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Jenn Stanton and Ricky Flynn win Female and Male Overall at the 2020 Asheville Triathlon

Jenn Stanton and Ricky Flynn win Female and Male Overall at the 2020 Asheville Triathlon

John Smith and Connor Smith with masks on at Asheville Triathlon

The overall female and male winners and new course record holders of the Asheville Triathlon in Hendersonville, were Jenn Stanton and Ricky Flynn.

Jenn Stanton is a pro triathlete from Charlotte, NC and had a time of 1:15:46. Ricky Flynn, also a pro triathlete and from Greenville, SC, completed the course in 58:23.

We asked each athlete a few questions about their training, their experience at the event, and what motivates them personally. We also asked how COVID-19 affected their training. Here are their answers. 

Jenn Stanton

1. What motivates you to be a triathlete?

I like to think of this question as “What is your why?” The list includes: When I am involved in sport, when I sweat, I am my sharpest self. Training sessions often help clear the cobwebs in my brain and give me a better headspace. I am more creative and stronger both mentally and physically. To be healthy and a positive example for my kids is so important, and I believe this is one way to model values I hope to pass along to them. Having purpose in educating them, other athletes, and beyond is, also, easily a part of my why. Lastly, I’m so thankful for a body that allows me to do the things I love. So as long as I can, I’m pretty sure I will.

2. You have two kids! How do you manage to juggle everything? (training, being a mom, coaching, etc.)

This is a great question! Some days I’m not sure how it all gets done, hah! I don’t pretend to always do it well, but we make it work. Being creative and adaptable is key. Some days I wake up at 5 am to knock out a workout or work, and other days I don’t get to my own personal training until 2 pm and am up late on the computer. Some days I bike on the trainer and do a run off the bike up and down the street when the kids are home, and other times pre-Covid we’ve scheduled weekend babysitters for long run dates. My husband is a teacher, so it’s nice to have him home over the summer when kids are also home from school - we are usually passing the baton for workouts, work, and kids.

3. How often do you train and how long have you been training?

I did my first triathlon the weekend before my high school graduation and I guess the rest was history. I felt a little lost with no formality to my athletics for a time, but running road races and competing in local triathlons while I coached high school runners in college helped fill that part of me that loved to train and race. It was a stress reliever and hobby through school and a bonding factor when dating my now husband. After school I was inspired to take it more seriously each consecutive year as I made new goals for myself, which helped me through a few life moves, postpartum times, and beyond. So, it’s been almost 2 decades now that I’ve considered myself a triathlete. Training ebbs and flows. I probably average 10 hours a week depending on what I’m training for, which over the last few years has maxed out at the 70.3 distance.

4. Have you always been athletic? What was your childhood like regarding sports?

I first joined my neighborhood swim team at 4 years old, followed by basketball, year-round soccer, volleyball, varsity soccer/track/cross country. My parents had me do a season of just about every sport when I was young including t-ball, ballet, and gymnastics. I settled into my athletic career as a summer league swimmer, soccer player, and runner. So, yes, I guess I’ve always participated in sports - have been better at some more than others 😉 Riding my bike to and from swim practice with friends in the summer is one of my favorite childhood memories, so I maybe I was destined to one day be a triathlete.

5. I read that you podiumed your debut Ironman. Congrats! Can you tell me a little about that experience?

I podiumed at Gulf Coast 70.3 which was my second 70.3 but my first IRONMAN branded race. I was training that year for IRONMAN Florida and Gulf Coast was my half way point. I had a great day and give a ton of credit to my coach, Kelly Fillnow, for helping me get to that podium spot.

6. How did you hear about the Asheville Triathlon?

I think my first year doing the race was 2010. We were living near Asheville that summer, my husband and I love the local race scene, we stumbled across it and signed up!

7. This was the first time we held the Asheville Triathlon in Hendersonville, COVID style. What did you think about the location and the changes we had to put in place to allow for social distancing?

It was such a fun morning. iDaph did a fabulous job putting on the event with the location switch - everything from the drive through packet pick up to a rolling swim start and finish line bags to-go. It was definitely a different race day experience, but it worked.

8. If we have the Asheville Tri again, would you join us again?

Absolutely!

9. How did COVID affect your training?

With remote learning and everyone home my new normal became the 2 - 4 pm training window after executing at-home school. I ventured to the lake some to get swims in and did almost all biking and running at or close to home. Thankfully, my kids understand and are used to our days including swim/bike/run. Some days it has looked like ‘recess’ riding bikes on the greenway while mom runs and others it looks like ‘do anything but enter the guest room while mom is doing an FTP test on the trainer’ 😉

10. What is your favorite: swim, bike or run? It’s different every season.

I truly love all three and love having three sports to choose from on any given day.

