Sunday, October 14, 2018

Locals at Kona - RESULTS


Congrats all!!

(Click the image to see more clearly)


We were also made aware of:

Stuart Porter  M5559   12:44:58   99th    1:31    5:36    5:28



Related Posts

Kona Profiles #1: BJ Christenson Back for #10

Kona Profiles #2: Laura Yost "Host With the Most"

Kona Profiles #3: Lee Weatherhead - The Chattanooga Choo Choo

Kona Profiles #4: Brice Williams & the Ironman Itch!

Kona Profiles #5: Greg "Papa Bear" Peterson

Kona Profiles #6: Jess the Pocket Rocket Perry

Kona Profiles #7: Gentry Yost, No Need to Boast!

Kona Profiles #8: Jorge De Amorim Filho - The Champ is Here


Locals at Kona - RESULTS 2017





We started a Patreon account (link below) with the hope of raising few bucks towards awards & swag for athletes of all abilities in our tri community. We've given out a lot over the past 2 years, but would like to continue to expand our offerings & the volume we can do.

If you enjoy Utah Tri Buzz and would like to pitch in, any amount would be greatly appreciated... (there may be something in it for you as well!)

We're also always grateful for talented people who contribute in terms of time... let us know if you'd like to be part of the Utah Tri Buzz team.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Kona Profiles #8 - Jorge De Amorim Filho: The Champ is Here


The Ironman World Championships ("Kona") is tomorrow, and we encourage everyone to watch the coverage online and cheer on our local stars!


Name:   Jorge De Amorim Filho

Age Group:   M3034

Qualified:   Ironman Arizona

Qualifying AG Place & Time:   2nd    8:52:22

Splits:   Swim 54   Bike 4:44   Run 3:09



Thanks to Victor Villarreal for taking so many awesome pics this season!!

You've been around the Kona block before... does this year feel any different than prior years or more or less the same?


This year has been interesting. I should have talked to BJ because he has done 10, but the more you become aware of the power of the island the more you respect this place and how it takes down the best of the best. So, I am being careful and trying to be as prepared as possible. The build to this race has been good, but that does not take away the nerves on Saturday morning.

What lessons have you learned from prior Kona experience that you'll apply on race day?

I will try to be diligent in executing my nutrition plan, because that is really what will make a difference in the end. The last 10 miles of the race are HOT and you have to be prepared for it.





You finished 15th overall (including pros) and 2nd in your AG to a former pro to qualify at Ironman Arizona... can you give us a high level recap of how IMAZ played out for you?

IMAZ was one of those races that keeps you coming back. The weather was good which is a big help for me. The swim went well and I found a good pack and worked with them the whole time. The bike is a 3-loop course which allows you to see your competition at least in the first lap. I was not concerned about the other guys because I was going for a time. I checked my splits and I was exactly where I needed to be. I finished the bike and the legs were a little unhappy. During the run I didn't wear a watch. I wanted to focus on form and cadence. It worked. I had the best race of my life and was very pleased with my time. A Kona spot was just the icing on the cake.




How would you summarize your 2018 race season so far and training in general?


The season has been weird. Life has been a little crazy and I have been working in Pocatello, ID for a week at a time, which makes it hard for training. Luckily, Gentry and Laura are in Poky and I was able to train with them. It has been great. We are moving to Pocatello after Kona. There are some new kids in the triathlon scene that are really fast like Nick Dorsett and Roberto Porras and it is nice to see that the sport is growing and getting younger. Hopefully, the veterans will find some old man speed and give those guys a run for their money.



What were your thoughts on the inaugural State Championship race? (Brineman Olympic this year, which Jorge won)

I am 100 % behind the state championship. I also think it is important to have other awards like you did this year. It has been fun getting people into the sport and growing the community, however, competition is a part of life and we should embrace it. Sometimes you are competing for the win, but often you are competing with yourself to finish your first race, to get a PR, or to run the entire race without walking. A friendly competitive atmosphere builds the sport. I would love to see Andrew Hall, Nick Dorsett, BJ Christenson, Brice Williams, Adam Hicken, Gentry Yost, Lee Weatherhead, Rory Duckworth, Jacob Peterson, Tip Worob, Nat Harward, Nate Cook, Kyle Lewis, Sam Hobi, etc. (there are so many now that I can't even count) all on the start line together.



