Sunday, August 31, 2014

How You Know You've Arrived As A Triathlete.

How do you know you've arrived in the world of triathlon?
  • 3 podium finishes(including 1,2 and 3rd place) at Ironman?
    • No
  • Being ranked 12th in the world for Kona points?
    •  Nope.
  • Being a highly respected competitor always known to give it her all no matter the circumstances?
    • Not even close.
You know you have arrived in the triathlon world when the Slowtwitch trolls start in on you.

Now if you not familiar with Slowtwitch it is a site dedicated to everything triathlon. It has a lot of good info about races, training etc. All in all it is a fairly good site. However there is a sinister underbelly(or i suspect an overly sized potbelly trying to into spandex) that does nothing besides ridicule posts and making snarky comments. Trolls.

A Slow Twitch Troll
These trolls are less like those cute little long haired troll dolls and more akin to the trolls from Lord of the Rings albeit with a ubiquitous triathlon race top on.

They troll the forums finding topics to lambaste and ridicule all the while maintaining a hazy air of anonymity. To paraphrase Brad Pitt from Se7en, they likely sit in their own feces masturbating to triathlon magazine.

Wow! I must really be upset to compare a harmless yet annoying peanut gallery to the serial killing Kevin Spacey. And I am.

What are they making fun of her for? Her running stride? Stature? No worse than that. One of her friends wanted to help support her trip to Kona and maybe allow her to get out there early enough to actually acclimate. That friend  set up a Go Fund Me account to help raise some money for Am. Another one of her friends, naively, but good intentionally posted it to Slowtwitch. And then the trouble began. Which wouldn't have been an issue except that Amber read about it and all of the nasty comments these trolls were making.
Seriously? Bad mouth Amber? Stupid, stupid trolls!


She called me crying while I was in Jackson Hole and it took all my energy not to write scathing responses to each and every troll response out there. Serenity now...

I get it. If you cannot be good at something tear down everything good around you. But Amber? There is nothing bad to say about her either on or off the field(or whatever turf you describe triathlon). My hope is that all these negative comments just add fuel to the fire and get her even more stoked to kick some butt at Kona and in the 2015 triathlon season.

And trolls beware: While she's not apt to slap your asses as she passes your slow over-indulged asses she may hurt you made deeply as she cheers you on as you finish despite the fact she may have, herself, finished several hours earlier.

Up Next: Hopefully no more hurtful comments on Slowtwitch and six weeks of intense training for Amber.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

2014 Kona Women Pro Start List

The list of professional women who have qualified for Kona has been released. Because the previous winners of the last five years are all automatic qualifiers(as long as the validate their spot with a Ironman finish), there will be 39 women toeing the start line on October 11. Below are the 39 women and how they got their points to race at Kona.

