Thursday, July 30, 2009

Checking in with Becky Lavelle

It was fun to go 'home' again and race on familiar territory with my family & friends cheering me on. We lucked out with perfect weather this year... sunny, low humidity and a light breeze. I got off to a great start by staying on the feet of the 2 leaders on the swim so I was on the bike in third. I worked my way into second for most of the ride, but was passed toward the end so I went into T2 in third. I was hoping to feel a bit better on the bike and run but just found it hard to get into a comfortable rhythm. I pushed through and finished in third. I was still really happy to get on the podium and earn some valuable points for the Toyota Cup Series.

NYC – July 26th
New York City is a fun place to race, but logistically it can be a nightmare. I still don’t know how the race directors manage to pull it off! My mom joined me on this trip and it was really nice to have her there for support. We woke up to pouring rain but it managed to stop just before I had to ride the 2 miles or so from the middle of Times Square to transition by the Hudson River at 4:30am! The rain stayed at bay for the whole race but it made for very humid conditions and wet roads. The swim here is a point to point ‘with’ the current so my 13 minute 1.5k swim was not really a world record ;), but I did manage to come out of the swim first and after the long (almost ½ mile) run to T1 I was on the bike in a close second. I felt strong along the rolling hills of the West Side Hwy and I was able to take the lead about halfway through the ride entering T2 about :20 ahead of the next woman. I took the run out pretty fast and just tried to maintain my speed through the hilly Central Park loop. Unfortunately I was passed at mile 1, but I held on for 2nd place and was really pleased with it! I am now tied for first in the Life Time Fitness Series… next stop in the Series is Chicago on August 30th.

Before that I have a couple of other races planned… Folsom Pro Challenge on August 9th and Lake Stevens 70.3 on August 16th.

I also made an interesting discovery last week. After the race in Mpls I knew something just wasn’t right with the way my new bike was set up. I had never felt so tense and uncomfortable racing on both the bike and run leg of a race (I felt the same way at Alcatraz) . I just felt like I was having to put forth much more effort than I normally do and my legs ached the entire time. I’ve been trying all season to get my new bike set up to match my set up from last year and I finally found the problem… the saddle on my new bike is set an inch further back than my old bike! This makes a huge difference in terms of power output and the fatigue it can cause. I was amazed at how much better I felt in NYC racing on my old bike again (it was the first race this year on my old bike). I am going to get everything dialed in now the way it should be and hopefully be on my new custom painted frame in the right set up. J

Thank you again for your support!
All the best,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ironman Lake Placid 1,2,3 SWEEP!

Happy Monday Folks!

It was a busy weekend of training. Saturday started with getting con'd into a 3 hour ride. Thought that was doable for sure so I met up with the local Bagel Ride group. Sounds innocent enough. After 4:20 and a blowout (thanks for the Duct Tape boot Kuota Guy), I was cooked. I did have several riders comment on the metallic silver testAdamo Road saddle I was sporting. I might need to get some chrome'd out bar tape like Ted! On Sunday morning, I went for a 5 mile trail run with friends and followed it up with an afternoon mountain bike ride. Decided to take the mountain bike out since I have a couple of off road tris next month and I haven't been on a trail in over a year. I love my hardtail Merlin, but I've got to face the music.......I'm getting older. Might be time for me to consider a full suspension!!

Another busy week ahead. ISM is bringing a new seat to market and will debut it at Eurobike. It's gonna be a tricked out road racer model and we are finalizing some graphics. New shipments of saddles are arriving and we're finalizing some T-shirt designs. Might order some more cycling clothing as well.

This week I'll be at Jack's Generic Triathlon here in Austin, TX. Come by the shop on Saturday during registration and shoot the breeze. We'll also have the tent at the race course for athletes to cool down and drink some beers after the event. Jack and Adams and High Five Events put on such a great race. This is the 3rd race in the Texas Series. Great for beginners and studs.

ISM had some great exposure over the weekend. Here are a few photos from our pros at Ironman Lake Placid courtesy of Todd Kenyon of TT Bike Fit (
Professionals transition rack.
Women's overall winner Tereza Macel.

