Sunday, December 27, 2009

ISM Pro Kirk Nelson Checks In

Hi everyone!
I got my name in the paper! Pages 170-171 of January 2010 Triathlete Magazine.

Eric got 3rd! (woulda been 2nd had he not run an extra 1.5 miles by

Check my blog for my most recent updates:

From the Magic Mountain Man Triathlon Press Release:

"On Saturday October 10, 2009 Renegade Racing produced the inaugural long-distance triathlon in Los Angeles County. TheMagic MountainMan Triathlon (M3 Tri) started at Castaic Lake and finished in Santa Clarit a close to Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park. Finishers covered 70.3 miles total between the swim, bike and run courses. Participants raved about the challenging, but scenic course that wound through the older roads of Santa Clarita. Following the 1.2 mile swim in calm Castaic Lake and the 56 miles of the bike course, the athletes were elated to find the 13.1 run course flat and fast.

Professional triathlete Kirk Nelson, of Boulder, Colorado, grabbed the first place title overall, with a time of 4:31:32. "Coming from Colorado, I've always hoped someone would put on a triathlon with a challenging, mountainous bike course, rather than the traditional rolling or flat bike courses most races offer -- the M3 Bike course was far and away the most challenging bike course I've ever raced!”, said Nelson of his experience of the
M3 Tri."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays from ISM! Seems this is the time of year to take a little time off and stuff ourselves. I know it's happening to me. All I'm doing is running and eating. I'll take it.

Here's a copy of the latest ad we are placing in the print magazines. In case you haven't guessed, that's last years Triathlete of the Year Becky Lavelle. We are stoked to have her on our seat. Check out the wins for 2009 alone!

Here's a pic of the pride of Italy's Edith Niederfriniger bke in the racks at Ironman Cozumel. She loves her Adamo Racing saddle and placed 3rd in the event (behind fellow ISM athlete Bella Bayliss). Both are studs!

Living in Austin, I forget how spoiled we can be. It's gotten into the 30-40's here and that's trainer weather. So I've been loging a few miles in between my marathon training on the new Adamo Breakaway. It makes the trainer rides so much more tollerable. We'll have them ready to ship January 15th. I know we ahve a big list of dealers waiting for them. Soon, soon!

Here's a pic my buddy Cassidy from Trigger Point Therapy sent me. He got this out of a Continental Magazine and it's an ad for M.D. Anderson. Check out the dude's bike seat. Adamo Racing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ISM Adamo Road Review

Gear Review: ISM Adamo Road Saddle
by Mike Bernico
Full Article here

If you'll recall, one of my goals for this off season was to get a bike fit. Before I did that however, I wanted to find a saddle I liked. I definitely did NOT like the saddle that came on my Cervelo P1 and knew that my relationship with that painful little piece of plastic was going to be short lived.

I did some research and talked to a few people and came to the conclusion that the ISM Adamo was worth a very serious look. While there are many fine high end saddles out there, in my opinion the concept behind the Adamo saddles was the best. It also came highly recommended by some other Tri-Sharks and Beginner Triathlete members.

There are two models of Adamo for TT bikes, the Adamo Race and the Adamo Road. They seem to be essentially the same, with the Road weighing a bit more and having a bit more gel/padding than the race. Light is good, but so is comfortable, so which one should I choose? In trying to answer that question I discovered one of the things that separates ISM Adamo products from their competition. Fantastic customer service. After explaining my goals and needs to Dave at Adamo, discussing my weight loss history, and my Ironman aspirations, Dave recommended the Road over the Race for me. Thanks for all the help Dave!

The Adamo is an unconventional saddle. It doesn't have a nose like a traditional saddle, but rather is built to support your sit bones while relieving the pressure from your perineal nerve, which prevents all sorts of medical badness that I'll just reference here rather than try to explain.

At first I was skeptical about comfort. I mean, who wouldn't be. I very carefully read the Adamo instructions and watched their installation video though. After that it was time for a road test.

I took my bike out and immediately felt pretty comfortable. I only road for about 20 miles that day but I enjoyed the ride. The next day the tissue over my sit bones was a little sore, but I knew that might happen based on Dave's warning and the products documentation.

After a few more rides I was enjoying the Adamo without any pain, and alot more comfort than I've ever experienced on a saddle. The Adamo put everything else I had ever ridden to shame, including my pricey Fizik Airone.

Then, about 5 rides in, something surprising happened. While the Adamo was always very good, I stopped for a tweak to how the saddle lined up laterally and finally just got it exactly right and it was like I snapped into the saddle. Things went from good to glorious and I couldn't be happier.

A few days after that ride I took my bike over to a much more experienced triathlete's house and he helped me get the bike tuned in even more while spinning on his computrainer. Things just kept getting better.

Not only am I more comfortable on my Adamo Road than I ever have been on any other saddle, but I'm faster too. I know what you're thinking...faster? really? Yes, faster. It's very true. I can stay aero longer, and I'm much more comfortable. A more aero, more comfortable triathlete is a faster triathlete.

I highly recommend the ISM Adamo Road, it's great equipment from a great company that makes me fast and makes me want to ride.

IMAZ winner Sam McGlone checks in.

Sam proudly competes on her ISM Adamo Racing saddle.

I am thrilled to cap off the 2009 season with my first Ironman win and a new course record at Ironman Arizona last weekend. At the beginning of the year I was unsure if I would be making it back to racing after a serious injury kept me sidelined all winter, so to end with a win was the icing on the cake.
It was cold and dark as 2400 athletes took to Tempe Town lake at 7am. Was I the only one that found it odd swimming through the desert in November ? The swim was the low point of my race – I can’t make excuses; everyone was swimming in the same frigid water, but I just felt like my arms never warmed up. Usually I like to hang on the feet of faster swimmers but when I saw nothing but open water in front of me I knew it was bad news because it meant I was not in the lead, but so far back I couldn’t even see the lead!
Exiting the water 8 minutes down from Leanda Cave, I had my work cut out for me on the bike. The 3 loop course was flat and windy – with a slight rise up to the turn-around then a screaming fast “descent” back to town, just made for my Argon E-114 TT bike. I rode hard and took back a few minutes per loop on the leaders, ending with a 4:56 bike split – the fastest of the day.
Coming into T2 I had taken over 2nd place and was closing in on Leanda. I took the lead at the end of the first loop and stayed there for the rest of the day. The run course was awesome – tons of spectators and the three loop format meant we were never far from the next cheering section, a far cry from the loneliness of Kona’s Queen K highway. A big shout out to Zoot for my custom race flats they made with only a few weeks turnaround time – I know the matching kit was good for a few minutes on the run course.
Finishing in 9:09, I set a new course record with the fastest bike split and 2nd fastest run of the day. This was the highlight of the season which had started with injury and ended in my first Ironman win. It was even more special to win at “home” in my newly adopted state of Arizona.
Thanks to everyone who stuck it out through the injury and for all the support this season!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Seats, New Gear, and more WINS.

ISM celebrates another win by Track superstar Wendy Houvenaghel. She checks in, "I have been competing recently in Manchester and Melbourne during the Track World Cup Classics series, where I've been successful in the Women's Individual and Women's Team Pursuits! The competitions were held on 31st Oct, 1st Nov, 19th Nov and 21st Nov 09 and have been documented on the Cycling website along with photos.
I've attached one of the photos from our World Record breaking ride at Manchester and a podium photo from Melbourne."

I had some new custom ISM kits arrive. We highlighted the new Performance Logo across the chest and on the thigh. They look slick and really stand out while on the road. Super comfy too. Might have to order some more as they all sold out!

As most know by now, the new Adamo Podium and Adamo Breakaway saddles are hitting dealers next month. These saddles have undergone several versions over the last year of testing. All who have tested them are thrilled. Longer and narrower. Get one! Your crotch will thank you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ironman AZ and Lance?

Had a nice relaxing weekend. Woke up early Saturday for my run. I've decided to sign up for the Austin Marathon in Feb. It's a race I've always wanted to do, but haven't been able to for a number of reasons. Either I have a work related event the same weekend or it conflicts with another event I'm training for. Well, it's on this Valentine's Day. Bring it.

