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Challenge Gold Coast 2014 preview

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Challenge Gold Coast will throw up a few curve balls when the inaugural fields take to Currumbin Valley this weekend. The course is unknown by most who will be racing it and how this challenging bike course will deal with them remains to be seen.

This race should become an iconic Australian race. The challenge of conquering the bike course will be too strong a draw card for many to resist.

This preview is a work in progress which we will keep developing during the week. The fields are decent and we would like to try to add something on most racing. We will write the women up over the next couple of days.

10% Incline

10% Incline

We have driven around the bike course and loved it! There are four places in this bike course that will shape the race. The first climb section starts at around the 9km mark. The course is flat until this stage and then the climbing starts and lasts until around the 20km mark. At this point we turn and head back along the same road. This down hill will be super fast. The pace lines will be sitting on speeds upwards of 50-60kms an hour for most of the 11kms back before turning to climb the Beast. This climb at about 32kms will then blow a few more out the back as they climb a 10% gradient for a claimed 150mt. We have been up it and it goes for a lot longer than that. You can check out our preview of the bike course by clicking here.

The final challenge on the bike course will be the climb home back up the reverse of the Beast. This is at about 80kms and is a long climb.

So on to the pro field who will be tackling this challenging course. The obvious one is that the strong cyclists will dominate. Amongst the guys Tim Reed and Pete Jacobs would have to be the favourites along with late entrant and recent EU 70.3 Champs second placed Peter Robertson. In saying this Tim Reed will not want to blow himself apart with the world 70.3 champs following closely. We expect to see Reed swim and ride solidly but not turn himself inside out on the run.

Foremost on the minds of a few of the guys racing it the ‘golden ticket’ to Bahrain. Aside from the $35,000 prize pool that is. None more so than Peter Robertson.

Pete Jacobs has been doing some training at Thanyapura in Thailand with Chris McCormack, Caroline Steffen and Casey Munro. With Challenge Roth and Ironman Switzerland under his belt plus a bit of training with Macca he will be very dangerous on the Gold Coast. Jacobs will be wanting to gets some runs on the board in 2014 and this is a home race. Jacobs is obviously one of our favourites. We just need him to turn up with his A Game. One thing for sure is that is after a big training block Jacobs will have rested this week and is looking forward to having fresh legs this Sunday.

You can read our interview with Pete where he talks about his time at Thanyapura with Macca here.

On the race this weekend Pete made the following comment: “It’s an open race and there will likely be a large swim pack, and things will possibly pretty close off the bike too. But who’s legs will be the freshest is the question? Find out after T2.”

Lots of respect needs to be given to David Dellow. The former Cairns Ironman champion and someone who has racked up some good results this year with a 3rd overall at Ironman Melbourne in 8:03 just two minutes behind the winner needs to be considered as a contender for the win. David Dellow has been off the radar a bit since Melbourne. He started Cairns 70.3 but did not finish the race. “I’ve just been at home on the Sunshine Coast this year. With Cairns I haven’t really raced since IM Melbourne.”

Priorities for Dellow this year have seen him focus on finishing his degree. I have stayed home this year and not traveled away for any races or training camps. I am finishing my accounting degree this year and the last few months have been a bit frustrating with a string of minor injuries but I think things are just starting come together now.”

Kona is the one and only goal for Dellow this year. “Because the last few months of training haven’t been great the final push for Kona over the final 7 weeks after Challenge GC are going to be crucial for me.”

Dellow has been self coached this year and apart from swimming with a squad of swimmers does most of his riding and running solo.

Another danger man is Sam Appleton. ‘Appo’ has been developing well as a long course triathlete and with his coach also racing this weekend. In saying this though he may also not choose to turn himself inside out with the goal race being the 70.3 worlds. We think it could be a case of ‘Grasshopper overcoming the Master’ this time with coach Tim Reed also in the race. Training for Appleton has been going well and he is just coming to the end of a big block for Ironman 70.3 world champs. “At this time of year its hard with all the sicknesses floating around so I’ve been a little unwell over the past week but nothing that has me too concerned. I have managed to nail my key sessions and have been able to draw a lot of confidence from those key days”.

The Challenge Gold Coast bike course should suit Appleton.  “I’ve been riding really well the past few months so hopefully the hard course can play into my hands a little bit. I am looking to have a hard 90km hit out on the bike as a really good race specific session for 70.3 worlds which is my main focus. The field looks good. There is a number of guys who have the potential to win the race, which will make it an interesting day. I am mainly using this race as a launching pad into worlds but am still aiming to put together a really competitive performance”.