You were also the M3539 season champion, but you did get challenged locally, finishing 2nd overall at Daybreak and 3rd overall at Echo. What's your best distance would you say, and who are your toughest local and/or national "rivals" these days?

I think I like olympics but they really hurt. You are going hard the whole race and that makes for a very painful day. Like I said those young kids are faaaaaaaast and they will be faster than the old crew at the longer races if they make the jump. We have very strong athletes in the sport in Utah and I think that it depends on the race and who shows up healthy. I still think BJ is the fastest dude around, but Nick would give him a run for his money.



On that note, when you're on your game, are you now Utah's fastest Ironman? Any friendly wagers in the works with Brice, B.J., etc??

I don't think I am the fastest. I have seen a picture of BJ finishing Kona with a 9:0X on the timing board. Now that is fast. I have a really hard time in Hawaii tolerating the heat, so I think those guys have an upper hand. That does not mean I won't race hard. Those guys are great and I have a tremendous amount of respect for them. If we cross paths on the course I will be happy to see my Utah friends and encourage them.



What's been your experience with the Intermountain Tri team during its inaugural season? Have you had the opportunity to mentor newer athletes to the sport?

I think that has been the best part about this year. Pioneering this mentorship program was one of our key goals- it's great to meet and talk to new triathletes. Who doesn't like to talk triathlon 24/7? I hope people start taking advantage of this program. We have big things coming this next season and a lot to offer our team members. We are working with Intermountain as well as Wes Johnson and the BAM coaches to provide athletes of all experience levels access to high quality accurate information and hands on clinics. Partnering high level coaching and a phenomenal healthcare organization to promote healthy, active lifestyles is a recipe for success.



What are your goals and/or expectations for the big day? Will you be racing IMAZ again this year after Kona?

Zero expectations. Just go out there and go hard, take risks, and if I die then be it. You have to thread a very thin line and burning too many matches is easy. Arizona is a favorite. I will be in Tempe.....

Anything else you’d like to share?

Just a gigantic thanks to my wife who takes care of me and little Enzo.




Related Posts

Kona Profiles #1: BJ Christenson Back for #10

Kona Profiles #2: Laura Yost "Host With the Most"

Kona Profiles #3: Lee Weatherhead - The Chattanooga Choo Choo

Kona Profiles #4: Brice Williams & the Ironman Itch!

Kona Profiles #5: Greg "Papa Bear" Peterson

Kona Profiles #6: Jess the Pocket Rocket Perry

Kona Profiles #7: Gentry Yost, No Need to Boast!


Kona Profiles 2017: Dr. Jorge De Amorim Filho

Kona Profiles 2017: Alison Amorim - MD & Mom!





We started a Patreon account (link below) with the hope of raising few bucks towards awards & swag for athletes of all abilities in our tri community. We've given out a lot over the past 2 years, but would like to continue to expand our offerings & the volume we can do.

If you enjoy Utah Tri Buzz and would like to pitch in, any amount would be greatly appreciated... (there may be something in it for you as well!)

We're also always grateful for talented people who contribute in terms of time... let us know if you'd like to be part of the Utah Tri Buzz team.



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Kona Watch Party!


WHAT:  Kona Watch Party + Indoor Bike & Run

WHEN:  Saturday beginning 11 AM

WHERE:  517 N. Hollybrook Way, Farmington

WHY:  1) FUN  2) Inspiration  3) Can return later to toilet paper Nate Cook's house


Monday, October 8, 2018

Kona Profiles #7 - Gentry Yost, No Need to Boast!