Q 1.
Rachel
Joyce
GBR
4
10,240*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
7,200(2nd Place)
Ironman Cozumel
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Boulder
640 (2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Kansas
400 (2nd Place)
Q 2.
Meredith
Kessler
USA
5
10,100*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
4,250(7th Place)
Ironman New Zealand
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman Arizona
1,600* (2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 St George
1,500 (1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Vineman
750 (1st Place)
Q 3.
Liz
Blatchford
AUS
5
9,985*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
6,480(3rd Place)
Ironman Cairns
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Wiesbaden
785 (5th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya
400 (2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Mallorca
320 (3rd Place)
Q 4.
Caroline
Steffen
CHE
3
9,750*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
5,250(5th Place)
Ironman Melbourne
4,000*(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Phillipines
500(1st Place)
Q 5.
Mirinda
Carfrae
AUS
5
9,688*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
8,000(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Brasilia
750(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
500(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 St. Croix
435(4th Place)
Ironman Florida
3*(Walk the course to validation Kona Slot)
Q 6.
Gina
Crawford
NZL
5
9,325*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
3,445(9th Place)
Ironman Frankfurt
2,890*(3rd Place)
Ironman new Zealand
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast
750(1st Place)
Kraichgau Triathlon
640(2nd Place
Q 7.
Yvonne
Van Vlerken
NLD
4
8,595*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
5,835(4th Place)
Ironman Florida
2,000*(1st Place)
Kraichgau Triathlon
540(3rd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Austria
220 (7th Place)
Q 8.
Linsey
Corbin
USA
5
8,140*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
3,100(10th Place)
Ironman Los Cabos
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman Austria
2,000* (1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Timberman
640(2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Raleigh
400 (2nd Place)
Q 9.
Caitlin
Snow
USA
5
8,005*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
4,725(6th Place)
Ironman France
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Eagleman
640(2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Monterey
540(3rd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Florida
500(1st Place)
Q 10.
Elizabeth
Lyles
USA
5
7,860*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Frankfurt
3,400*(2nd Place)
Ironman Western Australia
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman World Championship
1,100(16th Place)
Ironman Lake Tahoe
960*(4th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Boise
400(2nd Place)
Q 11.
Daniela
Ryf
CHE
5
7,810*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Switzerland
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman Copenhagen
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 World Championship
1,770(6th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Wiesbaden
1,500(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Cozumel
540(3rd Place)
Q 12.
Amber
Ferreira
USA
5
7,365*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Mont Tremblant
3,400*(2nd Place)
Ironman Lake Placid
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman Texas
1,280*(3rd Place)
Ironman Florida
405*(7th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Eagleman
280(6th Place)
Q 13.
Melissa
Hauschildt
AUS
4
7,250*
Race Name
Points
Ironman 70.3 World Championship
3,000(1st Place)
Ironman Australia
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Mandurah
1,500(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Racine
750(1st Place)
14.
Leanda
Cave
GBR
5
6,770*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
2,240(12th Place)
Ironman Sweden
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Wiesbaden
1,275(2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 World Championship
715(13th Place)
Ironman 70.3 St. Croix
540(3rd Place)
Q 15.
Sara
Gross
CAN
5
6,620*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Mont Tremblant
4,000*(1st Place)
Ironman Brazil
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 St. Croix
280(6th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
240(4th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Calgary
100(7th Place)
Q 16.
Catriona
Morrison
GBR
4
6,240*
Race Name
Points
Ironman 70.3 World Championship
2,185(4th Place)
Ironman 70.3 New Zealand
1,500(1st Place)
Ironman Lake Tahoe
1,280*(3rd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Pan American Champs
1,275 (2nd Place)
Q 17.
Mary Beth
Ellis
USA
5
6,210*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Melbourne
3,400*(2nd Place)
Ironman Frankfurt
1,070*(8th Place)
Ironman 70.3 St George
920(4th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Pan American Champs
500(7th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Raleigh
320(3rd Place)
Q 18.
Melanie
Burke
NZL
5
6,190*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Mont Tremblant
2,090*(5th Place)
Ironman Cairns
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman Australia
1,280*(3rd Place)
Ironman Western Australia
720*(5th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Mandurah
500(1st Place)
Q 19.
Åsa
Lundström
SWE
4
6,090*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Melbourne
2,090*(5th Place)
Ironman Lake Tahoe
2,000* (1st Place)
Ironman Cairns
1,280*(3rd Place)
Ironman Arizona
720*(5th Place)
Q 20.
Beth
Shutt
USA
5
6,090*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Mont Tremblant
2,890*(3rd Place)
Ironman Wisconsin
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman Los Cabos
960*(4th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Syracuse
320(3rd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Muncie
320(3rd Place)
Q 21.
Michelle
Vesterby
DNK
5
6,025*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
3,825(8th Place)
Ironman Arizona
1,280*(3rd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Budapest
500(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Switzerland
240(4th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
180(5th Place)
Q 22.
Kristin
Möller
DEU
4
5,750*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Frankfurt
2,455*(4th Place)
Ironman World Championship