June 25 Olympian Sarah Haskins 6th at ITU World Cup Hamburg
June 26 Andy Potts 2nd, Rebeccah Wassner WINS, Becky Lavelle 2nd, and Laurel Wassner 6th at Nautica NYC Triathlon
June 26 Tereza Macel WINS Ironman Lake Placid (led entire race) on her Adamo Racing saddle and ISM finished 2nd and 3rd overall

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chris McDonald Ironman Roth Race Report

Some of you may know that I made the trip to Germany this past weekend to race in challenge Roth for the third consecutive year . The skinny was

Swim - 50 :30
Bike - 4:22:xx
Run - 3:01:xx


My trip to Germany had started with an upgrade to business class and a very comfortable travel day . I had left the travel late this year and arrived on Wednesday morning just 72 hours prior to the race . On Thursday we had a full day of activities starting out with a mandatory blood testing for every professional in the field , then followed by , briefing , press conference , athlete signing in the local shopping mall.

Race morning rolled around with a 3:20 am wake up call for the 6:20 am start . At Roth they do an amazing job of building the tension to the start of the race and this year was no exception , we all lined up in the Donar Canal and we were away right on time . The swim was largely uneventful and I exited with a big group of guys and gals in just over 50 min .

After a quick T1 I was one of the first of the group out onto the bike and pushing the pace , much to my dismay a BIG group had formed .
This is were I had some decisions to make… now it was essentially turning into a” bike race “ senario and the run was becoming the sprint at the finish so to speak . So you have a decision of “ chasing the break” or the front of the race in a triathlon , or take the gamble and sit in and hope that someone else will do it .

At 80 Km I had heard a split of 90 sec to the front group to this point it was down from 2:45 . I knew that there was a HUGE benefit of being in the front group going into the 2nd lap so this is were I made some bad decisions and just drove the pace as hard as I could and became the domestique for about 10 guys . We did make contact with the front group at 110km and I tried my best to recover from a very torrid pace in the early part of the bike .

I came into T2 with a group that was essential all in 3rd place . I had had several nutrition dilemmas on the bike with losing a bottle and having to make it up with a LOT of gels . And I was also not quite sure how my hamstring ( injured pre race ) was going to behave .

Still I set out at my goal pace of a 2:50 marathon and moved through the half marathon mark right on pace , this is were things started to go south , the pain killers I was taking for my hammy wore off and it went from the hamstring to glute then my back , and on top of this the total of 20 gels I took in on the bike was causing a few porto stops .

The last 10 k was almost comical watching my running as I just could not recover my right leg and I had the straight leg going . This result was a LONG way from my goals for this race after finishing in 4th last year .It has put a fire in my belly to return in 2010 .

thank you very much to my family friends and sponsors for there continued support .

Cheers Chris

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Michellie Jones wins Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island!!
Race Report 70.3 Rhode Island
Thursday, July 16, 2009

It had been quite a while since I had competed in a 70.3 Ironman distance so I was definetly looking forward to seeing how it would turn out. It would also be interesting to see if all the short course racing I had been doing over the last few months would help.Race morning the biggest challenge apart from having to get up at midnight California time for a 6am race start was that the swim course bouys had been blown all over the water because of the storm the night before. It also meant a very choppy swim was ahead. Also the prospect of getting up so early almost made me wish I was a coffee drinker...No not really.:) I always find it quite amusing to watch other athletes the morning of the race frantically looking for there morning coffee fix.The swim start was delayed a little as the life guards straightened out the course. Which just meant being nervous a little more longer.Once the start gun finally fired I pretty much did not see anyone until the first turn around on the run as I had a pretty decent swim in the choppy waters and lead out of the water. Once on the point to point 56mile bike I was passed by a few Pro Men early as I had past them in the swim even though they had a 2 minute head start on the women. I had "Eye of The Tiger" in my head entire bike route. I had absoluetly no idea where anyone else was during the bike. So as I transitioned from the bike to the run I had to wait another 7 miles on the run before I knew where anyone else was. Finally I got a split as the first turn around and I had over 3 minutes and was feeling strong. The run course was a pretty tough 2 lap course which had a 7% climb each lap. Navigating the 7% climb seemed a lot easier than the pounding your quads got on the way back down.With the steps of the Rocky movie as the back drop of the finish line I had grand thoughts of running straight through and up the stairs Rocky Balboa style but my legs had other ideas so I settled for just the finishline tape. As they say winner are grinners and I was v ery happy to take the victory. Desiree Flicker had a strong run to finish 2nd while Heather Jackson rounded out the podium.

