Archives

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?

Share

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

Share

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.

Share

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!

Share

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!

Share

Race Roundup: Downhill Mile, Dawg Days XTERRA, Ironman Austria

Posted by on Wednesday, July 6, 2011 @ 12:56 pm | Leave a reply

The Downhill Mile

A few weeks after racing in Western Africa, Roberto Mandje placed second at The Downhill Mile road race in Superior, Colorado, on July 4th.

“I figured it’d be fun to race such a short
distance,” says Mandje, who clocked 4:10 on the fast course. “I would’ve liked to run quicker,
but with zero speed work and barely a week after returning from Africa, I’ll take it. I always enjoy racing  and supporting local races.”

 

Colbert Tops Women’s Field at the Dawg Days XTERRA

After breaking her foot during the run leg of the Dawg Days XTERRA offroad triathlon a few years ago, Lucia Colbert, 54, was thrilled to find herself leading the women’s field at this year’s race, held on June 25th in Little Rock, Arkansas.

She rocked the 0.5-mile swim, 12-mile mountain bike and 4-mile trail run with a total time of 2:06:00 and the overall women’s victory.

“I didn’t have my best day because of a sore hamstring, but ended up winning by staying steady,” says Colbert. “I wore my Lady Issac Guidance Trainers to protect my toes from all the rocks. In fact, the men’s overall winner also broke his toe on the run!”

Find full results here: http://xterraplanet.com/races/view_results.cfm?race_id=1222

Awesome at Ironman Austria

Belgian Marino Vanhoenacker won the men's race in 7:45:59.

“There’s nothing quite like the “Big Show” of Ironman Austria,” says Newton Running athlete Meredith Dolhare. “They’ve been doing this event for a long time, and have it down right. The swim was beautiful, the bike was one of my favorite courses ever, and the run can be super fast. Spectator and volunteer support are second to none for a European race.”

Dolhare had a great race in Klagenfurt, Austria, on July 1, especially considering that she had completed Ironman France just one week earlier. Her time of 11:35:22 placed her 26th in her age group.

“I went faster in all three disciplines, and my legs held up pretty well,” says says. “I was very surprised to have ridden so well, however, I wish I could have carried that into the run. Incredibly enough, the top-five women in my age group went under 10 hours. Last year, my time would have been ninth, so I am kind of shocked at the placement.”

Share

Race Roundup: Patriot Half, Eagleman and Mooseman 70.3

Posted by on Friday, July 1, 2011 @ 10:53 am | Leave a reply

Wendy Mader’s Report from the Boulder Sunrise and Kansas 70.3 Triathlon

“June is early for me to be racing. I train primary indoors November through May, with plenty of functional strength training over the winter and spring. I love summer because my schedule allows me to get outside more in the hot temperatures.  After taking five months off swimming (October to February), I swam about a dozen times.  I have struggled with injuries the past two seasons and was unsure how my running would go this year. Cycling is still my weakness yet my favorite event to train.

In the Boulder Olympic Distance race,  I swim a fast 1.5 k, the swim must have been short, then made up for it a week later swimming  a long 1.2 mile course in  Kansas. Both races I was first out of the water in my wave.

My bike felt strong at each race. Two very different course terrain. I love the mostly downhill course that Boulder has to offer, not a fan of the rolling, bacon strip type course in Kansas. I felt strong both weekends and came off the bike first in my wave. I guess I am getting stronger on the bike.

Leading both races after the bike I was worried about hanging on to my lead during the run, struggling the past two year. This year I feel like my running is back on form.  In Boulder my calf tightened up and I held back on the run, still finishing strong, taking first female overall.  In Kansas, I ran my fastest half marathon after biking. I won my age group and a slot to Vegas 70.3 World Championships.

Next I’m looking forward to Ironman Lake Placid July 24th!”

Hellstedt Scores Fourth at Patriot Half

Triathlete Brett Hellstedt placed fourth among the elite competitors (seventh overall) at the Patriot Half in East Freetown, MA on June 18. His time was 4:29:11 for the half-distance triathlon south of Boston. The course involved a one-loop swim in a clean, clear lake, two loop bike on flat, country roads and one loop run on rolling quite roads.

“I don’t really have the volume of training to expect a great half result at this point,” says Hellstedt. “That said, I was pleased with my day.  It was the hottest temperature I have experienced all spring which made the run a bit of a struggle but all in all was  very pleased with the race and my day.”

Find full results here: http://www.sunmultisportevents.com/Patriot_Triathlon/2011_Results.htm

Holderbaum Hangs Tough at Eagleman 70.3

In his build up to the World Championships in Kona, triathlete Chad Holderbaum raced his sixth Eagleman 70.3 triathlon in Cambridge, MD, on a hot day in June. He placed 9th amateur overall, taking fifth in the 30-34 age group with a time of 4 hours 17 minutes.

“The day went really well for me and I had a personal best by 11 minutes on the course,” says Holderbaum. “I really pushed my pace on the bike and averaged over 25mph. And even though I faded some on the run, I still managed to run a 1:29 half marathon in the grueling heat thanks to my awesome Distance Light Weight Trainers!

Pierre-Olivier Dupuis Has “Best Race” Mooseman Ironman 70.3

It was a great day for Pierre-Olivier Dupuis, who has his best race ever at the Mooseman Ironman 70.3 in New Found Lake, New Hampshire on June 5.

