaurants and a movie theater right in the area.  However, trying to drive around on race day could pose problems for spectators.  The bike course uses one of the only roads that leads into the Woodlands Waterway area (where all of the race activities occur) so spectators could find themselves in slow moving traffic if they want to leave/return during the race.  I would suggest spectators parking in the race venue area and planning on staying in the Waterway area all day.  Spectators could bring a bike to ride around the course area in order to cheer on the athletes.  Lots of restaurants, shopping and a movie theater will provide entertainment while the athletes are racing.

Overall, Ironman Texas was a great experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in racing.  It was a great venue, volunteers, course and spectators and I would definitely race it again.

Have you raced Ironman Texas? What did you think?

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I am Newton: Tor Swenson

Posted by on Monday, March 11, 2013 @ 12:39 pm | Leave a reply

Little TorOriginally born in New Jersey my family and I moved around often when I was younger. See, my mom was a true flower child and my dad was as free and easy as the Colorado winds… OK we were hippies and dad played drums in a band. Yep that’s me in the sweet pants around Christmas.

We settled down in Raleigh, NC and that’s where I spent most of my youth.  I grew up playing soccer, surfing and swimming. Soccer was my favorite and I ultimately went to college to play. After college, a season ski bumming in Killington and then some more college; I followed my Dad’s footsteps and went into the restaurant/bar industry.  Eventually my wife and I became owners in the industry for over eight years. We had a blast and it was a huge success, but horrible on the midline!

Five years into the biz…. I saw a picture of myself (that I will not share). With the thoughts ofTor Broder-resized-600 having children it was time to make a change. Our ultimate goal was to lead by example and show our kids a healthy way to live. A little time and several pounds later…. It worked! That’s my son Broder and I training for his first 5K.

During that time I had been fulfilling a love for competition with triathlon. This is where  the running comes in… soccer players only run when told. Swimming came naturally, cycling is awesome but running? Ugh. But even not being a runner by trade, it wasn’t long before I developed a passion for the trails and longing to tick off the miles. Running became my favorite discipline.

On a visit to a local triathlon shop I happened to try on a pair of Newtons. They felt amazing  and despite receiving discounted shoes from another brand, I purchased a pair. Not only did they feel great but that end of the season IT band ache disappeared. Needless to say it’s the only shoe I have worn since!

In July 2011 I was able to marry my lifestyle passion with an opportunity at Newton Running.  As Regional Sales Manager of the Mid-Atlantic I’m able to surround myself with incredibly passionate people and continue to feed that competitive drive.

Many thanks to my wife Carolyn, Lilla and Broder

Tor Swenson

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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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