Weekend Update: Swim Around Charleston, Augusta 70.3, Cystic Fibrosis Ride, Hellhole Gravel Grind

It was another great- but HOT- weekend for Team AMEC athletes. We were doing a little bit of everything: swimming, triathlon, road riding, and gravel grinding.

Swim Around Charleston

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3 Team AMEC athletes swam and 1 Team AMEC athlete and Team AMEC fans acted as boat support for the 12 mile Swim Around Charleston.

 

 

 

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Madison braved the waters for the entire 12 miles, swimming in the solo category and finishing in 5 hours, 19 minutes. She wanted to finish in 6 hours so obviously all the long hours and and meters swam in training paid off.

 

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Kelsey traveled back to Charleston to visit her friends and teammates and swam in a duo category with Joelle. They placed 2nd in their category.  This was GREAT training and a nice change of pace for both ladies.  Kelsey is training for IM Arizona and Joelle is weeks away from IM NC 70.3.

 

 

 

 

 

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Even though none of them were likely paying attention to the scenery, it appears to have been a beautiful day.

Perhaps Missy and Shannon were able to enjoy it while being the  supporting boat crew for Kelsey and Joelle.  Team member and proud dad Jerry acted as support for Madison.

 

 

 

 

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And as usual, the entire team managed to get a picture together. I’ve said it before but one of the things that makes me most proud of my team is how supportive they are of each other.

 

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Anyone who had a friend or loved one racing Augusta 70.3 this weekend knows that the heat was BRUTAL and proved too much for many of the racers.

Tracey managed to muddle through, really feeling the temperatures on the run.  Her time was not what she wanted it to be but given the conditions she should be proud of herself for simply finishing.

Bree wasn’t as lucky, unfortunately. Having been plagued with lower back issues for the last few months, her bike leg proved to be very painful.  By the time she got to the run the pain and the heat were just too much to bear.  As any athlete knows, some days just aren’t in our control.  The only thing you can do is get over it and move on.  She’s a tough lady and I know she’ll carry on.

 

 

 

Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life

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Mother and Son Team AMEC athletes Pam and Scotty rode for a cure on Saturday.  Pam rode the 30 mile ride and Scotty did the 100.  For those that remember a few years back, Scotty created the Scotty’s Ride for Water raising money and awareness for Water Mission International.  He rode across the state of SC.  Well, next summer he will be taking it a few steps further and riding across the country! He has been training so hard and AMAZINGLY was one of the first finishers of the 100 miler.  And he’s 12. I’d say he has a future :-)

 

 

 

 

 

Hellhole Gravel Grind

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And finally… While I never post my own results here, I wanted to today because I am so happy.  It was a brutal weekend in the Hellhole Swamp at the Hellhole Gravel Grind,a 3 day stage race on the gravel roads of the Francis Marion Forest. This is the 4th year of the event and I have been after the top stop on the podium since it’s inception.  Going into the 3rd day I was sitting in second and prepared to miss it once again.  However, no matter how things appear if you stay focused and shop up ready to go – you never know what might happen.  I FINALLY did it, winning the 3rd day stage and then once the 3 days of times were combined won the entire race.

And thanks to Brian Fancher of Brian Fancher Photography for the great pictures that captured all the moments of the weekend.

Never give up.

Weekend Update: BFF 5k and Kiawah Island Triathlon

Another great weekend but a slightly sad one for me as it marks the end of the racing season for several of my athletes. We went out strong so let’s get to that.

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Elizabeth put together a great picture that captures our 4 years of progress together.  At the BFF 5k she continued to shave time- this year PR’ing by 1:10. You can clearly see how each year she gets stronger and faster. I am SO proud of all her hard work and determination and how she continues to be such an inspiration to her friends and family- and especially her son! Her fall racing season is just getting started so expect to see more PRs in the near future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Kiawah Island olympic distance triathlon is always a great time and I usually have a lot of athletes participating. This year was no exception as I had TWELVE racers today.  For some of them this race marks the end of the triathlon season, and for others it’s a fine-tuning race for longer distance races in the fall.  We had a mix of both this year, and in both scenarios we did FANTASTIC! I am so proud of everyone and I hope they are all stoked with their performances.

