Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ironman Florida 70.3 Race Report - David Fernandez

Here in Florida we are in one of the two prime time periods (before and after summer) of triathlon racing. So after a successful season debut at a local Olympic distance race where I placed 3rd OA, my next challenge was to tackle my first half-ironman distance race of the season: Ironman 70.3 Florida in Haines City, FL.

This past winter I had a knee injury that kept me off running for a little over 3 months. Originally, it was a bummer since I wanted to work on improving my run, but looking back at the work I did this offseason, that injury may have been a blessing as I was able to work on my swimming (my biggest weakness), biking, and body strength while being consistent with my training without putting too much stress on my body. 

Florida 70.3 has a slow swim due to its swim course, a rolling hills bike course, and a challenging run with 3 nice hills at the beginning of each of the 3 loops. Based on the course, my training, and my season goals, this is what I expected to accomplish in this race:

1) Get ready for Chattanooga 70.3, which is my “A” half-ironman this year. By getting ready I mean: test nutrition, SBR intensities, and try to be a little more aggressive without being too worried about the consequences.

2) Overall Time: Break 5 hours. PR (4:55) if possible, but not chase it if not possible risking injury. Breaking 5 hours would show that I am almost where I left off last season, despite my lack of running this offseason.

3) Swim: 35 minutes. I really wasn't too focused on my swim time, since the course design is slow and I didn’t want to get discouraged if my time was slower than expected after working so hard in the offseason. However, I wanted to improve my position in my AG from average MOP (middle of pack) to front MOP or late FOP (front of pack) in my AG. I wouldn't know this data until after the race, so whatever time I exited the water, I would be fine with it.

4) Bike: 2:25 – 2:30. I’ve been working on the bike all off-season and I know I am capable of hitting this time, without compromising my run, despite the rolling hills course that I am not used to riding in Miami.

5) Run: Break 1:40. More than a goal for this race, this is a wish I have for this season. I know I can’t run a sub 1:40 HIM split right now with my lack of running this offseason, but I wanted to try.


me, Kathryn, and my bike (on the back)
going up I-95 on the way to Haines City
The race was Sunday, so we left Miami on Friday afternoon after work, had dinner on the road, and arrived the same night to the house that we were renting with some friends. This was the first time we stayed in a house when going to a race and we loved it. I think that from now on I will look at this option over hotels (cheaper or similar price, have more space, and you truly feel like being at home).

We went to bed a little late, so I didn’t wake up until 8 am on Saturday. I went for a quick run and headed over to the Ironman Village for packet pick-up, attended the athletes meeting, and met with my friend Alex before the practice swim at the Lake. The water felt great (for sure it would not be wetsuit legal), but the course was tricky as it had 6 x 90 degrees turns, which meant that it would be a slow swim, with plenty of people in the way (I was in the 3rd to last wave), and sighting would be key.

After the swim, I headed back home to go for a 20 min bike ride when I discovered that I had a flat on my rear tire… That’s exactly the type of confidence-bummer thing you don’t want to experience before a race, but I changed it quickly and proceeded to do my planned pre-race bike workout. My new tube was holding up well apparently, but it kept me thinking about it the whole day…

After I was done, I went with my wife to have some lunch at a Mexican place. The rest of the afternoon was pretty uneventful: nap, some reading, spending some time with friends and my brother in-law. Before going to have dinner I left all my stuff ready for the race, so I could go to bed quickly after we were back from dinner.

Race Day

I woke up and had breakfast 3 hours before my race time. Then I drove to the race site, set up transition, and relaxed hanging out with some friends. Lots of people from Miami came to this race and I managed to see and chat with most of the people I knew, which helped keep my nerves down. My AG is usually one of the first waves in most races, so it felt weird having to wait that long (52 minutes after the first wave). I didn’t know what to do and I started to feel a little nervous. I also took advantage of this time to eat a banana and drink a bottle of sports drink.