11. What has been the greatest lesson that athletics has taught you?

There are too many to count and at different times in my life different lessons have bubbled to the surface. Resilience and self-efficacy may be the most consistent themes, however. Training days and races almost always provide some element of unpredictability. I have endured injuries. Repetitive perseverance and success build confidence – I know this to be true. Also, learning resilience and adaptability through athletics has helped me learn how to reframe daily life stress, situations, and challenges. I’ve learned that the only way to make something less hard is often to – do the thing that is hard!

Ricky Flynn

1. What motivates you to be a triathlete?

I enjoy pushing my body to see how fast I can go.

2. How often do you train and how long have you been training?

This is my 5th year since I started doing triathlons. And my 3rd year as a pro. I train in some way every day. I would say I fluctuate between 20 and 32 hours of training per week.

3. What is the fastest you have run a mile? Have you always been fast? What was your childhood like regarding sports?

My best in the 1500meter is 3:50 (which equates to about a 4:07 mile).  Yes, when I was younger I played all different sports and was always the fastest on the team. I played a sport year round. Between baseball, football, westling, swimming, running, I was a very active kid and loved playing sports.

4. I saw you were the youngest finisher at the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials with a time of 2:13:41. Can you tell me a little about that experience?

Yes, I was 12th overall and I think the youngest in the top 50. It was an amazing experience to be able to debut in the marathon at the olympic trials and for it to go so well. That performance really gave me the confidence that I could be succcessful in running.

5. How did you hear about the Asheville Triathlon?

I have known about the race for a couple years. I usually have a good idea of most of the local races in the area, especially triathlons since they are not very common.

6. This was the first time we held the Asheville Triathlon in Hendersonville, COVID style. What did you think about the location and the changes we had to put in place?

I thought the race did a good job with using specific COVID protocols in order to make it a safe and fun experience for everyone.

7. If we have the Asheville Tri again, would you join us again?

Possibly, just depends on what my race schedule looks like during that time.

8. How do you feel about sport events right now?

I love sports, so I am happy that we are seeing them starting back up. I think as long as the appropriate precautions are made then we can have sports.

9. How did COVID affect your training?

The only thing that really affected my training was the lack of access to a pool and gym for a few months. So, I didnt get to swim as much but I made do as best I could by doing some open water swimming and strength training at home.

10. What is your favorite: swim, bike or run?

Sort of by default, the run is my favorite b/c that is what I am best at.

11. What accolades have you achieved that you are most proud of?

I still have a lot of goals to accomplish in triathlon, but as of now I would say being an age group world champion at the 70.3 world championships. Past accolades I am most proud of (thru running) is being the 2009 DIII Cross country national champion, and a 7-time all-american (cross country/track) and I would say being 12th at marathon Olympic Trials would be up there too. I also won a highschool cross country state title in 2003 (Maryland) which is a pretty good memory.

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Asheville Triathlon Recap: How we put on a triathlon during coronavirus

Asheville Triathlon Recap: How we put on a triathlon during coronavirus

John Smith and Connor Smith with masks on at Asheville Triathlon

With just over 100 participants on Sunday, July 19th, the iDaph Events team proved that, with an abundance of planning and safety precautions, successful live endurance events are still a possibility for our community.  Participants donned face coverings before and after the event, had their temperatures checked and kept themselves socially distanced from other participants. Those safety precautions certainly didn’t hinder the irreplaceable excitement of an in-person event, and participants were happy to be racing again in a competitive environment. 

“This coronavirus has really forced us to make some big changes in the endurance event industry,” says Daphne Kirkwood, Owner of iDaph Events and Race Director for the Asheville Triathlon event.  “And there just isn’t a cookie cutter way to design and produce an in-person event during a pandemic. But I’m really happy with how safely everything turned out for this in-person, multi-sport event.”

Patton Park was a great alternative to our previous venue in Asheville, due to its proximity to the Oklawaha Greenway, and its large 50 meter pool. Patton Park is maintained by the YMCA of Western North Carolina and owned by the City of Hendersonville. 

Race Results - Top Finishers

The overall female and male winners and new course record holders of the Asheville Triathlon in Hendersonville, were Jenn Stanton and Ricky Flynn. Jenn Stanton is a pro triathlete from Charlotte, NC and had a time of 1:15:46. Ricky Flynn, also a pro triathlete and from Greenville, SC, completed the course in 58:23.