Another key player in this race as mentioned is former 3 x ITU world champion Peter Robertson who is finding his stride in long course triathlon. He finished second overall in the EU 70.3 championship a couple of weekends ago and beat some significant names along the way. His swim and run are dynamite and after seeing his bike split in Wiesbaden on a tough and hilly course maybe Robbo might be the one to beat this weekend.

Robertson still considers Reed the favourite. We asked Robertson how this race fits in to his year.  “It’s hard to call it an A race, as I really only decided to start after racing in Wiesbaden. All my focus this year has been towards qualifying for Kona, so that’s still the focus.” Although it’s a last minute decision to race for Robertson he’ll  be gunning for the win. “With the incentive of getting to Bahrain through this race, that’s the main goal. Plus I feel I’m coming into some good form and want to race!”

The change this year to training with Aeromax Team has been worked out incredibly well for Robertson. “I’ve really benefited from having a great group of guys around me to train with. We push each other, but have a lot of fun at the same time. Gilesy is a great thinker and keeps the whole squad on track and it shows with the success of the squad this year.”

Robertson finds out if he has a spot in Kona on Monday, but it’s looking good for him. “I’m so pumped for Kona!!!”

Casey Munro has been building back to the early form he showed as a junior in Victoria. Munro will be with the leaders out of the water and the former professional cyclist will then go on to build on the tough bike course. This should suit Munro and with his fast developing run this could be a race were we see him on the podium with all possibility that he could be standing on the highest part of the podium.

For Munro a long trip to Europe then Thailand plus a big block that he hopes to recover from before Sunday should see him do very well. “It was a last minute decision to do this race but I have had some good form with 1st, 1st, 3rd in the last 3 races, no injuries and a good block so I am really looking forward to letting rip on the weekend. I have been really happy with my bike lately so that gives me a lot of confidence going into this course.

We asked Casey how important this race is and loved his answer. “Every race I do I race like its the last race I will ever do, so yeah very important.”

Sam Betten has withdrawn from the race this weekend.

There will be a number of guys in the hunt after the swim including Michael Fox who has had a challenging year coupled with working full time. In spite of this he feels that he is in some reasonable shape. I bumped in to him in the National Park while out riding a few weeks ago and we had a quick catch up for a few kms. Fox is looking forward to this race to get himself going for the season.

The field is big and it is difficult to devote too much time to everyone. But we will keep trying…

One of the faster runners in the field is David Mainwaring. At the moment Mainwaring is just nudging sub 31min for 10kms and has had a few good road running races. He loves riding hills and after we drove around the course we phone Mainy and told him he should enter. If he was match fit this would be a race for him to shine. Mainwaring is building currently in his swim and is not bike fit yet. This race is a benchmark race for him and will give him plenty to take away and work on for the season.

There would not be too much doubt as to who will lead in to T1. Shane Barrie will be wanting to give one of his main sponsors, local Gold Coast company Huub Design, some of the limelight. For Barrie this will be his first Challenge race and either his second or third long course triathlon. He is young and in the very early stages of racing the longer distances. “The race is going to be on from the gun and as this is my new hometown I am really looking forward to racing here even though I am very inexperienced. I have put together some good training. This is a tough, honest and deceptive course. The fittest, strongest guy will win”.

The bigger guys like Joey Lampe may struggle (but we could be completely wrong) on the hilly course but Lampe is a strong rider. He will come out of the swim with the leaders and will have plenty of strong riders to pace off. At Port Macqurie last year Lampe finished close behind Appleton to take third overall on a tough bike course. Josh Amberger won that race but was in a different postcode after producing a swim/bike combo that blew the field apart. Lampe turned his ankle recently and will be hitting the GC to have a solid day and put some miles in the bank.

