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Pete Jacobs on 2013, Sebastian Kienle, Marathons, Alcatraz and a couple of swim secrets

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With 2013 now locked in place Pete Jacobs can put the showbiz behind him and start to focus on the big prize, the Ironman World Championship in October. Who can match him at Kona this year? Sebastian Kienle is the man talked about the most. There is no doubt he can out ride pretty much everyone at the moment. Pete did not push himself in the swim or run to his limits at Kona. Is Pete’s swim and run enough to keep Sebastian away from the crown?

We had a quick catch up with Pete the other day after he won the Male Triathlete of the Year at the 2013 Endurance LIVE Awards. As always Pete is one of the best speakers in triathlon and he won many more fans over the weekend in LA amongst many sportng greats.

Trizone: Pete, now that you have your year planned and most of the obligatory photo shoots etc out of the way what is the high level plan in the lead up to Kona?

Pete Jacobs: My lead up to Kona will be the same as the previous years, except I want to be in better shape than last year for the Ironman in July. This does change things, but I don’t know exactly how until I get to it. Will it make me more mentally tired for the long rides? Or stronger? I’ll just manage things as I normally do, by feel.

TZ: How was it doing all the media and sponsorship commitments after Kona?

PJ: I really enjoyed all the extra work after Kona. It is a side of the job I enjoy and I love the challenge and opportunity to speak publicly and do presentations and pass on the experiences I’ve worked hard at to understand.

TZ: You are racing Escape from Alcatraz for the first time this weekend. What is the attraction to race this triathlon?

PJ: Mostly that it is on a week after I am in Los Angeles for the Endurance Live awards, it’s nearby in San Francisco, and a lot of my sponsors will be there to catch up with. Besides that the race is high profile, and one of those bucket list type of races. I just want to finish, it’s going to be cold which doesn’t suit me, so survival is the main goal.

TZ: This year you are doing a couple more 70.3s than you have done in recent years, a marathon in March and Frankfurt. Why the additional 70.3 races? Do you enjoy the shorter and faster racing of 70.3s?

PJ: It’s the challenge of getting in peak shape that I love. I want to see what my body can do more than just once a year in Hawaii. Peaking for a couple more races this year will hopefully increase my motivation, focus, and I’ll learn a little more too. I do want to do well in St George and get the chance to push hard over the shorter distance against a very strong field. I love racing, and want to be in the race.

TZ: You really love Ironman 70.3 Philippines. What is so great about this race? Any tips for other race directors?

PJ: It’s a destination race. Right out the front of a beautiful resort, and the Filipino’s are so hospitable and friendly, it is a unique experience that you can’t replicate anywhere.

TZ: What is your goal for the marathon in March? Is it to have a steady hit out or to see what you can really do without a 180km bike ride prior?

PJ: I would like to run well and post a personal best. Somewhere in the 2:20’s would be nice. I’m not going to kill myself, and will just see how I feel on the day. It’s a bit of a reward to myself for having done well in Kona. It’s also the ASICS LA Marathon and they will be there to film it and create a lot of content which will be a nice thing to have to remember it by.

TZ: Henk Vogels said to me a couple of months ago that he thinks you still have another 10-15% improvement on the bike. He did add a rider that that is without taking in to account any negative impact on the 42km run off the bike. What are your thoughts on how much improvement you have still in you on the bike? (Henk helped Pete with his bike taper for Kona and also other aspects of his cycling).

PJ: I think there is definitely some improvement there. I’m thinking a lot about the balance of training and racing with a focus on the bike or run. There will be more structure to my bike training this year, and my run is already in good shape thanks to the motivation for the marathon, so I can just do maintenance on that for the year and do more sessions on the bike.

Pete took us through his race winning power analysis in Kona with the team from QUARQ

TZ: How much of a factor has your Computrainer been in the constant improvement with your cycling?

PJ: It is a life saver. I use it for recover sessions, quality sessions, and sessions when I am too tired to think about where to ride and stay safe without thinking etc. It’s my fall back option for those mentally tough days when I can just spin the legs as easy as I want, put a movie on, and sometimes I’ll start to feel better and do some quality sessions.

TZ: How and when do you benchmark your cycling progress in the lead up to an Ironman?

