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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

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: What you need to know for Sunday

Asheville Triathlon: What you need to know for Sunday

The 2020 Asheville Triathlon is almost here!

We can’t wait to cheer you on at the Asheville Triathlon on  Sunday, July 19th at Patton Park in Hendersonville, NC. Thank you for supporting our event and our small business. 

We have created an Interactive Digital Event Guide to help inform our participants what to expect on race day.

We have also created a Podcast for the event so you can listen while you drive to work or packet pickup and get all the important details. Please read through the Event Guide and/or listen to the Asheville Triathlon Podcast so you will be prepared for Sunday! 

A few things to note:

• Face coverings MUST BE WORN before the event and after finishing. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.

• Face coverings do not need to be worn while racing.

• Your transition area is at your personal vehicle. Please do not set up your transition items in an empty parking spot beside your car. Your items should be close to the front, sides, back or on the hood/trunk of your car. You can leave your bike on your bike race too!

• Once you set up your transition area space please either go warm-up on the Hwy 25 sidewalk (not on the run/bike course!) or stay in car until 10 min before your wave start.

• After setting up your transition space and exiting the transition area we ask that you continue to wear a facial covering any time you might be in contact with another athlete, staff member or volunteer.

• Get your temperature checked before entering the pool for your race.

• There will be no body marking station at this event. We do ask that you body mark yourself by applying your race number on both arms/biceps with permanent marker.

• There is access to restrooms outside the pool building and inside the pool area.

• THERE WILL BE NO PRE-RACE MEETING. Please look for updates on our Facebook Page

The Swim List will be posted on Friday, July 17th after registration has closed. Please check this blog for the list and updates.

We wish everyone an awesome triathlon experience! We will have RESULTS posted on the iDaph Website on Sunday after the event!

Sticker Mule shout out!

Our iDaph Team LOVES Sticker Mule. They do a great job with our stickers for EVERY event, and they make the design process super easy. 

They just released three new tools to help make the design process even easier:  Trace, Upscale, & Redraw. Check them out!

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Pro Triathlete Sarah Alexander to join Asheville Triathlon

Pro Triathlete Sarah Alexander to join Asheville Triathlon

Professional Triathlete Sarah Alexander to join Asheville Tri

About Sarah: Sarah Alexander is an elite triathlete racing professionally since 2016. In 2019 she completed a 70.3 Ironman in Gult Coast and placed 5th. The same year she placed 6th in the 70.3 Ironman in Geelong. Her Peak ITU World Ranking is 62, and in 2018 she placed 4th in the Elite National Championships.

If you’re attending the Asheville Triathlon this month, you may see Sarah Alexander, pro triathlete and member of USA Triathlon. Sarah, 32, moved to Asheville in the spring and is training to do five half Ironmans this year. She will be participating in the Asheville Tri on Sunday, July 21st. 

Ok you might not see her. Because she’ll be kicking your a$$….

All joking aside, that’s exactly what makes the Asheville Triathlon such an all-encompassing event. The sprint distances allow for all levels of participants, from first-timers to pros, and many in-between. It’s the perfect race for someone who wants to “try the tri” for the first time, but it’s also a great event for an elite triathlete, like Sarah, because she can go fast and hard.

“My first triathlons were all local tris, and I think there’s something special about those races,” Sarah said. “I feel like it brings me back to my roots. Also the distance is great because it challenges you in terms of speed.”

Favorite Role Models

  • Daniela Ryf. She has dominated the sport. She Inspires me because she is relentless. 
  • Mirinda Carfrae. She has a young daughter but still commits to the sport. She sets a great example for moms continuing to pursue their dreams while raising their families.
  • My mom. She introduced me to tri. I was 15 and I remember her driving down to the track at 4 a.m. I’d sit in the car and cheer her on when she ran by. I have so much respect how she balanced training with her work and still priorited my brothers and my activities. I would have no idea what triathlon was if it wasn’t for her. 

An athlete in the making

Sarah’s background was full of athletics: She grew up playing lacrosse, tennis, and was a competitive figure skater for 15 years.  In fact, skating helped shape the type of athlete she is today. 

“I loved skating but I would cry every day because I wanted to quit,” Sarah recalls. “When you’re working on a jump, you try it and fall, try it and fall. You come off the ice soaking wet and sore…It really molded my work ethic. I’d say there’s a big mental component of performance for all sports, but especially for figure skating.”