Sunday was Ironman Arizona. Our girl Sam McGlone won the event and set a new bike split record and course record for the day (beating former record holder and fellow ISM rider, Michellie Jones). Sam is a former World Champion at the 70.3 distance and finished 5th in Kona. Well done Sam. Eric Bean finished 6th in the men's event and Josef Major, Hektor Llanos, and Raynard Tissink also raced......all using the Adamo Racing saddle.

Meanwhile back in the ATX, Melissa and I drove out to Juan Pelota Ranch (Armstrong's ranch just outside of town). He was hosting a mountain bike event that sold out in a matter of hours. He brought in a number of atb stars as well as many industry leaders. Lance would eventually flat out of the race. No follow vehicles in mountain biking. While there I was approached by a Dutch Television crew for an interview on what Lance means to me as an American. Good thing I had my ISM jacket on! It was interesting as it seemed they were looking for someone to say something negative about the guy. Haters everywhere I suppose.

Also in the mix was triathlete star Chris Lieto. Chris is a fellow Trek athlete and came in for the event. Lieto finished 2nd in Kona this year after leading the bike and most of the run. He's a stud.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Clearwater 70.3 World Champs 2009

Eric Limkemann all tatted out and ready to rock.
Michellie Jones in the finisher's chute for 6th!

Pablo chowing down some calories before the run.

Is MJ at a catalog shoot or racing? All matched up.

Olympian Laura Bennett on her way to 5th!

Sarah Groff pulls out 7th for the day!

MJ and Pablo getting the ISM VIP treatment at the airport.

ISM had several pros competing in Clearwater for 70.3 World's this year. It's a long season and many other pros opted not to compete in the event. Even two previous World Champs and ISM athletes (Sam McGlone and Andy Potts). Steve and Laura were thrilled Michellie Jones and boyfriend Pablo were home staying with them. I hear they even swam and rode together while leading up to the big event. Maybe some of that talent will rub off on them?
Steve took some great shots while the event was going on. It was a beautiful day in FL for racing and ISM pulled out a 5th, 6th, 7th, and 10th in the Pro Overall Division. We are thrilled for our athletes and all those competing this year.
I also just received word from fellow ISM pro, Laurel Wassner on her work with the Livestrong Campaign. Check it out and read about her amazing story:
Just wanted to let you know that latest Nike/Livestrong campaign has hit the internet and will be running in several magazines hitting the 'stands soon. It was fun for me (and my bike!) to be on the other side of the camera and take part in sending such an inspirational message. My sister Bec and I are very excited to be representing Team Livestrong in our 2010 triathlon season.
The campaign was created by Wieden + Kennedy and photographed by Kevin Lynch. I think they did an amazing job.

Check out the ad and the collection online at and

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Michellie Jones' 70.3 World's RR

Ironman 70.3 World ChampionshipsThe DNF Monkey is off my back!
In a perfect world my plan was to have a great race in Hawaii and finish the season. Knowing that a null racing can throw many obstacles in your path I had a back up plan to race 4 weeks later the null 70.3 world Championships if things did not unfold they way I had planned. So after a null at Mile 8 on the run and after a few days of R&R I decided to see how the body was recovering.I decided to race the week after null at the local edition of the Women's Triathlon in San Diego. Along with 1200 other women I sprinted away all of my disappointment demons my null the week before. Plus it was also lots of fun going from racing null to a flat out sprint.I knew I would need a lot more speed going in to the 70.3 Worlds as I had done plenty of distance so that was training focus. Race day could not have been more than perfect a little wind and the temperature ideal. Especially considering the area was hit with the aftermath of a down graded hurricane.At 6.45am all my nerves disappeared as the cannon was fired. I exited the swim in the second pack and quickly got into my rhythm on the bike. Usually the Pro Men lead the way but the organizers decided to change it up and have us go first which did play a little havoc on us during the bike when the eventually caught us. Once the train of male Pro's passed me it was back to grinding out the gears.My legs were feeling pretty good as I exited the transition in the top 10 along two other athlete's Magali and Laura. I was not quite as speedie as these two girls over the first Mile but with some patience I caught and passed Magali. At Mile 5 I was back up to Laura but so was Magali. Once again they kicked in a little more speed and bridged me once again on the run. Within a few miles I was up to 6th position and saw Laura being to fade. But she did not fade quite enough for me to make up a top 5 position. No complaints here for a 6th place at a World Championships. A really nice way to end the season especially after Hawaii. The Monkey is gone!

1 3:59:33 103 Dibens, Julie Boulder CO GBR
2 4:03:49 4:16 101 Ellis, Mary Beth Boulder CO USA
3 4:05:27 5:54 118 Tisseyre, Magali St-Sauveur QC CAN
4 4:05:33 6:01 124 Steffen, Caroline Cham CHE
5 4:07:39 8:07 149 Bennett, Laura North Palm Beac FL USA ISM ATHLETE
6 4:08:17 8:44 136 Jones, Michellie Carlsbad CA AUS ISM ATHLETE
7 4:09:34 10:01 119 Groff, Sarah Colorado Spring CO USA ISM ATHLETE
8 4:13:16 13:43 109 Stevens, Amanda Colorado Spring CO USA
9 4:15:04 15:31 127 Thuerig, Karin Retschwil CHE
10 4:17:57 18:25 143 Gianinni, Vanessa Campinas BRA

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pro Kirk Nelson checks in

Hi everyone,
After a failed attempt (they wouldn't take my $550, can you believe it???) to race a late season full IM (my first since 2006), my 2009 triathlon racing season is officially over!

2009 started out very dismal for me as my marriage fell apart at the seams, which made triathlon training and racing a complete after-thought for the first 7 months of the year.
For me, this year was very painful, sorrowful, humbling, and yet a season of very positive spiritual and emotional growth in my life.

During the first 6 months I was doing all I could to fix and patch-up my marriage, and was greatly humbled by the suffering and growing that occurred within me during this period. Throughout the last 4 months I have been adjusting to a new life and have continued to grow with the new challenges I face as a single guy pursuing my dream of triathlon excellence.

I was extremely blessed (and just in time!) earlier this year as my coaching business grew in several ways:
1. increased clientele from 6 to 14 athletes
2. Hired Associate coach, Eric Dorsch
3. Put on two Triathlon camps, two transition clinics, and one open-water swim clinic

Racing-wise, the year started out very humbling: 20th at Wildflower when I had been 10th in 2008, 12th at Kansas 70.3 when I had been 5th in 2008.

I was not upset with the results as it was everything I could do with everything else going on at the time.

Beginning in July, things began to improve: 9th at Boulder Peak including a great 10k run off the bike and a win at the Castaic Lake Sprint Triathlon in CA.

Training was now more consistent, and following a great training block in CA, I managed my best finish to date in a major IM 70.3 race -- 4th Overall, just missing the podium by 15 seconds!! To read more, check my blog post:

Following Calgary, I raced Lake Stevens 70.3 and unfortunately had to pull out during the run due to a major nutritional mistake that led to severe dehydration.

In September I headed North across the border again to race Muskoka IM 70.3. Another great run and overall finish of 7th place. Read my blog post here:

The week following Muskoka I jumped in a local sprint race, Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon, put on by my good friends (including my swim coach Lance Panigutti) of Without Limits Productions. I had a great race and set a new course record of 55:14 to take the win, with Eric coming in second, and Steve Richard (a TriKirk Coaching athlete) coming in 4th overall.

In early October, Eric and I headed out to California to put on a series of triathlon clinics, race the Magic Mountain Man Half Iron Triathlon (M3 Triathlon) and get in my last training stint prior to Longhorn IM 70.3. I earned a win on a brutally hard M3, that featured 6,000 feet of climbing on the bike and 5 "no aerobar descent" sections due to insanely rough roads.

The season finished MUCH better than it began. After leaving CA on October 21, I drove to Austin, TX for my last race of the year, Longhorn IM 70.3, where I set a new 70.3 PR of 3:53:23, and earned 7th place in an ultra-competitive men's field. I could not have been more thrilled with this finish as it was the result of some very hard work and training I put in during the latter part of the season:

Sponsors: Thank you so much for your dedicated support and for getting through the season with me. I appreciate everything you each have done to help me pursue my dream of becoming one of the top long course racers in the sport. With your continued help, I am very hopeful about my future to become one!

