Triathlon in the Desert

palmspringsCongratulations to Brett Roberson and Monica Guy for competing in the 2013 HITS Championship Half Ironman, Palm Springs, CA.

  • Brett Roberson: 5:52:37
  • Monica Guy: 5:57:06

A flat course through the desert, blowing a gale, and the water was so cold it took most of the bike course to get any feeling back in our feet and hands.

Fantastic fun, though, and we would recommend HITS triathlons to anyone looking for a reasonably priced, well organized and well attended race.



Erik’s Triumphant Mount Tremblant Race Report

Erik Emanuele at Mount Tremlant IronmanCongratulations to GRR president Erik Emanuele for his stunning 11:07 performance in the Mount Tremblant Ironman.

A year of training and hard work, a lot of miles of riding and running and a lot of hours swimming. The race had finally gotten here and my wife and I were in Canada and I was due to check in the next day.

For some reason I was not as nervous as years past and I was not freaking out yet. My wife even noticed and asked me why I seemed so calm. I didn’t feel calm but I was not really nervous either. I didn’t know why.

Continue reading “Erik’s Triumphant Mount Tremblant Race Report”

Kristen’s Amazing Journey from Couch to Olympic Triathlon

An inspirational story from GRR member Kristen Bruno, who joined the GRR beginners group this spring and has just completed her first Olympic triathlon.

Kristen BrunoAt age 25 I realized I had lost myself within work after college and decided to start a new chapter in my life. It was time for me to recreate myself. I joined the Glastonbury River Runners beginners group coached by Maggie DeVito in the spring and never looked back.

Running was never my forte, so as expected I started in the back of the pack, but with the encouragement from fellow runners I was able to finally stick with it and moved my way towards the front rather quickly. Now I consider myself a shuffler and I’m on my way to being a runner! Continue reading “Kristen’s Amazing Journey from Couch to Olympic Triathlon”

First-Time Triathlete Kristen Bruno Completes Rev3

Congratulations to Kristen Bruno, who completed her first Olympic triathlon at Old Orchard Beach in Maine on Sunday, August 25, 2013.

Swim (1.2 miles): 34:32
Bike (25 miles): 1:35:44
Run (6.2 miles): 1:18:33

From Kristen:

Had a blast!!

See Kristen’s inspiring story of her journey from the beginners group to a triathlon!

Father-Daughter Team Complete Ironman Lake Placid

Chris and Bridget Love after Ironman Lake PlacidGRR member Chris Love relates his experiences training for and competing in his first Ironman competition with his daughter, Bridget.

This is the story of a daughter and father, Bridget 22 years old, Chris 54 years old. We have been running, riding and swimming about as long as Bridget has been alive. We decided to take on Ironman Lake Placid together as first timers. Continue reading “Father-Daughter Team Complete Ironman Lake Placid”

Brett & Monica Knighted at Finger Lakes

Brett and Monica at Peasantman 2013Congratulations to Brett Roberson and Monica Guy for completing the Peasantman triathlon in Penn Yan, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2013.

This was a so-called steelman – two miles longer than a half ironman (because steel is tougher than iron).

1.2 mile swim in beautiful Keuka Lake, 58 mile bike around rolling farmland (dodging Amish horses and carriages on their way to church) and a half marathon.

Monica Guy: 5:41:03 (1st female)
Brett Roberson: 5:56:24

There was a peasant theme – a reaction against overpriced triathlons – so we were knighted at the end by the Queen of the Finger Lakes region.

And Monica won a lifetime’s supply of Gu, which she hates so it’s free to a good home.


HITS Triathlon a.k.a. HILLS Triathlon Results

Brett Roberson at HITS triathlonCongratulations Brett Roberson and Monica Guy for completing the HITS half ironman triathlon in Hague, NY on Saturday, June 29th 2013.

