Race Report: Ironman 70.3 World Championships – Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018

September 8, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Nutrition, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews, Races

What an amazing experience it was to travel across the world to take part in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship event in South Africa. It was great to experience another culture as well as see and interact with animals in the wild. I am in awe of these amazing creatures. My favorite part of the experience however was the race.

I loved being able to ride a portion of the route earlier in the week with fellow athletes and hear different languages and ride on the opposite side of the road. It was so nice that the WTC offered an escorted ride with police officers for the first 11K. It felt great to get my legs moving after many hours of catching planes, long lay-overs and lots of sitting. They did announce at our race briefing that we would be riding on the right side of the road as usual for American races, which I was surprised but glad about.

As usual with Ironman brand events the race was well organized. There were some differences that I really liked here verses the races I have done in the States. For instance, I loved how the racks were on the ground in transition; we didn’t hang the bike, so even though it got windy after the bikes were checked they were not swaying around hitting each other and getting damaged. They were also easy to remove from the rack during the race speeding up the transition. I also really liked how we hung our transition bags. For this race there were two transitions. It was so easy to find the bags hung in number order and run through transition quickly. 
After racking my bike and hanging my bags Friday night it was time to relax before the big event. I made sure and put RockTape on my knee and neck to help prevent neck chafing and give knee support. This stuff really sticks and helps, I love it!
The next morning came quickly and before I knew it I was waiting anxiously in my swim wave corral. Unfortunately my age division was the last wave (12 of 12) and this is when the time seemed to go by slowly! I choose to wear my sleeveless XterraWetsuit (use the code CO-BLONDE to save 60%) since it’s better for my shoulder and I am used to cold water. It was in the low 60’s, so not bad. Most people were in long-sleeve wetsuits however I made the right choice for me. Finally 8:58 a.m. came and we were organized into groups of ten leaving every 5 seconds. I was in the third set of this beach start. Soon the horn sounded and I was off digging my toes deep in the sand every push off until I hit deeper water. The swim starts we had practiced earlier in the week became useful now and I had a decent and cautious start swimming over the waves and quickly became accustom to the salt water in my mouth. I worked to sight the first yellow buoy and it seemed to come quickly. As I continued pushing through the blue water I noticed the waves becoming more choppy, the further I got from the shore, making it more difficult to site the bouys. I stopped a few times to get my bearings to make sure I could swim as straight as possible. As I rounded the last turn I could see the scuba divers under the water (I found out later they were there to keep the sharks away). Soon I was approaching the shore hoping to catch a big wave to ride in on but no such luck. I hurried through transition grabbing my bag and after getting my gear on I quickly made my way to my bike.
I was happy to get going on the bike and experience the whole ride; especially the parts by the ocean. What a beautiful ride! I learned from the practice ride that the roads were bumpy and there was potential for wind. After all, Port Elizabeth is know as the “The Windy City,” as implied, it was windy on race day. Wind always makes me nervous so I slowed down on many occasions during the race. Safety first! There were some climbs but mostly the winds caused the slow downs. Overall I was passing quite a few ladies and many in other divisions so I knew I have made up some ground from the swim. As I continued along the course I managed to get my nutrition as needed and take advantage of uphills and downhills passing many athletes as I pedaled my way to the next transition. My legs still felt a bit stiff and my hamstrings were tight from sitting so much on the long flights. As I came into T2 (the second transition) I was excited to experience this out-and-back run by the ocean. I love these type of routes! It allows for a lot of camaraderie with other athletes. I felt pretty good at first and tried to stay loose but as I ran along my hamstrings really tightening up more and became pretty painful. I had been nursing a strain so wanted to be careful not to push too hard. I tried to take one mile at a time and stay positive although I wasn’t hitting the pacing I had planned for. Thank goodness I was wearing my new Hoka Bondi 6’s which offers superior cushioning and undoubtedly helped me through the run much better. I was able to manage my nutrition well and was thrilled to be able to take water bags/satchets with me as needed. The water bags were new to me and I loved them! Ultimately it helped me to get more water and keep moving. They also had the usual sports drink (High 5 brand), gels, bars, Coke, RedBull etc… but no ice. At the start of the race it was mid-50’s as it was the first day of Spring in Africa so no need for ice. Also everything in Africa was in Kilometers. The speed signs for driving, and the race signs. I liked it because I always think of the half marathon in terms of 4 x 5K’s (I was a 5,000 meter runner in college) plus 1 mile so it was easy to know my splits. I pushed through each mile and was delighted to see the finish carpet and joyfully run to the finish strong completing my second 70.3 World Championships event.
There is so much to learn from each race I do; overall it was a great race and amazing experience. There is something about competing against the best in the world that really makes a person determined to continue to improve and get stronger and better. I am so grateful to those that made this race possible for me and it wouldn’t have been complete without a safari or two (more pictures below). Thank you to all those who support me!
See more pictures:
Instagram: TheBlondeRunner
Facebook: BlondeRunnerLoraErickson

Sincerely,
Lora Erickson

Race Results: 6:04:04, Division Placing: 105th/186, OA Placing 882 of 1,374

There were some other highlights outside of racing I wanted to mention. I loved petting a Cheetah as well as riding an elephant and seeing so many animals on safari.