Ending 2009 on the highest of notes, I am excited about my potential to climb my way onto the podium of one or more major races in 2010. I have a very solid level of fitness in all three disciplines that I am motivated to grow on during the upcoming off-season. I am committed to working very hard on my swim and making it a priority to get within striking range of the lead pack of swimmers by 2010. My cycling power and running fitness is at an all-time high that will only continue to improve now that I have found my training rhythm and consistent training groups to challenge and better myself.

Tentative 2010 Race Schedule:

California 70.3 -- March
IM St. George (as in the full thing.....) -- May
Rev 3 Tri Quassy Half Rev Tri -- June
Buffalo Springs 70.3 -- June
Rhode Island 70.3 -- July
Calgary 70.3 -- August
Lake Stevens 70.3 -- August
Muskoka 70.3 -- September
October/November: IM or IM 70.3 World Championships (or both?), TBA

Thanks to friends and family for being there when I needed you most!

I wish everyone a great off-season look forward to being there with you again in 2010!

Running for HIM,

Kirk Nelson
Professional Triathlete

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Review from Bike Diva

ISM Triathlon Specific Racing Saddle

I recently purchased my first triathlon bike, a Cervelo P2C. You can read all about my experience in getting fit/setup for the new bike in a previous post to the Bike Diva blog: Bike Diva's Getting a Triathlon Bike. Although the seat that came with the bike, A Fizik Arione Tri 2, is a very highly rated, triathlon specific saddle, it just didn't work for me.

Here's a picture of the seat that came with my tri bike. It's a Arione Tri 2 by Fizik.
I was having a lot of problems with being pinched in my lady parts, and was experiencing quite a bit of discomfort, even on my shorter rides. I did quite a bit of research on triathlon specific seats, and decided that I wanted to try the ISM Adamo racing saddle.
Using the ISM Adamo Saddle
The ISM Adamo saddle looks a bit strange at first glance. It looks like the front inch or two of the saddle has been chopped off, then split down the middle. But it's wider width, compared to a traditional, pointy nose saddle, makes a perfect platform for your front sit bones. So now, instead of being supported on your soft private parts, you are being supported on the front of your pelvic bone.

ISM racing saddle in red. Some of my friends think it looks like the cross section of a salmon fillet.
I purchased my tri bike from Racer's Edge, in Boca Raton. They are an authorized ISM saddle dealer, so I took my bike to them so they could put the seat on for me. I could have put the seat on myself, but the ISM Adamo racing saddle geometry is a bit different from a typical bike seat, so I wanted to make sure I had it setup correctly. I was getting ready to race in my first 1/2 Ironman duathlon at Miami Man on November 8, so I wanted to have my bike perfectly setup.

ISM racing saddle on the Bike Diva's Cervelo P2C triathlon bike.
After my first ride on the new saddle I was in heaven. No more pinching or squashing of the tender lady bits. Most of the reviews of the ISM Adamo racing saddle were written by men, but this saddle is perfect for women triathletes too. I did have a problem with elbow and forearm pain after putting the new saddle on, so I went in for a bike fit readjustment the next day. Again, Miami Man was coming up so I wanted everything dialed in perfectly.
The saddle is working great. I competed in Miami Man on November 8th, and came in 3rd place Female Masters in the 1/2 Ironman duathlon. Not too bad considering it was a horribly windy day - winds averaged 18-21 MPH, with gusts up to 30 MPH, for the entire 56 mile bike portion of the race. My butt and lady parts were happy the entire time on the bike.

Side view of ISM Adamo racing saddle.
About ISM Saddles
ISM stands for Ideal Seat Modification. I visited their website to find out more information on their saddles. They offer a variety of saddle designs, including the racing saddle, road saddle, and touring saddle. I decided that since most of my duathlon races are sprint distance, that I wanted to try out the ISM racing saddle. The saddle is also available in a road saddle, which has a bit more padding. The racing saddle is designed for triathletes and time trialers that like to ride in an aggressive forward position.
The ISM Adamo racing saddle retails for $199.95, and is available in black, gray, white, red and blue. I went with the red model, which has gray accents, to match my red and gray Cervelo P2C frame.
Tampa Bay Recreation LLC
PO Box 271531
Tampa, FL 33688

Another view of the ISM Adamo racing saddle.
Bike Diva's Final Words
Since the ISM Adamo racing saddle is radically different from a traditional triathlon seat, I highly suggest testing one out before plunking down the money to buy one. Most bike stores in my area let you test out the bike seats they sell before buying one. You may have to give them a credit card number, or a cash deposit to test out the seats, but the cash deposit is refunded once you bring the seat back, or credited towards the purchase of a new seat. Check your local bike store to find out if they are a ISM Adamo saddle dealer.
Although the ISM Adamo saddles are also available for road bike racers and century bike riders, I wouldn't suggest this saddle geometry for road biking. Your position on a road bike is much further back on the saddle compared to the forward position of a triathlete. I think the ISM Adamo racing saddle is the perfect bike seat for anyone doing time trials, triathlons or duathlons.

Lynn (Bike Diva)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pro Eric Limkemann checks in

Ironman 70.3 World Championships Preview

This weekend I will be racing in Clearwater, Florida in my first World Championship race as a professional. After 8 months of racing, this will be my last race of 2009 and hopefully I have saved the best for last! I will be one of 85 pro men who have qualified for the race through various events throughout the world. Given that this will be only my third race at the 70.3 distance, I’m still not sure what to expect, but my goal is to break the 4 hour mark and put together a complete race. Based on the past results of this race, it will be the most competitive race that I have ever attended and I am looking forward to the challenge!
In preparation for the race, I’ve had a lot of help from some great people and companies. Without your support throughout the season, I would not have been able to get to this point. From Trizilla and CSE Corporation helping me get started racing professionally to my current support from Great Clips Salons and friends in the Dayton community, I have been tremendously lucky in building strong relationships. Thank You! As for the race itself…
In the water, I’ve had the privilege to train with and work for the Dayton Raiders over the past two months. As a result of their willingness to accommodate my schedule and provide me with structured training, I am finally getting back to the swim form I had when I was winning big swim primes back 2007. My goal for this race is to mix it up at the front of the pack and come out near or at the front. As always, I’ll be wearing BlueSeventy to maximize my advantage. On a good day, I’d like to be south of 23 minutes coming into T1. If I am in a good position heading into shore, I may push a bit to get out first…
Once on the bike, I will be riding a new HED Jet Disk and Hawk Racing bottom bracket on the Veritas. These upgrades, along with my trusty ISM Saddle and awesome training help from Bob at Bob Duncan Racing should help me in breaking this seasons’ biking slump and maintaining my strong position on the swim. I have put in a tremendous amount of work over the past two months on improving my bike and I believe a 2:10 split is well within my reach if the conditions are right. Regardless of the split, you can look forward to even stronger cycling next season!
Ever since I started racing Triathlon, I’ve been working on not “running like a swimmer”. While I’m still trying to find my 10k speed, I have seen the hard work pay off at the 70.3 distance. I have connected with Newton Running and improved my technique while putting in endless miles under Corey Baxter’s careful guidance. I have been pacing very consistently over the past month and would like to finish the race with a 1:15 split. My goal is to be able to finish the race strong and be prepared to sprint to the line if needed!
Throughout the race, I’ll be wearing a Kiwami Amphibian singlet which s my suit of choice for every race this year. The lightness and comfort of the suit should help in the hot Florida weather. I’ve also recently begun using First Endurance nutrition products and will be using Pre-Race and the EFS Shot during the race to stay fueled and ready to go. I’ve been using Ultragen to recover from my key workouts and it has helped me to feel sharp and fresh day in and day out. I’m now tapered and ready to go!

If you are interested in following the race, check out the official website:

I believe an Athlete Tracker will be available and there may be other places on the web where you can follow along. I’ll send out an update after the race. Wish me luck!