Finally I hit the water. My AG was broken into two waves, so the start of the swim was quite uneventful; not too many people around compared to other IM branded events I've done before (love the wave start process!). I situated myself in the second row of swimmers, towards the right, and started hard as soon as the horn went off.

400 yards into the swim I started catching people from previous waves, and as soon as I hit the first turn the amount of people increased significantly. Actually, as opposed to other races, the first 400 yards were pretty good, but the rest of the swim was full of bodies and there was quite a bit of contact.

Personally, as the swim progressed I was feeling better and better. My splits confirmed that, as I negative split every single one of the 400 yards I had my watch set up for auto-lap (I didn’t warm up before the swim; I should do it next time). The swim felt short and, as I exited, I felt fresh, ready to tackle the bike, and thinking that I could’ve kept swimming at the same pace or even that I could’ve swum faster. The offseason work is paying off!


The course had some challenging hills for a Miami guy, but I actually enjoy them a lot. This is not the typical flat course you may think you will find in Florida (~1,200 ft of elevation), but the hills were not very difficult either and they broke the boring flat riding I am used to in Miami.

The bike is where I feel most confident and I think I executed a pretty good bike leg. This was my first time racing with a power meter and, honestly, I didn’t pay much attention to it. I raced mostly by feel, except for quick checks when I thought I was going too hard or too soft. At the end of the day, my NP was only 2 watts higher than my target power, but my VI was 1.05 (need to work on keeping it a bit lower).

David (right) was all smiles on the bike
As usual, I started my nutrition plan in transition, taking a gel before getting on the bike - this was my first race using only Hammer products (gels, perpetuem, and endurolytes) and they work amazingly. No GI issues and I had sustained energy through the entire race - I did a flying mount and there I was ready to go for 56 miles. I caught a guy from the Every Man Jack team after 10 miles and I knew if I stayed with him I would have a good bike time. We passed each other about 3 times during the entire bike leg and I stayed within visual distance when I was behind. That strategy also helped me to stay focused. Since I started in a late wave, I passed a significant number of people during the bike portion, some of which decided to draft off me. This course had plenty of marshalls and I saw them giving at least 5 penalties to people behind me in different parts of the race. Good!

The course was very entertaining with the hills and nice views of Central Florida, so it was over before I knew it. I dialed down the intensity during the last mile; I knew I would break my more optimistic goal time of 2:25 and I was really happy at that point. All the offseason work I put in the pool and on the trainer were paying off on race day in an awesome way. Now I was getting ready for the run, the discipline that I was least ready for…


Due to my current run fitness, my race plan called for running 7:20 min/mile pace for the first two miles, then settling into a more comfortable 7:30 – 7:40 min/mile pace for the next 8 miles and either keeping the same intensity or increasing a bit the last 5k, based on how I felt at that point.

At this point of the race I knew I would break 5 hours, barring a horrific run. So I decided to execute my run plan and not try to chase or stay with people that were on a different running level.

I started pretty well, I was hitting the times I had in mind and I was executing my nutrition plan perfectly. However, at the beginning of the third loop, my lack of running fitness and the heat started to show. I had to slow down a little bit and finished the last 4 miles running at 8:00 – 8:10 min/mile.

That last 4 miles put me out of reaching my goal of breaking 1:40, but it was physically impossible for me to run faster at that point. I was hurting and I knew I didn't have the fitness to go for it yet. However, I was very happy with my run. I ran pain free, my left knee felt fine the entire run, and now I know I can start training to get where I want to be for my next races.


