Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Announcing the Evotri Iron Challenge!

The 2008 off season is officially here, but who says the races are over? Team Evotri has a brand new program on tap to keep you tri-primed all winter long, complete with exclusive team opportunities and prizes for your efforts. In fact, we have quite a bit of news to report as we round out the year and get the ball rolling for 2009!

With all of our sponsors returning for another stellar season, and with brand new sponsor, Headsweats joining the team, we're looking forward to giving back to the community in an even bigger way. In addition to our current grassroots endeavors - Simply Stu's World Wide Triathlon, Trisaratops's Youth Initiative, along with RobbyB and Iron Wil's Wisconsin Brick Adventure - just to name a few - we're now planning to reach across borders and oceans in order to do our part to change the world, and we want you to be part of the movement.

Do you have what it takes to fulfill the Evotri Iron Challenge?

This winter, we challenge you to complete an Iron distance race every month. 140.6 miles of swimming, cycling and running at 2.4 miles, 112 miles, and 26.2 miles respectively. You have 30 days, and countless ways to break it down to fit your schedules. Feeling especially elite? Why not try two, even three Iron distances per month? Not only will the top performers receive sweet swag and high honors, they'll also be raising money and awareness for charity JUST by logging miles! Also, complete at least one Iron distance each month and be entered in our grand prize drawing. Here's how to get involved:

Start by joining the Plus3 Network at http://www.plus3network.com, it's free for you, and priceless for so many more. Log your miles over the next several months and watch them turn to dollars for charities all over the world. Team Evotri sponosr SRAM, among other industry leading companies like Pedros have partnered with Plus3 and pledged to donate cash to the charity of your choice for every swim, ride, and run you do - charities like World Bicycle Relief, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Safe Routes (ensuring kids' safe passage to school), and The Environmental Defense Fund, among many more. Once you've created your account at www.plus3network.com, follow the next three steps to not only keep yourself motivated over the coming months, win cool prizes and meet awesome people, but also to have your mileage make a difference all over the world. After you've created your free account:

1: Select a sponsor and a charity of your choice
2: Under PEOPLE, search for "Evotri" and do a "friend request"
3: You will then receive a request to join the Challenge

And that's it. Let the base training begin!

In addition to our Evotri Iron Challenge, we're preparing for top performance in 2009 in other ways. Join the team as one of our honored Ambassadors and be eligible for exclusive opportunities throughout the year, as well as receive periodic training advice from top pros and industry insiders like the unstoppable up and comer, Cycleops's Will Smith, and the legendary Robbie Ventura! Visit Evotri.com and click the "Become an Ambassador" tab at the top of the page to get started.

Also, stay tuned to Evotri.com for the official 2009 press release, featuring more details on how you can even become a fully-sponsored member of the team. That's right, we're adding TWO to the crew near the start of the year, so get involved early and stay ahead of the pack!

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Voting! Chicago Athlete Magazine Athlete of the Year

One day of voting just not enough for you? Did you get a taste of the awesome power of democracy and find yourself wanting more? If you thought the presidential election was a nail-biter you ain't seen nothin yet!

Presenting the ballot for the 2008 Chicago Athlete Magazine, Athlete of the Year. Apparently my tri season raised enough eyebrows that I was named Athlete of the Month for the Nov./Dec. issue. I thought this was pretty damn cool in and of itself since there are gobs and gobs of great endurance athletes in Illinois. As it turns out, the Athlete of the Year is determined solely through popular vote. So you can just take your electoral college and....

We here at Goal is the Journey encourage educated voting! Information about all this year's athletes of the month can be found here. There are seriously some great athletes on this list. Take a look and vote for the best one..........even if it is not yours truly! Check out the kid athlete of the year contest as well. I am trying to arrange a town hall race-off among my esteemed competitors that would involve a triathlon, a cyclocross race, rock climbing and trivial pursuit! As of now, I don't have any takers....

To vote, you need to fill out a pdf ballot and send it in to the editor. Voting information can be found here. Note that a couple criteria have to be met for the vote to count. Your e-mail subject line has to have "Vote 2008- Adult Athlete of the Year" Also, you have to mark BOTH a male and female or else the ballot is tossed like a hanging chad. Attach the completed ballot to an e-mail with the above subject line and send to: editor@mychicagoathlete.com

If elected, I will mandate that all employers consider travel to races a regular part of the work week as well as provide all employees who did a morning workout with a nap. Bicyles, wetsuits, running shoes and energy gels will all be tax-deductible. The week before Kona shall be considered a national holiday. I will mandate that deep-tissue massage be covered by all insurance companies (but not those nancy-pancy spa massages). My alternative energy plan is simple: everyone needs to eat more carbs. My healthcare plan entitled HTFU will save countless billions. Break your arm? Duct tape and R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Bronchitis? 5X1 mile. Hard.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kona Context

Running cross country competitively was very tricky when it came to evaluation of race performances. The distance is supposed to be fixed at 5 miles, but the list of variables is long: wind, heat, hills, terrain, etc. We often raced on a course near the Missippi River. In the year or so following a big flood this course could actually be 30-45 sec. slower just because of the addition of sand and silt to the ground! Racing cross for so many years taught be to evaluate based more on feel and level of effort instead of strictly looking at times. One of my best collegiate cross races was also one of my slowest. The course was very hilly and it was fairly hot. Based on my level of effort and overall place I know it was one of my best races even though it wasn't reflected in my time.

Racing with a Powertap takes away some of this guesswork. Power is consistent across all terrain and course conditions (ie wind). At Kona I produced almost 15 watts more power than I did the year before at Wisconsin. 15 watts over 112 miles should have yielded a big time drop, but instead it was only in the ballpark of 10 minutes faster. That tells you something about how difficult the day was. Even better was this race report from first-year pro Alex McDonald. He calls '08 Kona the "Hardest race I've ever done" and offers this important piece of contextual information: "Just as an indication of how much harder the bike was this year, my bike leg was 5 minutes slower than last year, yet I held an average power that was 15 watts higher." This is great information because it is a true "apples to apples" power comparison of Kona '07 and Kona '08.

"Maggs" is apparently a follower of the Evotri team and left me a comment about Kona. I saw she was from Hawaii and raced the IM, so I thought I would tap some local knowledge about the course conditions. She says, "Those winds were worse than normal, especially the cross winds, they were pretty brutal (but not the worst I've ridden in over there)."

So this will be the end of beating this dead horse! What all this tells me is that yes it was a tough day even for a course where everyone expects tough days.