Time is running short but will will try to get back to the rest of the mens pro field. A little bit of pro-activeness would go a long way. Our email is [email protected]

 

Tim Reed    AUS
Justin Granger    AUS
Michael Fox    AUS
Ryan Cross    AUS
Lindsey Wall    AUS
Tim Green    AUS
Nicholas Hull    AUS
Bryce McMaster    NZ
Brad Wauer    AUS
Tom Rodgers    AUS
David Mainwaring    AUS
Richard Pearson    AUS
Joey Lampe    AUS
Sam Appleton    AUS
Shane Barrie    AUS
Adam Gordon    AUS
Ryan Palazzi    AUS
Brad Clark    AUS
David Dellow    AUS
Casey Munro    AUS
Peter Robertson    AUS

The Women

The favourite this weekend is Annabel Luxford. The former ITU world champion has taken to long course triathlon very well and has racked up some significant results. The 2013 Asia Pacific 70.3 Champ had a 2nd at the Abu Dhabi International triathlon, a 2nd at Challenge Half Philippines and the 2014 Asia Pacific 70.3 Champs and a win at Challenge Melbourne.

On paper we could see Lisa Marangon challenge Luxford if she brings her A game. Marangon has been training at Turbo Studio in Sydney on the Computrainers and has increased her bike strength with this new approach. Marangon is a strong swimmer and depending where she is at should be the main challenger to Luxford.

In saying this the tougher than usual bike course has Annabel Luxford written all over it. I have been humiliated by Annabel on more than one occasion up the Mt Camberwarra climb on the South Coast of NSW. Less so the last time after I shed a few kilos and actually trained a bit. Luxford is carrys no excess weight and has a power to weight ratio far higher than most competitors. The hilly course will suit her to a tee. Through in her ‘go hard until there is nothing left’ attitude and the rest of the women’s field will need to be racing at 110% to beat Luxford.

One of the legends of the sport, Belinda Granger will be pushing hard and using every bit of her 50+ iron distance race experience to work out how to get the most out of herself over this challenging course. Belinda is one of the biggest characters in the sport and an inspiration to all. We love seeing her racing and expect to see her chasing a podium spot.

This race is special for more than one reason. But something dear to our own heart is this race marks the return to professional racing of Christie Sym. It has been almost exactly two years since Christie crashed out of Ironman New York and out of triathlon. The last two years have thrown up more of life’s major hurdles than most should endure. This culminated her best friend and someone who I entered a business arrangement with being diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas and liver in 2013. Within 8 months we were at Michael’s funeral and saying goodbye to one fit and ‘live life to the full’ 36 year old guy.

Forward on a few months and Christie will take to the Challenge Gold Coast course to get her feet back. This is not a race with expectations but a benchmark to let Christie know where she is at and what work needs to be done to get back to her best.

 

 

Annabel Luxford    AUS
Madeline Oldfield    AUS
Amelia Rose Watkinson    NZ
Lisa Marangon    AUS
Jodie Scott    AUS
Rachel Paxton    AUS
Belinda Granger    AUS
Tineke Stewart    NZ
Polly Mosley    UK
Renee Baker    AUS
Matilda Raynolds    AUS
Christie Sym    AUS

 

 

 

 

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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Interview

Jared Simons: Chef Turns Plants into Ironman Power

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Jared Simons is the plant-based chef with a love of Ironman. Trizone caught up with the American athlete to chat about everything from food to weight gain and the alpha types who love 70.3.

One sport ends, another door opens

“I was a wrestler, I didn’t grow up doing swim, bike, and run,” Simons told Trizone. He had a talent for his sport, but his body wasn’t so sure it was for him. “I was getting recruitment letters for college, but into my senior season I was having nerve issues with my neck.”

“My parents had taken me to see so many different doctors and they all said I had traumatic neck damage,” said Simons. After years enjoying playing American football when he was young, plus his chosen sport of wrestling, Jared Simons’ neck was giving out. “The doctors told me I shouldn’t be playing contact sports, so my parents pulled me out of wrestling,” said Simons.

College dreams replaced by cooking school

With his future college pursuit off the table, Simons turned to the other aspects of his life. “I’d been working as a dishwasher at a restaurant, and since I was quite a heavy kid, I enjoyed being around food,” Simons said. “My dream of going to college and wrestling was over, and I was so intrigued by everything that surrounded me at the restaurant.”

Simons was convinced of his new path, but his parents weren’t yet onboard. “Being a chef definitely wasn’t glamorous at the time. The Food Network had only just launched and they were all famous chefs!” laughed Simons. “I told my parents I’d applied to college, but I had only contacted a culinary school in San Francisco. It was tough to convince them, but finally, I did and I went off to the California Culinary Academy.”

King oyster mushrooms, farrotto, spring peas.