Top five professional women’s results are as follows:
1. Michellie Jones, 4:23:56
2. Desiree Ficker, 4:27:21
3. Heather Jackson, 4:33:39
4. Kim Loeffler, 4:36:53
5. Suzanne Zelazo, 4:40:57

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sarah Haskins' Lifetime Fitness Race Report

Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Race Report
This past Saturday, I competed in my third LTF triathlon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The weather was perfect again this year, with temperatures in the sixties during race morning and just a slight breeze. The race began early, as the Pros were the first wave to begin the race. The women started 3 minutes behind the men at 7:03AM.
The swim was a beach start with a short run into the water. The swim was one loop with calm, lake water. The water temp. this year was a nice 74 degrees; usually it is closer to 80 degrees, so it is very nice starting off the race without getting your core body temperature up at all. I was in second position most of the swim, just behind Sarah Groff. I had a smooth and fast T1 and was the first to hop on my bike.
I had a goal heading into the race to really push the first 15k of the bike. When I got o n the bike, I was feeling good and had a great rhythm. I followed my goal plan and pushed the start and as I got into my ride eased back just a bit. I was expecting to see some other competitors come up on the bike (last year eight of us were riding “together”), but this year I was able to stay in front the entire ride. During the bike ride, you have to stay very mentally focused, but not just focused on pushing the pace, but paying attention to the road, looking out for turns, holes, people, etc. The course is pretty technical, with narrow roads, so you have to keep your head up. I was most pleased with my bike ride overall with the race.
I exited the bike about 20 seconds ahead of Julie Dibbons and about 30 seconds ahead of Becky Lavelle. Once I got onto the run course, I pushed the first mile and then settled in to pace. I was able to keep my lead and extend it to 1:23 once I crossed the finish line. It is a great feeling being able to break the tape and accomplish your goal. I was second last year, so it was nice to finish up on top this year.
This was the first race in the Race to the Toyota Cup Series, with the final race in Dallas, Texas in October. I will be racing in four out of the five races and will be eligible for the overall series standings.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend Full of Events

Rebekah Keat after beating course record by 6 minutes in Roth!

Happy Monday All! The weekend started out with ISM setting up our tent at one of our retailers, Jack and Adam's here in Austin, TX. It was a triathlon weekend and registration/packet pick up was at the store. So I brought Melissa along with me and we braved the 105 degree temps. It was so hot we removed the backdrop of the tent so we might have a chance of a breeze. It was great having folks come up and brag about their experiences on ISM saddles and of course nice talking to new customers. Thanks to all who purchased saddles and hydration systems!! Enjoy.

Yesterday, Mellow Johnny's (shop owned by a certain Lance Armstrong), was hosting an event. You see it was the 30th anniversary of the movie "Breaking Away". So in true fashion they held the event at a middle school track and had old school clunkers and retro outfits for the competitors for their version of the Little 500. It was fun to watch.

ISM athletes had some great finishes across the globe this weekend. Please have a look below for some of the weekend's results.

July 11, 2009 Lifetime Fitness Minneapolis Photo finish! Matt Reed, Andy Potts, and Greg Bennett would sprint to the very end. Eventually the results would have Reed 1st and Potts 2nd. We’ll take it Andy. Nice job. In the women’s event ISM would take top honors. Sarah Haskins 1st, Becky Lavelle 3rd, and Rebeccah Wassner 4th. Potts races with the Adamo Road and all three ladies use the Adamo Racing.

July 12, 2009 Quelle Challenge Roth Germany Frenchman Patrick Vernay 5th and Aussie Chris McDonald just missing the top ten with 11th. Rebekah Keat would break the course record and finish 2nd overall. Erika Csomor finished 4th. All ISM athletes competed using Adamo Racing saddles.

July 12, 2009 Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island, CT Living legend Michellie Jones wins!! Michellie has been plagued with injuries but still remains one of the best. Well she’s healthy now so watch out! Neopro and ISM rider, Heather Jackson finished 3rd. This was Heather’s first race as a professional and she set the fastest time on the bike of all the women and many men (2:23:56). This gal has a ton of potential. Both women raced on the Adamo Racing saddles.