READ OUR BLOG ABOUT JENN STANTON AND RICKY FLYNN

Sonni Dryer, who’s the head triathlon coach for Queens University in Charlotte, was 2nd in the men’s division with a time of 1:05:22. Abby Smith was the second place female finisher with a time of 01:16:38. Abby’s brother, Connor Smith, came in third in the overall male category with a time of 01:06:18. Both Abby and Connor are locals, and currently attend Asheville School. CLICK HERE FOR RACE RESULTS

Changes due to COVID-19

In order to ensure the participant’s safety, transition zones looked a bit different this year. Instead of having bike racks set up in a typical transition zone, participants were asked to transition at their vehicles. With a sprawling parking lot dedicated to the transition zone, participants were asked to keep all of their equipment, bikes and gear in their vehicles. 

“This type of transition provided a contactless and socially distanced event throughout the entire transition from swim to bike, and from bike to run,” Daphne said. “And people could just keep their bikes on their bike racks at their cars until they got into transition. It went really well. They had plenty of room to set up their things in front of, behind, beside and or in the median/grass area. We also had spaces in between some cars giving additional space.”

The swim format also looked different this year. This year, participants were given a wave start time based on the swim time they submitted when they signed up for the event. They were given a  full minute before the next swimmer entered the pool, which usually gave them an entire lane to themselves. We also socially-distanced participants, 6 feet apart using circular, removable stickers on the pool deck, while they were waiting for their turn to swim. We never had more than 25 swimmers at the pool or on the deck at a time. Everything was very spaced out from start to finish. No spectators were allowed at the pool or at the finish line. 

“Overall, the event took a few hours longer to get everyone through the swim, which is quite a change from the Asheville Triathlon in the past, but that was our way of making sure swimmers were properly spaced apart, socially-distanced and safe,” Daphne said. 

Other changes to the event included increased signage regarding safety protocols and sanitization, temperature checks at the entrance (conducted by PT Solutions), a drive through packet pickup the day before the event, and the absence of an after-race party. Participants were asked to bring their own nutrition and water, and to wear masks before and after the event. Spectators were asked to wear masks at all times, and were limited to a small number of designated, socially distanced spectator cheer zones on the course.

The event did have its hiccups…

There was some confusion at this year’s event out on the bike course, and that’s where the presence of volunteers were sorely missed. 

“We had to cut back on volunteers this year due to COVID and, although we tried to emphasize prior to the event that participants should check out the race resources with our social media course previews, course maps, a digital event guide and pre-ride or drive the courses, not everyone took advantage of these opportunities. In a socially-distanced event participants really have to pay attention to where they are going. Since there is so much space in between participants it is nearly impossible to follow someone around on the courses.  I know when you’re in RACE MODE it’s sometimes easy to miss course markings on the pavement and yard signs with arrows, etc. Next time we will continue to emphasize the importance of knowing the courses and the markings.” said Daphne. 

“The bike route had a quarter mile gravel section on it so that didn’t work well with some of the narrow tires on triathlon and road bikes,” Daphne added, “and there was some talk of the transition between swim to bike and bike to run, being too long, which unfortunately is difficult to change considering the location of the event and spacing protocols necessary for a safe event.”

“But, all in all, people said they would come back and do it again! In fact, according to our race survey, 83 percent said they would come back in September and/or next summer if we decided to have this same event in the same location. We took a lot of time to plan this event with safety and social distancing in mind, and we took the pandemic very seriously throughout the entire event. It was great to see people racing again and having fun. We had to get creative and do a lot of meticulous planning, and it was worth it!”

The Asheville Triathlon was a strong boost for the local economy. Most of the participants were from the Asheville area, but almost 40% of participants traveled 50 miles or more to attend. Because of its success, iDaph Events is planning to hold another triathlon at a future date at the same location. Details will be posted at https://idaph.net/

Testimonials

“iDaph did a fabulous job putting on the event with the location switch - everything from the drive through packet pick up to a rolling swim start and finish line bags to-go. It was definitely a different race day experience, but it worked.” ~ Jenn Stanton, female overall winner. 

I thought the race did a good job with using specific COVID protocols in order to make it a safe and fun experience for everyone. ~ Ricky Flynn

 

“Thanks for a great race and race plan. I felt safer racing yesterday than going to the grocery store.” ~ Carlton Beverly Cooper

“Just wanted to say thank you so much for an incredible event this morning. It was my first tri and it was a blast - felt safe, so so organized, and positive. I know there ended up being some challenges with the bike but you guys truly put  on an amazing event..” ~ Catherine Beck

Podcast

Listen to our AVL Triathlon post event recap podcast covering the event details from start to finish. 