This was probably my best 70.3 race so far (including a 10 minute PR!). I can see that the offseason and early season work is paying off on race day. This was not only my best swim result (% place in my AG), but it also felt effortless and I had plenty of energy for the rest of the race. I was also able to bike at a higher intensity while still having legs for the run. And, even though I haven’t had much time to train my run, my times were very similar to what they were last year.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of this season holds!! Next up: Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga on May 17th and Ironman Boulder on August 2nd.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

The Boston Marathon: The Mecca of Running - Rob Forshaw

these beauties lined the entire course!
To the running community, the Boston Marathon is the mecca of all running events. It is the only marathon left in the world where if you want to run it you have to “earn it” either by raising money for a charity or by qualifying on a BAA certified marathon course. To Bostonians the Boston Marathon is all about the tradition of being the longest running annual marathon, going strong for 119 years and counting. Whether it’s a Nor’easter or sunny and 70 on the third Monday in April, Patriot’s Day, it is guaranteed thousands of runners will be crossing that finish line on Boylston Street as victors.

This year’s Boston Marathon is one that will be remembered for a long time. From the start, forecasts were looking very grim, with rain and wind gusts ranging from 10-25 mph. By the time the runners hit the halfway mark, the crosswinds they were experiencing turned into a nasty head wind. By the time the front of the pack hit the hills of Newton, a steady rain fell until they reached the finish line.

never mind running, everyone in
Boston had to shovel this winter
Boston was slammed this winter with 109 inches of snow, most of which was dumped on the city within a 3 week span in February. This hit right smack in the middle of many marathoners crucial training block for the Boston Marathon. I was not training for the marathon, but had to endure two grueling months of treadmill running and couldn’t imagine training for a marathon in those kinds of conditions. Knowing the conditions they trained in, the least I could do for all the runners was support them through the wind and rain.

In my opinion, the best spot to watch the marathon is on mile 20: Heartbreak Hill. This is the last hill on the course. By itself it is not the most challenging, but after 20 miles (most of which was downhill) ascending the top can be rather difficult.

My girlfriend and I positioned ourselves about 200 yards from the top of Heartbreak Hill so we had a good vantage point for those at the bottom and at the top. At 10:30am we heard the crowd level go from a loud talking level to a roar. This was when the leading wheel chair racers came by. Watching this group ascend Heartbreak Hill is truly inspiring. You can see the suffering they are enduring on their faces and the veins popping in their arms from the amount of work they are pushing to get up the hill. The way they push themselves up the hill is simply amazing to watch.

no rain is going to stop us from being loud!
After about another 30 minutes the elite women were making their way upon mile 20 while the conditions were deteriorating. There was a strong, consistent headwind and the sprinkling rain turned into a steady rainfall. As the pace car was approaching, the roar from the spectators on Heartbreak Hill got louder, especially after seeing that American Desiree Linden was driving the pace in the lead group.

lead women's pack
The thunder of the crowds picked up again as they saw hometown girl Shalane Flanagan only 10 seconds behind the leading women’s pack, charging up the hill with full force.

Shortly thereafter the elite men came by, and reigning champion Meb Keflezighi went by looking stronger than ever in the lead group. The crowds lost it when they saw his position in the pack. Signs were waving, music was blasting, and people were clapping uncontrollably. The bitter rain was stopping no one from celebrating such a heartfelt event.

After the elites swept through like a whirlwind, it was time for the long stream of age group athletes to begin. If you ever needed motivation for your own personal goals or simply wanted to be inspired, I strongly suggest to go and spectate a marathon. There are no words to describe the feeling you get as you see ordinary people giving it their all to complete the Boston Marathon. You don’t know where they’re from, what their name is, or why they decided to run the Boston Marathon, but what you do know is they have 26.2 miles of dedication. All that matters is you are there cheering them on and encouraging them through a milestone in their life. You can see the determination on their faces and it simply gives you chills.
lead men's pack

This year’s race was another great one. It reminded me once again how great this city is, how great the running community is, and how great all endurance sports are for that matter. Patriots Day marks the unofficial start of spring for Boston and all of Massachusetts. It’s the official start of racing season, whether that be triathlons, bike races, or road races… it’s time to play!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Peeling Back the Onion: A Rudy Project Investigative Report

Italian-based Rudy Project is the premier helmet brand in the world of triathlon. In addition to donning the heads of age groupers at thousands of events worldwide, they've dominated the prestigious "Kona Count" at the Ironman World Championships the past four years. Rudy Project sunglasses are known for their unique combination of innovation, sex appeal, and practical benefits to training and racing.