Over the next four years, Simons worked exceptionally hard at culinary school and then in restaurants, but like many chefs, the long hours and stress took their toll. “I opened a restaurant when I was 22, then another when I was 26, so I was super busy. My extracurricular activities were very limited,” Simons told Trizone. “I was working a lot, eating poorly and drinking a lot socially. As the years went on I started ballooning up. When I was around 29, I was just over 205 pounds and I felt horrible.”

Fast-paced and stressful, the culinary business had been both wonderful and taxing for Simons, but a friend came to his rescue. “I had a customer who was gorgeous and she was my ‘trainer’ but we really just walked and talked!” laughed Simons. “One of my friends opened a gym and offered to train me and I took the leap.”

“He asked me what my goals were, and I said I wanted to look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club.”

In exchange for training the young chef, Simons gave his friend credit at the restaurant. “I got one hour of weight training with him, and I did one hour of cardio by myself every day,” said Simons. Summoning the fierce work ethic that had helped Simons reap the success of his cooking talents, Jared Simons was on his way to becoming an extremely driven athlete.

Turning plant-based

“In 2015 I jumped onto Vice’s food portal, Munchies, and I saw an episode titled the “Vegan Ironman”. It featured John Joseph from the New York hardcore band, The Cro-mags ,” said Simons. “I was intrigued by the endurance aspect and his diet and when I got home I told my wife I wanted to do a triathlon. I’d grown up surfing but if you took that board away, I hadn’t done structured swimming since high school,” Simons told Trizone.

Even while training prior to triathlon, Simons wasn’t healthy. “I was doing high-intensity training 70% of the week. I’d eat fairly clean, but every Saturday night I’d have junk food and I had high cholesterol. On the outside, I looked good, but on the inside, I wasn’t healthy.”

Living in the city of countless diets and health fads, Los Angeles, Simons had heard of plant-based diets, but he never thought he’d make it a long-term change. “I cut out one kind of animal product each week and by week six I was eating completely plant-based,” remembers Simons.

The hardest part of going plant-based for the chef? Cutting out dairy, especially butter.

“Every month I’d continue to fine tune the diet,” said Simons. “People around me started to see a physical and mental change. From a sustainability and health standpoint, it made sense.”

Not just influencing his own personal diet, Simons’ new-found love of plant-based foods influenced his restaurants too. “Ultimately I started a plant-based series at the restaurant.”

If you are looking for some food inspiration, then jump over to some of Jared’s favorites;

Walking a marathon isn’t what Simmons is about

Jared Simons isn’t just another age grouper who likes to finish a race, he’s ferociously competitive. “I’m not going to be a pro, but Ironman races are definitely not just a bucket list thing,” said Simons. “I don’t want to just get through it. Seeing people walk the marathon to me blows my mind, it just doesn’t make sense! I’m not that guy.”

Now Simons has far surpassed his days of spending one-hour doing cardio on his own, and he works with two different coaches. “One coaches me overall with all the facets of triathlon, and I do regular lactate testing with him,” said Jared. “I’m a data guy, if I see the numbers it makes sense to me.” Simons has another coach for swimming, and he’s confident he receives huge benefits from both.

Alpha athletes in 70.3 make Ironman better

“I found my first Ironman easier than 70.3,” said Simons, “at that distance, the effort is dialed back just slightly. Yes, it’s longer, but it’s different.”

Through the vineyards Ironman Santa Rosa 2017

It’s not just the distance that makes these races different, it’s the competitors too. “70.3 is a lot more competitive than Olympic distance and Ironman, there are a lot of A-type personalities out there. At the full distance, everyone in the race is like ‘you’re doing it and that’s cool.” During the race, lots of people were like ‘I know you from Instagram, with the beard and the kit and the tattoos! It’s fun!”

Modelling for LA Apparel brand Love The Pain

“I bought a hat from them and took a pic running in it, and they reached out to me. I’m a style guy so I think most of the gear in triathlon blows,” laughed Simons. “These guys though, their aesthetic was great and the product is good, so I bought a lot of it!”

Unlike some athletes who reserve their stylish kits for race day, Simons trains in his Love The Pain kit too. “They decided I was a great customer and I love their stuff, so eventually they asked me to model some kits for the company,” said Simons.

Love The Pain is the answer to daggy racewear, and it’s no surprise people with a foot in the door of the latest lifestyle, food, and fitness trends like Simons are keen supporters.

