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303 Endurance Podcast
Welcome to Episode #379 of the 303 Endurance Podcast. We’re your hosts Coach Rich Soares and 303 Chief Editor, Bill Plock. Thanks for joining us for another week of endurance interviews and discussion.
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In Today’s Show
- Endurance News – Who Owns Triathlon, The 2023 Barkley Marathons; Clash Miami, Super League Arena Games Sursee, and a Lack of Live Coverage
- What’s new in the 303 – Karen Hornbostel Q&A
- Video of the Week – Clash Miami Highlights (Daily Tri)
When we think triathlon, we might think Ironman, Hawaii, the Olympics, or the local event organizer down the road who puts on a fun competition every third Sunday in August. All of those are, in fact, triathlon. But triathlon is also a business, with money changing hands on a daily basis and an ever-evolving answer to the question: Who owns triathlon?
It’s easy to think that some brands are mega-monsters eating up everything in sight, while others are scrappy upstarts simply bootstrapping themselves into existence. In many instances a perceived battle of David versus Goliath is actually Goliath versus Goliath II. The reality is that answering, who owns triathlon is tricky. To help, we’ve put together the most recent ownership information that’s available at the time of this writing just below. Not a business whiz? We’ve also created a glossary of terms far below to help you translate.
The 2023 Barkley Marathons has kicked off and here are the best resources to follow the event
March 14, 2023
The 2023 Barkley Marathons kicked off today and we can’t wait to find out if there is a winner this year. Below we have included some great resources to keep you up to date and a few facts about the event you might find interesting.
Great links to follow for this years race:
Follow the live action and humorous commentary on Twitter at https://twitter.com/keithdunn
Information about each of this year’s participants – https://runningmagazine.ca/trail-running/whos-who-at-the-barkley-marathons-2023/
Good site for updates and information – https://run247.com/running-news/trail/barkley-marathons-2023-live-tracking-latest-results
The movie – http://barkleymovie.com/
Weird and Interesting Facts About the Barkley Marathons:
- Barkley Marathons is an ultramarathon trail race held each year in Frozen Head State Park in Morgan County, Tennessee.
- With 54,200 feet of accumulated vertical climb (and descent), it is considered to be one of the most challenging ultramarathons ever.
- The race is limited to 40 participants, and entry is by invitation only. No website and good luck finding out how to register.
- Potential entrants must complete an essay on “Why I Should be Allowed to Run in the Barkley,” and pay a $1.60 application fee. If accepted, an entrant receives a “letter of condolence.”
- The course consists of five 20–mile loops, with a total distance of approximately 100 miles (or longer) that must be completed in 60 hours with every other loop run in the opposite direction.
- There is also a cut off time for every lap. This year’s event knocked out 7 runners on the first lap.
- Runners who complete three circuits of the loop (60-miles) in under 40 hours are said to have completed a “Fun Run.”
- The 100-mile race has only been completed within the official cut-off 18 times by 15 runners since the first event in 1995.
- There have been no finishers since 2016. John Kelly won and is racing this year for the sixth time.
- No women have finished (yet!), but in 2022 Jasmin Paris completed the 3 loop Fun Run in the designated time, becoming the second woman to achieve the feat.
- The event date is not made public and starts any time from midnight to noon on race day. One hour till race start is signaled by blowing a conch. The race officially begins when the race director lights a cigarette.
- Runners must use their orienteering skills to navigate the unmarked course with a map and basic watch (no GPS).
- Competitors must find between 9 and 14 books along the course and remove the page corresponding to the runner’s race number from each book as proof of completion.
- When a runner drops out of the race, a bugler plays “Taps” upon their return to the start/end point.
Last Weekend Now: Clash Miami, Super League Arena Games Sursee, and a Lack of Live Coverage
MARCH 13, 2023
We had high-profile races on two continents last weekend, and just like the weekend before, those of us who have the resilience to actually watch triathlon could only watch one of them. Here’s what you couldn’t watch at Clash Miami, and what you probably didn’t watch (but should have) at round two of the Super League Arena Games in Switzerland.
Jason West’s recent run splits have been off the charts. He ran 51:13 for 10.5 miles on the unique run course around Homestead-Miami Speedway, which was three minutes faster than any other man in the top 10. That includes guys like Daniel Baekkegard, Sam Long and David McNamee, who are three of the better runners in the sport. That means he ran 4:53 per mile 10 and a half times, and it puts West in a very elite category of triathlon runners, most of which will be racing for a medal in Paris next summer.