PJ: Three long rides a week, solo, give me a very good feel for what’s a good pace I can hold, and then I did a couple of long time trials with the Al Pitman and the East Coast Cyco’s triathlon club 2 and 3 weeks out from Kona that I will definitely do again. They worked amazingly well, mentally and physically.

TZ: Where is your run preparation at currently?

PJ: Run prep is going very well, I’m already up to pre Kona type running, but I haven’t been riding too much so that makes it a lot easier. I’ve enjoyed the relaxed training for the marathon which has kept me consistently doing good run sessions, but I have let my swim and bike lag when I felt like it so I’m not overdoing my training this early in the year, but still getting some great improvements and motivation (through my running).

TZ: Have you avoided any injuries this year so far that have plagued you in the past?

PJ: I have got a little tight lately because of some travel last week to Melbourne for a sponsors photo shoot then the trip to LA a few days later, but I am working on my rehab really hard this week pre Alcatraz and know what I need to do since I know what’s going on.

TZ: It seems you have no (known) weaknesses now however with your swim strength does this allow you to focus more than the average person on your bike and run? How much of an advantage does this give you?

PJ: Yes, people do tell me that I’m very lucky, and I guess I am, but the reason I swim so well and so little is because I just focus on my technique every single stroke. I have a high awareness of my body and what each muscle is doing so I am my own coach and am constantly tweaking my technique. I swam less than 10km per week leading into Kona last year, and had one of the best swims I’ve ever had because I just sat in the pack and swam efficiently.

TZ: The triathlon world is looking at your next head to head with Sebastian Kienle. The big one will be at Frankfurt but may not be a real head to head test depending on where you are both at on your journey to Kona. You will race Sebastian at St George 70.3. Sebastian is remaining neutral about how important it is to have a go at winning Frankfurt. Kienle is the one that most say could upset at Kona if he has a good day. The way his race unfolded at Kona last year meant it is a bit hard to gauge how he really went. How much is he playing in to your preparation in 2013?

PJ: He is definitely my motivation. I’ll never ride as well as him but I do think I need to get closer to stop him in Kona. And I think I can, of course I do, I wouldn’t be a professional athlete if I didn’t think I could improve and be more competitive. He is a really nice guy, I respect him a lot, and that helps me focus on him, and what can I do to get faster on the bike. We will face off in St George before Frankfurt, and I’m sure he will be flying on the bike at all his races as usual.

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

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Major League Triathlon Adds 3rd International Team

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Major League Triathlon, the first and only professional triathlon league in North America, has announced a 9th team (3rd International franchise) for the 2018 season. For the first time in the league’s history, a National team from Mexico will participate in MLT.

The new franchise, dubbed, Guardianes de Guadalajara (Guadalajara Guardians), will consist of many of the top Mexican National Team athletes. The team will include:

Pro Men

  • Crisanto Grajales
  • Irving Perez
  • Abraham Rodriguez
  • Aram Peñaflor
  • Leonardo Saucedo

Pro Women

  • Cecilia Perez
  • Vanesa de La Torre
  • Adriana Carreño
  • Andrea Gutierrez
  • Lizeth Rueda

“We are thrilled to welcome this team to Major League Triathlon.” Said Daniel Cassidy, CEO of Major League Triathlon. “Triathlon Mexico and their athletes have established themselves as one of the world’s top federations leading up to Tokyo 2020. We are extremely excited to continue to increase the level of competition and give our athletes the opportunity to race Mixed Team Relay at the highest level possible. “

Major League Triathlon will host nine professional teams and will host many of the World’s best elite triathletes including international teams from Australia, Canada, and Mexico. MLT will host four events, making stops in: Atlantic City, Vail Valley, Tempe and Charlotte. The third year league specializes in the Mixed Team Relay format of racing, which will make its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. At every event, each athlete will swim 300 meters, bike four miles and run one mile, one at a time, before tagging their next teammate. The first team to have all four athletes cross the finish line will win.

Guardianes de Guadalajara

Guardianes de Guadalajara is the only Mexican/Latin-American Team competing in Major League Triathlon. They represent the City of Guadalajara. The Guardianes de Guadalajara will feature experienced triathletes like Olympians: Crisanto Grajales (London 2012 and Rio 2016), Irving Pérez (Río 2016), Cecilia Pérez (Río 2016) and the future of the extremely strong Mexican National Team including: Junior and U23 triathletes like Vanesa de la Torre, Abraham Rodriguez and Aram Peñaflor.