Eric Limkemann

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pro Angela Naeth's ISM Saddle Review

Got this from TBB Pro athlete and ISM rider, Angela Naeth's blog.
ISM Saddle…THE BEST SEAT IN THE WORLDOctober 21st, 2009 by angelanaeth
When I was first introduced to the ISM Saddle, I was skeptic. This was at the first training camp for Team TBB. Along with a new coach, and a new training venue, I was a bit hesitant to try something new. And as intimate as one gets to their saddle, I didn’t want to change something so drastic.
But thank-god I did! As soon as Brett saw me ride, he suggested I try the saddle. He said at that point, we’re not sponsored by them this year and you’ll have to purchase one, but I think you’ll like it. He must have seen my wiggles while riding. I could never get that perfect position on my previous seat because of the chafing, sore spots and overall pain I would suffer while riding! Every ride left me raw!
So, off I went to the Bike Boutique and purchased my new saddle. White, to match the painted ‘Avia’ Cervelo. I never looked back.
I loved my new ISM saddle the first time I sat on it. After riding it for a few days and others purchasing their own…the team was hooked! Everyone was riding them and TEAM TBB was sponsored by this awesome company once again!
It’s a weird looking seat that is for sure. But it’s the best seat in the world! Looks can be decieving! I’m able to get down low and I haven’t had any chafing problems. I’m comfortable 100% of the time. No joke.
And now that I’m riding indoors a lot while in Canada, I have to give praise to ISM once again. Riding on a turbo is a bit different than riding outside. You’re stuck in position with continued pedaling (no easy downhills, uphills and change). Prior to having an ISM saddle, indoor riding was not fun! I’d get off the bike in pain and I would stay away from the shower because of it!
ISM Saddles… if you haven’t tried one, you’re missing out!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Heather Jackson's Longhorn 70.3 recap

October 27th, 2009

American Uber Biker and first year professional, Heather Jackson scores big against a star studded field at this weekends Longhorn 70.3 Ironman Event in Austin Texas.American Zeiger exited the warm waters of Decker Lake first in a speedy time of 23:47, followed closely by Canadian Tereza Macel. Despite a slower 32-minute swim, young pro Heather Jackson proved her bike skills will make her one to watch by posting a smoking new course record time of 2:16:33 on the bike, by far the fastest female bike split of the day. Zeiger continued her lead, finishing in 4:14:53, while Jackson ran her way to second place posting the second fastest run of the day @ 1:24:08 and finished in a total time of 4:17:14. Heather proudly raced using her Adamo Road saddle.
Also noteworthy was Brian Fleischmann's 2nd, Tereza Macel's 5th place, and Kirk Nelson's 7th. These three athletes use the Adamo Racing saddle.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

TT Bike Fit's Lisbeth Kenyon's Kona Ride

Here's an article posted by TT Bike Fit's, Todd Kenyon. His wife Lisbeth is a stud triathlete and this was her Kona 09 ride. Also note the bike in front of her. That's Fuel Belt's head honcho Vinu's ride. ISM BABY!!

It was Lis' bike split that put her out of reach of the other competitors in her age group (which is typical for her - at IM FL she went sub 5hrs WITHOUT drafting), and out of reach of all but 7 other amateurs (all under 35). This while forcing herself to be conservative and save something for the run. I count six AG women with faster bike splits, which for Lis is "mediocre". But it was obviously still quite good and combined with a decent swim and run, it was good enough for a 10min margin in the AG. Her run was better than it looked as there were several bathroom stops and every aid station was walked. So her running pace averaged well under 8min/mile net in blazing heat. While the crosswinds coming back from Hawi were not very bad this year, the riders endured a wicked and strengthening cross-headwind heading back to town from Kawaihae to the airport - about 25-30 miles. It was essential to be aero, comfortable, and relaxed to make the most of these conditions.
Lis has been riding Kestrels since 1993, and airfoils for about the past six years. This year she was lucky enough to get an Airfoil SL Special Edition. This is a pricey bike (although the Ultegra-equipped SL gets you the same frame for half as much), but it is race ready right out of the box. You get custom matching Zipp 404 clinchers and a Zipp Vuka integrated bar setup. So she has been riding this bike bone-stock all season to smoking bike splits. The Airfoil has been around in various iterations of its unique seat-tube-less design for a while. Recent wind tunnel tests (by Kestrel) show it to be comparable to the P3c. The one question I always had was its lateral stiffness. For 2009, Kestrel massively beefed up the lower portion of the down tube and the bottom bracket cluster. I finally had the opportunity to ride one when I built up a 59cm for a friend. I didn't ride it very many miles, but I was able to switch back and forth between my P3c and the Airfoil several times - and I had each set up identically fit-wise. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Airfoil felt at least as laterally stiff as my P3 - maybe even stiffer, which really surprised me. Training-bud Vinu also switched to an Airfoil this year from a P3c, with some reservations at first. He no longer misses the P3.Although Lis' bike is mostly stock, we did add a few goodies.

She ran a Speedfil unit for hydration, and was lucky enough to receive a prototype silver "Speed Sok" from Mr. Speedfil himself, David Dietterle. I will have a separate writeup on the Speedfil, but in general we have been very happy with them. They are a good alternative to an aerobar bottle, holding more fluid (40 oz) while centering the weight over the BB instead of out on your bars. They also don't splash sticky stuff all over you. They are certainly more aero than a round bottle, they are easy to fill and easy to drink out of, and the Sok is a neoprene insulator which helps keep the fluid cool. The reflective silver Sok seems to work even better, and it will be available soon. Most athletes configure their Speedfil drinking tubes to stick straight up, like the straw of an aerobar bottle. Lis and I prefer to keeps our tubes between the bars, out of the wind most of the time. We can easily flip it up for a drink. The tube sleeve has a bendable wire which holds the tube in the last position and keeps it from flapping in the wind. And seeing as the MIT boys found a short section of vertical straw could cause as much drag as your front aero wheel saves, we'll keep our tubes hidden.
For rear hydration she used an ISM Quick Draw. Unfortunately some of these have had durability issues so they are in redesign right now. Durability aside, they work very well and appear to hide the bottles better since the cages are angled and the bottles overlap each other in a "V". On the top tube she has a Fuel Belt aero fuel box. Is it really more aero? Not sure. But I am certain it is more aero than no box at all, and the new Trek Speed Concept TT bike uses a similar shape to blend the top tube into the stem complex. The Fuel box has enough room for a tube, CO2, a pill flask, tire irons, and a couple gels.
Her bike has the stock full SRAM Red grupo which works impeccably. Pedals are Keywin CRM Ti which are very light yet have large platforms. I set her up with -3mm axles (narrows her stance by 6mm vs regular pedals) which fit her close-to-the-frame pedaling style better than standard width. Up top she used a Rudy Project Syton open aero helmet. Maybe not the most aero helmet out there, but she felt it was far cooler than her Giro Advantage II, and maybe the best compromise for Kona's heat. Shoes were Specialized tri shoes, which I have also used for a few years now. These work very well for folks with wider forefeet, and they have a small amount of varus wedging built in which works well for most riders. Tires were Vittoria Open Corsa CX 20mm inflated to about 120 psi. It is tough to beat the ride quality of these tires with 320 tpi. Neither of us use power meters or HRMs. We do believe in the value of PM's, but have had had other priorities for the ~$4k it would cost to equip both of us with them!

We both use ISM Adamo race saddles, and have for over two years. We have them on our indoor trainer bikes too. Once you switch, there is no going back, at least for aero position. I have been amazed at how many folks have taken to these saddles on our team, even old-school types. If they are set up properly, they are tough to beat for all-day aero comfort.

That's about it - I must be forgetting something...­ oh yeah her FIT! We set Lis' current bike up exactly like her prior Airfoil (which she rode last year in Kona). Her old one was a 52cm with 650c wheels, and her new one a 54cm with 700c, but the contact points are identical. Lis takes to a very aggressive aero position quite naturally, so the low stack-long reach Airfoil is perfect for her. She is about 5' 8", but uses an aggressive-for-her-size 14cm of drop. We did shorten the stock stem by 1cm - the Airfoil is very reachy and the 54's reach required a 90mm stem to work for her. Needless to say she uses about a 79 degree effective seat angle to facilitate power production with this fairly hefty drop. Certainly Lis' high power-to-weight ratio is key to her great bike splits, but the fit and equipment have to be there too, and her current setup fits the bill quite well. Look for my thoughts on the new Kestrel 4000 here soon - I promise.