Check out Jared’s inspiring Instagram feed. After hearing Simons’ powerful story, would you turn plant-based if it meant you were healthier?

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Super League: Jersey Brings Out The Best For Kristian Blummenfelt

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A new champion has arisen at Super League Jersey. Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway backed up his win in yesterday’s Triple Mix with the win in today’s Eliminator to score the maximum of 50 points and take the Super League Jersey overall win. Blummenfelt took out the top spot in five out of six stages this weekend, a product of a year in which he has come into his own. In the previous Super League Triathlon event on Hamilton Island, he made a mark by winning two out of the three Eliminator stages, then went on to capitalize on this aggressive racing by taking three silvers and one bronze on the world circuit, finishing third in the world.

The podium for Eliminator mirrored the overall podium as Great Britain’s pride Jonathan Brownlee took second place over the three-stage race and in overall points, knocking erstwhile runner-up and defending Super League Hamilton Island champion Richard Murray of South Africa down to third overall.

The Eliminator format has three stages of swim-bike-run whittling the field down to the fastest 15 and then 10 to race for victory. The conditions were even wetter than the women’s race held an hour earlier as rain continued to pour down on Jersey. Not only would the fastest survive, but also the ones with the least mishaps.

Stage 1

Jake Birtwhistle and Brownlee were among the first few to exit the 300-meter swim and head out onto the five-kilometer bike leg composed of five laps around a one-kilometer circuit. The wet roads made what was already a highly technical course even more threatening. The optimal spot seemed to be up in front of the athletes with good bike handling skills. Those hanging off the back were more inclined to take risks to bridge back up, with crashes taking athletes like Dmitri Polyanskiy of Russia and Ben Dijkstra of Great Britain out of the running.

Kristian Blummenfelt closes out the final stage of the Eliminator. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Blummenfelt found himself in the front bunch on the two-lap run on the one-kilometer circuit and could not resist taking the Stage 1 top finish ahead of Brownlee and ascendant Aussie Aaron Royle, who finished ahead of compatriots Birtwhistle and Matt Hauser, who got the last pontoon spot into Stage 2.

Stage 2

Hauser’s 15th place finish from the previous stage became a distant memory as he pushed out to the front of the swim with Brownlee on his feet. He was determined to make the final stage unlike on Hamilton Island when he was eliminated as the 11th finisher in the second stage.

Jersey pro athlete Dan Halksworth competed as a wild card at Super League Jersey. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Strong swim-bikers Ben Kanute of the USA and Australia’s Ryan Fisher pushed the bike pace to ensure they could finish the run in the top 10 even with fast runners coming up behind them. While Blummenfelt fell back to as far as 11th on the bike, this was more of an energy-conserving move as he found the front on the run again, this time with Royle in second and Brownlee in third. But finish order within the top 10 would hardly matter, as it was the Stage 3 finish that counted for the win.

Stage 3

Athletes poured out every last ounce of their speed on this final stage of the Eliminator. Aggressive racing would either be rewarded with a win or a crash out as the rain grew even more insistent. Once again, Hauser led from the swim out onto the bike with Kanute chasing. Brownlee, showing his mastery of these trademark British conditions, sat in third. Murray was on the back foot from the swim and cycled in the back of the bunch. However, with most of the men getting off the bike together, an excellent transition put Murray right back in the race — for second.

Blummenfelt had gone off the front on the final lap of the bike. Once his running shoes were on, he shot off in what looked like a controlled sprint and never let up. It was all Brownlee could do to keep him in sight, and Murray ran out of road to fight for the runner-up position. Hauser in fourth led the final Aussie contingent, followed by Birtwhistle and Royle.

Brownlee said, “I had a massive advantage there with British weather and British crowds so thank you to everyone for coming out even in this weather. I enjoyed today; I actually think I got fitter from yesterday, but Kristian was far better than us all the whole weekend and I was absolutely nowhere near him today. Well done, and well done to Richard as well. It’s great fun, it’s great racing and hopefully, everyone’s enjoyed it.”

Matt Hauser gets a handshake from Kristian Blummenfelt post-race. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Murray responded, “I think Kristian was definitely ahead of both Jonny and myself today as well as yesterday but I gave it everything and the crowd were amazing. The weather didn’t play ball but the guys were safe out there most of the time and we had a great time.”

