Friday, May 26, 2017

One-Year Anniversary! Top 10 "Greatest Hits"

THANK YOU for supporting Utah Tri Buzz and our efforts to "hype the local scene!" It's been a great first year!

Just for fun, here are the Top 10 posts in terms of traffic over the past 12 months.

You can click on any of the titles (in red) to go to those posts.

10) Anonymous Trash Talk - Blow the Whistle!    

Around Thanksgiving, one of you heated up the cold offseason by sending in this hilarious triathlon "trash talk." So far this individual has been "walking the walk" to some degree, although his/her legs still have some work to do to catch up with his/her mouth!  :D

9) SWAG Announcement 2017!!     

In March, we announced our plans for some unique awards... will you hoist a Utah Tri Buzz belt in 2017??

ps. stay tuned for news on a potential Utah Triathlon Championship Series for 2018...

8) TriUtah: THE PREQUEL  

As part of our Respect the RD! Series, two Utah triathlon pioneers gave us all an excellent history lesson on the sport in our state.

7) Jen Johnson: BAM Mom. Fast Mom!   

We've done ~30 interviews since last June, and three of them were in the Top 10 overall in terms of views. Jen Johnson is a mom, Kona Qualifier, and one of the driving forces behind BAM. 

6) Leavin'em in the Dust: Interview with Evan Santo

Another interview in the Top 10 - lightning fast Evan Santo discusses trading in his Felt for whatever that thing is he's rumored to be riding as a missionary in Germany.

5) IMTX Race Report - Adam Lee     

We got some stellar race reports from Coeur d'Alene, Kona, Oceanside, St. George, etc, etc, but one of the most inspirational was SLTC president Adam Lee's report from Ironman Texas.

4) Utah's Fastest Ironman?? Welcome Anatoliy Uspensky!   

The highest traffic for an interview actually went to one we just did. Learn more about this fast newcomer who punched his ticket to Kona at his Ironman debut in Texas.

You can scroll to the bottom of this recent interview to see all ~30 other interviews from the past year.

3) B.J. Christenson's Kona Race Report: THE LEGEND GROWS  

Broken scapula no big deal!! 

2) Top 10 Utah Races: THE PEOPLE'S VOTE   

We collected votes from you the people on the best triathlons in the state and consolidated into an overall Top 10.

1) Age Group Rankings 2016 - those who qualified for our inaugural WALL OF FAME

WALL OF FAME Final Rankings 2016 - Women Part 2

WALL OF FAME Final Rankings 2016 - Women Part 1

WALL OF FAME Final Rankings 2016 - Men Part 2

WALL OF FAME Final Rankings 2016 - Men Part 1

Special thanks to all who have pitched in over the past year! As always, Utah Tri Buzz is open to your ideas & expertise. Feel free to reach out if you'd like to contribute in some way.   

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Utah Tri Buzz FB page

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Recon Mission: Echo Course Preview

Time for another recon mission! This time special thanks to Utah Tri Buzz contributors Mandy & Eric Oscarson, who ventured to Coalville to shoot some video of TriUtah's Echo Triathlon, taking place July 8th.

In our Top 10 Utah Races: The People's Vote, Echo was voted the #2 race in the state, behind only St. George 70.3. It's a great course for beginners, while also typically claiming one of Utah's deepest and most competitive fields for a local race.

This preview isn't affiliated with TriUtah, so apologies if something isn't perfect.

Check out the course video below, and please share with friends/family who may consider this fun, classic event.

Main site: TriUtah

Related Posts

A few pics of Echo from previous posts

Monday, May 22, 2017

Results Breakdown: Sand Hollow 2017

Congrats to all who raced St. George's Sand Hollow Triathlon!

This post has more detail behind the results breakdown methodology if you're interested.

Along with other Utah races, we'll use these results towards SWAG ANNOUNCEMENT 2017Remember we take the average of your 3 best local races (overall %) for "Most Improved Triathlete" awards, rankings, etc, so plan your season accordingly!

The next few qualifying races on the Utah calendar are:  

Jun 10:  East Canyon (S & O) - Morgan
Jun 17:  RockCliff (S & O) - Francis
Jun 24:  Daybreak (S & O) - South Jordan
              DinoTri (S & O) - Vernal
Jul 8:   Echo (S & O) - Coalville



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Utah's Fastest Ironman?? Welcome Anatoliy Uspensky!

Is a newcomer among us currently Utah's fastest Ironman?? At a minimum, he's definitely in the conversation...  

Join us in welcoming and getting to know Anatoliy Uspensky, who recently moved from his home country of the Ukraine to Utah for work. Here he talks about US culture shock, what he likes and dislikes about Utah, and his amazing, Kona Qualifying IM debut at Ironman Texas last month.