The Ironman World Championships ("Kona") is upon us now, taking place this Saturday. As you know, it's incredibly competitive to qualify and a major accomplishment to do so. As we've done the last 2 years, we'll be catching up with our local Cinderellas... getting to know them as a tri community and cheering them on as they get ready for the ball!


Name:  Gentry Yost

Age Group:  M4044

Qualified:   Ironman Boulder

Qualifying AG Place & Time:   5th   10:01:40

Splits:   Swim 1:06   Bike 4:59    Run 3:48




Standard question: what’s your athletic background and how did you get into triathlon?

I grew up playing lots of soccer and skiing. Never a great soccer player, but played well enough to play for U of U men's club team when it was in its infancy. Pretty much you could be on the team if you'd show up to practice. Truly love skiing and dreamed of skiing in movies when I was younger. I did run one year of cross country in junior high, but soccer schedule conflicted enough that that was the extent of my running. 




Right before we undertook triathlon our family was very active in endurance horse racing. We traveled the country and competed in 50-100 mile horse races. Our family won the national family mileage award three years in a row. I mention this because the training and racing of an endurance horse has many parallels to how a human endurance athlete trains and races and I think our horse racing experiences have helped our triathlon performances.

In 2010, our horse racing was slowing down as our kids were becoming interested in other things, and my wife decided to do a triathlon. She enjoyed it, and told me shortly thereafter that she'd bought me a membership at our local rec center so that I could learn to swim. She then included that she had also entered us in the Silverman half ironman distance triathlon in Las Vegas. She gave me one month to prepare. My first swim was a disaster as I realized I couldn't swim across the pool (25 yards) without stopping to breast stroke. We did the entire race together with me breast stroking every 10 strokes. I fell in T1 trying to run with my bike. It took us over 6 hrs to finish. I remember most a women yelling, 100 yards before the finish line, "you can still take 4 seconds off our time!!!". I sprinted so hard for those 4 seconds that I almost passed out at the finish. That is how triathlon started for me.

Have you raced Kona before or is this your first rodeo? Regardless, how are you feeling one week out?

This is my first time getting to race Kona. I did take my bike 2 years ago when I watched Laura race. I did a self support half ironman distance the day before the race and just remember quitting my run at 6 miles, due to utter exhaustion, and being happy I didn't have to do the full race the following day. Then after watching Laura race the following day, it became a dream to some day qualify and run through that finish line. That is when we approach Wes through BAM about formal coaching. I still joke that he took me on as a "project" athlete. Feeling pretty good, still looking forward to some tapering. We are still in ID currently and will not get to Kona until Tuesday.




Like we asked your wife earlier, can you give us a high level recap of your day at Ironman Boulder? How were you successful in the heat when it broke so many competitors?

Boulder was a tough day. Started really well with the swim being as smooth as any IM swim I have done. No breast stroking needed. Swim was one minute slower than my PR. I knew it was going to be hot, but it was not until a couple hours into the bike that I realized just how hot the day was going to be. I was happy that we had increased salt in our F2C bottles for the day. I used all my nutrition as planned on the bike, drank extra Gatorade Endurance when I could and also kept a water bottle on board to keep my self as wet and as cool as possible. The hills were very difficult towards the end, and I had to push it the last 10 minutes because I really wanted to finish the bike in under 5 hours, something I had yet to do at an IM distance. My legs did not feel great starting the run. The majority of the first 5 miles were a steady climb and I was content to run a little slower than I had planned for that portion with the goal being that I would be able to pick it up when the coarse flattened and then went downhill a little.



I think accepting at 6 miles that I was not going to be able to run 8 minute miles (which was my goal) is what allowed me to keep running to the finish despite the heat. I dropped my pace to 8:30s and was able to hold that for the remainder of the race. With temps around 100 degrees out on the course it was very tough mentally. I think if I had pushed for my goal pace, I might have bonked and been walking it in. I kept thinking how Wes says we want to be racing at the end of an Ironman and not walking. Slowing down in that heat was key for me. I also credit the support crew of my two youngest kids and the BAM coaches on the course with keeping me moving.