Blummenfelt said he could not help his gutsy approach to the day’s racing, which has ultimately won for him $18,000 in prize money. “I tried to play a little bit safe in the beginning and just make it inside the top 15 and top 10 but it’s just so hard to hold back when I like racing,” he admitted. “Hopefully I get winter off training now and I’ll be fit for next year.”

With both pro races completed, the Corporate Mix final leaderboard has also been computed. The Corporate Mix overall win relies on the total of a team’s points garnered from their relay finish position and the points from their pro male and female athletes’ finish positions. Team Comprop wins the Corporate Mix with 98 points, boosted by Blummenfelt’s 50 points. First Names Group Team 2 benefited from Katie Zaferes’ 50 points from the twin wins in the Triple Mix and Eliminator, ending up in second with 81 points. The Ravenscroft Titans found themselves in third with 61 points, propped up by their relay team’s great finishes.

Richard Murray, Kristian Blummenfelt, and Jonathan Brownlee hold their prize checks at the awarding. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

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Super League: Katie Zaferes crowned First Female Champion in Jersey

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Super League Triathlon crowned its first queen with Katie Zaferes taking out today’s Eliminator race and the overall win at Super League Jersey. The Eliminator podium also mirrored the final overall podium, with Summer Cook besting Nicola Spirig to the runner-up spot both in the race itself as well as in total points earned. The Eliminator format involved three stages of swim-bike-run, with the field progressively growing smaller. Only the top 15 finishers of Stage 1 would go on to Stage 2, and only the ten fastest finishers of Stage 3 could compete for the Eliminator win.

Wet conditions today stood in stark contrast to yesterday’s sunshine. As the technical bike course shimmered with leftovers puddles from a midday storm, athletes needed to play a tactical game to ensure they stayed rubber-side up.

Stage 1

Great Britain’s Sophie Coldwell led through the 300-meter swim with Kirsten Kasper of the USA and Carolina Routier from Spain in second and third, but a logjam at the bike mount allowed Coldwell to break clear. Compatriot Jodie Stimpson found her way up onto Coldwell’s wheel, with the two athletes working together to control their race over the five-kilometer bike course where slick cobblestones and tight corners posed many dangers to success.

A wise decision it seemed, for further back in the pack small mistakes on slick patches of road cost athletes some skin and more as they crashed into each other. Two pairs of athletes crashed in the same location one lap apart, taking them out of contention for Stage 2. Desirae Ridenour of Canada and Emma Pallant of Great Britain, and Barbara Riveros of Chile and Emma Jeffcoat of Australia.

Sophie Coldwell and Jodie Stimpson working together on the bike leg. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Meanwhile, the leading Brits proved well capable of handling the wet, riding into transition with a clear lead for the run. Yesterday’s leading athletes Zaferes and Spirig seemed content to let Coldwell and Stimpson surge ahead; after all, one only needed to rank 15th and higher to move on to the next round.

Coldwell and Stimpson high-fived each other and crossed the finish line together after the two-kilometer run, while Spirig was unable to resist her competitive nature and surged to third place.

A race-within-a-race unfolded for 15th place, with Claire Michel of Belgium clinching the final spot into Stage 2 ahead of Russia’s Anastasia Abrosimova.

Stage 2

The big names were still among the 15 to toe the Stage 2 start line. Coldwell and Stimpson emerged from the water in front, with a few athletes in the back caught in some accidental fisticuffs on the swim.

Zaferes, Spirig, and Kasper stuck close to the two Brits to hit the run in the lead group. Coldwell faded, allowing Spirig, Zaferes, and Kasper to finish second, third, and fourth to Stimpson.

It became a heated race for the last five spots on the Stage 3 pontoon. After a while on her own, Cook finally bridged up to the leaders. Rachel Klamer, Charlotte McShane, Emmie Charayron, and Melanie Santos beat Non Stanford for the chance to race once more.

Stage 3

While the athletes had been largely tactical through the first two stages keeping their chips close, Stage 3 of the Eliminator was where they would spend them. It was time to see who could go fastest over the now-familiar course.

The pace was up as athletes stretched out single-file over the swim. Coldwell once again was first out of the water, followed by two Americans Kasper and Cook. The three pushed to make a break on the bike, but a hard-charging Spirig pulled Stimpson and Zaferes right back up onto them.

The run determined who would be eliminated in each stage. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

It seemed a battle between Spirig of Switzerland and Zaferes of the USA as they got onto the run, but it was here where the American’s fleet feet took her to the front, never to look back.

