Friday, January 11, 2019

Legend Has It: Interview with Andrew Hall


Andrew Hall is a local legend, and almost undoubtedly our state's fastest triathlete at the Ironman 70.3 distance. Among other things, here he talks about his 2018 season, local rivalries, and the decision of whether or not to go pro.

Thanks for the time, Andrew!

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

I grew up spending a lot of time at the pool and swam competitively in middle school and high school. After high school, I got into extreme sports which introduced me to mountain biking. Finally, I ran to stay in shape to look good for the ladies in my single days. So I figured I could put all three together and try a triathlon.


Where are you from originally, and what/when brought you to Utah?

I'm originally from Detroit - 14 mile, not 8 mile. I moved to Utah for snowboarding but also enrolled at Utah State so my parents would be on board with the move. I fell in love with the outdoors.

On the local scene in 2018 you easily won the Utah Lake Olympic, took 3rd at Daybreak behind Nick [Dorsett] and Jorge [De Amorim Filho], and had a great Xterra championships race. What other racing did you do out of state, and what do you feel was your best performance?

I had some great races this year. I competed in my first Xterra at Rocky Mountain Regionals in Beaver Creek, CO, placing first in my age group. Next, I went to US Nationals in Cleveland and raced the Olympic and Sprint races, placing fourth and first, respectively. My highlight of the year was the Arizona 70.3. It was the only 70.3 I did this year and I earned a spot at the 2019 world championship in Nice, France.

Nick Dorsett

What are your race plans and/or goals for 2019? Is Kona ultimately a goal, or not really?

My main focus for 2019 is the 70.3 world championship in Nice, France. I’ve been waiting for this race since it was announced. I think the tough bike course will suit me and it’s a stunning location. Kona seems like a special place and I would like to experience it, but it’s not my top priority right now.


dude lookin at Andrew like "who is this cat??"

You’ve historically been a terror at local sprint and olympic distance races, yet lately you’ve been dominating 70.3’s as well. What do you feel is your best distance? Could it be Ironman?

I really like the short distance racing, but I think I have more potential in the long course racing. Generally, the harder the bike course and the longer the run, the better I perform. I think I would do well at the full Ironman distance, but it's a more complicated race with demanding nutrition requirements and risk of overuse injury in training. I think those would be my greatest challenges at the full distance.



How many times now have you been 1st age grouper overall at a 70.3? You certainly are fast enough to join the professional ranks if you wanted to… there are pros and cons to leaving the amateur ranks, but have you given it much thought?

I believe I’ve placed first overall amateur in four 70.3 races, but Ironman doesn’t really celebrate that accomplishment in the US. I decided to stay in the amateurs as I like the aspect of balancing a normal life and an obsession. Also, with some self-reflection and listening to my body, I knew trying to make that jump to being a top pro would be a stretch and not a healthy endeavor for me.

How has the local scene (SLTC, etc) helped with your development in the sport? Also, do you have a formal coach or self-coached?

The local scene has a lot of talented and dedicated athletes which motivates and pushes me for races. I was really fortunate to meet Rory Duckworth and learn about SLTC. I have made great friends and training buddies. I have advisers and have worked with Matt Bachman the last two years to help set up training plans. I read an article he wrote in Triathlete Magazine and recognized I had many of the same challenges that he had experienced, so I turned to him for guidance.



What’s your podium for top 3 favorite local races and why?

  • 3rd Daybreak - It brings out the kid in me. The venue makes you feel like you are playing sports in your neighborhood.
  • 2nd IronCowboy Utah’s Toughest- This course includes some of the most outstanding locations Utah has to offer. When I’m training, I’m always thinking more local races should take advantage of Utah’s unique landscape.
  • 1st Ironman St. George 70.3 world class event and snow canyon.

At each distance, who gives you the biggest run for your money on the local scene? Do you have any friendly rivalries?

The local scene has so much talent! I have never beat Jorge or Nick at an Olympic race. I love competing against them and it’s more fun to race when you know you have good competition. When I do a 70.3 with Rory it’s always a competition in the bike and I try hard not to let him catch me. Jacob Barnes just missed Kona last year; I believe he will qualify this year. He has the potential to beat me at the 70.3 distance.

Jorge can be elusive


UTAH TRIATHLON CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES 2019 DETAILS --> SEE POST HERE !!!




Below are links to all the races in the 2019 Championship Series:


Below are links to all Challenger Races:




We started a Patreon account (link below) with the hope of raising a 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.


Related Posts




















Friday, January 4, 2019

Mr. January: Interview with Ruben "El Guapo" Garcia


Ruben Garcia received Utah Tri Buzz awards for being both an M.I.T. (Most Improved Triathlete) as well as a Top Local Racer this past season. Among other things, we caught up with him to talk about local races, the "Men of Triathlon" calendar, and his plans for next season.