Jen Johnson was out on the course and at about 1/2 of the way through the marathon she told me I was in seventh, but was catching the 2 guys in front of me. I still remember, and will always remember, her saying "you're in contention". Those three words did more to motivate than anything. All my training had been done with the hope that I would some day be in "contention" for a Kona spot. Mick Campbell also rode up next to me with about one mile to go and told me, "Wes says there is a guy on your tail and you have to GO!!" I'm pretty sure this was a lie, but it helped get me across the line.

How many spots were awarded for your age group, and how aware of your position were you throughout the day? At what moment did you learn you had qualified, and what was your reaction?

Age group had 4 allotted spots. I took fifth. I worried all night that I wouldn't get a spot and tried to have myself prepared. The next morning all five of us showed for awards, so I was even more sure it wasn't going to happen this year. I talked to fourth place before roll down and he said he was taking his slot. I was too scared to get more disappointment so I did not talk to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.




When 1st and 2nd took their spots I was sure it was over. Then they called for 3rd place and he didn't answer, I started to hope, and then they called him again and he still didn't answer at which point I knew there would be a roll down to fifth and I was in!! Still can't believe it. I jumped out of my seat and yelled, "YES" when they called my name. My wife was already up in line after accepting her spot and she ran over and hugged me as I headed over to join her. It was very emotional!! Celebrated by hopping in the car and driving to ID. I texted everyone I knew on the way home with the news.



GO YOST!!!!    GO YOST!!!!



Laura dodged this question ;) , but theoretically what would be a fair competition between you two? For example, what are the odds she out-runs you?


I don't mess with Laura. She is the most competitive person I know. Your title of her interview would have been more appropriately called Laura Yost: the Yost with the Most. When compared to women her age she is at a whole different level than I am against men my age.


You traveled south and threw down a great race at our inaugural State Championship race (this year Brineman Olympic), finishing 2nd overall. What are some of your favorite local races, whether in ID or UT?

Brineman was a really great race for me. It has helped to keep my confidence high heading to Kona. Pocatello has its local Bengal Tri that I do each spring. It's a sprint with a pool swim the night before the bike/run. It's a great time to get all your gear out and get excited for another season of racing. I did the Spudman for the first time this year and will likely make that a yearly race I compete in. As far as UT races I have done Echo, East Canyon, and Brineman.

What are your goals and/or expectations for the big day?

I want to do more than just finish in Kona. I've trained too hard to have that be my only goal. I am still trying to break 10 hrs, so that is my goal. Not sure if I can do it, but I am going to try. Race day may dictate changes to my goal, like what happened in Boulder, but I am going to give it my all.


Anything else you’d like to share?


Thanks for the opportunity to share some of my story. I have enjoyed reading other people's as well. They are very motivating. Triathlon is a great sport that is wonderful for a person's health, both mentally and physically. The sport has been a tremendous blessing for my wife and I our relationship. I am lucky to have her enjoy being as active and competitive as I am. I have four wonderful kids and appreciate their understanding of the time it takes to participate in triathlon like I am.


Related Posts

Kona Profiles #1: BJ Christenson Back for #10

Kona Profiles #2: Laura Yost "Host With the Most"

Kona Profiles #3: Lee Weatherhead - The Chattanooga Choo Choo

Kona Profiles #4: Brice Williams & the Ironman Itch!

Kona Profiles #5: Greg "Papa Bear" Peterson

Kona Profiles #6: Jess the Pocket Rocket Perry





We started a Patreon account (link below) with the hope of raising few bucks towards awards & swag for athletes of all abilities in our tri community. We've given out a lot over the past 2 years, but would like to continue to expand our offerings & the volume we can do.

If you enjoy Utah Tri Buzz and would like to pitch in, any amount would be greatly appreciated... (there may be something in it for you as well!)