Meanwhile, Cook’s track-and-field background came good as she put on a surge of her own to pip Spirig for second. While Kasper attempted to make it an all-American podium sweep, Spirig held strong to clinch third.

“On the run, I knew when I made the pass I had to gap them or else it was game over. So I really just went for it and I tried not to look back. I was running pretty scared at the end but it worked out,” said Cook post-race. “I was really nervous yesterday morning and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was a little bit scared but I ended up thinking last night that yesterday’s format was one of the most fun races I’ve ever done. Today was pretty fun too but I’m still in a little bit too much pain to appreciate it yet.”

While Spirig slipped to third overall after coming in second yesterday, finishing at the pointy end in a top-caliber field was a testament to her strength and quality as an athlete. She said, “It’s good fun, I think it was tough for everyone today with the weather and with the format but well done to the girls and I think I did my best. I’m very happy.”

Zaferes takes home the top prize of $18,000 and the first women’s trophy for Super League Triathlon after a consistent season on the world triathlon circuit. “It’s just so cool, it’s a different style of racing. It’s a fun style but it is so painful and you cannot hide anywhere,” she said. “I would love to do more of these.”

Cook, Zaferes, and Spirig holding their prize checks at the awarding. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

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Super League: Corporate Mix Teams Hungry for the Lead

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The run course along the Elizabeth Marina board walk. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

In the second day of Super League Jersey Corporate Mix racing, Team Comprop is once again leading the rankings, its members coming out firing on all cylinders to win the team relay race against 16 other teams from nine corporate entities. First Names Group Team 2 and the Ravenscroft Titans followed across the finish line, maintaining the top three overall. Like in Day 1, the competition was held over the Sprint Pursuit format, which involves racing over a 300-meter swim around the Elizabeth Marina, a 5-kilometer cycle leg on a cobblestoned and technical course and a 2-kilometer run done over two stages with a pursuit-style start in Stage 2.

Team Comprop is still in the lead after two days of racing. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Team Comprop and First Names Group Team 2 took first and second respectively in both Sprint Pursuit stages, but the Jersey Triathlon Club Junior Team 1 put up a brave fight to take third in Stage 1. The Ravenscroft Titans had a slow start off the blocks and crossed the Stage 1 line in ninth place, but made up for their deficit and recovered third place in Stage 2.

The Corporate Mix overall win relies on the total of a team’s points garnered from their relay finish position and the points from their pro male and female athletes’ finish positions. Team Comprop has pro men’s leader Kristian Blummenfelt on its roster while First Names Group Team 2 has women’s leader Katie Zaferes, and if both athletes hold their form, they will deliver the top two spots in the Corporate Mix to their teams.

Both teams from Santander International may have a chance to rise higher in the overall rankings with better finishes today than yesterday. Their pro athletes Fernando Alarza and Carolina Routier will certainly do their best to better yesterday’s results in their Eliminator races later today. The Eliminator will put them through three stages of swim-bike-run, with only the fastest 15 and then the fastest 10 getting through to the next stages. It will remain to be seen whether they can get to finish and earn those all-important series points.

Corporate Mix swimmers line up for their pontoon start. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

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Nutrition

Recovery Smoothie – Supercharged Green and Berry Smoothie

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Photo: Shutterstock

After a long hard workout I like to get fueled right away. I find it easiest for me to get down a smoothie rather than solid food. By making a smoothie I am able to pack it full of nutrient dense foods. Below is my “go to” –

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Green & Berry Super Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Coconut water
  • 8 oz Hemp milk
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup Frozen Blueberries
  • 6 leaves Tuscan Kale
  • ½ Gold beet large
  • ½ nugget of fresh turmeric root
  • 1 serving Favorite plant based protein powder I use Vega Performance protein berry flavor for this
  • 2 tbsp Chia seed
  • 1 tbsp Acai powder
  • 1 tbsp Maca powder
  • 1 tbsp Spirulina
  • 4 large ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a high power blender such as Vita mix. Process until smooth. Consistency can be adjusted with cold water as you are processing.

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News & Racing

Super League: Katie Zaferes stuns in Triple Mix on Day 1

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Katie Zaferes of the USA stunned dual Olympic medalist Nicola Spirig at the inaugural Super League Triathlon women’s race in Jersey, Channel Islands. The ascendant American was never too far off the front throughout, and took the overall win with a 19-second lead over the speedy Swiss. Compatriot Summer Cook rounded out the first women’s podium for the revolutionary race series. Triple Mix is a three-stage race with a 10-minute break between stages and a pursuit-style start in Stages 2 and 3.