(full disclosure - Lis is a Kestrel team rider and TTBikeFit is an authorized dealer. We also sell Speedfils, Keywins, and ISM products. But in each case the egg came before the chicken - we tested all these products in race conditions, some for years, before agreeing to sell them!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kona 2009 Trip

Those who know me hear me say "livin the dream" often. Well it's true, I DO live the dream. After Eurobike and Interbike, it was time for a trip to the promiseland, Kona, HI. It's hot, windy, and muggy there, but I'm not complaining Kona is beautiful and it's the mecca for those in the sport of triathlon. We had over 20 professional athletes racing the event on our saddles and went in support of them and to show off our 2010 goods. Special thanks to Steve Harad of Kestrel Bicycles and Brad and Mac of Quintana Roo for allowing us some real estate at the expo. Both killer bike companies and pioneers in the sport. Check them out.

It was a ton of fun meeting with our pros over the week and talking with amateurs. We passed out 150 limited edition Kona 2009 tees and my back is still sore from hauling all those tees around the island. At the Triathlete Magazine bike count (a staple in the sport), ISM had 119 saddles counted. That's 54% more than 2008 and 7% of the entire field. HUGE deal for an aftermarket seat company. Thanks to all our dealers and customers!!
It was an incredibly hot day for racing and ISM is proud of all competitors, but we want to give special props to our top ten finishers Tereza Macel for 4th, Sam McGlone for 5th, Jo Lawn for 7th, and Andy Potts for 9th. Way to go!!
Steve and I took a ton of pics. It's time to sort them all out and then post more on the blog and the site. So stay tuned. Here are a few I took on my dated Blackberry. It's time for an upgrade. Oh yeah, I flew to Kauai after the event and eloped with my special lady. Sorry gals, I'm off the market. LOL!
So next it's Longhorn 70.3 and then 70.3 World's in Clearwater. Stay tuned!!

Pro Eric Limkemann Checks In

Augusta 70.3/Los Angeles Triathlon Race Reports

Last weekend I was down south at the inaugural Augusta 70.3 race. I added this race at the last minute after qualifying for World Championships at Lake Stevens last month. I was excited not only to be racing the distance again, but also to compete against a very strong field looking to secure the last few spots for Worlds in November. I drove down Friday with Ashley and spent the night in Blairsville with Jim and Claudia at their amazing lake house. It would have been much easier to stay all weekend, but we packed up and drove the rest of the way Saturday and I got ready to race.

Sunday morning, I was happy to hear that it would be a non-wetsuit swim since I’ve been swimming fast, but unfortunately we would be swimming downstream with a very strong current. I lead for about half of the swim then tucked in behind Brian Fleishman for the rest. We came out of the water in under 20 minutes thanks to the current and I came out of transition in the lead and feeling great! My first few miles on the bike felt a bit sluggish and it went downhill from there. I struggled through the bike with a woeful 2:24 bike split and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to pull off a strong run that I’ve been working on for so long. Luckily, my legs came around and I was able to run a respectable 1:17 split to finish in 17th place with a 4:04. This is my fastest time to date, but the swim current may have helped a bit! The bike split needs to come down a lot over the next month or so if I’m going to be competitive in Clearwater!

After the race, we drove back to Blairsville and had a great time recovering and relaxing on the lake. My down time didn’t last too long though as I packed up the bike and headed out to LA first thing Friday morning…

I arrived in Los Angeles Friday morning and met up with my host for the weekend, Roger Nurnberger. Still a bit fatigued from the previous weekend, I went for a quick swim and bike on the beach to loosen up and get used to the California surf. I was in bed nice and early thanks to the three hour time change. Saturday was a great day of race prep and relaxation capped off a picture perfect pre-race meal and early bed.

Race day came and I was treated to yet another non-wetsuit swim. This week, instead of a current, I was treated to man-eating waves! Given my poor showings in rough water, I was a bit nervous, but managed to have a good swim and come out of the water in the lead pack! (Slowtwitch had a picture of me citing me as first out of the water, but my split time doesn’t have it that way… I definitely wasn’t first to the timing mat at the entrance to transition!). I jumped on the bike with about a pound of sand in my suit and took off on the bike. I felt better this time on the bike, but still had a less than stellar split time to put me 14th and exhausted heading into the run.

Fortunately, my running has been consistent lately and I was able to hold 5:42 miles which are my goal for the half marathon down in Clearwater. I have no top end speed coming off the bike, I was passed my Simon Thompson and another racer to end up 16th. Definitely not the result I was looking for, but I know what I need to do between now and November.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my racing over the last two weeks. Thank you to Jim, Claudia, Roger, and Diane for sharing their wonderful homes with me. Also thank you to Brendon of Utopian Coffee for coming out and supporting me in LA. As always, thank you to my sponsors who make it possible for me to race: Newton Running, Kiwami Triathlon, BlueSeventy Wetsuits, ISM Saddles, HED Wheels, Veritas Bikes, and Great Clips Salons. I’m back to training in preparation for 70.3 world championships and getting very well acquainted with my bike trainer. The website will be updated shortly. Until next time, enjoy the warm weather while it lasts!

Eric Limkemann

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hillary Biscay's Challenge Barcelona RR

Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking part in the newest iron-distance race in the Challenge Series: Challenge Barcelona. I’ve now experienced all three of the iron-distance Challenge races in three different countries, and am looking forward to adding Challenge Copenhagen to the list next August. These events are consistently top-notch, and thus in spite of Challenge Barcelona’s falling just one week before the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, this reputation and the $50,000 EURO professional prize purse (nearly 1.5x that of a standard ironman ) brought a strong pro field. There were about 70 in total, with 4x ironman champions, including myself, on the pro women’s start list. I knew I had my work cut out for me, but three weeks after Ironman Wisconsin, I was feeling ready for it!
The race actually took place in a little town on the coast, called Calella, which is actually about 50 kilometers away from Barcelona. I was able to arrive 10 days ahead of the event in order to have time to recover from jetlag, and by race day, the locals seemed to have adopted me as one of their own. Their support and encouragement were just incredible.
Challenge Barcelona began with a beautiful, one-loop, 3.8-kilometer ocean swim. In order to ensure fairness on the three-loop, relatively flat bike course, the 1900 participants were divided into hours of wave starts. The pro women even had our own start, two minutes after the pro men! But although it was a nice and friendly swim start, it was not without event for me. As I was walking down to the start area, about 15 minutes before my start, ostensibly, to do a warm-up swim, I felt a hole in the zipper in the back of my wetsuit. Luckily, Felix, the owner of Challenge and a dear friend, was on hand, and I asked him to re-zip my suit for me. “Umm, the zipper is totally broken . . .” he concluded. This was a slight issue, as I didn’t exactly have a spare wetsuit on hand. Freaking out wasn’t going to help, however, and one thing I have learned over the years is that Felix can pretty much make anything happen. He went into problem-solving mode, and I took a few deep breaths and trusted that we would have a remedy within 13 minutes.
Sure enough, just as the pro men were lining up, Felix was pinning my wetsuit closed with a line of safety pins. The swim began with a beach start so, for the first time since I had learned to know better, I started the race dry with no warm-up. However, I also know that a good day at ironman means dealing with just two minor catastrophes, and I can say that my little wetsuit drama was one of just about two such issues that day. Luck was on my side!
I had a sluggish start and thus had the company of many of the other women, except one who had shot off the front of the group. But soon after the first buoy, I was on my own in the deep, clear, blue-green water. I swam alone nearly the entire swim, making my way at first through individual pro male stragglers, and then later, a couple different big groups of them. I felt strong throughout the swim, and was a little disappointed as I popped my head up on the way in to shore and saw a blue cap—another woman—running up the beach. Nevertheless, she wasn’t far ahead and I knew we had over eight hours still remaining in the race.
I started the ride in second, about 40 seconds down, and although I wanted to get to the front straightaway, I kept myself in check with Coach’s instructions, which were to keep things in control for the first 60 kilometers. So I found a pace that was uncomfortable, but not on the rivet; at this rate, I was able to take over the lead of the race at about 10 kilometers. However, at the first turnaround, Katja Konschak, who had lead out of the swim, came back around me. We exchanged positions a couple more times over the next kilometers, at which point I realized that she was going to make me fight to stay in front of her; I didn’t need to be in “fight” mode til 60 kilometers, so I let her set the pace.
Conveniently enough, right about at the 60-kilometer mark, the Belgian freight train—a.k.a. Sofie Goos-- came past. I knew her arrival was imminent; I had a taste of her cycling prowess at the ITU long distance race I’d done in her hometown in July, which she had won, before also going on to beat a stellar field at the Antwerp 70.3 in August. This time I planned to go with her on the bike until my legs fell off. So when she came flying past, I went around Katja and pedaled for dear life. It was excruciating, and it took all of my strength to match this pace; I knew if I lost focus for a second, she would be out of sight. In the first few kilometers, I wondered just how long I would be able to maintain this pace; it didn’t feel like I’d be capable of it for very long! But I just told myself that every kilometer further would at the very least help to build my advantage over the other girls in the field, as after just a few kilometers, I looked back, and Katja had already disappeared.
However, after maybe 10 kilometers, I was able to settle in—to ride this pace and feel somewhat in control. There were a few surges that literally had me seeing nothing but spots, and then I would feel in control again. This was a very important lesson for me, as I have never been very good about letting someone else set the pace on the bike; my body wants to ride my steady uncomfortable pace all day, which is never exactly the same as anyone else’s. But I found that I can get more out of myself when I force myself to focus and push through those changes of pace that my body wants to resist.
My second minor catastrophe of the day came at the end of the first bike loop, at about 70 kilometers, when I missed my special needs bag with my second bottle of calories for the ride. My first was nearly gone, and I knew we wouldn’t be back to the special needs area until we had only 40 kilometers, or just over an hour, to go. Nevertheless, this was iron-distance race #39, and missing bike special needs was certainly not a first-time event for me. On the handful of occasions that this has occurred previously, I’ve been fine with the “just eat whatever they are serving” aid-station substitution plan. This has always worked out alright. However, my foolproof back-up plan was not as effective as usual, as one of the few telltale signs of this being a first-year race was some aid station issues. I only managed to grab 1.5 bananas and a bit of sports drink over the next 70 kilometers.
At the turnaround on the second loop, while I was attempting to convince a volunteer to give me some calories, the string broke. That is, Sofie took off like a bat out of hell and I frantically tried to catch back up, while trying to figure out what the heck to do with the banana I had just managed to get ahold of—I knew I couldn’t afford to lose it, but I certainly had no time for chewing at that point! So I went back into spot-seeing effort mode, while smushing my precious banana between my hand and aerobar. Eventually it became clear that I wasn’t going to get within 15 meters of Sofie again, so I went ahead and got some calories down—and managed to keep the media motorbikes next to Sofie in sight for most of the rest of the ride. I even got my special drink bottle before the last 40-kilometer loop of the bike, so I believe I was able to start the run well-fueled.
My bike ride was a big personal breakthrough. To come off of the bike just two minutes behind a cyclist like Sofie and to be able to ride a 4:57 bike split for the 180 kilometers definitely exceeded my previous best iron-distance bike rides.
I began the run in second place, just two minutes down. But that is where the fun ended. Well, to be more precise, it ended at about 6 kilometers, just after the turnaround on the first run lap, when I faced the headwind for the first time. I had begun the run feeling like the old run legs were, in fact, intact, but the 6 kilometer mark began about 36 kilometers of feeling as if I were running up and down on the spot. And judging by my 3:34 marathon split, I nearly was. Naturally I attempted numerous rounds of convincing myself that it was “just the headwind,” “just a short low point,” and various such theories, but ultimately what I dealt with was in fact 36 kilometers of real struggle. I just kept trying to turn my legs over as fast as they would go, and when they didn’t seem to want to listen to me, I focused on pumping my arms as fast as I could, to see if they’d make my legs go. At about 26 kilometers, I was passed for second place, and for the final lap and a half, I clung desperately to that final podium spot. My sense of entitlement has returned! And it got me across that finish line, very happily, in third place, with a time of 9:32. This was my seventh iron-distance finish in 2009, and I am looking forward to another ironman or two in November. Thanks so much to the Challenge Barcelona organization for having me to this fantastic event, and to all of my sponsors for their support: K-Swiss, PowerBar, Zipp, ORCA, ISM, and FuelBelt.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Team Bayliss checks in with ISM

For Immediate Release

Britain’s Ironcouple Check-in from Ironman Hawaii

Britain’s Ironcouple, and top ten favourites for this weekend’s Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, Stephen and Bella Bayliss checked in today with the following comment from Bella;

"Today Stephen and I left Team TBB's pre Hawaii training camp in Jeju, South Korea for Kona, Hawaii. We have had a great 4 weeks training and tapering here. The weather here in Jeju is perfect for our preparations for Hawaii.
We are both fit and strong and looking forward to race.

Speaking personally she comments; “It is amazing how quickly time goes! Already it is almost time for the Ironman World Championships again. I am still excited by my 7th place finish there last year.Since Hawaii 2008 I have had 5 Ironman wins so I feel good and strong going into Hawaii. I will play my game smart like I did last year. I will aim at top 10 again. If I do that I will be very, very happy. If I am near the top 10, of course I will be pushing for top 5. Right now I am concentrating on each session at a time to make it possible to have a very strong race. After Hawaii I am not finished, I will go on to race my favorite race, Ironman Florida, where I will race for the 8th year in a row! Having won 5 of them.

Stephen Bayliss comments " The world Ironman championships is my long term goal. I am working everyday to get to the very top there. It may well take a few more years hard work. After finishing in 18th place last year I am really looking to improve on this position, my aim for this year is to be in the top 10, if I do this I will be very satisfied. “

Stephen and Bella race this Saturday, October 10th, 2009 in Kona, Hawaii, USA for full coverage and race results visit

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Heather Jackson podiums on ISM!!

2009 USA National Track Cycling Championships – October 2nd, 2009

First year Professional Triathlete Heather Jackson (Oceanside, Calif.) defeats 2008 pursuit national champion Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Pa./Team Alliance Environmental).

In the women’s 3,000-meter individual pursuit, former world champion Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./American Track Foundation) took her ninth national title catching training partner Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./ATF-Empower Coaching) after the same number of laps as Phinney caught his competitor, seven and a half. Also going head-to-head with Bausch in the qualifier, Hammer posted a Home Depot Center Velodrome record with a time of 3:31.831 with her second lap time even faster than Phinney’s.

In the race for the bronze medal, Heather Jackson (Oceanside, Calif.) defeated 2008 pursuit national champion Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Pa./Team Alliance Environmental).

Women’s Pursuit
1. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./American Track Foundation)
2. Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./ATF-Empower Coaching)
3. Heather Jackson (Oceanside, Calf.)
4. *Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Pa./Team Alliance Environmental)

Sean "Wattie" Watkins

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


September 20, 2009 Ironman 70.3 Cancun. Michellie Jones Wins Ironman 70.3 Cancun! Michellie Jones added to her extensive list of Ironman wins with a impressive victory at the 2009 Ironman 70.3 Cancun. Jones led from start to finish to searing hot and humid conditions.
This year no one challenged Jones as she posted the fastest splits for the swim and the run. Three weeks out from the Hawaii Ironman World Championships it looks like Jones is ready to tackle the hardest one day endurance event in the world. Kat Baker 3rd on ISM.

September 27, 2009 Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Olympian Laura Bennett wins on her ISM Adamo Racing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cool Team TBB video of Kona Bound Athletes

ISM has had a relationship with Singapore based Team TBB for 3 years. They have professional althletes from all over the world represented and are one of the strongest teams on the planet. They have garnered multiple Ironman wins, National Champs, and 70.3 wins. Here's an email I received this morning with a cool 4 minute video of the Kona bound racers. Enjoy.

Dear teamtbb sponsors,

We are of course pretty proud that some 10 days from now 12 of our teamtbb pro athletes have been qualified will therefore start the IM World Championships 2010 in Hawaii.

Our final teamtbb training camp is almost completing in Jeju Korea and our folks are ready to go full out in Hawaii.

One of our athletes has spent some time in between her training session to put a little video together called “That TBB Feeling”.

It’s been dedicated to our 12 qualified athletes and we hope you like it:

See you next week in Kona!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spy shots of Jo Lawn's Kona Bike!!!

Jo Lawn just sent me an email with soem shots of her Kona rig! It's pretty slick and seems Cervelo is finally outfitting several of their pros with the new P4 crotch rocket. We are stoked to have Jo on the Kona team. She did well in 2008 and I know wants to improve on her time last year. See ya in a week Jo!