Competing in only her second full professional season, 23-year-old Brit Lucy Byram is another British Lucy we’ll be hearing a lot from over the next few seasons. She’s a bit reminiscent of Taylor Knibb, with no weak discipline at a very young age. Byram is particularly powerful on the bike, and that’s where she and Denmark’s Sif Bendix Madsen put the race out of contention for the rest of the field.
1. Lucy Byram (GBR) – 2:59:16
2. Sif Bendix Madsen (DEN) – 3:00:33
3. Pamella Oliveira (BRZ) – 3:01:38
4. Sara Perez Sala (ESP) – 3:03:52
5. Haley Chura (USA) – 3:04:07
6. Olivia Mitchell (IRL) – 3:07:24
7. Grace Alexander (USA) – 3:09:56
8. Holly Smith (USA) – 3:15:20
1. Jason West (USA) – 2:35:32
2. Tom Bishop (GBR) – 2:36:08
3. Daniel Bækkegård (DEN) – 2:37:04
4. Sam Long (USA) – 2:37:19
5. David McNamee (GBR) – 2:37:45
6. Youri Keulen (NED) – 2:39:03
7. Sam Appleton (AUS) – 2:40:07
8. Kieran Lindars (GBR) – 2:41:51
Are The Super League Arena Games The Most Exciting Show In Tri?
Super League Arena Games Broadcast
The Arena Games was a pandemic-inspired creation that appears to have legs beyond lockdown. The live broadcast—available for free on Super League’s site or YouTube—was quite good and offers a new way to showcase the swim-bike-run. It’s also a very easy venue to produce a live broadcast, relative to an Ironman that often takes place across multiple towns.
Clash Miami has a somewhat ideal venue for a live broadcast in a confined speedway built for broadcasting a live event, but it also has the problem of having to pay to use one of America’s biggest and best speedways for an entire weekend. That’s not cheap. And for a race that’s trying to turn a profit, it’s tough to invest in a live product if it’s going to mean a net loss. A highlight show is better than nothing, but there’s a big difference between live sports and not-live sports.
This comes after Ironman did not broadcast its African Championship in South Africa last weekend—a race in which Alistair Brownlee was going to be racing up until the last minute. Alistair Brownlee moves the live coverage needle. And there was a world-class field outside of the double Olympic champion.
Of the three race producers doing the best job of producing live TV, two have billionaire backing and one is the governing body of the sport. But Super League, PTO and World Triathlon have all invested heavily in the live side of the sport and they’ve created something that can—maybe—sell. PTO and Super League have secured impressive broadcast partnerships—mostly in Europe—and World Triathlon brings in a lot of sponsorship dollars and has great local broadcast partners at its biggest races.
Though a solid slate of 70.3 races are available through a partnership with Outside Watch this season, I’m not sure that Ironman can ever secure the kind of broadcast partnerships that make live coverage of their full-distance races a very profitable endeavor. An eight-hour show of people exercising—mostly alone—is a hard sell to major broadcast partners. Still, Ironman’s live broadcast schedule is somewhat robust for this season. South Africa was just a strange one to be left out, given that they’re trying to elevate the status of their regional championships. Live coverage is the utmost way to elevate professional athletes, so it was disappointing to see Ironman and Clash unable to make that happen in successive weeks.
What’s New in the 303:
A Q&A with the COBRAS and Karen Hornbostel Time Trial Series
By Bill Plock
March 14th, 2023–You know it’s Spring in the Colorado Cycling scene when the Karen Hornbostel Time Trail Series kicks off. This year marks the 32nd season for this storied series that kicks off March 29th. We talked with Larry Potter of the COBRAS to learn some history and find out what’s new for 2023!
First off if you don’t know what the genesis of the COBRAS name is; Colorado Bicycle Racing Association for Seniors (COBRAS!)
Learn more about the organization and the people who bring you this iconic Colorado event–on newly paved roads this year!
1. Why was Cobras started? Was there a void in bike racing that was leaving seniors out?
The Colorado Bicycle Racing Association for Seniors (COBRAS) cycling team was founded in 1993 by Herman Ponder, an accomplished racer, and Frank Schneider, a beginning racer as a developmental/racing club focused on individuals who love the sport of cycling and who already race or are interested in learning to race.