Bountiful Reverse Triathlon Discount Code

July 26, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Product Reviews

If you have never done a reverse order triathlon, this is the one to do.  The Bountiful Reverse Triathlon starts with a run, then moves to the bike on the roads and a pool swim to finish it up.  It is held at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful on Saturday August 4, 2018.  Come join the fun and use the code LORADIS5REVERSE for $5 off.  Hurry!  Registration closes next Wednesday (August 1st) night at midnight.

Happy Training,

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

 

Join us at the South Davis Labor Day Triathlon in September

July 26, 2018 by  
Filed under News

I just love local races.  It’s how I got my start into this awesome sport many years ago now.  If you are looking for a great pool triathlon, look no farther and join us on September 3, 2018. The Labor Day Triathlon is held at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful Utah.  Use the code LORALABOR5 for $5 off.

I will be offering a Triathlon Clinic and Bike Route Preview on Saturday August 18th at 8:30 a.m.  This is free for those registered for the race, please RSVP to me at theblonderunner@gmail.com.  Bring a friend.  Let me know if you need help with training.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Don’t Miss A Utah Race Discount

July 11, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Races

I love to be involved in local races and we have some great ones here in Utah.  Be sure to check out this BLONDE RUNNER DISCOUNT LIST and Join the fun!  It’s updated often so check back!  If you need help with training don’t hesitate to contact me!  I love to see people reach their goals!

 

Coach Lora Erickson

theblonderunner@gmail.com

BlondeRunner.com

Summer Fun with Xterra Paddle Boards

Summer is time to splash around and have fun at the lake.  Join the fun with Xterra Paddleboards!  Don’t miss out on these great deals!  Click to learn more

Wishing You a Summer Full of Fun!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

How to Pump-up a Road Bicycle Tire with Coach Lora Erickson

It may seem simple but when I started riding I didn’t know how to pump up my tires on a road bike so I thought I would explain it for the beginner.  It’s simple once you know but may be different than your bike when you grew up like me.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

 

Win an Entry into the Handcart Days Races

June 13, 2018 by  
Filed under News

I just LOVE local races!  How would you like to win a free entry into the Handcart Days Half or 5K?  Your chances are good in this giveaway, be sure and get your name in.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Can’t wait to register? Use the code BLONDEHANDCARTDAYS for $5 off.

The Goliath Full Distance Triathlon Utah

June 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews

Saturday September 15, 2018

Options: 140.6 team relay or solo event, 5K race event

Race Website:  TheGoliathRace

Registration Link: 

(use the code BLONDE for 20% off before July 1, 10% after) 

The Goliath triathlon is a one-of-a-kind full-distance (140.6) iron triathlon relay event in Northern Utah in September.  It is done as a relay and all participants are encouraged to welcome friends and family to spectate and be their support crew.  The distance can be conquered solo or with up to 10 people.  The event starts at the Still Water Lake Estates in Syracuse, Utah and tours Antelope Island for the ride and run.  What is great about this 2.4 mile wetsuit swim is that it can be done by up to 3 people and is broken into a 2 & ½ lap effort in a shallow lake.  So, if you are nervous about the swim, don’t be, because you can stand up on a majority of it with the deepest parts only 8 feet deep.  The paved berm along the edge of the water allows friends and family to cheer the entire swim. The last swimmer will then head to transition where they will tag the first cyclist.  The 112 mile cycling leg starts by winding through the farmland of Syracuse then proceeding across the Causeway and exploring Antelope Island.  You can expect rolling terrain on the ride and run.  Athlete swaps can be made at designated exchange zones. This is also a self-supported event so athletes need to be sure and have the support they need at zones.  This is a great opportunity for friends and family to get involved. Check out the Exchange Zone Specifics

The run will also proceed to Antelope Island and the first runner will be able to participate in the “King of the Mountain (KOM) challenge.  This is a 1.1 out-and-back route going up a 23% grade, so you will want your strongest climber here.  The first half of the run is more challenging with some climbing and rolling hills while the second half is more flat. Again this is self-supported with no aide stations so pick-up what you need at exchange zones or carry it with you.   The race finished up at the Jensen Nature Park in Syracuse.

RACE DISCOUNT CODE: “BLONDE” saves you 20% before July 1st!