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Rudy Project Launches Project Podium for Age Group Athletes

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Rudy Project North America, the exclusive distributor of Italian-made endurance sports gear, and the most worn helmet at Kona 7 times in a row is launching Project Podium, an initiative that rewards North America’s fastest age group triathletes with award-winning performance Rudy Project eyewear and helmets. All age group racers that win their age group in any sanctioned long distance triathlon in the United States and Canada are eligible to receive a free, top-of-the-line Rudy Project Boost 01 road aero helmet and a pair of Tralyx sunglasses. Winners will also be featured on Rudy Project’s website and lauded on social media as the top long-distance age group triathletes on the continent.

“A full-distance, 140 miles plus race is nothing to sneeze at, and attempting one is a feat in of itself,” said Paul Craig, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Rudy Project North America. “To win your age group, to come out on top, is something exceptional, and we want to reward the best, with the best.”

The program is open to all age group triathletes that compete in a sanctioned long distance triathlon race, in Canada or the United States, that is included in Project Podium’s list of eligible races. Athletes must be legal residents of either Canada or the United States in order to be eligible to win. The prize pack being offered is worth up to $625 USD, and triathletes that win their age group can submit their results online for verification at www.rudyprojectna.com/pages/project-podium in order to redeem. Athletes will be able to choose from the entire Boost 01 road aero colour line up, which includes Stealth Black and eye-popping Pink Fluo. Rudy Project’s new road aero helmet is quickly becoming an athlete favourite, following wind tunnel testing by ProCycling Magazine that demonstrated the Boost 01 was faster than any competitor helmet tested. To complement their helmet, athletes can also select a frame from the entire award-winning Tralyx family, including the regular Tralyx, Tralyx XL for additional coverage, or the new Tralyx SLIM, designed specifically for athletes with narrower faces. That, coupled with customer-forward warranties like Rudy Project’s 6 Year Crash Replacement Guarantee and Lifetime Replacement Lens Guarantee, make this an unbeatable prize package for the age grouper at the top of their game.

“Rudy Project is simply the best,” said Paul Craig. “We’re choosing to celebrate athletes who power the sport – the age group athlete and rewarding those that get to the top, the pinnacle of success. It may seem too good to be true, but we’re serious. If you win your age group in one of our listed races, we want to give you a helmet and sunglasses. If that extra push is all it takes to motivate someone to train a little harder, run a little faster down the chute toward the finish line, then we’ve done our job.”

Winning athletes can submit their information and race results for verification online. Athletes that won their age group in any 2018 full distance triathlon prior to the announcement of the program are also eligible to redeem retroactively. Full terms and conditions of the initiative can be found online, as well as a full list of eligible races. The program will run until December 2018.

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Taiwan added to XTERRA World Tour on 29-30 September at Kenting National Park

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XTERRA World Tour today announced the inaugural XTERRA Taiwan off-road triathlon and accompanying sports festival to be held September 29-30, 2018 at Kenting National Park.

Events include an XTERRA championship distance event, an “Xticer” beginner distance off-road triathlon, 5, 10 and 21-kilometre trail runs.

“We are thrilled to bring XTERRA to the people of Taiwan and introduce the sport and lifestyle to athletes of all ages and skill levels,” said Brian Wei, Vice President of Marketing. “We also look forward to having XTERRA Tribe members from around the world join us in Taiwan to discover a truly remarkable location in Kenting and the fabulous culture and community that is found here.”

Kenting is on the southern tip of Taiwan and famous for its warm, turquoise water and white-sand beaches that give way to magnificent mountains and natural reserves.

The main event starts with a one-mile swim at Little Bay beach with a short run in between two-laps. The swim-to-bike transition is at the fascinating Kenting Youth Activity Center, which is comprised of 17 different styles of old-world buildings and is a tourist destination all by itself. Then, the 26-kilometer mountain bike course takes competitors from coastal terrain to rocky riverbeds to uncharted territory high atop MenMaLou mountain. And the final test of endurance is a 10-kilometer trail run through the tranquil and “enchanted forest” of Chihniuling, considered one of the eight wonders of Hengchun.