Thanks for the time, Ruben!



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

I grew up golfing, swimming and I have tried almost everything, but I got to say that my favorite sport has to be cycling.


You’re widely regarded as one of the most handsome triathletes on the local scene. If a "Men of Triathlon” calendar was made, who would be the other 11 Utah triathletes featured in addition to yourself, and which months would everyone be?

Wait I thought I was getting my own calendar!..... JK but yeah I should be on all 12 months.  

(EDITOR'S NOTE: come on, Ruben! Fine, you can be Mr. January AND July, but we need 10 more! Guess we'll have to reach out to the community to get some nominations...)

Simply put, what do you love most about racing?

It makes me happy and teaches my kids valuable lessons like not quitting when things get hard.


Most people aren’t like you, a half man / half triathlete wildebeest who feels no fear, and they won't race 10+ times in a year. That said, what would you say to encourage people to race a little more often, especially on the local scene?

Just go out there and give it a try, we are so lucky to live in Utah where we have so many races to choose from. Challenge yourself and have fun, join a club. Triathletes are a very friendly group and there will always be someone to guide you in the right direction.


On the local scene, our database shows you raced Salem, Sand Hollow (oly) Daybreak (oly), East Canyon (oly), The Utah Half, Echo (oly), Black Ridge (spr) Jordanelle (oly), and the 2018 State Champs race (Brineman oly). Digging deep into your memory, what are some things you remember about each of those races?

You know there is no perfect race but I'm just happy to have so many different options to race in this state.


Salem: I love the venue, nice little town, beautiful pond, nice for spectators, friendly bike and run course (Editor's note: Salem will host the 2019 State Champs race on Sep 7th. It's open to anyone and everyone to come join the fun).

Sand Hollow is a beautiful place, great swim and run, but the bike came up a little short on the distance.

Daybreak, kind of close to where I live so more time to sleep in, love the run course, but I don't love the water from that lake.

East Canyon has a great swim and the easiest bike course in the circuit, but the run changed a little bit for last year and I wasn't a big fan, just not a pretty run.


The Utah Half, awesome hard race with tough conditions, was hot and windy. Only thing they have to fix for this year is to make the run safer, that portion on the highway was not very safe.

Echo..... mmmh I'll just do San Rafael this year.

Jordanelle is one of the best races in the country for a reason, just beautiful all around.

This was my first time doing Brineman and it was fun swimming in that ski lake, biking into the island is great, and the run has some small hills that make it fun and challenging.



And Blackridge, my favorite place to practice open water swimming - I'm going to miss it this year.

After all those races, what’s your podium for Top 3 local favorites overall and why?

Number three Sand Hollow for the views. Number two, East Canyon because it's a super fun fast race with an easy bike coarse. And number one is Jordanelle because it's a beautiful course but very challenging.

Thanks as always for photos Victor Villarreal!

Looking through some of the “results breakdowns” we post, it appears that your swimming and biking are very solid and running is your relative weakness. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but just curious, do you have a game plan for your run going into 2019?

If you suck at running, run more, that's the only way to improve. I had a run analysis done by David Butler and he gave me some exercises to help me with my form, and also will be doing more running events so I can get into running more because bottom line is I do not like running, but its apart of the sport.


Ruben & daughter @ Brineman

Rumor has it you’ve begun converting some of your family to the triathlon lifestyle. What does your family think about your racing overall, and how was your daughter’s experience dipping her toe in the water this year?

I will let my family answer that one. It's fun going to different places but waking up early is hard. Watching everybody suffer is interesting. Also all the views are pretty. Hi I'm Andrea. It was fun to train and race with my dad. It was different to other sports in a good way and I will likely do it again. (Woman of Steel).

Ruben and fam at Salem

At this time what are your plans for next year? Will we see you at the 2019 State Champs race in Sep or are your goals more long-course focused?

I'm officially quitting triathlons and going to start golfing... just kidding. I have 14 events on sight for this year. Three of them will be half distance and the rest Olympics, sprints, century rides, and a couple of running events. I have yet to decide if I should do Salem or Brineman. It would be fun to race with the best of the state, but I like Olympics better than sprints. But I still have a few months to decide.

Anything else you want to share?

Yes, go out and race. We have tons of local races to choose from. Encourage someone to try at least once the experience of triathlons.


UTAH TRIATHLON CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES 2019 DETAILS --> SEE POST HERE !!!




Below are links to all the races in the 2019 Championship Series:


Below are links to all Challenger Races:




We started a Patreon account (link below) with the hope of raising a 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.


Related Posts