We're also always grateful for talented people who contribute in terms of time... let us know if you'd like to be part of the Utah Tri Buzz team.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

MOST IMPROVED TRIATHLETE AWARDS 2018!


Very excited to announce the 2nd annual Utah Tri Buzz MOST IMPROVED TRIATHLETE awards!

This isn't a perfect science, but it's our best effort to recognize people who stepped up their game this season on the local scene.

The methodology is pure math, comparing everyone's top 3 results in the Utah Triathlon Championship Series from 2017 to 2018.

As an example, let's say Jane Triathlete's best 3 races in 2017 were 60th out of 100 (60%) at local tri 1, 80th out of 200 (40%) at local tri 2, and 100th out of 500 (20%) at local tri 3. The average of those 3 results = 40%.



Ms. Triathlete went to work in the offseason and it paid off. Her best 3 local races this year were a 40%, 30%, and 20%, averaging to 30%... a 10% improvement from last year.

Keep in mind that these and most of our other awards will continue to be based on the UTAH TRIATHLON CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES, which gives some structure and standardization to the process.


So without further adieu, below are the Top 25 M.I.T.'s for 2018! Please share with friends on the list!


"one by one I'll knock you out"








Related Posts

Utah Triathlon Championship Series

MOST IMPROVED TRIATHLETE AWARDS - 2017!





We started a Patreon account (link below) with the hope of raising few bucks towards awards & swag for athletes of all abilities in our tri community. We've given out a lot over the past 2 years, but would like to continue to expand our offerings & the volume we can do.

If you enjoy Utah Tri Buzz and would like to pitch in, any amount would be greatly appreciated... (there may be something in it for you as well!)

We're also always grateful for talented people who contribute in terms of time... let us know if you'd like to be part of the Utah Tri Buzz team.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Kona Profiles #6 - Jess the Pocket Rocket Perry


The Ironman World Championships ("Kona") will be here before we know it, taking place Oct. 13th. As you know, it's incredibly competitive to qualify and a major accomplishment to do so. As we've done the last 2 years, we'll be catching up with our local Cinderellas... getting to know them as a tri community and cheering them on as they get ready for the ball!


Name:  Jess Perry

Age Group:  F3539 

Qualified:  Ironman Texas

Qualifying AG Place & Time:   2nd   9:40:09

Splits:  Swim 1:05    Bike 4:50    Run 3:37


For the background story on Jess' KQ performance, check out her Ironman Texas Race Report!


Qualifying for Kona after being so close before must have been a huge weight off your shoulders. How long were you in celebration mode after Texas?

What are you talking about... I am still in celebration mode. It is one of those things that you never stop being grateful for and that you appreciate. I CAN’T wait!!!

How has your season and training gone since qualifying in April?

It has been great! I have now been with Jen for over 2 years and every training block is different. It is awesome to look back and see where I started in my training and where I have progressed to.



Do you feel pressure to perform at Kona, or will it be more about enjoying the experience?

This time around it will be all for the experience! An Ironman is never easy though. It is still 140.6 miles so I am mentally preparing for the highs and lows that still come while trying to complete that distance, with all the elements the island will throw at us!

What are your expectations and/or goals for the race?

Honestly, to take it all in!!! The first time I ran Boston I bonded with that course because time was thrown out the window and I just enjoyed every moment, the hard, the easy and the awesome moments. I want Kona to be this same experience. I want to enjoy all of it, the good, the bad and all the ugly the course throws at us.


Ironman Texas F3539 top finishers

Ramping up for a spring Ironman followed by Kona makes for a long season. Have you felt burnt out at all or are you still enjoying swimming, biking and running? Like we asked Greg "Papa Bear" Peterson, which of the 3 do you hate most right now?