In this investigative report, we tapped elite athletes from a handful of US-based national teams to peel back the onion, getting to the core of what people in this crazy sport of ours love about Rudy.

Karin Langer: Wattie Ink
Stomping Grounds: Los Angeles, CA

What's your history with Rudy Project?

Rudy became affiliated with the Wattie Ink team in 2013, one season after the team was started. I had ridden and run with Rudy helmets and sunglasses in previous seasons while living in Chicago, so I was pretty happy that Wattie and Rudy teamed up. In 2012 I made a small contribution to Rudy winning the Kona Count for the 2nd straight year!

How were the conditions that year at the World Champs?

It was super windy, they were saying it was the windiest of the prior 10 years, so I was pretty intimidated. There were giant swells on the swim and horrific wind on the bike, but all the wind was gone by time I got on the run.

Kona-caliber athletes take any edge they can with their gear. Why do you think Rudy Project has won the Kona Count the last 4 years?

They're really fast, comfortably fit a wide range of athletes, and have a wide variety of colors to choose from to match bikes and kits. The gigantic vents in Rudy helmets also dissuades a lot of fear about it being too hot. Many people have the idea that aero helmets cannot be well ventilated, but from my experience Rudy is an exception to that rule. They fit really well, are light weight, and whereas many aero helmets make you look like a Super Mario character, Rudy's are actually flattering!

What are your favorite Rudy shades?

I love my Abilitys because I have a small face. They're really great for womens' faces. They also have just the single lens, which is great for the aero position because your vision isn't blocked.

Andrew Kalley: Full Throttle Endurance
Stomping Grounds: New York City

What's your experience with Rudy Project?

I started out my triathlon career with another brand, but for the last several years I've only raced and trained with Rudy Project. I'm so loyal to them. I recently bought the Wing57, and it gives a little edge on the bike without a doubt. I have nothing but good things to say about the company...I like all their products that I've used.

What's been your impression of the Wing57?

It's a very cool look and the enclosure of the lens seems to create an aero effect. I don't have any wind tunnel data or anything like that, but to me it definitely feels like a faster helmet. At Nationals (Olympic distance) I went sub 60 min with it, at Worlds had a breakthrough bike split as well, and won the Montauk sprint in September. It's hard to quantify, but I do feel that the enclosure creates less drag.

Do you rock Rudy Project shades as well?

Rudy is all I wear. I just bought a new pair... I definitely didn't "need" them, but I wanted them. The shades I use most are the ones that change from light to dark. Those are great. It's nice not needing to carry two pairs on you or committing to the dark or clear ones, especially training early in the morning as the sun comes up. Those are awesome and the clarity of the lens is really sharp.

Patricia Walsh: Challenged Athlete Foundation (CAF)
Stomping Grounds: Austin, TX

As a blind athlete who relies solely on feel, in my opinion your reviews carry a lot of weight! What do you feel, for example, that makes you wear a certain wetsuit, helmet, running shoe, etc?

Well, weight is exactly what I care about. I want a wetsuit to be as flexible as possible. I want any other gear to be light weight and breathable enough to not contribute to overheating.

What do you feel with Rudy Project products and what do you like most?

I love my Rudy Project TT helmets. They are perfectly aerodynamic and never overheat. The Rudy Project TT helmets have a clean feel and improved weight and breathability over other helmets I've worn in the past.

I love their glasses for both athletics and for casual wear. Their sunglasses are so light weight; I often forget I'm wearing them. Actually, I wonder if I'm wearing them now! I love how often my friends and family compliment me on their sleek design. I historically never used sunglasses... I didn't think they made a difference because I have just a pin hole of light. But I love my Rudy Project glasses. They are so comfortable; I wear them all the time. They keep bits of dust out of my eyes, and excuse me if I don't say myself but I feel glamorous. I think I must look good too!