July 12, 2009 Korea Triathlon ironman distance Jocelyn Wong wins on her ISM Adamo Racing saddle. Jocelyn just got her pro card and the very next week goes out and wins an ironman! Way to go Wongstar!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Michellie Jones IronGirl Race Report

Pretty much Atlanta lived up to it's famous T-shirt inscription Hotlanta....103 degrees and extremely humid...yep it was hot enough to fry some bacon and eggs on the road. At least we got to start just before 7am so not quite that hot but almost.A small but very, very talented elite group of pro's toed the start line.Mirinda Carfrae, MJ, Kate Major, Pip Taylor and Sam McGloneAlfac thought we needed some extra incentive to race hard by putting up a swim, bike and run cash primes. Sure we do..:)Pip Taylor exited the water a few seconds up on Mirinda and I. But they both put the burners on the first part of the legs thought otherwise and my burners did not kick in until 15km in to the 30km bike. So as Pip and Mirinda battled it out on the run I was happy to get the second fastest run spilt of the day over one minute faster than my time in 2007 and 3rd overall. Mirinda won the battle on the run with Pip taking 2nd. Sam and Kate took 4th and 5th. I was most impressed with Kate's performance as she was coming off racing an Ironman less than a week ago.You can see us all ripping up the course on the 2nd of August on NBC.To me this is what Triathlon is all is why I have been competing for so many years...the grass roots of recruiting first timers into our sport. I absolutely love the atmosphere in the Transition and the anticipation at the Swim start. I met so many wonderful women over the course of the weekend. It was an honor to meet so many wonderful women and be given the opportunity for them to share a little of their lives with me. Since the race I have has so many great comments on my Facebook page.Thanks so much for the invitation to participate in such a fantastic event. The race was well organized and very safe and really challenging. The volunteers were so enthusiastic and extremely helpful. The awards were great especially the Iron Girl necklace. So for anyone thinking of doing a Iron Girl race I highly recommend one.Next adventure Sunday July 12th 70.3 Rhode Island Ironman.
Mirinda Carfrae
Pip Taylor
Michellie Jones
Sam McGlone
Kate Major

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Love Letter From Becky Lavelle!!

Hi Steve,

I hope you had a nice 4th of July weekend. I just wanted to update you on my last string of 3 races in a row in June. it started with Escape from Alcatraz on the 14th… this was a race I had been focusing on and really looking forward to since it IS my favorite race and having won it in 2006 makes it extra special. I also love the fact that there are always a lot of friends and people I know racing… including my father-in-law, sister-in-law and aunt-in-law! Unfortunately Brian wasn’t there as he raced at Boise 70.3 the day prior (and finished a very respectable 6th!) It was a perfect San Francisco Day with clear skies and a light breeze, even the water was balmy at 59 degrees! I ended up having a great swim and was the lead woman exiting the water. I was able to keep my lead until about halfway through the bike. I felt okay riding, but was definitely conservative on the descents and probably lost a little time on those. I still came of the bike in second, third was close behind and passed me in transition. I kept her in sight for the first few miles but slowly lost contact. I was hoping to feel a bit better on the run, but I gave it everything I had on that day and finished in a satisfying 3rd place. I can’t complain about a podium finish! J

Just a week later I did another local race in San Jose, it was the return of the “Pro Challenge”. It’s a very unique and fun format that was last held here in 2002. I won that year and was really looking forward to doing it again! It starts with a 40K bike time trial (racers left 1:30 apart). Then we wait/rest until all the age-groupers finish (about 3-3.5 hours) and come back to do a 800swim/2.5mile run/800swim/2.5mile run continuously, starting in the order we finished the bike so that the first one across the line wins. I had a strong ride and ended up with about a 2 min lead starting the swim/run/swim/run. I was then able to build some more on that with a solid swim/run segment and came away with my first win of the season! I again had a lot of support at this race with many friends, family and athletes I coach there cheering me on. It also gave me some great confidence going into the Hy-Vee Elite Cup just 6 days later.

Hy-Vee was held in West Des Moines, IA. It’s the same race that served as our Olympic Trials last year where I qualified for the alternate spot, so I was really excited to go back! This was also my first world cup since this race last year. Of course it was very hot and humid in the low 90’s, windy, and it started at 12:30pm! I was stuffing my suit with ice, rubbing it on my neck and face, and also put a bunch in my swim cap right before the swim start, anything to try to keep my core body temp down as long as possible. The swim is always crazy at world cup races and unfortunately I wasn’t in the lead pack of about 8-10 exiting the water, but I found myself in the second pack about :30-:40 seconds down. I was hoping my group of about 8 (we dropped 3-4 women along the way) would work a little more to try to catch the lead group but that didn’t happen. There were about 4 of us doing most of the work and we stayed about the same distance back the whole time. I debating trying to break away but thought that probably wouldn’t be smart in the heat so I did what I could while still trying to conserve some for the run. I felt really strong on the run and the heat didn’t seem to bother me much. I just focused on staying steady and keeping my leg turnover high. I passed a few women and got out sprinted by another at the very end but still finished in 12th place and 2nd American. I was really happy with my performance! It was great seeing you there too.