Not at all! I spent the summer in Lake Powell with my Kickr, open water swimming and lots of trail running! I mean I still put lots of time in but triathlon doesn’t consume my life. It is definitely in my top 5 priorities but usually finds itself landing in about the 3rd or 4th spot for me. I find as long as I am keeping it where it should be in my life and balancing my training around my life obligations, the burn out really doesn’t come. I get tired and annoyed with super long, monotonous workouts but not burnt out. I LOVE the sport and LOVE seeing in what new ways I can push and test my body so I just remember that on the days when getting out the door is hard.



What advice have you gotten from Jen, Jorge, and others about racing on triathlon's biggest stage?

Take it all in! Be ready for the Lows, because they still come. When Jen raced she had a similar attitude to me and was thinking PARTAY and she has admitted she wasn’t ready to hurt. But whether you are racing or completing, it is a LONG day so the hurt comes regardless!

Will you go with the same nutrition plan as IMTX or change it up at all?

Honestly I feel my nutrition is dialed in pretty well. I will carry some extra salt to help deal with the wind and heat but other than that I will try and just trust my body and make adjustments if I need to on race day.


this pocket rocket is ready for liftoff!


Whether you've raced or spectated, what's your podium for best venues on the local race scene?

I love them all. Sadly I don’t race much locally because we are really MIA most of the summer but I love Echo, Daybreak and the Brineman course seems pretty fun!

What do you envision for next season, will you be taking another run at Kona? Any races in mind?

Funny you should ask! I have Arizona 5 weeks after Kona and honestly that race is my focus. Kona is a good race prep day for that. Hopefully I can earn my spot for next year in Arizona and spend next year racing some halfs. I also would love to qualify and join a bunch of my teammates at the 70.3 World Championships in Nice next year also.


Related Posts

Kona Profiles #1: BJ Christenson Back for #10

Kona Profiles #2: Laura Yost "Host With the Most"

Kona Profiles #3: Lee Weatherhead - The Chattanooga Choo Choo

Kona Profiles #4: Brice Williams & the Ironman Itch!

Kona Profiles #5: Greg "Papa Bear" Peterson

Ironman Texas Race Report: Jess Perry





We started a Patreon account (link below) with the hope of raising few bucks towards awards & swag for athletes of all abilities in our tri community. We've given out a lot over the past 2 years, but would like to continue to expand our offerings & the volume we can do.

If you enjoy Utah Tri Buzz and would like to pitch in, any amount would be greatly appreciated... (there may be something in it for you as well!)

We're also always grateful for talented people who contribute in terms of time... let us know if you'd like to be part of the Utah Tri Buzz team.



Friday, September 28, 2018

Kona Profiles #5 - Greg "Papa Bear" Peterson


The Ironman World Championships ("Kona") will be here before we know it, taking place Oct. 13th. As you know, it's incredibly competitive to qualify and a major accomplishment to do so. As we've done the last 2 years, we'll be catching up with our local Cinderellas... getting to know them as a tri community and cheering them on as they get ready for the ball!


Name:  Greg Peterson

Age Group:  M5054 

Qualified:  Ironman Foundation


Standard question: What’s your athletic background and how did you get into triathlon?


I’m a lifetime athlete. I played football, basketball, and tennis in High School and then went on to BYU Idaho (formerly Ricks College) to play football for two years as a wide receiver. Later, after I got married and had kids, my boys and I started racing in the USRA and WORCS series desert/motocross racing. We raced for around seven years until I had a serious accident at the Tooele track during a race and was laid up for a few months. For the next couple of years I was fairly dormant and in a lot of pain from the surgeries on my shoulders, my right knee and my right ankle. At around the same time frame, we also suffered from the dotcom crash which caused a lot of financial pressures on our family. I gained nearly 75lbs as a result.



In 2006, I was on a cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary and met this guy from Nashville, TN during one of the nightly dinners. His name is David Watson. He told us about his finishing Ironman Brazil and how it changed everything for him. He and I hit it off immediately and I was really intrigued—I asked so many questions that it became annoying to him, I’m sure. But, we became very good friends and remain so today. That same year I finished my first sprint triathlon at the Ice Breaker at nearly 270lbs. I took last place (11th I believe) in the Clydesdale division and I was completely exhausted. I went home that day and slept for more than four hours. But, I was immediately hooked on the sport and committed to something athletic for the first time in years.