When Sarah went to college, she had planned to join the cross country team but was recruited by the rowing team instead. She became a rower for Dartmouth College’s Varsity team for four years. She was 110 pounds when she started school, and left weighing 165. Talk about the freshman 15!

“I gained the rowing 40,” she said, laughing. “I was always trying to bulk up.”

Her strong legs, sense of rhythm, attention to technique and aerobic strength translated well into her first triathlon, which she completed in her early 20s. After graduating, she went on to business school, but decided to forego the corporate salary and become a professional triathlete. The window to train pro is small, she said. She wanted to seize the opportunity and see where it takes her. 

Joining up with the Asheville community

Sarah now trains with Triathlon Gold based in Asheville, a USA Triathlon program headed up by elite triathlon coach Jarrod Evans. 

“It’s been a journey,” she says. “I’m competing with women who have been doing tris a lot longer than I have, and it’s been a lot of dedication and hard work.”

Sarah heard about the Asheville Triathlon as she was researching local races to help prepare her for international half Ironmans. The timing was perfect, and she is looking forward to meeting members of the local sports community.

What is her favorite part of a triathlon?

“Running. But it’s a love/hate relationship,” she says, smiling. 

Next steps

Sarah’s next event is the Santa Rosa 70.3 in Sonoma County , California. Her current race goals include the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championships, and to win a Half Ironman. We wish her all the best and look forward to seeing her succeed in her journey. 

Come cheer on Sarah at the Asheville Triathlon Sunday, July 21st! You can still register here. Spaces are limited and we are filling up quickly!

Sarah’s Top Three Tips for Beginner Triathletes:

  • “Performance favors the prepared. Gear, nutrition, what you’ll need in transition.. All those things can become overwhelming.  Taking the time to seek out help, to prepare ahead of time. You only have your first tri race once, so having all those pieces in place as you can…it then allows you to not have stressful negative experience and really enjoy the race.
  • “Don’t be too hard on yourself. I think tris attract high performers and competitive people, and along with that comes a lot of self criticism and comparing yourself to others.I can definitely relate to that feeling of intimidation. Others have done more races, have more accomplishments..but Hey, I’m here for me, I’m going to do my best, I’m going to enjoy it. And that’s all you can really do at the end of the day. 
  • “Be courageous. This is a mantra of mine. In Triathlon, it feels like everything is happening very fast. It teaches you to be brave. Everyone has their own demons they have to overcome on race day, so tri not only teaches you to be brave, but I find that courage goes  a long way. I’ve beaten a lot of people who, on paper, I would not have if it weren’t for courage. Because I go for it, I’ve beaten them.”

Past iDaph Blogs

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Training for the Asheville Triathlon: Swimming

Training for the Asheville Triathlon: Swimming

Meet Asheville’s Zach Tacy, an elite triathlete who recently completed the  Ironman Virginia 70.3 with a total time of 4:21:23. He PR’d by 10 minutes and was first in his age group, 8th overall, and qualified for the World Championships In Nice, France.

He also competed in the 70.3 World Championship in South Africa with a total time of 4:34:01 and placed 407th overall. He was 28th in his age group out of over 4,500 world athletes.

Swimming Techniques for Sprint Tri

When you think of a triathlete, you probably picture someone like Zach Tacy: Super fit and lean, ready to run, swim and bike circles around you before you’re even done strapping on your swim goggles.

But not every triathlete is an elite athlete, and not every triathlon is an Ironman. Sprint Triathlons - which offer shorter distances - are becoming increasingly popular. A Sprint Triathlon involves a .5 mile swim, a 12.4 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run, so training for it is extremely doable. It’s a great gateway into the sport of triathlon; in fact, Zach’s first tri was the Asheville Triathlon, which is a sprint tri.

“When I crossed the finish line (at the Asheville Tri), the volunteers and staff were extremely supportive and so encouraging to everyone,” Zach says. “It was a phenomenal experience.”

Training for a Sprint Tri is easy to do as long as you stay consistent. Long workouts are not necessary, but doing all three sports on a regular basis each week is what will set you up for success. We will have three blogs posted over the next couple of weeks on techniques for swimming, biking and running. Here are some tips to get you started on the right path.

Swim Training: Breathing

 When training for any triathlon, it is very important to work on your swimming technique. Zach’s first tip? Don’t forget to breathe. Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s more difficult than you may think.

“It’s something I’m still working on,” Zach admits. “Having proper technique for swimming is so important - it’s more important than in running or biking.