Stage 1: Swim-Bike-Run

Carolina Routier, Sophie Coldwell, and Emma Jeffcoat found clear water off the pontoon start and came out of the 300-meter swim together, but most of the athletes emerged together to form a huge chase pack which swallowed the lead swimmers once on the bike leg.

Coldwell and British compatriot Jodie Stimpson worked to put pressure through the first few laps of the five-kilometer bike ride. With the field splintering between a large front group and solo athletes trying to bridge the gap, those off the back fell victim to the 90-second elimination rule. Sameera Al Bitar found herself more than 90 seconds behind the lead athlete and was forced to retire partway through the bike.

Pontoon start for the Women’s Triple Mix Stage 1 of Super League in Jersey. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Stimpson, Coldwell, and Claire Michel of Belgium came off the bike together, but with the athletes so close together, Spirig emerged out front with Zaferes right on her shoulders. Summer Cook managed to stay in contention despite struggling with the technical bike course, while Lucy Hall and Mariya Shorets were eliminated after the bike leg.

During the two-kilometer run, Michel, Spirig, and Zaferes took turns out front, but it was Michel who took the tape ahead of Spirig and Zaferes. Cook ran herself into fourth.

Stage 2: Run-Bike-Swim

With only 10 minutes to recover before starting another two-kilometer run and only seconds separating the lead three women, it didn’t take long for Zaferes to move up front. However, Spirig, Cook, and Michel came with her surge to create a 20-second gap to chasers Stimpson, Coldwell, and Rachel Klamer.

Jodie Stimpson, Sophie Coldwell, and Rachel Klamer run as a chase group. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Spirig put pressure on and gapped the leaders with her trademark bike power and great handling, but after a while Zaferes answered the surge. Apparently, Zaferes had thought one of her tires had gone flat, but once confirmed that was not the case, she confidently rode back onto Spirig’s back wheel before taking the front into transition.

Zaferes made sure to hit the water ahead of Spirig, and her stellar technique ensured she crossed the Stage 2 finish line first.

Thanks to the gap the two had created to the rest of the field, an additional seven women were eliminated, while Laura Lindemann took a nasty bike spill but was able to continue.

Stage 3: Bike-Swim-Run

The Swiss-American tandem played tag team throughout the opening bike leg, maintaining their lead while a race for third happened behind them. Coldwell teamed up with Kirsten Kasper to leave the rest of the field, but once the race entered the water the athletes bunched up again while Zaferes and Spirig stayed clear.

Out onto the run, Zaferes began stretching her legs and her lead to Spirig, who was never able to reclaim the front. The former collegiate track star made the final few hundred meters of the run look easy, celebrating into the finish chute.

Katie Zaferes and Nicola Spirig riding hard. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

“When I first got on the bike I was a little off technically with the corners, but I got more comfortable and moved up and was happy with how the race progressed as it got on,” Zaferes said. “The swim feels as horrible as all the boys told us it did, so at least I was prepared for that and didn’t panic. I felt nervous especially after having raced last weekend, but I felt good. I really hope to approach tomorrow just like I did today and hope the same result comes away from it, but Day 2 gets significantly harder. I’ll go for it for sure though.”

It has been only a few months since Spirig gave birth to her second child, but today’s race showed she is still one of the most fearsome athletes to contend with on any starting line. She said, “Thank you very much for all the support from all of you. It has been great being here. I was just, it was amazing, I had good fun and I hope I’m a bit of an inspiration for all moms.”

Meanwhile, Cook used her stellar run to take herself into third place overall, the youngest on the Triple Mix podium. She said, “I’m feeling really good about today, I wasn’t sure about what to expect coming in; I felt like it could go either way. I was really proud of myself to just go out there and compete, not be afraid to put myself close to the front and just race my hardest. I haven’t really thought about tactics going into tomorrow yet. I’m kind of just trying to stay in the moment today and focus on what I needed to do. I guess I’ll have some thinking about a strategy to do tonight.”

There is one more day of racing to go to claim the first Super League Triathlon women’s trophy. These athletes will have to give it their all to stay on top. The Eliminator awaits, and only the fastest will survive.

Jodie Stimpson, Sophie Coldwell, and Rachel Klamer run as a chase group. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

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