With the encouragement of David and my other friend Woody, I trained and completed my first IM 70.3 in 2008. Then, in 2009, having lost nearly 70 lbs I finished Ironman Florida in 12:58:15. Since that time, I’ve completed IM St. George (1X) and IM Florida (6X). I went to Kona in 2016 to watch David race (he's a 15x Ironman). One little side note is that the day of the race, I got up at 3am and ran the final 2 miles of the race on Alii Drive all the way through the finish line so I could visualize what it would be like some day if I could compete in Kona. David and his wife are traveling to Kona this year with us, such a great fitting to the journey that started nearly 12 years ago.

For people not in the know, can you explain the Ironman Foundation and how it works?

The Ironman Foundation was established in 2003 as a way for Ironman to leave a legacy behind in communities where Ironman events take place. The mission of the Ironman Foundation is: To leave the Ironman legacy through philanthropy, volunteerism and grant making by supporting various athletic, community, education, health, human services and public benefit organization around the world. I first learned about the foundation a few years ago through the Ironman XC program. Given that this is the 40th anniversary of Ironman, I applied to be part of the foundation's effort to raise money for local charities in Kona.

My personal commitment was to rally friends and others in the local triathlon community in Utah to contribute funds to the foundation. Through these efforts and the kindness of more than 80 people, $30,000 has been raised that will be granted to local charities in Kona. The benefits of these donations will be realized long after the race is over. Because we all pulled together and met this goal, I was selected to represent the IM Foundation at Kona this year. I’m really grateful for this opportunity because although there is a good chance I won’t podium (jk), I know that people who have suffered from the volcano eruptions and recent flooding will be appreciative of these efforts to help them.



What has been your game plan in gearing up for Kona? (for example, following your own plan? Help from your fast son Jake? Formal coach? Etc)

I didn’t know that I would be selected for an IM Foundation slot until the end of February so I didn’t start training until the first week of March. I immediately called Wes Johnson at BAM and asked him if he was still good on coaching me if I ever got into Kona. Quick little side note, when he and I were with Jake at the ITU World Championships in Rotterdam last year, I jokingly asked Wes if he would coach me if I ever got an invitation to Kona and he said yes. So, I was ecstatic and really humbled when he said yes because I’m an above average triathlete, but not at all in the category of athletes that Wes coaches on a regular basis.

I train six days per week. We didn’t do any vacations this year. It’s been really hard, but worth it. Wes has elevated my game to a level I’ve not achieved in more than 10 years of training—it’s pretty unbelievable that I’m at least 15-20 percent faster today across all three disciplines at the IM distance at 53 than I was at the age of 41. The foundational approach that Wes and his team takes with athletes at BAM is the key. They focus on the right training, not just putting time in—which is the biggest difference between the right coach and the wrong coach. I can’t say enough good about BAM, their approach to coaching, but also they are just good people—great friends.


What races have you done this year and how has your training gone?


I’ve competed a couple local races (Daybreak and Echo) this year as part of my Kona training, but mostly just to benchmark (B and C races) along the journey to Kona. I completed IM 70.3 Boulder in August. One thing I did differently in order to prep for Kona is changing the times of day when I train. Nearly 80 percent of all of my training this year has been in the hottest part of the day all summer. Having watched the race in 2016, I saw firsthand the winds and heat at Kona. So, regardless of speed, I wanted to be mentally prepared for the heat and the wind. It was hard at first because training in the summer heat at above 95F, my body can’t maintain the same pacing as training in the cool mornings. But, it helps you gain a better perspective into sweat rates and nutrition and all the other race day challenges. I’m hopeful that in Kona it will all pay off.

triathlon can be an awesome family affair

Are you feeling burnt out and ready to get’er done or still enjoying the process? Which of the 3 disciplines do you hate the most right now and which is most fun?