A lot of people hold their breath while swimming, he addds, which leads to quicker fatigue and gasping for air. Instead, focus on a steady inhale/exhale rhythm, much like in yoga and running. Blow air out from your nose while your face is submerged and empty your lungs, then on every other stroke, tilt your head to the side, halfway out of the water, and take in oxygen. Once comfortable with that, inhale every three strokes while expelling air in between to practice getting air on both sides.

“This allows for a smoother breathing pattern, decreased fatigue, and allows the swimmer to focus more on effort and swim stroke than breathing.”

Bonus tip: Developing a breathing pattern is also very helpful for running.

“It should feel comfortable and natural,” Zach says. “And, it may change! Let it grow and evolve with your running.”

Save your legs for biking and running

 When swimming, rely mostly on your arms to pull you through the water. There are plenty of practice drills you can work on to accomplish this. For example, you can start each of your swim sessions with 10-15 minutes of some of the following drills:

  • Fingertip Drag: Drag your fingertips along the surface of the water when you bring your arm forward after a stroke. This helps you control your arm movement and keeping your elbow bent.
  • Doggie Paddle: Remember this one when you were a kid? Keep your chin on the surface of the water and push your elbows outward as you swim forward, keeping your hands under the water.
  • Clenched Fists: Swim your normal freestyle stroke with clenched fists. This emphasizes the role of the forearm.
  • Kickboard:Use a kickboard to focus only on your kick while keeping your arms stationary on the board.

Body Positioning

 Your head position will lead the rest of the body, says Zach. Your face should be at about a 45 degree angle in the water, with your forehead cresting the surface. Looking too far forward will cause resistance and pain in neck and shoulders, as well as making your body rotation more difficult. Looking too far down will also cause resistance.

Good body rotation is a very important when you’re swimming.

“When your arm enters the water, you want to reach a little further before starting your pull/stroke,” Zach says. “This will help with body rotation as well.”

The stroke should make a slight S-path in order to catch more water, and you should finish your stroke around the upper thigh.

“Also, drive from the hips! Allow your body rotation to propel you forward instead of fully relying on you shoulders and stroke. By driving from the hips and rotating your body properly, you will become a more efficient swimmer.”

Know what to expect

 It’s important to know what type of race start your event will have so you can prepare for it mentally and physically during your training. There are a couple of start styles that are the most common: A wave start, and a time trial start.

The Asheville Tri is a time-trial start, and your start time will be assigned to you (you can anticipate about five seconds between each swimmer). During the registration process, you will be asked to submit your 100 yard swim time. This is not the fastest you can swim 100 yards, but the time you expect to average during the entire swim. Here is a good guide when deciding what swim time to register for the Asheville Triathlon:

  • 0:50 – 1:20 : Super Fast (In contention to win the race and you swim competitively)
  • 1:21 – 1:45 : Fast Enough (Still starting in the first 1/3 of the event)
  • 1:46 – 2:10 : Average Swimmer (Swim well enough and don’t need to stop at the end of each lane)
  • 2:11 – 2:44 : Novice (Still getting used to swimming in a triathlon)
  • 2:45 – 4:59 : Complete beginner (I want to start at the back)

Be consistent in your training

 Try to swim once or twice a week, and aim for 250 meters. You can break your sessions into intervals of 25 meters (usually one length of a pool) of nonstop swimming with 20 seconds of rest in between to catch your breath. Remember: You don’t want to be gasping for air. Instead, enjoy your time in the pool. This will help you stay consistent and avoid skipping workouts.

“I am a Pisces,” says Zach. “I love being in the water! It doesn’t matter if it’s racing, training, or just for fun. Swimming can be a Zen state for me…Once I warm up and sync in my breathing, strokes, and rotation, the rest flows smooth.”

Click here for more information about the Asheville Triathlon, and to register for this event, which takes place Sunday, July 21st.

Editor’s note: We will continue to blog about the Asheville Triathlon in the upcoming weeks. Next up: Biking!

PHOTO CREDIT: WRIGHT CREATIVE, INC.

Sources: https://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/how-to-train-for-a-sprint-triathlon-6802

http://www.220triathlon.com/training/swim/10-essential-pool-swim-drills-for-triathletes/11545.html

Training Schedule for Asheville Triathlon

Two swims per week

Two bikes per week

Two runs per week

Zach Tacy talks about why the Asheville Triathlon is the event to sign up for this year.

Past iDaph Blogs

Mills River Lung Buster Time Trial Results and Recap

Mills River Lung Buster Time Trial Results and Recap

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