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Asheville Triathlon

Asheville Triathlon

2020 Asheville Triathlon - swim, bike, run

iDaph Events is excited to once again bring back this popular fast & fun sprint triathlon!
The race consists of a 400 meter swim, a 12.5 mile bike course and a 5K run course. These distances make this sprint triathlon great for every level of triathlete, from novice to elites. Novice + Beginner tri-athletes love this race! Elite athletes – get ready for a PR!

This race is fast and is a huge hit among local elites.

NEW FOR 2020: NEW LOCATION!
This year the Asheville Triathlon will take place in Patton Park, Hendersonville, NC! DIRECTIONS TO PATTON PARK

Patton Park is run by the YMCA of Western North Carolina and owned by the City of Asheville. The park consists of 400m pool swim, 12.5 mile bike and 5k run! The bike and run will use parts of the beautiful Oklawaha Greenway.

Swim

The 400 meter swim takes place in Patton Pool, an Olympic sized 50 meter lap pool with 8 lanes. We will space the swimmers in time trial starts. THIS IS NOT LIKE PAST EVENTS! EACH SWIMMER MAY NEED TO START A MINUTE AFTER THE SWIMMER IN FRONT OF THEM TO ALLOW ENOUGH DISTANCE. Participants will have a time trial start with plenty of time between each swimmer and will be organized in wave starts according to their estimated 100 yard swim time. Swimmers will flow in one direction in the lane.

Bike

The 12.5 mile bike course rolls through the quiet and beautiful Oklahawa Greenway in the City of Hendersonville, exits the Greenway and flows along a ‘rolling’ course through Henderson County countryside roads. Cyclists will return to the park by way of the Greenway and back to the transition zone.

Run

The 5k run is FAST and for the most part-flat, except for one little dipper hill that you will crest before entering back to the park. The entire 5k run is on the quiet, shaded and beautiful Oklahawa Greenway in the City of Hendersonville. The section of the greenway used for this event will run towards Jackson Park. There will only be a short section where the bike/run overlap. The route is an out-and-back, lollipop course, with one ‘self-service’ water station at the halfway point. We do encourage you to bring your own fuel, nutrition and refreshments for this event.

 

 

Asheville Triathlon: Swim Start List

Asheville Triathlon: Swim Start List

Welcome Everyone to the 2020 Asheville Triathlon! 

If you haven’t already… 

#1 Please READ through our DIGITAL EVENT GUIDE for 2020 Asheville Triathlon!

#2 You can also LISTEN to our Podcast with race info HERE

#3 CHECK OUT THE HUB MAP HERE and get familiar with the event hub before you arrive on race day. 

To find your wave and start time, search for your name on the Official Swim Start Lists below:

 

Wave 1: Orange 

Wave 2: Green 

Wave 3: Blue

Wave 4: Purple

Wave 5: Yellow

SWIM START LIST ORGANIZED BY WAVE START

SWIM START LIST BY NAME

 

Info about the order/wave start list and how it will work on race day….

• Swim start waves have been assigned based on the swim time you submitted when you registered.

• Participants are assigned a wave start, rather than an exact start time. It is a ‘rolling’ wave start. 

• The PT Solutions provided, socially distanced ‘circle’ spots are the locations that you will stand around the pool to wait for your start. These are first come, first serve, within the wave. There is no ‘order’ to folks within the wave that you are in. Everyone that is in your wave submitted a similar swim start time. 

• Please do not arrive early for your swim start wave. This isn’t an event to just stand around and hang out.

• You will only be allowed onto the pool deck 5 minutes prior to your swim wave. • There are NO swim warm-ups.

•  We are limiting the number of participants in the pool zone at one time. 

 

When you go to the pool to start you will:

#1 Put your shoes for the swim to bike transition, under the picnic shelter. This is the side exit area for the swim finish that is to the far left side of the pool when facing the building from the parking lot. (see hub map)

Then next…

#2 Have a brief COVID19 screening and get your temperature checked by PT Solutions right before you enter the MAIN ENTRANCE of the pool (see hub map).
Then next…

#3 You will find the next available ‘SPOT’ on the pool deck to stand on. Get in line.

 

#4 These circles are socially distanced around the pool deck.
#5 Participants will start approximately every minute, and will jump into the pool at the deep end. (for swim flow and maps see Event Guide)
#6 Participants will move up in line, onto a new circle in front of them as participants start their swim.

Can’t wait to see you on Sunday morning!

 

 

 

 

Past iDaph Blogs

Mills River Lung Buster Time Trial Results and Recap

Mills River Lung Buster Time Trial Results and Recap

Congratulations for completing the Mills River Time Trial Woohooo you did it! Virtual high five! We are excited to announce that the results are in for the Mills River Time Trial Series! Thank you for participating in the series! Although we are mostly riding solo...

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2020 Asheville Off Road Series: We will see you in 2021

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