 

Before I go into any specifics, here are our results in a nutshell:1

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Missy
  • Tucker

Personal Records (PRs):

  • Don (by 8 minutes)
  • Jason (by 5 minutes)
  • Luis (by 14 minutes)
  • Sarah (by 2 minutes)

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  • Danny, 1st in AG
  • Don, 1st Grand Master Male
  • Ken, 1st in AG
  • Luis, 3rd in AG
  • Melissa, 1st in AG
  • Sarah, 3rd in AG
  • Shaun, 3rd in AG

 

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This was the end of the 2016 triathlon season for Jason, Ken and Sarah so I know they are thrilled to have ended on a high note.   3

 

I will be expecting all three of them to dominate this winter as they transition to running races. (Sarah, you are transitioning to running races, right?)

 

 

 

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Joelle, Melissa, and Missy all used today as a pre-race prep for Ironman 70.3 North Carolina.

Melissa will be looking for a PR and Joelle and Missy will become first time half-ironman finishers.

 

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Danny and Luis also have half-iron distance races in their immediate future: Danny will be in Aruba for the Challenge Aruba in a few weeks and Luis will be at Ironman 70.3 Miami.

Don is less than a month  away from the Ironman World Championships in Kona. Not only did he PR and win Grand Masters today but he raced on an old road bike with clip on aero bars as his tri bike is already on route to Hawaii.  I think this race was total confirmation to him (and me) that we have done everything right and are ready to crush it!

 

 

 

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Shaun and Bill are gearing up for Ironman Florida in November.  Shaun kicked some serious butt today coming in 3rd in his AG with no taper at all. In fact, he did a 16 mile run on Tuesday.  I seriously doubt the first and second place finishers did that.

 

14317540_3304536017558_6940987370970654760_nAlso, a big shout out to the Blue Sky Endurance Triathlon Training Team finishers! Matt, William and Valerie are now olympic distance finishers.  Great work, guys. I have enjoyed riding with you over the last 4 months.

 

 

 

 

 

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20160918_114429Stay tuned, we have lots more to talk about this year!

Weekend Update: White Lake Triathlon, 106 West High Triathlon and Misc. 5ks

img_4046Another weekend of racing is over and we had more great results.

Cindi and Dawn finished their seasons at the White Lake International distance triathlon.

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Cindi  had a great race and placed 2nd in her AG.  She had an amazing season- PR’ing multiple times at the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series and winning her AG every race as well as in the overall series. She is going to spend the winter cross-training and recovering before we ramp up in the spring for another good season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dawn continues to show her toughness by pushing through with an injury.  She had a great swim and bike and continued to run even though it was extremely painful.  Our plan for the winter is strength training to work on her hip imbalance and get her in tip-top shape for 2017.

 

 

 

Brian completed the White Lake Half distance as a training day for IM Cozumel. We have a good idea of where he is with his fitness and we are ready to spend the last few months ramping him up to get it done.

 

 

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Kelsey and Lauren competed in the highest altitude triathlon in the world: the 106 West Tri.  The half iron distance’s conditions were brutal: really cold water and very windy bike course, which any athlete knows leads to one thing: a really long run.  But these ladies finished like champions.  This was a perfect training day for Ironman Arizona– that should feel like a piece of cake!

 

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Patty had a GREAT 5k- PR’ing by over 30 seconds and winning her AG.  We are both very excited about her progress in the short amount of time we have been working together.  She has a 10k on the short horizon and then we will get her ready for the 2017 tri season.

 

 

 

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Elizabeth ran her 5k with her son.  He is loving getting fit with his mom and did great.  He placed 4th in his AG. It’s so great to see them having fun together.  Elizabeth will be running a 5k on her own next weekend and then will focus on some longer running races.

Weekend Update: Summerville YMCA Youth Triathlon, Lake Lure Triathlon, CSTS #5, and Greenville Triathlon

Another super impressive weekend for my athletes.

Starting with Saturday, I had several triathlete prodigies representing at the Summerville YMCA Youth Triathlon.

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Sisters Hadley and Madison, daughters of Team AMEC athlete Dawn, made us all proud by racing super hard and having a great time doing it!