David Fernandez: Triple Threat Triathlon - National Team 
Stomping Grounds: Miami, FL

After your old helmet was destroyed in a crash at Ironman Barcelona, what have you noticed with your new Wing57 vs. old ones?

The Wing57 is simply the most complete and fastest helmet I've ever raced in. The first thing I noticed is it is incredibly comfortable. Racing long distance races, aerodynamics are important, but comfort is a close second for me. I haven't been in a wind tunnel testing the aerodynamics of the Wing57 vs. my previous helmet, but I can appreciate quickly the differences between the two. The Wing57 offers me a wider range of options to adapt the helmet to my body position and race conditions, while fitting my head perfectly. I feel zero turbulence, and the padding used is awesome.

Can you elaborate on the options and adaptability you mentioned above?

There are several options to configure the helmet to adapt to your body, riding position, and weather conditions. For example, depending on your back and shoulder position, you may choose to add or remove the jetstream tail to the Air Director. Also, you can decide to use two different types of vents (or no vent at all) to customize the cooling system and speed features to be more comfortable in both hotter or cooler races and race distances. Finally, you can ride with the optical shield or take it out and wear your helmet with your favorite sunglasses. Oh! And on top of all that, it is an incredibly lightweight, comfortable, and fast helmet!!

As a Kona-aspiring athlete yourself, why do you think Rudy does so well on triathlon's biggest stage?

People that go to Kona are the best in the sport. They are disciplined, consistent, and know what they are doing both training and racing. Most of them also wear the best gear available to make sure they have their best performance possible; therefore, I am not surprised that Rudy Project won the Kona Count the last 4 years. You know you are getting a reliable, comfortable, and fast piece of equipment.

Tom Trauger: Every Man Jack
Stomping Grounds: Bay Area, CA

What's your experience with Rudy Project?

I knew of Rudy Project in the past, but working for a sports retailer (Sports Basement) I got a generous discount and we carried other brands. I used to ride with Giro, Bell, & Specialized... not to criticize other companies, but I will tell you, the first time I rode with Rudy Project I said to myself "my gosh, what have I been wearing all these years??"

What were the differences you've noticed vs. others you used to wear?

The "bug net" is simple, but I love that thing, as well as the way the helmet sits on your head. When I put on an old helmet, which I don't do often, it's just not comfortable. I'm not sure if the dial on the back of Rudy helmets is proprietary or not, but it's awesome. I shouldn't bad mouth others too badly, but one specific thing is the flaps covering my ears on my old helmets were way too flimsy... they cracked easily, and the strap always got stuck on them. Basically I'd often have to waste time in T1 taking the helmet off and starting over again. Rudy's are just made better. Rudy sunglasses are indestructible... whether you drop them, they fall off your head, etc, you can dish a lot of punishment but they still look brand new.

You're a regular by now at Kona. Why do you think Rudy Project has crushed the Kona count for helmets the last 4 years?

Of course they put some marketing effort into Kona, like all companies in the industry do, but you can only do so much cheerleading if your product(s) don't perform on race day. Four years in a row says a lot. The helmets work, they're comfortable, and have great ventilation. I love that I can pour water through it to keep my head cool.

What did you ride with at Kona last year?

This past year at Kona I went with the new one with the visor (Wing57) for the first time. I was somewhat undecided, as everyone knows the saying "don't try something new at a race." I got it a few days before Kona and decided to go for it. My only concern was that it would steam up, but it worked like a dream. I'm a convert... from now on, I'll be wearing that thing on race day.

Samantha Morrison: pro triathlete affiliated with USMES 
Stomping Grounds: Colorado Springs, CO

What's your history with Rudy Project?

I bought my first Wingspan with my own money as an AG athlete. After some good performances at Kona I got lucky and they picked me up as a sponsor. So from my beginnings as a triathlete I've never worn anything else!

Do you still ride with the Wingspan or have you upgraded to the Wing57?