Monica Guy: 05:54:22 (2nd in division)
Brett Roberson: 05:58:21

… which is nearly 50 minutes slower than the same distance race last year, but blame the hills! It was like riding and running in Nepal. The bike started with 5 miles steep steady uphill, right off the bat, and didn’t get much easier. Thankfully the swim was pretty flat.

The place: Beautiful – Hague is a tiny village on Lake George, very sweet, nice beach and deli/art gallery etc. (Lake George Village is the worst place on earth.)

The triathlon: Fantastically well organized, unpretentious, fun and light-hearted – kudos to the HITS Triathlon Series and race director Mark. They are a fairly new triathlon company who offer all distances over a triathlon weekend: sprint, olympic, half, full… Plus, if you sign up early enough it’s cheap as chips.

Monica Guy at HITS half ironmanLessons learned: Don’t start the swim in the middle of the pack if you don’t like being kicked in the face, put your bike in the right gear before starting if you don’t want to wobble into the ditch, wear suncream on sunny days to avoid the lobster look, men should protect their nipples if they don’t want them to bleed profusely and triathlon is not a good sport if you’re fond of your toenails.

And… something we already knew: that triathlon is a fantastic sport, full of friendly people who support each other throughout the race, exciting and challenging and satisfying all in one. You should try it. Seek one of us out if you want some advice on when and where to start.


Mud, Sweat and Tears at Ashland Lions Triathlon

Monica Guy at Ashland Lions triathlonCongratulations to Brett Roberson and Monica Guy for competing in the Ashland Lions Olympic Triathlon on Sunday, June 16, 2013.

It was a beautiful, rolling (= hilly) bike course and a beautiful, very hilly run through the quiet streets of Ashland, MA. Perfect weather. A nice lake, lots of splashing. Tons of mud during the 1-mile uphill trail run transition between the swim and the bike.

Brett Roberson: 2:45:12
Monica Guy: 2:46:00 (1st in division)

See full results for the Ashland Lions Olympic Triathlon.

If any GRRs want to get into triathlon, come and talk to us – it’s a fantastic sport and triathletes are fun, friendly people. And some are gorgeous as well.


Long-Course Triathlon Training Camp

Ray Long finishes swim at St Croix 70.3 Ironmanby Ray Long

For anyone training for a half iron distance 70.3 triathlon or an iron distance 140.6 triathlon this summer, a weekend training camp can seriously up your game. Training camps can be formal – where you sign up for a program and train with a group that includes professional coaches.

The lower-budget option is to set up your own camp, where you go away, preferably with other triathletes, and execute your own structured workouts over a fixed period.

Benefits of a training camp

Aubrey Schultz
Aubrey Schultz

The benefit is that you are forced to train under stress, the way you will during a long-course event. Your body will be fatigued. You will be able to identify strengths and weaknesses in your current fitness level. You can then use that information to help shape your training program post camp.

This is also an excellent time to test your race day nutrition plan – dialing in what works for you under race conditions.

Over the past three years, my training partners and I headed to the Great State of Maine for a swim bike run suffer-fest. The water was cold. The roads were very hilly. At the end of three days, we needed RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to recover, but any fears we had about racing were left somewhere in the tall pines and desolate (did i mention hilly?) roads of Maine.

Local triathlon camps – Plymouth, CT in June

Amy D'Anna
Amy D’Anna

There are many structured training camps. Most of the Ironman sponsored 140.6 races, like Ironman Lake Placid, have on-site training camps at least one month before the race. You can find these with a simple on-line search.