 

Being in the same age group and racing each other this year resulted in all smiles.  Hadley placed 4th and Madison – who moved up to the 9-10 girls this year pulled out a 2nd place and is happy to show off her hardware.  Madison’s future goals? To follow in Uncle Don’s footsteps and qualify for Kona.

 

 

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Scotty placed 2nd in his AG and also the 3rd overall boy finisher.  Scotty is continuing to push the boundaries of what kids can do when they put their minds to it.  Next summer he will embark on an amazing journey- riding his bike across the country to raise money and awareness for Water Missions.  You will hear me talk more about this over the next months, but go to Scotty’s Ride for Water to read more about it.  He’s a remarkable young man. In the upcoming months we are training for 2 days of riding 60+ miles in Asheville, the Cystic Fibrosis 100 mile Cycle for Life and the Jerry Zucker Ride for Hope.

Did I mention he’s 12?

 

 

 

 

20160813_0929243 was the lucky number for Doug this weekend as he continued his race marathon. He took 3rd in his AG at the Lake Lure Sprint Triathlon on Saturday, then packed up and headed over to the Greenville Triathlon on Sunday where he also took 3rd in his AG.  Both of these races were part of the SetUp Events SC Triathlon Series and he added more points to strengthen his hold on 1st place in his AG for the series.  Currently 500 points ahead of 2nd place- I am feeling pretty good about this one!

 

 

 

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Now let’s talk about the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series.  This was the last race of the summer, number 5, and we are all sad to see it go.  Everyone today was racing for race podiums and series podiums.  It was great to see almost everyone meet up before the race and snap this amazing picture together.  Missy- next time, I hope!

 

 

 

 

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The friendly Women’s 30-34 AG rivalry between Cindi and Sarah continued today.  Cindi had a great day today- feeling super fresh and strong.  Her results show it, too, as she shaved another minute of her best time for basically the 4th PR of the series.  Yes, she basically improved every race this season.  Her goal today was to break into the 1:12s and she came in at 1:12:19.  Next year she should be breaking 1:10!

 

 

 

 

 

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Cindi’s performance today put her on the top step as 1st place in AG for the 4th race in a row, and solidified her 1st place in AG for the series as well.  Very happy for her.

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Sarah also had a really good day today- even though her face in that picture above right doesn’t show it.  She thought she was going slow- when actually she was only 20 seconds behind her PR.  She also placed 2nd in her AG for the race.  I am sure she will be the first to tell you that she learned today about keeping her head in the game- and to listen when your coach is yelling at you from the sidelines.   BTW, Sarah, if you are reading this, your swim split today was your fastest yet- even though you told me right after the race that it was terrible.  So, that’s your SECOND “dum-dum” award of the DAY.  :-)

 

 

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Joelle has had a tough week this week as she has been suffering from some back pain.  However, she came out and gave it her all as a training day for Ironman 70.3 North Carolina.  I have all the confidence in the world that we are getting to the bottom of it and we’ll be right back on track to wrap up the last 10 weeks of training for her first half!

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As you may remember, Melisa has also had an injury but she is coming back and getting stronger by the race.   She placed 3rd in her AG today!

 

 

 

 

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Missy had a FANTASTIC day, wrapping up the series with another PR today! Your fastest time ever is great way to close up the sprint races.  She always has a smile on her face and looks like she is having a great time! Unfortunately she probably would have been a millisecond faster if I hadn’t yelled “Hold on!” so I could get that picture of her running.  Fortunately I came to my senses immediately and told her “What am I saying?!? Don’t hold on.  Run!”  Now it’s time to focus on her first half ironman with Joelle!

 

 

 

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Since we are on the topic of PRs, Melissa brought home a fastest CSTS race time today, too! Shaving a minute off her previous best, this was good enough for her to bring home a 2nd place in her AG for the race.  She’ll be wrapping up the year in October when she races Ironman 70.3 North Carolina with Joelle and Missy!

 

Dawn has also been a member of the unfortunate injury club- nursing a bit of a hamstring/glute issue. IMG_6434

Our goal today was to go out and have fun and feel good.  She not only did this but crushed the bike- having the 3rd fastest bike split in her AG and being able to run the whole run! I am really happy that she had a good day and we will continue to work on getting her glute strength up to heal her up quick.