So gather your friends and join the fun!  Get registered today; use the code BLONDE to save 20% before July 1st and 10% after:  https://www.raceentry.com/race-reviews/the-goliath-race

This is the 4th year of the event and another cool thing about this race is that it helps raise funds for the DE NOVO PROJECT allowing Adolescents and Young Adults who struggle with addiction and mental health issues like severe depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health concerns to get need mental health services. They can also help individuals and families caught in the wake of suicide and traumatic death.

THE DE NOVO PROJECT

Mental health concerns cannot be fought on our own. It takes family, friends, community and skill building to overcome these Goliaths in our lives. Typically organized charitable events support great causes like financial support to families battling cancer, cancer research, and Diabetes research etc. But, the mental health impact is often overlooked, and quite frankly, ignored. The De Novo Project was created to help meet a need in our community. We all know someone or have a family member that suffers from mental health concerns and can see the impact this has on marriage, family, and community.  Learn more:  http://thegoliathrace.org/something-to-think-about/

What are people saying about the race?

“Great race!

My husband and I loved doing this with our friends! Laid back enough to have fun and friendly competition. Mark and Amy do a great job of putting this together and everything is very professional. Would highly recommend trying this one out! ~ Rebecca R.”

Get Social with Goliath!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegoliathrace/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/race_goliath

#FindYourGoliath #GoliathTriathlon

Need a Coach?

As an added benefit I will be offering discounted coaching programs to help you prepare for the event.  Interested?  From $49 and up. If so, message me at theblonderunner@gmail.com

Note:  You have 14 weeks from June 9th to great ready for the September 15 event.

Not a triathlete?  No problem, the race also offers a 5K event for the whole family.   You can still spectate for your friends/family and join in the fun at 11 a.m.

Happy Training,

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com  

Race Report: Beaverhead Marathon

What a fun adventure it was at the Beaverhead Marathon in Montana over this last weekend. There was mud, head winds (mostly the whole time), with rain the night before, we had some mud   🌧 too.  The temps ranged from 37-49 from start to end of this marathon. ostriches, road kill, mountains, a bison statue, ducks, creek, gravel, cows, birds, clouds, a river, bridges, mile markers, hills, friends, trails, porta potties 😊, hay, horses, barns, parks etc…
It really was an adventure! I love races like this with so much great scenery and terrain change. This year it was extra challenging starting at 8 am at 39° and 20 mph winds. In addition to this it was high altitude as Dillon Montana is about 5200-5500 feet.  I am used to high altitude but I know a few participants weren’t.
This was a first year event so it wasn’t very big but they really did so many things right! There was free camping in the starting area but they bussed us to the start from the park near the finish as this was a point to point route. I loved the old-fashioned black power Musket gun shot start and the well marked route. They had green buckets each mile marking the full marathon on this point to point course. (photo credit: Jeremy Crawford)
Yellow for the half marathon. They had great photography on the route as well as great support with a cyclist “rabbit” leading the race as well as many of the organizers in vehicles checking up on runners.
There were many cool landmarks, including;
  • The Beaverhead River, which is a blue ribbon trout stream and famous all over the world (should have brought my fishing pole! I love to fish!)
  • Around mile three we passed the 45th parallel at Clark Canyon Reservoir.
  • Pipe Organ Rock – this massive rock formation looks just like the pipes of an organ! It was fun to stop at a hydration station here.
I was happy to place 2nd in my age group, even with tired legs from Ironman Texas just two weeks before! It was fun to celebrate a friend’s birthday with a race. If you are looking for a doing a marathon in all 50 states, this would be one to look into. Check it out! As always, if you need help with training don’t hesitate to contact me.
Train Happy,
Coach Lora Erickson
theblonderunner@gmail.com
BlondeRunner.com 
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Help Blonde Runner get to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Africa

May 10, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Races

Wow, just wow!  I do not want to pass up this opportunity to participate in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Port Elizabeth, Africa! The race is just over 12 weeks away and the cost is a major concern but I am willing to work for it. I am looking for sponsors/supporters to help get me there. If you are able and willing to donate I would be deeply grateful. Any amount helps. I also offer online coaching services and will be selling triathlon gear etc…Interested? Please message me. Any international travel tips would also be greatly appreciated .

#helpmegettoafrica #swimbikerun #trilove #gratitude #triathlete #triharder #ironman #70point3 #worldchampionships #NelsonMandelaBay #africa #donate #helpneeded #onlinecoaching #triathlontraining @theblonderunner @coachloraerickson

Donations can be made directly here:

Thank you so much!!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

 

Update (Sept. 10, 2018)

I just wanted to thank all of you that donated to help me get to Africa!  It was an amazing and unforgettable experience!  Please read the race report 

I have also posted a lot of pictures to my social media channels.  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Coach Lora

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