Thanks for the time, Anatoliy, and best of luck at both the IM & IM 70.3 world championships this year!

What’s your athletic background and how did you first start in triathlon?

I’ve been doing triathlons back in high school, but quit in University and forgot about this sport for about 12 years. Started training again just in mid January 2016. My first and only major race last year was IM70.3 Budapest.

What brought you to Utah, and how long have you lived here now? Did you move here directly from the Ukraine or have you moved other places in between?

I’ve been working as a software engineer in Utah for about 9 months now. Moved here from Ukraine with my TT bike to support me. Straight from the airport began looking for good places to train. Thankfully Utah has plenty of great bike routes and running trails.

Whereabouts do you live, and have you been able to meet any training partners or do you train solo?

I prefer training solo. However, the local swimming team invited me to join them a couple times. I live in Draper about one mile away from the Draper Canal Trail, which is great for running. For bike, I usually go to Saratoga Springs and ride around the Utah Lake.

excellent timing!

What’s your “podium” of 3 things you really like and 3 things you really dislike about living in Utah?

Likes: Zions National Park, People, Bike rides. Dislikes: Snow and harsh weather changes, Imperial system (as in miles instead of kilometers, etc), traffic light intervals are very long in US.

Similarly, what were the 3 biggest “culture shocks,” or differences, you first experienced between the US & Ukraine?

1. Many pleasant and smiling people around. Unfortunately, that is the first thing that the eye catches and it’s a great contrast to people in Ukraine. 2. Imperial system again :). Even after a long time here haven’t got used to it. 3. Local bike and tri-race organization. Once again, pleasure in racing, training and the overall race atmosphere comparing to my home country.

Budapest 70.3

What were your expectations going into Ironman Texas? Was this your first Ironman, and was Kona a big goal going into the race?

First Ironman. Actually, I did not think about Kona much and been more focused on the race itself. On the opposite, for my coach, Kona was the major goal, the only reason that I should even sign up for the race in Texas :)

You were 3rd in your AG after a ~58 min swim, 8th after a 4:51 bike, and 7th overall after a 3:16 run. Were you aware of your position throughout the race, and when did you know that Kona was within reach?

I was not. I knew my finish place about an hour after the actual finish. I was hoping to do well on the swim and was a bit disappointed with the result when I saw the time on my Garmin. On the bike, I got completely lost about my placing. I passed some guys, others passed me, so it was impossible to keep track of where I was. And running was hard. I was focused on getting to the finish line as fast as I possibly can, and I do not remember much about what happened around during the running stage.

How many spots ultimately went to your age group? Were you nervous at the awards ceremony for a roll-down, or did you qualify automatically with 7th in your AG?

I missed the point that the slots allocation ceremony was on the next day after the race and had to change my flight tickets. There were 6 slots for my age group and I was 7th, so there was a chance that I will not get my Kona slot. I was shaking I was that nervous. Fortunately, guys who took 1st and 2nd places in my age group already had their tickets to Kona and I now I have mine.

How did you celebrate?

Had an extra day in Houston after the awards ceremony, so went to the NASA center, and then flew to California for a short vacation.

I know you did TriUtah's Brineman last year on the local scene. Will you do any other races between now and Kona?

The only 100% race for me now is IM70.3 Worlds in Chattanooga. I’ve got a slot for that race from the IM 70.3 Budapest 2016. I’ll probably do some local short distance races, maybe one or two IM70.3’s. But not sure right now.

Anything else you want to share?

Triathlon is my hobby and lifestyle. I like music, cars, basketball, professional cycling, Formula 1 racing, but triathlon leaves little time for anything else. However, this is not a wasted time for me because I enjoy training. Moreover, it is great sometimes to see people I love at the finish line - after the race is the best time to spend with them.

Related Posts

Monday, May 15, 2017

Do Your Kids Tri?? Part 2

Mandy Oscarson's "Do Your Kids Tri??" Part 1 got a lot of traffic and hopefully inspired some of your kids to get involved in triathlon this year. Here's Part 2, in which Mandy goes undercover to get the scoop on BAM Kids' Triathlon Camps. Thanks to Mandy and all who contributed!

The BAM Kids’ Tri Camp kicks off in June and goes until right before school starts up again. They work with kids of just about any age and any ability, teaching everything from the very basics to prepping Elite Team members for super-speedy draft-legal races.