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Professional Athlete Ali Shanks checks in.....

Hey Team

Just thought I would keep you up to date with what I've been up to this week. Below are links to two articles that featured in the ODT today.
One about Craig and I doing the Rail Trail 100 race this weekend and the second about a breakfast talk I did in Alexandra yesterday to 50 high school captains.

It's a busy week with another talk tomorrow morning as part of the Dunedin version of the Otago Secondary Sport Association Captain breakfast (which I'm told there is 120 expected) and then I'll be on the Classic Hits Breakfast show on Friday morning,having a yarn and helping to promote the Rail Trail 100 adventure ride which is a major fundraiser for Cycling Otago and happening this Sunday. I'm just hoping the southerly blows through by then, apparently last year they had snow!!!!

Next week I'm heading up to Christchurch to do a breakfast talk with Rainbow Print. "Going for Gold with Rainbow Print and Ali Shanks". It will be great to see the Rainbow team again and I'm looking forward to sharing my story and photos with them all.

Next week finishes off with an engagement as dinner speaker at the Registered Electricians annual conference on next Thursday night in the Dunedin Town Hall.

Also, most importantly training is going really well, the weather has been great up until now today - where it is currently 6deg and I have the fire on! I'm starting to decrease the km's a bit now and increase the intensity (the hurt sessions) as I gear up for first National track camp of the season in two weeks time in Invercargill.
That's all for now. I've been using twitter lately as a communication tool so you can follow what's happening on a daily basis through that if you wish. It is linked to the front page of my website.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ISM signs Pro Jozsef Major

ISM is pleased to announce our latest recruit, Jozsef Major. Jozsef has been using the Adamo Racing and Quick Draw unit for over a year. We decided to make things official. Jozsef is 5x Hungarian National Champion and ran away from the competition in the 2008 Ironman Arizona. Check out our site for more updates as he tears up the triathlon field. Jozsef's next event will be Ironman Hawaii.

I leave for Interbike in a few hours and will have much more to blog about as the week ends.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sarah Haskins' World Cup Race Report

Gold Coast World Championship Series Finale:
On Sunday, September 13th, I competed in the world championships in Gold Coast, Australia. This was the final race of a five part race series, with the finale having a bit more weight (1/3 more points) in the overall standings. The race started later in the afternoon (2:45PM) and was perfect racing temperatures, with highs in the lower 70s. The wind did pick up quite a bit before our race start, which led to very choppy waters and turned into more of a strength bike/run (although the course was mostly flat).The swim conditions suited my strengths, as it was cold and choppy. I started out the swim in second position at the first turn buoy (250meters) and followed the athlete in front of me. I remember thinking we made a very sharp turn and I remember NOT making this sharp of a turn in the warm-up swim. After about 50 meters or so, I realized that we were swimming far off course and I turned back left to head to the right direction. I finished the first lap in front, winning the swim prime. The second lap, I knew I had a gap from the field, but just focused on staying within my limits and not pushing too hard. I ran out of the water with a 15 second lead into T1.Once I got on the bike I pushed it hard for the first 2k and then realized there was a pack of six behind me. I soft-pedaled until the group caught me and then we all worked very well together pace lining over the eight lap course. The course was very smooth and not too technical, so we had straight sections were could rotate through and work together. We ended up getting a 50 second lead on the chase pack and over a two minute lead over the third pack.One of my goals this weekend was to get off the bike in great position. I attacked just heading into the turns before transition and ended up exiting third, just behind Lisa Norden and Emma Moffett. Things were going great, but as I racked my bike, my bike fell over and my shoe flew over to another athlete’s transition. I had to re-rack my bike (to be sure I would not get DQ’d) and lost a precious six seconds. Instead of running out of the transition with Lisa, I was behind and had to work my way up. I quickly worked my way to fourth and after 1500meters I was in third and held that position most of the run. I was feeling great most of the run and keeping close distance behind Emma and Lisa; however, on the third lap I felt my foot beginning to fatigue and I lost some time to the leaders. On the last lap, Helen Tucker was coming on very strong and surged past me with about 600meters to go. I was not able to respond to her surge as my muscles would not push my body any farther. My dreams and goals of a podium finish were shot and I crossed the line in fourth. Although I was very disappointed with my fourth, I have to focus on all the positives of the race.Also, I thought that I would hold onto my fifth place in the series, since I finished in fourth. However, with Helen Jenkins finishing in third, I was bumped to sixth in the series. Danellia Ryf finished sixth in the race and fourth overall, Helen was third in the race and fifth overall and I finished forth in the race and was sixth overall. Although I finished sixth, it was almost a three way tie!I have two major races left this season…LA Triathlon and the Dallas Triathlon. My goal is to finish the series up on top, but each race will be very challenging because many international athletes are going to be in attendance.I will keep you posted!
Best Wishes--Sarah