I've always raced with the Wingspan but I just got a Wing57 for this season. I'm excited! I've heard a lot of good things. The ventilation of the Wingspan is good, especially in Kona. I was wearing the black Wingspan one year and I was fine out there. My first impression of the Wing57 is it's comfy, not that the Wingspan wasn't, but the Wing57 fits my head better. I also like the smaller tail in the back. The only downfall with Rudy Project is that my fellow triathlete roommates often try to steal my helmets on their race days. I need to have a chat with them about that.

What Rudy Project sunglasses do you like the most?

I just got the Ergomask race glasses for this season and I think they're my new favorite. Now that I finally have Rudy race specific glasses I can't go without them... they're comfy and I don't notice they're there anymore. I'm also wearing some Spinhawk (casuals) right now. They're so sweet.

Anything else to add?

I'm not too much of a gear junkie, but I can't imagine anything else... I'm not just saying that. Rudy gives me one less thing to worry about.

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From Skin Hat to Speed Monster: A Brief Helmet History

About Triple Threat Triathlon is a rapidly growing triathlon site centered around the Triple Threat Triathlon - National Team (US). Age group triathletes are selected as representatives of their individual states and local ambassadors of the sport, while contributing to the team's collective, national goals.

About Rudy Project

Rudy Project designs and manufactures performance-oriented helmets, sunglasses, goggles and Rx/prescription eyewear solutions by applying advanced science, cutting-edge technology and innovative aesthetics. Designed and crafted in Italy since 1985, Rudy Project has grown quickly as a premier brand throughout North America. Rudy helmets were recognized as the #1 most worn aero / time-trial brand at the IRONMAN® World Championships Presented by GoPro™ in Kona, Hawaii for the last four consecutive years, and have been designated the Official Helmet of IRONMAN® for North America. Rudy Project offers unparalleled customer service backed by a Lifetime Replacement Lens Guarantee and an industry-leading three-year frame warranty. Learn more about Rudy Project at

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rage in the Sage Duathlon Race Report: Nick Hetro

If you're like me and enjoy the friendly competition of your local scene, this race report from Nick Hetro (Washington) is a must read. In fact, 9 out of 10 athletes agree, reading it gave them the shot of adrenaline needed to get out and train. As for myself, I'm off for a ride!!

Check it out on Nick's site here.

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Triple Threat Profile: Nick Hetro - Washington

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Andrew Kalley: Full Throttle On & Off The Course

Andrew Kalley is an elite triathlete and coach with NYC-based Full Throttle Endurance. Following stellar performances at both USAT Nationals in Milwaukee and ITU Worlds in Edmonton last year, Andrew was diagnosed with cancer in December 2014. However, as you might expect from a triathlete, he's battling like a true champion... attacking this thing with everything he's got.

Thanks for the time, Andrew, and best of luck with your continued recovery!!

What’s your background and how did you get into triathlon?

I’ve been a personal trainer since 2002, and around ‘06 I was kind of looking for something new to change things up. I thought I’d do a triathlon as a one-time thing, just for something to do. I was doing spin classes and swimming on my own despite no prior experience. I was a decent runner but had only run for conditioning and had never done races. I then met Scott Berlinger (in a prior life the American Gladiator known as “Viper”) with the Full Throttle Endurance team, and I started going to practices. By placing and winning my AG at some races that first season, it was clear that there was some potential there. I quickly got hooked on the competition and the training, and the rest is history. I got more and more involved with Full Throttle and eventually became a coach with the team in addition to what I was doing as a trainer. It’s an added niche to the strength and weight loss training that I do.

What can you tell us about the Full Throttle Endurance Team?

We have a very unique program in which we’re able to train at a facility (Chelsea Piers) in New York under one roof, with a pool, indoor track, CompuTrainers, a cycling studio with 40 bikes, treadmills, strength training, etc. Essentially it’s ~100 athletes training together under one roof. All ages and fitness levels are represented, from elite athletes competing at the World Champs to average people doing it just for fitness. It’s great to see so many different people pushing to their own potential at any given workout. We have a very good group and a great coaching staff with five full-time coaches.