Such great questions. I’m fatigued and ready to get it done. Mostly, because I don’t think my wife will put up with one more week of training. She has been incredibly patient. One of the other great benefits of having a coach from BAM is that you track all of your training. One of the ways I stay motivated is I review my fitness levels in graphical form (training peaks) from where I was compared to where I am today. Sometimes we forget or don’t realize the progress we have made. This became a reality for me when I finished the IM 70.3 Boulder bike averaging well above 200 watts for the first time ever. Right now, I like/dislike all three disciplines equally…depends on the day.

The swim is a little bit of a slug right now because all of the work is done, it’s just about maintenance at this point…and there aren’t a lot of options for 50m pools in the fall. The 25Y pools drive me a little crazy. The bike is the most fun for me for a reason that most people wouldn’t state as their number one. My bike fits perfectly. When I first started doing full Ironmans, I had a fitting from a local bike shop, watched YouTube, and like so many others had to stand and stretch the back and neck in the last 20-30 miles of IM races. Then, I decided to go to a real professional, Jeff Sherrod at Precision Bike, to see if I could dial it in. I found out my aero-bars were too narrow by more than 4” among other things. I can’t say enough about what an improvement it was for me in terms of comfort and the ability to relax in the aero position. It’s changed everything for me on the bike. One other thing I love about the bike is seeing such great scenery. I never get bored on the bike.



What are you most looking forward to and most terrified about thinking ahead to the race?

I’m really looking forward to participating in the parade of nations (GO USA) and the celebrations leading up to the race. I really enjoy the camaraderie of the athletes—every one has a story of how they got to Kona. So inspiring. Most terrifying is having a mechanical breakdown or an illness that causes me to DNF. One year at Florida I got kicked in the head on the swim so hard that I had blood in my mouth and ended up with a concussion, then in the hospital. But, just like life, you have to take things as they come and go.

Jake hasn't done a full IM yet, but he’s one of the fastest dudes around… what advice have you gotten from him?

Jake is so chill. He knows how difficult and demanding the long courses can be. He wants me to not race Kona, but to just enjoy the experience and make it a celebration of all the yards/meters/miles that were required to get to the start line. He has been a great support. It would be awesome to return to Kona someday to watch Jake. Someone needs to honor the legacy that BJ is leaving at Kona this year.


Greg's son Jake is the 2x defending season
champ in the M2529 Age Group

What do you hope to take away from your Kona experience?

I recognize that I’m built very different than most triathletes. I’m really grateful that my body allows me to be among such great athletes. As cool as it is for me, I recognize that it’s really about everyone else. If I were to narrow it to one thing, it would be to inspire others to know they can do “hard things.” With the inspiration of my friend David, I was able to do hard things. I have many family members and friends who will be watching that haven’t swam, biked, or even walked fast in decades. I hope they find the inspiration to become lifetime athletes — triathletes.

On the local scene, what’s your podium for favorite races and why?

I haven’t podiumed enough times like Jake to know the feel of the blocks I’m standing on..lol. But, in terms of back drops/scenery, I would say Echo, Daybreak, Lake Powell (no longer around), and Salem.

Anything else you want to share?

I really appreciate the opportunity to share my experience. The most important thing I have gained from the whole experience over the past 10+ years is the friendships and camaraderie within the triathlon community. I hope it continues. In today's hectic, contentious environment, we all need something wholesome and meaningful to enrich our lives.

Thank you for elevating the “tri" scene. I know we are all very grateful.



Related Posts

Kona Profiles #1: BJ Christenson Back for #10

Kona Profiles #2: Laura Yost "Host With the Most"

Kona Profiles #3: Lee Weatherhead - The Chattanooga Choo Choo

Kona Profiles #4: Brice Williams & the Ironman Itch!

Ironman Crusher: Interview with Brice Williams





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