Hillary Biscay's IMWI Race Report

Last weekend I had the pleasure of racing Ironman Wisconsin for the fourth consecutive year. Although my “home” is in Arizona, and I have in fact never lived in Wisconsin, Madison has become my “hometown race.” I even have an adopted home, family, and dog thanks to Kari Myrland, a local ironwoman and dear friend, who has been my homestay since 2006.
2009 was to be a particularly special year for me in Madison because it provided my first opportunity to defend an ironman title, as I won my first ironman here last year—and the Biscay family was coming to see it! I’ve had some of the breakthrough events in my career here in Madison—not to mention some of my most enjoyable racing experiences—and my family was always back home in California, watching online. I really wanted to put on a good show for them and to maintain my streak of podium finishes in Madison (My record was: 2nd 2006, 2nd 2007, 1st 2008.).
While, as defending champion, one gets a lot of questions to the tune of, “Are you going to win again?!” I have learned the hard way over the years that, defending champion or not, expecting a win or even thinking too much about it can be a very dangerous thing over this long distance. And it doesn’t take a genius to see that I have had a rough twelve months since my win in Madison last year; my primary goal was to turn things around and simply put together a good swim-bike-run. The women’s start list for the race this year was impressive, and I figured that podium spots would be harder to come by than ever before; so I let everyone else talk about who would win and other such matters, and focused on smashing myself.
Automatic smashfest mode set in early, as I had my usual sluggish first 100 meters or so at the swim start and found myself seemingly behind every pro male in the field. I soon saw a group splitting off quite a bit up ahead, with Big Sexy (a.k.a. Chris McDonald)’s bright green cap in the midst. I needed to be there. It was urgent. I knew that I could not let this group get away. With great swim-bikers like Gina Ferguson, Amy Marsh, and Ali Fitch in the women’s field, I knew I could not risk having the front of the race swim away from me. And If I missed a beat, it just might. Hence the urgency. I swam like I was doing a 200-meter race, looking up every few strokes to see if I had made it to the group yet. Each time I checked, the caps hardly seemed closer. “Soon they will tire!” I told myself, and kept digging in. This process played on repeat until I had essentially red-lined it all the way to the first swim turnaround, or one quarter of the way through the 2.4-mile swim. There I grabbed onto the train, which felt like switching from a timed swim in the pool to warmdown….ahhh.
Still, it was a long train and I knew I could not just become complacent there at the back. Zoning out back there can often result in getting dropped if someone at the front gets ambitious and the group splits. So, once I recovered, I made my way around the train to get a view of the front and check things out. Eventually, it became clear that nothing crazy was likely to be happening amidst our group, and that these boys were ready to fight me for their respective sets of feet, so I settled back in at the back and saved my energy. Until the complete train-dismantling mayhem of the last quarter of the swim, that is…
Because Ironman Wisconsin has a two-loop swim, and the amateurs start the race ten minutes behind the pros, during our second loop, we lap a number of these athletes. Most of this occurs as we swim towards the finish on the second loop. It inevitably results in total chaos, as we try to navigate through masses of people swimming backstroke, sidestroke, treading water, and the like. So once our “group” hit the swim finish, we were a bit strung out, since the last few hundred meters of the swim were “every man for himself.”
The first transition in Madison is epic. We emerge from Lake Monona and then have to run up the four-story, helix-shaped ramp to the top level of the Monona Terrace to the change rooms and bikes. The spectators are allowed to line the sides of the Helix and are also packed onto the observation decks at the top of the Terrace. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I made that seemingly-long and painful rush to the top because the noise from those crowds was truly deafening. I knew I had more of this to look forward to over the next nine hours and that it was going to be a great day.
While I was in the change tent grabbing my helmet and glasses, I asked the volunteers how many girls had been through already. They said none. This meant I had time to put on socks! But I was still dubious about how there could be no women in sight, and as I grabbed my bike, I stole a quick glance over at the rack to check that, in fact, all the women’s bikes were still there. It turns out that I had about a two minute advantage over the next woman, but I didn’t know that.
If I had the lead, I decided, I was going to make these front-running-type athletes have to work to get to where they wanted to be. So I set out on what some might call a sort of suicide mission on that bike. The race could have been 40 kilometers or 180 kilometers; my pace would have been pretty much the same. My legs felt fresh, and thus were cooperating with the “attack” mode that seems to take over my mind as soon as I hit my home course.
I took every minute at the front as a welcome bonus, but I felt sorry for the cameramen on motorbikes who were forced to watch my vomitfest, which was slowly building over the course of the first lap. I didn’t have a chance to worry it, however, as I was spurred on by lots of enthusiastic spectators who were camped out across the farmland, and by special handmade signs along the bike course. I caught a glimpse of a yellow sign that seemed to read, “Did you know that muskrats were once the size of bears?” and started to think that I was already hallucinating . . . Matty Lieto wasn’t in this race; surely there couldn’t be anyone else here who else could be obsessed with muskrats and beavers! Shortly thereafter, I recognized my name on another yellow sign “Muskrat Xing.” Now you see why I couldn’t help but smile all day! I immediately began to mentally give my little sis credit for being a much more hardcore spectator than I had imagined, thinking that she’d traveled all the way out into the bike course to plant a sign for me . . . It turns out that it wasn’t Cameron at all: a local supporter knew of my strange affinity for furry brown freshwater creatures. Like I’ve said many times over, the locals in Madison are incredible!
Much to my surprise, I didn’t meet another female pro until just before mile 50—right at what I always find to be the toughest part of the course: the short, steep hill that follows immediately after the longer climb up Old Sauk Pass. I always feel like I am crawling up that little one, and there are always so many spectators there, urging us on; if I had any wind in my lungs, I would tell them, “I can’t go any faster—I can’t feel my legs!” Anyways, just after I’d made it up that hill, I was feeling really special (sarcasm), and Amy Marsh passed me. So much for feeling fresh and ready to go with her when she came; I was going to have to try to go whether my legs wanted to or not. I went with her for a few miles, until the other longer climb on the course, the Midtown hill, where the elastic band snapped. Ouch. Next goal: keep her in sight! I managed to do this through Verona—where I got to see my family and give them the thumbs-up -- and onto the start of the second loop. Then I was on my own.
Ali Fitch passed me somewhere along the way on this second loop, and eventually disappeared out of sight for awhile also, but I honestly still cannot remember exactly when this happened; perhaps I acquired dehydration-induced amnesia. My second bike loop was consumed by my increasingly-frequent sickness. It was a vicious cycle because it was getting fairly warm outside and I kept feeling thirsty, but every time I would take in water or my sports drink (from which I get all of my calories on the bike), it would come right back up. This was all very strange for me, because although I often feel quite nauseous during and after races, in my 37 previous ironmans, I have never vomited before or after a race! Additionally, I hadn’t changed anything about my pre-race or race fuel on this day, so I couldn’t figure out what was making me sick. The only possible cause I can imagine is that something in that lake water did it; the locals tell me that the beaches had been closed a fair amount prior to the race because the water was dirty. Anyways, being new to this experience, I wasn’t entirely sure how to deal with it, so I opted to just keep trying to take in calories and tried to just sip on water, even though I was so thirsty that I wanted to guzzle gallons of it. Mentally, I convinced myself that I was only vomiting up half of what I was taking in, so I was still getting in some of the calories that I needed (Whether this was the reality, I am not sure, but I chose to believe it.) Second, I flashed back to some old Kona footage I’ve seen in which Natascha (Badmann, 6x Hawaii Ironman Champion), pukes while running her way to a World Championship win. Long story short, I didn’t let this strange illness worry me, but it was fairly unpleasant and I felt increasingly worse as the miles went on.
I did have a pleasant surprise in the second transition, however, when I met up with Ali Fitch again: I was happy to see that second place was within striking distance. I had a bit of trepidation, however, about those elusive run legs. They have been giving me a bit of grief this season, causing me to question whether they would choose to come to the party or not.
The Madison run course starts with a slight uphill, which never feels special, but straightaway, I breathed a sigh of relief, as I could feel that my run legs were in attendance. Game on. Ali was a block ahead and I wasn’t going to let her get away if I could help it. I didn’t have a watch on, but the pace was uncomfortable from the start. I just had to trust my training and go with it.
The Ironman Wisconsin run is the highlight of the race. It isn’t a fast run course, because we are continually turning and going back and forth in order to maximize our exposure to the spectators; so it’s not that the course is all that much more difficult than any other ironman run, but with this sort of design, it prevents us from getting into a nice steady rhythm. What we sacrifice in terms of marathon splits, however, we more than make up for through the experience of being spurred along by thousands of screaming supporters. Regardless of how I am feeling, I can never back down during the marathon here because the crowds simply wouldn’t allow it.
This year it meant that my family was amongst these thousands; mentally, I broke my run down into shorter segments, at the end of which I looked forward to each of the many times I would get to run past my family. I felt quite strong during the first loop of the run and eventually managed to pass Ali for second; I knew I couldn’t get too comfortable in this spot, however, as there were lots of strong girls still behind me.
Although I hardly let myself notice it, with about 9-10 miles to go--which is, on a good day, my best part of the race—my legs started not wanting to cooperate. In retrospect, I am guessing that all of the fuel and hydration I lost while sick on the bike was catching up with me. I didn’t think about that much while I was running, however; instead, I just told myself that maybe I would bounce back in a few miles. Unfortunately, the only thing that came back to me in a few miles was my competition! Irene Kinnegim had a great race and caught me with about 5 miles to go; despite my efforts, I couldn’t match her pace. I was in third and running scared, forcing my tight legs to turn over as fast as they would all the way to the finish line.
After a very tough twelve months, running down that finish chute for another podium finish in Madison was nearly as fulfilling as running in for my first win last year. I’ve learned a lot over the past year in the journey to get back to this place where I am racing well and thoroughly enjoying the sufferfest; perhaps it has made me appreciate being here even more. I am now back in the “When can I get out there again?!?!” mode and luckily for me, it won’t be long . . . Next up is the iron-distance Challenge Barcelona on October 4th. I want to thank all of my awesome sponsors for believing in me: K-Swiss (, PowerBar (, ORCA (, Zipp (, ISM (, and FuelBelt (

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Becky Lavelle's Star Studded Nautica Tri RR

Sept 12 . 2009
Malibu Triathlon

I had a great time in Malibu this past weekend… racing the Olympic Distance Pro race on Saturday and the swim on a Celebrity Relay on Sunday. I felt pretty good going into this race. I felt like I had some speed back after training for the 70.3 race in August and I was ready to race hard. I had a great swim, caught a couple of waves coming in, and exited in about third close to a few other women. It took me a little while to warm-up on the bike (seems to be a recurring thing!) but once I found my rhythm I felt strong and built up a 1:05 margin over second place coming off the bike. I was hoping this would be enough to hold off Olympian Laura Bennett with a solid run, but unfortunately she passed me with a mile to go and I couldn’t quite hold her pace. I finished in second, just 12 seconds back! I felt great all day and gave it everything I had… it’s nice to add another podium finish to my results this year. J

Sunday was a fun day mingling with the ‘stars’. I was put on a celebrity relay, Team LOST, that included Carlton Cuse (executive producer of LOST) and Mike Benson (top marketing/advertising guy for ABC)… both really nice guys AND they were fast. We won the coed relay division! It was also fun seeing Jeremy Piven, Teri Hatcher, Toby from The Office, Mario Lopez, Felicity Huffman and William Macy. I hope to go back next year to defend our title!

Back to training for a few weeks with my next race being LA Triathlon on October 4th. Thank you again for your support and I hope we can continue to work together in 2010. Let’s try to chat about that soon as I know it’s that time of year again.

All the best,