The camp runs 4 days a week, mostly at Sugarhouse Park (for biking and running) and at Olympus High School (for swimming). They do other things as well, like hiking and mock-races to prep the kids for their season. Cost and more information can be found on their spiffy new website, which should be up and running pretty soon. In the meantime, you can find more information at

Andrew Stasinos, BAM coach, tries to not only teach kids the basics of swimming, how to grab a water bottle without toppling off their bikes, or how to “parent” the parents out on the run course; he tries to teach them transferrable skills (something I didn’t pick up on until Grad School). “We’re not so results driven. Mainly the reason why I love working with kids is because you can teach them life skills through sports, and that is a big passion of mine. Letting them understand failure is okay and how to get past it, and that’s just life. That’s why I continue to work with kids, you can make a big difference.”

Andrew said that while they don’t have a specific slogan they teach the kids, they try hard to keep it fun while teaching. For example, Andrew explains to the kids that they all choose what to do with their time. Every day. Whether it’s playing video games, reading a book, or doing triathlon, it’s a choice they make. “So, we are going to choose to make the best of our time here, because we are choosing to be here.”

After learning the basics, as the kids get older and more experienced, the BAM coaches actively work with the kids, teaching them how to overcome frustration and realize they’re in control. Coaches teach them how to push when they need to and back off when they need to, how to interact with others when they are frustrated, etc. “This is why we’re passionate about it… to impact these kids. Build confidence so they feel good around their peers.”

I asked two BAM Kids’ Camp participants: What’s the hardest part of a triathlon, and how do you overcome it?

“Oh probably the thoughts like, oh we can’t finish, oh it’s too hard, my stomach’s hurting, my feet are hurting, you know, all those bad thoughts. I usually just tell myself that it’s gonna be okay and if you just think of the finish line and how happy you’ll be after you did something like that.” Ananya Iyengar, 12-year-old triathlete and BAM Kids’ Camp participant

“…running is the hardest for me for some reason. I just think to myself that I can do it. And I do it.” Abhimanyu Iyengar, 10-year-old triathlete and BAM Kids’ Camp participant

From the mouths of babes. As I interviewed Ananya and Abhimanyu, I was amazed that these kids had learned life-lessons that I still struggle to grasp sometimes. I asked them what they liked about having a coach, and they agreed that Andrew makes things fun, but still pushes them to do better.

Their parents, Arjun and Deepthi, who are also triathletes, agreed that their kids were learning important skills at a young age. Arjun was happy that this was keeping their kids active and Deepthi said that triathlon is more challenging than other activities the kids had tried.

that kid in the back with facial hair looks a lot like Keate Avery

Andrew said that they really try to focus on each kid 100%, and what each kid's needs are. I think that shows, because Ananya expressed how her training has given her self-confidence for standing up for her choices:

“Some people say you can’t do it, because… for us we’re vegan, so they say, oh you don’t get enough protein… so I say, just ignore the haters and then you know, just do it.”

She is taking her own advice and plans on competing in a draft-legal youth race in June. Further out, her goal is to make a college triathlon team.

If you have any questions about the BAM Kids’ Tri Camp, again, check out their website: Or you can contact Andrew or Pat Casey, who will both head this year’s camp. And if you happen to see a pint-sized athlete out on the course this season, even if they are passing you, make sure to give them some triathlon community love and encouragement!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Results Breakdown: Salem Spring

Some of the split times from Salem were a little out of whack, but below is our best effort to put them back together again (by all accounts the overall times were spot on).

At Salem we were introduced to paralympic athlete Omar Bermejo, who won the M3539 division... what a stud!!

This post has more detail behind the results breakdown methodology if you're interested.

Lastly, along with other Utah races, we'll use these results towards SWAG ANNOUNCEMENT 2017Remember we take the average of your 3 best local races (overall %) for "Most Improved Triathlete" awards, rankings, etc, so plan your season accordingly!

The next few qualifying races on the Utah calendar are:  

May 20: Sand Hollow (Sprint & Olympic) - St. George
Jun 10:  East Canyon (S & O) - Morgan
Jun 17:  RockCliff (S & O) - Francis
Jun 24:  Daybreak (S & O) - South Jordan
              DinoTri (S & O) - Vernal

Related Posts

Respect the RD! Interview with RaceTri

Skye's the Limit! Interview with Local Pro Skye Moench

Kona Profiles: Don't Mess With Sam Hobi!

Results Breakdown: Salem Spring 2016

Friday, May 12, 2017

St. George 70.3 Race Report - Amber Foster

Regardless of finishing time, there were so many gutsy performances at SG 70.3 last week... picking just one for a race report was not easy!

We reached out to several people for "nominations," and Amber Foster's name came up multiple times. This was her first attempt on the course, and she crushed it, finishing 2nd in the F3539 age group.

Here is her report!

I've always been reluctant to compete at St. George, as it's known for its challenging course and unpredictable weather. But it is also known for its beauty and the North American Championships! This means each athlete gets to share the course with some of the biggest names in the sport. This race also brings out many of the local athletes and triathlon clubs, which makes the day basically a big party with friends! I figured that since the race has had such extreme weather the past couple years that it was due for some great weather in 2017! I tend to stalk the weather report leading into the race and it wasn’t looking ideal; the weather was calling for high wind without any change to the forecast. The night before the race Ironman sent out a message moving the start time of the race up for the pros, as well as each age group wave due to the concern of winds that would be moving in.

My nerves were unusually high race morning, not knowing what the day was going to bring in terms of weather, as well as knowing that the day was going to be challenging on this course. As I arrived at Sand Hollow the weather was perfect! There wasn’t much of a wind and the water was smooth as glass; I thought maybe the day was going to end up being ideal. Little did I know that at the sound of the horn my day was going to be a battle. 

Typically swim waves are 3 minutes apart, but due to the change the night before they would only be 2 minutes apart. My age group was 3rd to the last wave to set foot into the lake. Due to that this swim was the most congested, physical swim I have ever experienced. With the waves so close together we quickly ran into the slower swimmers and previous waves; I don’t think I have been hit or kicked as much in 36 minutes as I did in that lake. It felt like I had been swimming for a very long time and I was certain my watch was going to reflect that when I got out of the water; I was shocked when I came out of the water in just over 36 minutes!

The St. George bike course is most likely my favorite of any 70.3 race. It is hard and challenging, but equally beautiful. The course climbs over 3,000 feet in its 56 miles, with the longest and most challenging at mile 40 up Snow Canyon. I was excited to get on my bike and put my fitness from the BAM winter computrainer classes to the test! I wasn’t as worried about the wind on my bike… BAM camp last year cured me of any fear riding in the wind and I am sure I will never have to bike in wind like that again. The miles quickly ticked by and I was surprised at what a fast bike course this was actually shaping up to be.

The wind had picked up slightly on the bike but we were lucky enough to have portions with a fantastic tail wind that made the ride an absolute blast! As I was biking up Snow Canyon a competitor told me, “I think I accidentally practiced on the easy part of the course.” I assured him Snow Canyon is tough on the legs at mile 10 or mile 40. The wind really started to pick up as I descended down from Snow Canyon into town, and I realized that those behind me had some serious wind they would have to deal with as they finished up their last 10 miles. My bike was kind enough to save the flat tire for 3 miles from transition. There was no way I was going to stop and fix a flat that close so I said a little prayer that I could just roll into town. I was thrilled to bike a 70.3 PR!

The run course is also a very challenging one that starts off with 3 miles of uphill onto Red Cliffs Drive…. this course is relentless! My legs did not want to play from the get go. I knew that the run was going to be a mental battle to the finish. The wind was much stronger on the run once I got up to Red Cliffs Drive. It was a serious headwind that was coupled with hot temperatures. I like to refer to Red Cliffs Drive as an inferno of heat… I am pretty sure it is a furnace waiting to scorch each athlete that passes through. I kept telling myself that the last three miles of downhill would be great…just get to mile 10.….but the weather had other plans. It was a strong headwind and high heat that each racer would face once on Diagonal Street and back to the finish line.

St. George goes down as one of the most challenging, yet rewarding courses I have completed. It was hot, it was windy, it was hard! But this is a race that is raced among friends, training partners, locals, and professionals. A race that you can put all your winter training to the test, and that makes you battle to the finish. A race that has enormous community support, wonderful volunteers, and a great finish line!

Amber, Andrew Stasinos, & Tracy Campbell

Coming in 2nd in my age group was a little shocking (editor's note: rock solid 5:09:07). I hadn’t met my overall goal time and experienced such a mental battle during that run that I wasn’t sure I would even get on the podium… it wasn’t until that moment that I realized everyone was battling the same tough conditions out there. Triathlon is a funny sport…. rarely does the day go your way. Likely there will be challenges along the way that you have to face and deal with, but that is also what makes the sport so great! Sharing the podium with several BAM girls was a highlight of the day…a huge congratulations to each one of them…I see their diligent work day in and day out as they balance being moms, working, and achieving their goals! I feel fortunate to get to train among them. A shout out to my coach, Andrew Stasinos, for his incredible coaching! He has kept me off the injured list and has assisted me in becoming a stronger triathlete since I have started training with him and for that I am so grateful! Also a shout out to First to Cross Nutrition….this is the year I am nailing down a nutrition plan that works for me and theirs has fit the bill!

podium hardware for Ali McInturff Amorim, Amber, Tracy & Laura Yost

Congratulations to each athlete that crossed the finish line on Saturday among less than ideal race conditions!

Related Posts

Results Breakdown: St. George 70.3

BAM Strong: Interview with Andrew Stasinos