1,375(15th Place)
Ironman Lanzarote
960*(4th Place)
Ironman Switzerland
960*(4th Place)
Q 23.
Lucy
Gossage
GBR
3
5,600*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Wales
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman Lanzarote
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman South Africa
1,600*(2nd Place)
Q 24.
Amanda
Stevens
USA
5
5,430*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
2,635(11th Place)
Ironman Cozumel
1,280*(3rd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Brasilia
540(3rd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico
540(3rd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Timberman
435 (4th Place)
Q 25.
Jodie
Swallow
GBR
5
5,390*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Frankfurt
1,335*(7th Place)
Ironman South Africa
1,280*(3rd Place)
Ironman 70.3 St George
1,275(2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 South Africa
750(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 Boulder
750 (1st Place)
Q 26.
Sophie
Goos
BEL
5
5,365*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Brazil
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman Copenhagen
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman Austria
960*(4th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico
640(2nd Place)
Ironman World Championship
565(19th Place)
Q 27.
Natascha
Badmann
CHE
5
5,355*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Frankfurt
1,670*(6th Place)
Ironman World Championship
1,620(14th Place)
Ironman Switzerland
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Pan American Champs
400(2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Austria
65(12th Place)
Q 28.
Julia
Gajer
DEU
4
5,310*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Arizona
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman Texas
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman Wales
960*(4th Place)
Kraichgau Triathlon
750(1st Place)
Q 29.
Lisa
Roberts
USA
5
5,285*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Los Cabos
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman France
1,280*(3rd place)
Ironman Lake Placid
1,280*(3rd Place)
Ironman Brazil
720*(5th Place)
Ironman Arizona
405*(7th Place)
Q 30.
Corinne
Abraham
GBR
2
5,280*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Frankfurt
4,000*(1st Place)
Ironman Lanzarote
1,280*(2nd Place)
Q 31.
Simone
Brändli
CHE
5
5,240*
Race Name
Points
Ironman South Africa
2,000*(1st  Place)
Ironman Austria
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman Florida
960*(4th Place)
Ironman 70.3 South Africa
540(3rd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Austria
140(9th Place)
32.
Jackie
Arendt
USA
5
5,170*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Wisconsin
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman Louisville
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman Canada
960*(4th Place)
Ironman Cozumel
305*(8th Place)
Ironman Texas
305*(8th Place)
33.
Mareen
Hufe
DEU
5
5,165*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Western Australia
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman Melbourne
1,335*(7th Place)
Ironman Copenhagen
1,280*(2nd Place)
Ironman Florida
720*(5th Place)
Ironman new Zealand
230*(9th Place)
Q 34.
Kimberly
Schwabenbauer
USA
4
5,050*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Melbourne
2,890*(3rd Place)
Ironman Lake Placid
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman World Championship
340(Somewhere between 21-30)
Ironman 70.3 Eagleman
220(7th Place)
Q 35.
Bree
Wee
USA
5
5,040*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Canada
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman new Zealand
960*(4th Place)
Ironman Texas
960*(4th Place)
Ironman Cozumel
720*(5th Place)_
Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
400(2nd Place)
Q 36.
Jessie
Donavan
USA
4
5,000*
Race Name
Points
Ironman World Championship
1,900(13th Place)
Ironman Cozumel
1,600*(2nd place)
Ironman South Africa
960*(4th Place)
Ironman Brazil
540*(3rd Place)
Q 37.
Heather
Wurtele
CAN
4
5,000*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Coeur d'Alene
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman 70.3 World Championship
1,165(10th Place)
Ironman 70.3 St George
1,085(3rd Place)
Ironman 70.3 Monterey
750(1st Place)
Q 39.
Kelly
Williamson
USA
4
4,975*
Race Name
Points
Ironman Texas
2,000*(1st Place)
Ironman Coeur d'Alene
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman 70.3 World Championship
1,290(9th Place)
Ironman 70.3 California
85(11th Place)
Q 40.
Katja
Konschak
DEU
5
4,915*
Race Name
Points
Ironman UK
1,600*(2nd Place)
Ironman Wales
1,280*(3rd Place)
Ironman Frankfurt
855*(9th Place)
Ironman 70.3 Barcelona
640(2nd Place)
Ironman South Africa
540*(6th Place)
* Note: Numbers 39 and 40 are actually 38 and 39 because the 38th ranked women didn't validate her Ironman spot so did not qualify even though she had enough points.
 

As you can see, racing at Kona is the likeliest chance(all the girls highlighted in red) you will race again at Kona as all the women that finished 1-16 all are back again this year. Then you have athletes traveling all over the world to get points. Which is advisable if you have deep pockets(or your sponsors do) because many of those races have somewhat less deep fields.

 But if you're like Amber who pays for her own travel expenses, you left with the last option which is to go head to head with strong competition at every race while trying to keep expenses low. This usually means work Monday-Thursday then fly out Friday, race on the weekend, and fly home Monday and work Tuesday-Friday.  It is amazing to me how well she does with all the extraneous(i.e. not triathlon-related) work she puts in on a daily basis.

Kona will likely be no different with Amber working up until the week before. While some women are already out there or will be shortly acclimating to the heat and humidity, there is a possibility that Amber may have to do some of her rides on the trainer due to the cold. Not an ideal situation.

And yet, I have hope! Nietsche, and subsequently Kelly Clarkson, said that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger and I like to think that all of the stress that Amber has been through this year is going to make her a stronger and more resilient athlete going into Kona.

Continue to send her all your good vibes(as well as any reiki and sponsorship dollars you may have ;)  ) as she starts back from recovery from IM Mont Tremblant and gets ready for her last big build to Kona.

Kona Baby!