Locally, there are some professional coaches who run their own camps. Coaches Aubrey Schultz, Amy D’Anna and Bill Honek are hosting a long-course camp on June

21-23 at Camp Mattatuck in Plymouth CT. Athletes arrive on Friday and stay through Sunday, and train, eat and recover. For more information on this camp email Amy D’Anna directly at

What you get

Bill Honek
Bill Honek
  • Train on scenic, rural roads
  • Swimming in the private and pristine Lake Kenosha
  • Economical local, training option
  • Fantastic preparation for your long course (half or full distance) race
  • Camp coached by Ironman finishers and certified coaches with great individual attention
  • Bike mechanic on staff
  • Supported swims, rides and runs
  • Six home-cooked meals (two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners)
  • Accommodations in spacious bunkhouse lodge
  • Top notch training weekend coached by Aubrey Schulz, Amy D’Anna and Bill Honeck

Beautiful, Scenic, Hilly, Hot – Ray Long at Ironman 70.3 St. Croix

Ray Long finishes swim at St Croix 70.3 IronmanRace report by Ray Long

Beautiful, scenic, hilly, hot – are some of the words used to describe the annual Ironman 70.3 triathlon on the island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.

Held on the first Sunday in May almost continuously for the past 25 years, this is a race for any triathlete’s bucket list. There are only about 500 competitors and it draws a deep pro and amateur field of athletes looking to grab qualification spots for the Ironman World Championship in Kona and the Ironman 70.3 Championship in Las Vegas.

This event is a big deal to the locals on the Island – they shut down all of the roads on the race course from 6 AM to 4 PM including the town of Christiansted, where the transition area is located. The locals are very kind and bend over backwards to help the athletes have a good time.

Tropical climate = no wetsuits

The course itself is both beautiful and challenging. The tropical climate sees water temperatures in the high 70’s to low 80’s (wear your swim skins – no wetsuits). The air temp can go into the 90’s (as it did this year) with high humidity.

The swim course is unique – athletes swim a few hundred yards to a nearby cay and start out from this little island around a clock-wise course in pristine blue water.

Ray long at St Croix 70.3The bike course is very scenic, with stretches along the coast and beautiful views of the ocean. The hills are legendary – at mile 20, riders start to climb “The Beast” which has inclines from 12% to 26%. This actually wasn’t that bad! The more taxing part of the course came after the beast where a constant barrage of rollers slowly sucks at rider’s energy reserves – many riders pay this price when they get out on the run.

Of course the run takes place when the sun and heat are at their peak, and the course is hilly. Like the bike, the run is beautiful and scenic. The two loop course takes you through the grounds of The Buccaneer resort, where many of the athletes stay. The trail winds through the golf course and along the shoreline before going back up near the housing, where there were friends and family stationed with water, ice and everything their triathlete could want. The race organizers boast that there are more aid stations on the run course than any other Ironman event – about very half mile, which you will need to keep cool – ice down the shirt, sponges on your head.

Flat tires but lots of fun

This year there were monsoon like rains the night before the race which washed debris in many areas all over the bike course. The locals were out in force cleaning up the roads and assisting the safety personnel. In spite of these efforts, there were many, many flats. After losing both my spare tubes early in the race, I sustained two flats – both within 15 miles of the bike finish – which cost me about an hour of time.

Due to the flats, the heat and the terrain, I finished almost two hours later than usual for a 70.3 race. And, it didn’t matter! My wife and I had a wonderful short vacation; I checked off a bucket list race; and I now feel well trained for the rest of the season. This is a great event in a fantastic location. I would do this again and would bring my kids next time.

The bottom line

  • St Croix 70.3 logoDo this race: If you want a classic Ironman event, early in the season, in a great location, that will get you race-ready for the rest of the season.
  • Forget it: If you don’t like hills, heat or swimming without a wetsuit.

Can Cycling Help My Running?

Erik Emanuele PRs at Quassy Half Ironman TriathlonBy Erik Emanuele

I am asked the question quite frequently….Does Cycling Help My Running? The answer to this question is complicated and can be answered many different ways, but I definitely have an opinion on. This is of course my opinion and it is based on my reading, the coaching I received, research and most of all my personal experience in training and competing in both Triathlons and Marathons.

Keep in mind, as with other topics like running form, training plans etc., for every opinion, there are 3 others that have different opinions or views. Continue reading “Can Cycling Help My Running?”