 

Well, this is a bummer and I am not sure how it happened but I somehow missed getting a picture of Bree solo.  Sorry, lady! But she had a really good race today and had a great 2nd fastest swim in her division.  I am really happy about that! She had a little brake rubbing snafu on the bike for a few minutes but took care of it and rode like a rock star- loving her new bike!

 

 

 

 

 

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On the men’s side we had more good results and a mishap.  Don decided to just pop in and race after a REALLY HARD day of training yesterday (all week actually) and still managed to pull out a 1st place in his AG.

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Don is going to enjoy a recovery week this week as we are counting down the weeks til Kona!

He also has a friendly AG rivalry with another one of my athletes, Danny, who had a good race himself today. He placed 2nd in the AG and also managed to  put up the fastest bike split for the AG. I hope that he is rubbing that one in to Don pretty well.

 

 

 

 

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Ken had a much better race today than CSTS #4, shaving 4 minutes off from a few weeks ago.   He placed 4th in his AG and is looking forward to wrapping up triathlon season with the Kiawah Triathlon before shifting over to running season.

 

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Pearce made a slight tactical error today losing the top spot in his category by an unfortunate 7 seconds.  He caught the 1st place guy at the end of the run, sat on him for a bit, and then took off- but just a little too soon.  The 1st place dude was bluffing a bit and ramped it up to take it in the end.  Great try, Pearce.  Like I told him at the line: Sometimes you have to risk losing to win.  Today it didn’t work out, but next time it may!

 

 

 

 

 

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And finally, Milo pulled the oldest trick in the book today.  Feeling mounting pressure from his coach to break 1:10 in the 5th and final race of the series, he avoided it all together by having a bike mechanical.  In all seriousness, though, it’s a bummer because I know he was ready to rock it out today and it’s always unfortunate when your bike gets the best of you.

 

It’s a sad day because I really love watching everyone do this great local series.IMG_2938

Great work to everyone- you all had a great series of races.   Sometime my racers complain about not looking their best in my photos, so here’s a special treat to celebrate the finale: Me looking like a complete goober.  Only in facial expression, though, because I look amazing in my Cervo Rosso kit. (Shameless sponsor plug)

Now let’s focus on the fall!

Weekend Update: Lake Logan Half, Lake Logan International, Summer Sizzler 10k, and The Copper Triangle

This weekend we had Team AMEC athletes representing in North Carolina and Colorado.

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At the Lake Logan half distance triathlon  Don and Danny gave it their all.

Don continued his training for Kona by going out hard today- trying to hit specific watts and paces in his splits.  He came in 3rd in his AG in a very strong field. We have a few things nailed down but still want to tweak a few things, too.  World Championships are getting very close!

Danny also had a good day, finishing mid-pack in a very large, competitive field. Next up for him is the Challenge Aruba triathlon.  That looks to be a very difficult yet beautiful event.  Looking forward to hearing about that.

 

 

 

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Dawn had a good day at the Lake Logan International distance triathlon.  IMG_5561

She is still nursing a running injury so we knew going in that her run split was not going to be what she is capable of.  Therefore our goal was to have a strong bike and she delivered- even with a mechanical!

Our next and final race of the season is the White Lake half in September!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our newest teammate Patty came onto the scene with a bang- winning her AG in the Summer Sizzler 10k.  Even though I have not yet met her in person she has an amazing spirit and is so excited about training hard and seeing improvement.  I am very excited to be working with her and looking forward to whatever she wants to do next!

 

IMG_1495 And finally, 2 of my 3 Voyles ladies braved really awful weather at the Copper Triangle in Colorado.  The 78-mile ride crests three Colorado Mountain passes with almost 6000 ft of climbing.  The cold rain made them contemplate quitting at one point but neither of them had cell service so the couldn’t.  Ha! We’ve all been there before.  Great job ladies for toughing it out- it will make you that much stronger for Ironman Arizona.

 

Next weekend marks the end of the summer with the last race of the Charleston Sprint Triathlon series.  I can’t believe it’s already here.  Check back because I expect to have a lot of overall series winners and placers!