Dupuis finished the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13-mile run with a time of 5:21:20, placing him 11th in his age group.

 

“This was my fifth half Ironman, but my first in the 70.3 series,” says Dupuis. “The water was cold as hell at just 57 degrees. This was the hardest course I’ve ever done with long steep hills, but it turned out to be my best ever race. It and second-fastest 70.3 race and I ran my best half marathon off the bike (1:39:00)!

This race came on the heels of completing the Sorel-Tracy Duathlon on May 15 (where he finished second in his age group), and Oka’s Sprint Triathlon on May 29, where he finished 11th overall (first in his age group) with a time of 1:13:30.

Share

Race Roundup: Britton Memorial Tri, Rev3 Quassy 70.3

Posted by on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 8:51 am | Leave a reply

Smith Fourth at Buster Britton Memorial Sprint Tri

Newton Running athlete Neal Smith placed fourth in his age group at the Buster Briton Memorial Triathlon in Pelham, Alabama on June 11.

The 25-year-old sprint-distance triathlon took place at the beautiful Oak Mountain State Park and is one of the longest running triathlons in Alabama. The race honors the life of Buster Britton–one of the Birmingham area’s original triathletes that lost his life in a fun run after completing the Hawaii Ironman only a short time earlier.

“Despite an extremely hilly course and high temperatures, I bettered my time from last year by over 8 minutes,” says Smith, who finished 29th overall with a time of 1:05:53. “I improved most significantly on the run thanks to my Newton Light Weight Distance Trainers!”

Revved Up at Rev3 70.3

The Rev3 Quassy 70.3 Triathlon boasts an amazing venue with an extremely hilly bike course and very challenging (though beautiful) run in Middlebury, CT.

At the June 4th event, Andrew Salmon placed 15th in his age group (63rd overall) against a very competitive field.

“My day went well despite not having the greatest swim,” says Salmon. “I rode the bike smart hoping to put a solid run up on the board. Thankfully proper pacing on the bike allowed me a to post a top-nine run for my age group of 1 hour 23 minutes.”

Josh Gelman, television producer for 48 Hours, also competed at Rev3 Quassy, is pictured here wearing the Gravity Neutral Performance Trainers.












Another Hot Day at Eagleman 70.3

Newton Running athlete Chad Holderbaum raced at the Eagleman 70.3 Triathlon in Cambridge, Maryland last weekend, his sixth time at the half-Ironman event.

As always, the heat is a challenge and it is a great course gearing up for Kona,” says Holderbaum. “The day went really well for me and I had a personal best by 11 minutes on the course. I really pushed the bike and averaged over 25mph and even though I faded some on the run, I still managed to run a 1:29 half marathon in the grueling heat!

Holderbaum finished 9th amateur overall and 5th in the 30-34 age group with a time of 4:17.

Share

Race Roundup: XTERRA Moab, Teva Mountain Games and More!

Posted by on Monday, June 6, 2011 @ 4:11 pm | Leave a reply


MORF in Moab

Team MORF was back at the races last weekend, with Debby Sullivan placing 9th women (first in her age group) at the XTERRA Moab triathlon in Utah.

“The race went well for the most part,” says Sullivan. “It has been really hard to mountain bike much or spend time time running on trails since they are all still covered in snow up here in the Colorado mountains.

The swim started out in Ken’s Lake and it was cold!  I got in the water extra early to adjust, which helped me tremendously. The swim went smoothly and I felt good during most of the mountain bike. The course was very technical but I was had fun and pushed hard on the out-and-back Steelbender Trail.

At the bike turnaround I was in fourth place, but the return trip I did not go as smoothly. I held strong despite not being at my full strength due to an injury to a month-old ankle injury, but continued to do well during the run until I rolled my ankle and hobbled the last 2.5 miles to the finish.”

Read more about Debby’s race on her blog, dsulli.blogspot.com and an article about the race on Sky Hi Daily News.

Jeremy Freed Second at Teva Mountain Games 10K

Less than a week after winning the citizen’s division at the Bolder Boulder 10K, Newton Running’s Jeremy Freed placed second against a stacked field at the Teva Mountain Games Spring Runoff 10K trail race in Vail, Colorado. Freed, wearing the MV2 Speed Racer on muddy and partially snow-covered trails, battled against national trail-running champion Max King before King pulled ahead for the win in 41:30. Freed finished just 10 seconds back.

Check out this article for a race recap and photos on Examiner.com.




Roberto Mandje Third in Half Marathon Despite Run-In with Taxi

Newton Running’s Roberto Manje completed the toughest race of his career last weekend in West Africa, finishing third in the long half-marathon course with a time of 1:12:50, despite being hit by a car mid-race.

“The race started at 10:30 a.m. instead of the scheduled 8:00, by which time the 90+ degree heat combined with 95% humidity was brutal,” says Manje. “On top of all that, the race was 23.5K (instead of the usual 21.1K half-marathon distance.) But the toughest challenge was getting nicked in the hand and side by a taxi. YES! The race organizers didn’t even close the roads so cars zoomed by the whole way. When the taxi hit me, I fell down momentarily passed out before getting up and finishing the race. I’m happy to be alive and survive all the carnage to finish third!”

Share