The XTERRA Taiwan Championship event offers an elite prize purse of $15,000 USD split among the top seven men and women and also 49 qualifying spots for amateurs vying to compete at the 2019 XTERRA World Championship race in Maui.

The Xticer tri is a perfect introductory race with a manageable 200m swim, 10km mountain bike and 2km trail run. Relay teams of two-or-three people are encouraged to race in the full distance event.

In addition to the off-road triathlons there is a race for everyone in the family during the 5km, 10km and 21km trail running races. And for the fast runners, a $20,000 NTD (about $700 USD) will be awarded to the top three men and women in the half-marathon distance race.

XTERRA has had a presence in the Asia-Pacific region since 2000 and hosts events in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Tahiti, and New Caledonia, however, this is its first foray into the burgeoning endurance sports market of Taiwan,” said Janet Clark, President of XTERRA World Tour.

Nico Lebrun, the XTERRA European director, helped design the course. He also returned to Taiwan to host local coaching clinics to help leaders in the area teach the various disciplines of XTERRA as well as champion the XTERRA motto to “Live More” through a healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle.

“After two trips to Kenting I can tell you it’s a beautiful place, and the perfect location for XTERRA,” said Lebrun, who is also part of the organizing committee producing the event. “If you like hot weather, warm water, fresh local food, and strong culture, you will love it here.”

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Drama and excitement at Challenge Denmark

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Andreas Dreitz and Pernille Thalund each took home a convincing victory in Saturday’s Challenge Herning. After a non-wetsuit swim the athletes had to conquer an unusually hot summer day, which delivered as well drama as excitement.

For a while favourite, Camilla Pedersen (DK) looked like a sure winner. The former elite swimmer came first out of the water after only 25:56 minutes, with two minutes down to fellow dane Pernille Thalund. But almost halfway through the bike course, Thalund took the lead and kept it all the way to the finish line. Laura Siddall (GB) fought her way up from being 9th to second place, well three minutes after Thalund. 18 minutes later Frankie Sanjana (GB) crossed the finish line.

Meanwhile, Camilla Pedersen fought a brave but brutal battle with her stomach which refused to hold anything down in the heat. It goes without saying that it was an unfair match, and halfway through the course, she chose to pull herself out of the race.

Dreitz does it again

Among the men, Swedish favorite Jesper Svensson was first out off the water with Daniel Bækkegaard right behind him. But racing across the Danish heath, the ranks were turned upside down. Ultimately, the former Challenge Denmark winner Andi Dreitz took the lead, after which Danes Matthias Lyngsø Petersen and Kristian Hindkjær succeeded in overtaking Svensson.

Last year’s winner, Anders “Hightower” Christensen finished fifth.

The weather as X factor

One should never complain about the fabulous, Danish summer weather. But in the triathlon context, the heat was grueling.For the pros, the water temperature of 23.1 degrees meant a non wetsuit swim, which was a draw back for the heavier athletes.The vast majority of the age groupers athletes chose to swim in their wetsuits.

The almost non-existent wind made cycling really fast. But as the athletes went out running, the combination of heat, sun and no wind meant an excruciatingly hard run through Herning’s otherwise festive streets.

“The weather is always the x-factor in triathlon. It’s something you can not predict or change – and that can make a huge difference in either direction. But it’s the same for everyone, and that’s something that makes it exciting”, says race director Claus Vesterby.

All about the experience

It is a very proud and happy race director, Claus Vesterby, who can close and shut Challenge Herning this evening: “We had a phenomenal pro field with some amazing athletes and personalities. It’s amazing to notice how the Challenge Family spirit influenced the day among both pro and age group athletes. All the amateur athletes at all levels who struggled to exceed their own expectations and have a party with their sport, never seize to amaze me. They are just as important to us as the professionals, and it’s fascinating to see the breadth of our sport. I am proud of that,” says Claus Vesterby:

“Everyone is here to do their best, but first and foremost they come to get a great experience. And there’s no doubt they’ve got that today – and so have I.It’s a pleasure to feel how the city of Herning has taken the Challenge in and really backs us up and creates a party around the athletes. That means so unbelievably much. So we are already looking forward to making an even more amazing event next year.”

