Welcome to Episode #295 of the 303 Endurance Podcast. You are listening to your weekly connection to coaches, experts, and pro athletes to help you reach your endurance goals. We’re your hosts coach Rich Soares and 303 Chief Bill Plock. Thanks for joining us for another week of endurance interviews and discussion. This week we continue our celebration and coverage of the Olympics.
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In Today’s Show
- Feature interview – Kristian Blummenfelt
- Endurance News – Olympic Triathlon Results, Blummenfelt, Duffy, MTR, Fucking Boat
- What New in the 303 – Mt Evans Hill Climb, Lone Tree Tri
- Video of the Week – Flora Duffy and the Men’s False Start
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Interview with Kristian Blummenfelt (10/23/20)
Thanks to last week’s guest, Heather Novickis, agent for more than half a dozen triathletes and swimmers competing in Tokyo. Kevin McDowell came in 6th place (highest men’s triathlon Olympic history). Abbey Weitzeil won Bronze in the 4×100 Relay Freestyle.
The Gold medals Big news this past week in Olympic Triathlon with wins by Kristian Blummenfelt and Flora Duffy last Sunday and Monday. We are replaying our interview with Kristian earlier this year.
TOKYO — With a population of just 63,000, Bermuda has become the smallest nation or territory to win an Olympic gold medal in the Summer Games.
On a drizzly morning in Tokyo, Flora Duffy, 33, clinched the victory for the British island territory in women’s individual triathlon – a grueling race made up of open-water swimming for nearly a mile, biking almost 25 miles and running 6.2 miles.
“Flora Duffy was already Bermuda’s golden girl before she set off on the Olympic women’s triathlon tonight, but she is now simply solid gold after destroying a world-class field in Tokyo,” local newspaper The Royal Gazette gushed after her victory.
Duffy is one of two Bermudian athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics. The remote set of islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is more than 600 miles from the closest land mass.
Duffy’s win is all the more impressive because she battled back from multiple injuries, including a foot issue that took her out of competition for a full year in 2018-2019. In November 2020, she said she was also dealing with knee inflammation.
Bermuda Wins Summer Olympic Gold. It Has The Smallest Population To Ever Do That
After more than a decade of meticulous planning with his team, it was Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt who was crowned the men’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Triathlon Champion on Monday morning on Odaiba Bay, delivering one of the most gutsy runs possible to take the tape with a roar, at the end of a truly epic battle of wills.
For much of the run, Great Britain’s Alex Yee looked like he might just continue his remarkable rise all the way to the top of the triathlon tree, only for the inimitable Norwegian to put in one final and ultimately decisive charge, New Zealand’s 23-year-old Hayden Wilde hanging tough for a hard-earned bronze.
“It is a moment that I have been dreaming about for so many years,” said a thrilled Blummenfelt. “To be able to put it together on the day is something I am really proud of. It is a strange feeling coming into the last 100 metres and knowing that I had victory. It was quite a similar tactic as in Yokohama eight-weeks ago and also in Lisbon. I don’t really have the leg speed if we came down to the blue-carpet with Alex and Hayden so I knew I had to try and go really hard for five minutes all out and hopefully that would be enough to break them. It was such a good feeling when I got a little gap and I just had to make sure it was big enough, even for the last few hundred metres.”
Blummenfelt, who finished in one hour, 45 minutes and four seconds, was wearing an all-white uniform for the race – which ended up going rather see through.
This meant that viewers could see his black trunks underneath and, with social media users being the adults that they are, people took to Twitter to mock the whole thing – specifically the designer.
It seems it wasn’t just people behind the keyboard either because someone explained how the commentator during the triathlon also poked fun at the designer needing to be ‘sacked’.
According to reports, the pundit went on: “They are of course his swimmers under there. Superman wears his underpants on the outside. They’ve got it wrong haven’t they?”
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TOKYO — The thrilling debut of the Triathlon Mixed Relay will take place this Saturday at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, with Team USA ready to contend for the first Olympic medals ever awarded in the event. The race is scheduled for Saturday, July 31, at 7:30 a.m. in Tokyo, which is Friday, July 30, at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The race will air live on USA Network, and a livestream is also available on the NBC Sports App and NBCOlympics.com. Barb Lindquist, 2004 U.S. Olympian, and Joe Maloy, 2016 U.S. Olympian and member of the U.S. team that won the 2016 ITU World Mixed Relay Championships, will provide pre- and post-race commentary from the USA Triathlon Facebook page from 4:45-5:15 p.m. ET (pre-race) and 8-8:30 p.m. ET (post-race). Click here to learn more.
Each of the 17 countries on the start list will field a Mixed Relay team of two men and two women, with the order as: female/male/female/male. In the Olympic race, each athlete will complete a super-sprint triathlon consisting of a 300-meter swim, draft-legal 6.8-kilometer bike, and 2-kilometer run before tagging off to the next teammate.
Team USA’s final four-person roster for the Mixed Relay event will not be announced until 5:15 a.m. JST on race morning (just over two hours before race start), but the selections will come from among the five members of the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team who competed in the individual events earlier this week. While each country made its initial team submissions on Thursday, race-morning roster changes and order shifts are permitted and may play into the strategy for any team.
Kevin McDowell and Morgan Pearson will race as the only two U.S. men on the Olympic roster, while two of the three U.S. women — Taylor Knibb, Summer Rappaport and Katie Zaferes — will toe the line. Zaferes won a bronze medal in the women’s individual event earlier this week.
Knibb: “There is a lot of strategy involved, so it’s a real opportunity for growth, because countries are still learning as they go. I feel like in three years it will look drastically different, and I’m excited to see how it evolves.”
Zaferes: “It’s super awesome to compete in the Mixed Relay because it’s just so much fun having teammates and racing with your country. It’s just a whole different vibe — because of course you want to do well for yourself in the individual, but when you’re racing in the Mixed Relay, you’re wanting to do well for your whole team and for the USA. It makes it a little more special.”
Rappaport: “The Mixed Relay is just so dynamic. Things are always changing, and you have athletes with different strengths going head-to-head in different legs. Things can change really fast, and there’s almost always a really exciting finish. I think it will be a great way to draw spectators into the sport, especially now that it’s at the Olympics.”
Relay race – Friday July 30th at 6:30pm ET
USAT Foundation Watch Party.
Track Cycling Schedule – Starts August 3rd
Marathon Swimming Schedule – Starts August 4th
What’s New in the 303:
At 6:30 in the morning Becky Furuta and I drove to the top of Mount Evans as the sun rose over the Colorado plains thousands of feet below and I felt struck with a feeling of smallness. Like that feeling when you are away from humans and surrounded in nature and so vulnerable. To be on the summit basically alone felt rare. It felt amazing and reminded me of the vastness and quiet that still exists but more and more rare.
I also was reminded of how much climbing the hundreds of cyclists 7,000 feet down had in front of them. I admit I had some fear for them as the weather forecast included rain and at 42 degrees I knew that would feel awful. I became more nervous as the winds picked up and the clouds shrouded the top.
Unpacking the Primal tent and setting it up in the wind seemed almost pointless as I wasn’t confident the race would even happen. Snow pellets kerplunked the tent and we fired up the propane heater to thwart the cold.
Meet Peggy Shockley. She created the Lake to Lake Triathlon in 2001 and so we wanted to “chat” with her on why she loves what she does on the eve of her new triathlon, The Lonetree Sprint Triathlon (Info HERE) on July 31st just south of Loveland (not the city Lonetree, the lake is named Lonetree).
Video of the Week:
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Stay tuned, train informed, and enjoy the endurance journey!