Sounds like a great set up. Are there any drawbacks you face by training in NYC?

Chelsea Piers definitely helps a lot, and from a running standpoint there’s the Hudson river path and Central Park, which are great. For outdoor rides crossing the George Washington bridge into Jersey provides the best riding for us. In the past we’ve ridden in Central Park, but due to some issues with accidents the city has gotten more strict. Teams including ourselves are worried how police with radars will impact weekly bike training! Thankfully we have the CompuTrainers and indoor bikes, but we may be between a rock and a hard place. We’ll have to play that by ear, as it’s our first year experiencing this issue.

Your win at the NYC Triathlon a few years back has to be considered the highlight of your career so far. What do you remember from that race?

That’s definitely my most prestigious career win. Fortunately, the conditions really played to my favor. The weather was ominous and raining that morning. I came out of the water in a good position and hammered the bike despite the slick roads. I didn’t hold back, and passed many people who were playing it a little more safe, giving me a good lead off the bike. I ran hard and was able to hold my position. The funny thing is the next year (2012) and shaved 3 min off and went sub 2:00, but placed 4th.

Of the three disciplines, what’s your biggest strength and weakness?

My bike and run are pretty much a toss up in terms of strength. I typically will average 24-26 mph over a 40k Olympic distance course, and run 33-35 min off the bike for 10K (mid 5-min. mile pace). My swim isn’t terrible, but I’ve come out of the water 4 min behind guys at times. Some days I can make it up and other days I run out of real estate.

What are your plans for this season?

Well, it’s an interesting story but unfortunately I was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. In January I had surgery, and I’m technically cancer free, but still on chemo. So far my body has responded really well. I would love to still be able to race later in the season, but no big plans for this year. My goals for this year will be more altruistic… I want to tell my story and hopefully give back by raising money on behalf of Sloan-Kettering, the hospital that’s treating me. If you have a minute, please take a look at this website to read about my progress and learn more about these efforts.

photo shoot for Chelsea Piers - Dec. '14,
the same month Andrew was diagnosed
Wow, so sorry to hear that, but glad to hear of your progress… what events led to your diagnosis?

The cancer diagnosis came less than 3 months after the World Champs when I was in peak form. There’s also no family history that I’m aware of, so it was basically really bad luck. I developed some symptoms that troubled me and decided it was time for a physical. Luckily I went when I did it, as the cancer was stage 3, so still treatable. Guys tend to be more hardheaded about getting checked, ignoring symptoms and being less likely to go to doctor when we should. Regardless of age and health these things can affect anybody. Fortunately I went when I did, but I wish I had gone sooner.

How has triathlon helped you thus far in your recovery?

Well, for example I just rode for 75 min, trying to get my base back. For my own mental sanity it’s been great. I’m really grateful. In the grand scheme of things I’ve responded well. Triathlon gives me something to keep me focused. I’m confident I’ll get back to full health, as there are lots of examples of others who have recovered fully. I’m just trying to turn a negative into a positive and hope to inspire other people. 

Thus far your best results have been at the Olympic distance… do you foresee yourself taking a run at long-course racing after you’ve officially kicked cancer to the curb?

I love the intensity of short-course racing, and at the end of day I feel Olympic is my sweet spot where I do best. That said, I have also wanted the challenge of moving to long-course and hopefully having similar success. I would love to potentially win my AG and qualify for Kona, and I’m already setting my sights on a full Ironman in the future. I’ve done a few 70.3s, and would like to add more to my schedule in future years. I still need to figure out that 13 mile run off the bike at the level I want to do it at.

Our team is pretty split on short-course versus long-course, but we do have a lot who have caught the bug of going long.

Anything else to add?

I just want to say thanks to Sloan-Kettering, as well as Full Throttle for being a very supportive group!

Stay up to date on Andrew's fight and cause 

Personal Site: