Monday, October 30, 2017

Results Breakdown: Southern Utah Triathlon

Congrats to all who participated in the last race on our local calendar, the Southern Utah Triathlon put on by On Hill Events.

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 %).

FYI - the final Utah Tri Buzz rankings, Championship Belt award winners, Top Local Racers, Most Improved awards, and Volunteers of the Year are being updated as we speak and will be posted soon. Also check out @utahtribuzz on Instagram for some pics of award recipients.

picture courtesy of Dan Miller



Saturday, October 21, 2017


After months of gathering feedback and talking to many of you in the tri community, it's time to finally announce the Utah Triathlon Championship Series for 2018!

  • The "Utah Triathlon Championship Series" will consist of 10 local races from April - September
  • Capping off the series will be a State Championship race, party, & triathlon gathering for all abilities
  • The State Champs venue will rotate annually, with BRINEMAN hosting in year 1 (September 2018)
  • The Brineman OLYMPIC distance has been selected by the host RD as the official State Champs race, and everyone is encouraged and welcome to compete at the "main event"
  • That said there will potentially be other options for people wanting to participate outside of the State Champs race
  • The races that make up the Series will be decided by # of participants the previous year (with potential for an occasional "wild card" entry due to extenuating circumstances)

Based on 2017 participation, here are the 10 races comprising the Championship Series for 2018   (official dates TBD):



6) July:  ECHO

7) July (now Jun 23):  TOUGHMAN UTAH HALF 


  • Similar to European soccer (eg England's Premier League), the Championship Series will include a system of "promotion" and "relegation"
  • This means a max of 2 races NOT in the Championship Series one year can be "promoted" into it the following year if they out-draw races currently in the series
  • In that example, the races currently in the series would get "relegated" AKA bumped out for the following year
  • This way, the tri community as a whole decides what races make up the Championship Series any given year… it's up to RD's to promote their races and athletes to support the races they choose
  • Utah Tri Buzz rankings, age group awards, Most Improved and other swag for the season will be based on the Championship Series (average of top 3 races like previous years)
  • We also want to continue driving a local culture of volunteering at races & supporting each other; it's expected that each participant will volunteer at at least one race in the series (more if you can), and those who go above and beyond will be recognized for their efforts!
  • You don't have to race the State Champs race to qualify for season awards. However, the rankings system will include a points bonus for those who do race the State Champs
  • There will also be awards from the host race company for the single day State Championship race

In summary, should be fun! 

Below are links to all the races in the 2018 Championship Series:


Thursday, October 19, 2017

From 1st Sprint to Kona - The Most Fundamental Mental Skill

Nathan Last is the dashingly handsome founder of Mental Grit Consulting and the owner of a very solid 12:16 time at his Ironman debut in Coeur d'Alene this year.

Here he shares some excellent, practical tips for excelling on the mental side of the sport and life!

As a mental skills trainer, I have been able to work with elite athletes in most every sport, and in my experience and education there has been a single mental skill that is fundamental to any level of performance, especially in triathlon. What’s the skill? Well let’s see if you can guess it.

You need this skill to combat negative self talk and keep you from going into the negativity hurricane.

You use this skill, I would hope, at the beginning of every race.

You can depend on this skill to help you be the most well rested on race day.

Do you have an idea of the skill we are talking about here? The skill is emotional control and it is all about keeping directive to the emotions and energy that course through us on a day to day basis. When we let our emotions rule our process or run our actions you can be sure that you will find yourself in a bad place.

Ok, so in my opinion (aka not scientifically proven...) this is the most important fundamental skill within athletics and performance and interestingly enough, athletes at every level can work on it from time to time.

Today I want to provide a few tangible training techniques that you can use within training and racing to help develop the skill of emotional control. These can be used from the most beginner triathlete to experts racing in Kona. Just remember, mental skills training is a practice, NOT an outcome so if you practice these techniques you will find yourself more effective!

3 Techniques to increase your skill in emotional control:

Deliberate Breathing: Have you ever found yourself breathing through your shoulders and chest when you are stressed out or in a stressful situation? You might start feel lightheaded, dizzy, and ‘not all there’… sound familiar? Don’t worry, this is actually a natural reaction to stressful circumstances but not the most helpful if we are talking about athletic performance.

So, what do we do about it? The next time you are getting prepared for a race, an open water swim, a difficult training ride or otherwise, I want you to do something very simple to control those perceived stresses that come up… I want you to breathe deeply into your diaphragm. Take 5 deep breaths and with each refocus on things that you feel are helpful for you.

What are those things that are most helpful? This leads us into our next technique...

Refocus on the helpful rather then the unhelpful: Think about the athletic situations where you find yourself stressed or anxious. Write them down. These are individual so take a moment to really understand where you get anxious/nervous etc…We will use the start of a race for the example here.

Now take a moment to think about the most helpful things to focus on to achieve the desired aim in each of those moments…

For the start of a race, we want to get into the race calm, cool, and collected. So, what’s helpful to focus on to help us stay calm, cool, and collected? Deep belly breathing, the catch of the stroke, keeping our heads down in the water, breathing continuously through the stroke… etc…

Now that you know when you're anxious and what to focus on in order to be effective, start practicing! Get yourself into these kinds of situations where you feel nervous and practice bringing your attention and focus to the helpful items on your list…

When exercising this technique, work to put your full attention on the helpful because when you are focusing on what helps, you are not focusing on what does not help…

This is a dynamic process so continue to be aware of what is working and not working and make the adjustments necessary.

Create Space to Respond Rather Than React: Sometimes when we need to control our emotions to set ourselves up for peak performance, we can get caught up in a whirlwind of EVERYTHING that needs to happen. In this mental state, we get stuck in reaction mode where we just react to everything that is happening rather than responding to what is happening on purpose. In these moments, one of the best things you can do is create space in the moment so you can use your ability to make decisions. This is where the 5 to 1 technique comes into play.

The 5 to 1 technique is as simple as doing the following 5 things in order:

  • Name 5 things you see right now!
  • Name 4 things you hear.
  • Name 3 things you feel (physical touch)
  • Name 2 things you KNOW FOR CERTAIN
  • Take 1 deep belly breath
Make a decision/refocus on the helpful/move forward!
As you might already be able to see, the 5 to 1 technique incorporates the other two techniques above. At the end of the 5 to 1 a deep belly breath, just after that, we are given the opportunity to refocus back on what helps us most. The point of the 5 to 1 technique is simply to create space for you to integrate the last two steps.
The Wrap Up
Emotional control is, as stated previously, the most important of the mental skills. Having this skill provides you with a solid foundation on which to build all other mental skills. Keep in mind that you will always need to come back to practicing these skills every week! Mental toughness, mental strength, mental grit IS A PRACTICE… it’s not an outcome. The more you practice doing what needs to be done to help you perform optimally, the more optimally you will performance.
Questions? Get in touch with Nate Last, MS at Mental Grit.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Kona Profiles: Sydney Tervort

The Ironman World Championships is now 2 days away, and last but not least among our Kona Profiles is Sydney Tervort! We encourage everyone to watch coverage of the pro race this Saturday, while also cheering on and tracking our local heroes.

  • Name: Sydney Tervort
  • Age Group: F6064 
  • Qualified: Ironman Arizona – Nov. 2016
  • Qualifying Place & Time: 1st - 11:52:39
  • Splits: Swim 1:22 Bike 5:54 Run 4:25 

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

My athletic career started at a very young age with dance and tumbling, then onto gymnastics in Jr high. In high school I did gymnastics and some track. I didn’t compete in college and wasn’t very active, but I started teaching aerobics and running 5k’s and 10k's in the 80’s. I transitioned to marathons in 2000. I have done 27 marathons, including 8 Boston’s, so my background really is running, but I also did a lot of mountain biking. I did Spudman a couple of times with a friend, but I do not have a swimming background, so I never considered doing any other triathlons until I started Computrainer in 2013 with BAM. I was doing the classes as something fun to do to stay fit over the winter, and the next thing I knew I was signed up for the Utah Half. From there I signed up for Vineman 70.3 and enlisted Jen Johnson as my coach. I placed second and loved the experience, so the next step was Ironman Chattanooga in 2015. Since then I have done four more full Ironmans and four more 70.3’s.

Are you a Utah native, or did you move here for work, etc?

I was born in Montana and have also lived in Wyoming and Colorado. I moved to Utah in 1984 for a job.

How would you summarize your experience at Kona last year, and was that your first time or had you been previous years?

Last year, 2016, was my first Kona! This race is hard to describe, it is magical, and intense! With the heat, wind, and lots of climbing, the course is relentless. The group of athletes that compete in this race are incredible, and so fast! I felt a huge sense of accomplishment to just finish it.

How is your mindset different this year vs. last?

It is pretty much the same, I just want to have a good day out there and do the best I can. I might be a little more worried this year than last year because I know more about what the course is like and what I am getting into!

What makes the Kona swim, bike, run, and overall vibe unique from other races?

The mix of very impressive, serious athletes from all over the world adds a lot of high energy and an international feel to the race. The unpredictable weather on the island also plays a role. It’s already a tough course, and factors such as the mass start and the size of the waves on the swim, along with the heat, the wind, (and maybe rain) on the bike and run all add to the challenge.

You finished an extraordinary 4th in the world in your age group, yet 2nd and 3rd weren’t far up the road. Is it true that Gabriele Celette, Rhonda Mareina and Missy Lestrange are on your hit list this year? Any specific goals in mind?

Ha ha! No, I do not have a hit list. Last year was an amazing year and I was blessed to have a good day. I trained for that and followed my race plan and it was still harder than I could have expected. It was great that it all came together. It is a new year, and a list of incredibly fast women have moved into my age group. (Good news though that Missy has moved into the next ag up :-)) I don’t know how I will place amongst them, I am just hoping I can pull together the best race possible on Saturday that I can. I have been fighting a shoulder injury for three months that has affected my training, but we have tried to work around it, so fingers crossed!

the Top 10 in Sydney's AG last year

If you were to hire someone to “get in the head” or “rough up” your competition, who would your “podium” be among your BAM teammates?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sydney was too classy to respond to this ridiculous question. Our personal choices would be: Skye Moench (accustomed to pro field mind games), Mick Campbell (massive sweating skillz could come in handy) and Sam Hobi (street fighting/ knife fight experience)

How has BAM / coach Jen helped with your progression to where you are today?

Jen is exceptional. Her confidence in me gives me the confidence I need in myself to get to the starting line. I would not be in the sport of Ironman without Wes and Jen. After that first 70.3 at Vineman, Wes has been the one who has persuaded me to sign up for almost every Ironman I have done (excluding Santa Rosa), and Jen works with me to fit my training in with the rest of my life and responsibilities, which is no easy task! I also love training with the athletes in our group.

You won your AG by 30+ minutes at Ironman Arizona, in a dry, desert climate. How will you execute your race differently in the island humidity of the World Championships?

Even though I swallowed the lake water at AZ and had a sick stomach the whole race, it was a cool day, and the bike course is flat and fast so I was able to get by. But Kona is unforgiving. I will definitely have to work harder to stay hydrated and take in more nutrition, along with more electrolytes, and salt. At Kona I also have to be more conscious to conserve energy on the bike so I have enough left to get through the run.

Anything else you want to share?
I can’t think of anything! Just looking forward to what the day will bring

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Kona Profiles: Alison Mcinturff Amorim - M.D. & Mom!

The Ironman World Championships ("Kona") is quickly approaching, taking place Oct. 14th. As you know, it's incredibly competitive to qualify and a major accomplishment to do so. Like last year, we'll be catching up with our local Cinderellas... getting to know them better as a tri community and cheering them on as they get ready for the ball!

Good luck Alison!
  • Name: Alison Mcinturff Amorim
  • Age Group: F3034 
  • Qualified: Ironman Santa Rosa – July 2017
  • Qualifying Place & Time: 2nd - 10:20:51   (also 2nd female overall!)
  • Splits: Swim 53 Bike 5:37 Run 3:38 

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

Swimming at the U of U! I swam the 200 free. I did my first Olympic triathlon at ECHO in 2013 with Jorge and my sister Hannah!

In your husband’s interview, he mentioned something like “it’s frustrating in swimming when you work hard but your times don’t improve much.” That said, is it true that any plateau Jorge experienced was simply due to him hitting on you rather than hitting it hard at practice?

MAYBE!!! We sometimes swim together and he always wants to end every single workout with a looong, slightly inappropriate, full-body, swim suit clad hug across the lane line (we are weird and don't share a lane if we can avoid it).

Was it “love at first swim workout” for you and Jorge as teammates at the U or did it take some time for him to win you over (or vice versa)?

When he read that question, Jorge said it was "lust at first sight!" Any one who has met us, knows we couldn't have more different personalities. I wish I could say it was love at first sight, but it wasn't...we dated for a few months when we first met...but over the next few years we grew up a ton and eventually ended up back together. Jorge is the most compassionate, motivated and enthusiastic people I have ever met...and he makes me a better person every day! And hey...I still get to check him out every time we swim together!

What are you most excited for and most terrified about at this moment thinking ahead to Oct. 14th?

It's about 1% excitement and 99% terror for race day, but that's just until the cannon goes off! Spectating at Kona last year was amazing...the atmosphere is electric. I can't wait to have a different part in that this year.

Will your strategy at Kona differ from Santa Rosa or any other race, or is it business as usual?

I want to have fun and take in the whole experience. It may be once in a lifetime!

Did you go into Ironman Santa Rosa with Kona on your mind?

I wasn't thinking about Kona and didn't know how many slots my age group would receive...which was good! I like to compete. Had I known there was only one slot in my age group, I might have tried to hang on the bike and blown up on the run.

You finished 2ND OVERALL, yet is it true that still required a roll-down spot due to 1st being in your AG?? That seems ridiculous. If Ironman put you in charge of one rule change with regards to Kona allocation, what would you propose?

Yes! Those Kona slots! My age group got 1 slot allocated and 1 roll down. If it were up to me...the overall podium (top 5?) should automatically qualify and be taken out of the age group slot allocation. There are some crazy fast amateurs out there now and, odds are, there will be one at every race!

Check out Ali's race report from Santa Rosa

In your opinion what were the top pros and cons of Santa Rosa as a race/venue?

Pros: Gorgeous swim venue and scenery on the 1st half of the bike, nice downtown finish area and great weather. Cons: Rough roads, strategically difficult with the separate T1 and T2. It was the first year though so I am SURE next year will be better. Plus racing at sea level is always much AIR.

You and Jorge put Hollywood “celebrity couples” to shame… both doctors, Kona Qualifiers, AND parents… how do you pull it off, and what advice do you have for other busy people who may have triathlon aspirations?

I honestly don't know how we pulled it off...but somehow it happens a day at a time! Everyone who has responsibilities outside of training, whatever it might be, knows the importance of limits. My words of advice: Listen to your body, train smart, and find a coach who gets what motivates you. I love high quality training and hate miles for the sake of miles. Our college coach called that "garbage yards." Yes you need to prepare your body for the pounding and yes you need to have easy days...but when your time is limited, like ours, you have to be precise...AND sometimes you just have to let things go. Life gets crazy and workouts get missed. In our case, we were on call for a week and things sometimes got out of control. You have to let yourself be flexible and don't dwell on what you didn't do.

What are some of your favorite local races?

I'm an Idahoan so Spudman is local for me! All-time fav. Who doesn't love a putting green transition! Loved East Canyon this year as well, it was awesome. I was nervous about the turns on the bike...but it was fast and fun.

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