Ironman Wisconsin Champ!

Ironman Wisconsin Champ!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bretscher Multisport 2010 Athlete Success

When I first started this blog, I intended to make it mostly about the athletes I coach as opposed to my own racing. For no particular reason, that didn't happen. Now that the 2010 multisport season is finished for all of my athletes I will take this opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of my full time athletes from this past year. I had a big mixture of athletes in 2010, ranging in age from 27 to 53, and ability from training for first ever triathlon to some of the top age groupers in the country. Below they are listed in alphabetical order.

Coming off his 10:28 performance as a Bretscher Multisport athlete at Ironman Wisconsin in 2009, Andrew used 2010 as a transition year, between Ironmans, to work on his speed. He put in a quality, consistent year of training with some solid race results along the way. Next year Andrew will return to the Ironman focus as a Bretscher Multisport athlete for the third straight year. Look out for this guy in Coeur D'Alene where he’ll attempt to smash 10 hours.

Coming off a breakthrough 2009 as a Bretscher Multisport athlete, Dana returned in 2010 set on improving upon results such as a top-3 overall finish in an Ironman 70.3. Dana's early season highlight was a 3 minute olympic distance PR with a 2:00:08 finish in Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin. He added a couple local wins along the way to his peak race, the Muskoka 70.3 in Canada. At Muskoka in September, Dana had likely the best race of his life. A year after being the third place overall age grouper, Dana took the overall age group title by a full 6 minutes over second place. His time nearly placed him top-10 amongst the professional field. I could point out that Mirinda Carefree still chicked him by 20 seconds but that would just be cruel! Dana finished off his season two weeks ago at the 70.3 World Championships. Coming off his best training block of the year and more fit than he was in Muskoka, Dana was having a great race with a 90 second swim PR, moving up well on the bike, when a flat tire ruined what would have been a major PR for the distance. Still, a great year overall.

Julie had a fantastic season in her second year as a Bretscher Multisport athlete. Her early season highlights included a 14 minute olympic distance PR of 2:27 which netted her an age group victory. Add to that a new 70.3 PR of 5:19 turned in at the Racine 70.3. In that race Julie averaged 20mph for the 56 mile bike, just three weeks after riding 20mph for the first time ever in a 40k. She finished off her season with one of her most fulfilling race finishes conquering one of the most difficult 70.3 course in the world at the Muskoka 70.3 in her backyard of Canada. Julie set PRs in every distance she raced in 2010.

I still remember getting the email this past spring which read something to the effect of “I’ve never done a triathlon of any distance and I just entered Ironman Louisville, can you help me?” I can’t say I know too many people who enter an Ironman before completing even a sprint triathlon but this was the case with Luke. Luke completed his first sprint triathlon in April of 2010 and then as a Bretscher Multisport athlete made a successful Half Iron debut in July. Six weeks later and just four months after finishing his first ever triathlon Luke was standing on the start line in Louisville for his first Ironman. Despite 90+ degree weather Luke made it to the finish line and is an official Ironman finisher.

Mike #1
This was Mike's first year as a Bretscher Multisport athlete and a big step in his road towards being as healthy as possible. Mike took up the sport of triathlon in 2007 after seeing the Ironman on TV. At the time he weighed in at 220 pounds and was wearing size 38, unhappy about the road he was headed down. He made a pact to himself to become life fit and finish an Ironman triathlon before the age of 40. 2010 would be his last year before 40. Mike started his season by running the Boston Marathon in 3:42, a 32 minute PR. In July he raced a half Ironman to a 33 minute PR of 5:03. That left only his full-Iron debut which he would attempt at Rev-3 Cedar Point. He didn't just attempt it, he went under his ultimate goal of 12 hours with a 11:43, finishing before the sunset. That race marked the end of his three year journey from size 38, 220#, barely able to complete a 1-hour sprint triathlon to size 30, 183# and an Ironman finisher (not to mention sub-12 hours) before the age of 40. In all Mike set PRs in every distance he raced in 2010. Mike will return as a Bretscher Multisport athlete in 2011 with Ironman #2 already on the calendar!

Mike #2
Mike began as a Bretscher Multisport athlete this past summer not with a goal so much of going a certain time or speed, but wanting motivation to become life fit, guidance on how to live a healthy lifestyle, train effectively, become involved in the multisport community, and just wanting to feel good in general. Going fast is just the icing on the cake. Mike completed his first ever sprint triathlon in June and capped off his tri season by making a successful olympic distance debut in September. In just three months Mike dropped his threshold run pace by a full minute per mile, increased his threshold bike power by over 30 watts, and saw similar results in the pool. This past month he ran a 30 minute PR with a 2:07 half marathon. Mike will return as a Bretscher Multisport athlete in 2011 and I don't see any way he doesn't continue improving.

Coming off a mediocre, uninspired year of training and racing in 2009, Ron became a Bretscher Multisport coached athlete in 2010 with the hope of breaking out of his rut and realizing his potential. Did he ever. Ron started the year by winning the 50-54 age group by 15 minutes at Memphis in May. He went out west for the Boise 70.3, won his age group by 30 minutes and was the 9th overall fastest age grouper on the day. As impressive as that performance was he outdid it in July at the Door County Half in Wisconsin. At the age of 53, Ron raced to a LIFETIME half iron PR of 4:30, won his age group by 20 minutes, and his time was bettered by just one person over the age of 40. Ron's focus for the second half of the season was Age Group Nationals, the most competitive age group race in the country. Ron impressed once again, finishing runner-up in the 50-54 age group with a 2:10, it was his only age group finish other than first of the entire year. Coming off the tri season in possibly the best shape of his life, Ron decided to "jump in" the Des Moines marathon just to see what he could do. Just three weeks after the end of the tri season, and with no real marathon specific training, Ron ran a negative split, 2:58 marathon, a lifetime PR and his first marathon in over 20 years! Ron will return as a Bretscher Multisport athlete in 2011 and has his sights set on bigger things including a possible world championship appearance!

Suzanne turned to Bretscher Multisport coaching in 2010 to help her with her preparations for her Ironman debut in Wisconsin. But first she would need to complete her first half iron. She did so successfully in June and then raced to a very impressive 5:27 finish at the Steelhead 70.3 in July. Add to that an olympic distance PR and Suzanne set PRs in every distance she raced in 2010. In September it was Ironman Wisconsin and likely the most gutsy performance I can think of all year. With a great race in the making, Suzanne had a bike accident in the final miles of the ride and severely bruised her ribs. Looking for treatment in T2 she was told she could not be wrapped or she would have to withdrawal. Undeterred Suzanne left T2 without any pain treatment and ran the entire marathon clutching her side. Not only did she finish, but she still managed to do so a few minutes under her ultimate goal time with a 13:24. Her post race email to me describing her race was one line "It was fun, I can't wait to do it again". Wish I could have had the same reaction after my first 140.6! Suzanne will be running the Austin marathon this February and utilizing Bretscher Multisport coaching to get her to the finish line!

Overall it was a very good year. From a coaching standpoint I was pretty satisfied, I didn't feel as though I "missed" with anyone. There were certainly some off races and struggles, but that happens to everyone, even in our very best years it's all apart of the process. I know it’s unrealistic to expect a 100% success rate, but I think these past two years have been as close to that as I could possibly hope for. Looking forward to working with a new crew of athletes and returnees with plenty more success in 2011!

1 comment:

  1. Glad I didn't face Ron at any races this year in my age group. Very impressive. When do you come out with the Bretscher Multisport race uniforms?