RESULTS

Men

  1. Andreas Dreiz, D, 3:47:12
  2. Matthias Lyngsø Petersen, DK, 3:51:54
  3. Kristian Hindkjær, DK, 3:57:31

Women

  1. Pernille Thalund, DK, 4:20:55
  2. Laura Siddall, GB 4:24:00 PM
  3. Frankie Sanjana, GB, 4:42:00 PM

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Mark Allen is Final Surge’s New Partner, Spokesperson, and Advisor for Triathlon

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Mark Allen, 6-time IRONMAN® Triathlon World Champion and “The Greatest Endurance Athlete of All Time” according to ESPN, has teamed up with FinalSurge, the Best Online Training Log according to Triathlete magazine’s June 2018 Issue, to produce a special edition “Mark Allen Coaching” branded training program for triathlon. Allen will also serve as a spokesperson and advisor for Final Surge triathlon projects.

“His accomplishments as an endurance athlete are legendary, but we were even more blown away with his depth of knowledge, experience, and innovations in coaching,” said Bob Butler, IRONMAN Certified Coach and COO of Final Surge. “Having Mark Allen on the team represents an extraordinary opportunity for us to use his unparalleled athletic experience and coaching insights to build on our recent honor as “Best Online Training Log.”

“When the opportunity arose to work with Final Surge I recognized that the technology created by their team had finally reached a level of sophistication and ease of use that would be a perfect match for my coaching theories,” said Allen. “Final Surge has developed the best mobile applications for online coaches in all endurance sports, and I am proud to be a part of their team as they continue to innovate and grow.”

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Rio Olympian Ryan Bailie moves to 6th on the WTS World Rankings

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It was a case of survival of the fittest in yesterday’s energy-sapping World Triathlon Series Leeds round with Australia’s Rio Olympian, “Mr Consistent” Ryan Bailie the best of the Aussies, moving up the ITU WTS World Rankings to sixth after his 10th place finish.

His Olympic teammate Aaron Royle, after his sterling performance to put Australia in the medal hunt in Thursday’s WTS World Triathlon Mixed Relay, faded on the 10km run to finish 13th.

The tough Olympic distance Leeds course, with its immediate hill climb off the 1500m swim and then the 12.5km ride into the city before the tight technical street laps over 27.5km, proved unforgiving for some.

There were some casualties on the bike and then more on the run – including the likes of Leeds local hero and two-time Olympic medallist Jonny Brownlee.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Jake Birtwhistle, third on the rankings going into Leeds, has dropped to seventh after his 22nd placing in a race which also saw his Commonwealth Games teammate Luke Willian 32nd and Marcel Walkington 36th.

“But there were some positives up until that point and in recent times they have been few and far between so I’ll take it. Bit of ‘R&R’ for a few days and then back into it.”

Royle has jumped four places on the WTS rankings to 17th to 13 to give Australia three in the top 15 after the first five events of a season that will culminate in the 2018 Grand Finale on the Gold Coast (September 12-16).

The next stop will be Hamburg on July 14 and 15; Edmonton (July 27-29) and Montreal (August 25-26) before the Gold Coast final stop.

Defending champion Mario Mola sits on top of the rankings ladder after his second-place finish behind South African Richard Murray yesterday which saw Frenchman Vincent Luis third.

But things didn’t go all Mola’s way as Murray scooted away to South Africa’s first-ever Olympic distance WTS gold.

“I had a beginner’s mistake today,” said Mario Mola. “I jumped on my bike and when I hit the pedal it hit the floor so I had to get down and fix it. Luckily I had a very good swim so I was able to get in the second pack. From then, I just kept working and today the effort paid off. Congratulations to Richard, he was really strong today. I really liked the course, it’s tough but I liked it.”

The Australian women had a frustrating day in the office with Ashleigh Gentle, Natalie Van Coevorden, Charlotte McShane and Gillian Backhouse all falling by the wayside recording DNFs through the 40km bike leg.

Gentle wrote on Twitter: “Out of Leeds after my pre-race swim yesterday. Things went south.

“Stomach bug or food poisoning flattened me. I lined up to give it a go but unfortunately, I felt incredibly weak and couldn’t hardly push any power.”

The race eventually went to local Vicky Holland in a GBR quinella with youngster Georgia Taylor-Brown taking silver and Katie Zaferes (USA) third.

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