It was especially rewarding because I knew this was going to be the last World Cup of my career. I have decided to focus solely on non-drafting Olympic distance and 70.3 races going forward. It was a tough decision to make since I’ve been on the US National team for 10 years and they have been a great support in my quest for the Olympics. Racing for the National Team has also allowed me to see so many amazing parts of the world, my favorites being New Zealand and Kitzbuhel, Austria. I will miss being a part of the team but I think my strength lies in non-drafting races and I need to make the most of this for the rest of my career.

I want to say a huge thank you again to you and ISM for your support and belief in me. Next up is Life Time Fitness Minneapolis this Saturday July 11th.

All the best,

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Weekend With Friends

One of the most spectacular triathlons in the U.S. is the Hy Vee triathlon in West Des Moines, Iowa. The folks at Hy Vee and Bill Burke of PEM really know what they are doing with a stadium type course, fantastic expo and great competition with fantastic prize money for the athletes. Our friends, Ken and Anita, live in West Des Moines so it’s nice to visit them and take in a race to watch and photograph some of our athletes.

Laura Bennett, Sarah Haskins, Becky Lavelle and Sarah McLarty were all there for the race and it was nice to see them and visit a bit. Sarah M and Laura Bennett were 1 and 2 out of the water with Sarah picking up a nice swim prem. Sarah Haskins was 4th on the swim. The bike was great to watch with the girls using the same tactics the road racers use. In the end Emma Moffat was the winner and picked up the $200,000 check.

A great weekend of racing, friends and food.

Steve Toll

What a killer shot above of Sarah Haskins, Laura Bennett, and Sarah McLarty with their Limited Edition USA Adamo Racing Saddles. We did these for the Olympic Games.

Olympian Sarah Haskins on the comeback from a serious leg injury that has kept her out of competition for the last 8 months.

Olympian Laura Bennett making it look easy!

2008 Triathlete of the year Becky Lavelle about to mount her bike!

Tyler Lord finishes 3rd at Peterborough 70.3

After a week of rain, and I mean constant rain, the weather was perfect for race day. Wind was coming from east to west, which is ideal for a disc. I decided to use my HED Stingers with my powertap. The day before the race I had a talk with my coach and my training partner Dave and the goal was stick the pace. Not to be stupid and go with the leaders and blow up. That was the goal.The morning came quick and I was getting ready to start the swim. a 1km 2 loop with a beach run in the middle. My goal was to get on the front group feet and hang on. I did just that and came out of the first km in 14 minutes. Solid! Was feeling great and my Xterra Vendetta was feeling great and my shoulders were nice and loose. I came out of the 2nd lap in 28 minutes, which was awesome! Now onto the bike.I have been working a lot on nutrition and that was the main focus for this race. I have been tweaking it for the 90 km bike ride and finally dialed it in! I was feeling awesome, best I have ever felt and came away from the 90km bike ride in 2:14, 3rd fastest bike split of the day. I averaged 280 watts, which was perfect. Since I started using Cera Sport it has really kept my energy levels up on the bike and feeling awesome off the bike. Thanks Jennifer!The leader and I came into transition together and we were off. I took the lead and was feeling awesome. I held the lead for 12km before Bruno caught me but didn't really pull away from me. My goal was simple, stick 6:30 miles. Nothing slower, nothing faster! Bruno got ahead of me and then Mike Hay caught me around 16km. I stayed right on his feet but didn't want to blow up so didn't push it. The goal for today was time not the win. As my coach put it the win will come! The leader won by 90 seconds and I came in 3rd but felt awesome.Finishing time 4:13 Getting ready for Calgary! Off to Younique Cycles to get my bike pampered! She worked hard yesterday and love the fit Ian has got into on the bike. Also my bum feels great after a 90km bike ride on my ISM saddle.

Thanks also to: The Running Company, Sable water optics, Xterra wetsuits, 2XU, Guru bikes, Altitude tech, ISM Saddles, Cera Sport and Trigger Point

Tyler Lord
Hiperformance Group
Strength and Conditioning Specialist