At the time there were not any clubs that catered to the over 39-year-old racers, just younger 18–39-year-old racers. This presented an opportunity for a club that focused on older racers who race or were interested in racing.
Over time the racer community changed with more racers who are in the senior categories. For the 2023 KHMTT over 65% of the registered racers are over 40 or older.
A few years ago, the COBRAS opened their membership criteria to include any person over 18 years old. At the time, COBRAS officially changed their name from Colorado Bicycle Racing Association for Seniors to just “COBRAS”.
The club today focuses on individuals who currently or previously raced or just enjoyed being with those who just enjoy the sport. The club has added several social events during the year , performs various community projects, and promotes the Karen Hornbostel Memorial Time Trial series at Cherry Creek (KHMTT).
The majority of the funds earned from the KHMTT are donated to various not profits serving the cycling community including Bicycle Colorado.
Photo by Ryan Muncy
2. When was the first KHMTT
The race started in 1991 and was originally held near downtown Denver, then moved to Cherry Creek State Park, and was then known as the Cherry Creek Time Trial Series (which several old timers still to this day refer to the KHMTT as the CCTT). The COBRAS have been the promoter of the KHMTT since the early days of the series.
3.How did Karen become so beloved to the Cobras to name the series after her?
Karen was a beloved member of the racing community in the Denver area who passed away in 2006 at the age of 54 from breast cancer. She was loved by many close cyclist friends and cancer survivors.
Her legacy is that she developed a program for cancer victims and survivors to be able to stay fit and exercise when cancer patients were told to go home and rest. Not Karen. Her program is still used today and is now known as the Cancer Fitness Institute (CFI); a recipient of donations from KHMTT.
For more information about Karen and CFI, go to https://khmtt.com/remembering-karen-hornbostel/
4. Tell us more about the COBRAS club?
The COBRAS have about 40 members who race and love the weekly rides we offer. The COBRAS offers a weekly no-drop Saturday ride and a Wednesday fast ride. Both are open to members and nonmembers as well. The club sends out weekly ride notices with the meeting location, time, and route with mileage, elevation gain, and a map using Ride with GPS.
5. What’s new in 2023 for KHMTT
After years of working with Cherry Creek State Park, they have finally repaved the worse roads on the east and south sides of the park. We are very pleased that they have made the course much safer and more comfortable to race on.
The only unsafe part of the course was the turnaround on the west side of the park using Lake Loop Road. The road has 2-3 inch cracks that we don’t want racers to ride over any longer.
This year the COBRAS have modified the course to a 180 turnaround and not use the Lake Loop Road. There will be two certified flaggers at the turnaround to control vehicle traffic and two marshals to warn racers they are approaching the turnaround point, and a marshal at the turnaround so that racers know exactly where to turn.
We have improved the Show and Go program that allows a racer to reserve a start time then only must pay for races they participate in.
Our First Timer program is back as well offering someone who has never raced to try it out for a total of $20.
Other minor changes are that the start time intervals are now 30 seconds instead of the previous 20 seconds. This allows for fewer start times but keeps the density of the starts tighter, reducing gaps in the starts.
6. Talk about the role KHMTT, maybe Bicycle Colorado played in getting the roads re-paved
The COBRAS meet with CCSP management at least twice a year to talk about how the series can continue to have the least impact on the park and other park users, as well as what the series needs from the park. We have talked to CCSP over the years attempting to impress the need for road resurfacing for safety. We have had promises of “real soon now” for years and are very grateful it finally happened.
For the last eight years, the COBRAS have worked closely with Bicycle Colorado to help us interface with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and they have been effective. Their legislative representative has kept in touch with CPW monitoring the progress of the funding and the progress of the resurfacing.
8. Recently Frank passed away, the founding member of COBRAS, will there be any special recognition in the way of events or part of KHMTT
Frank was a highly respected and loved member of the COBRAS as well as one of the founders. The COBRAS will name the start house (tent) to the Frank Schneider Memorial start house and are working with the synagogue that Frank was a member of to donate a plaque honoring Frank and his work with the COBRAS. The congregation loved Frank and was keenly aware of the love he had for bicycle racing and the COBRAS.
9. Why Volunteer?
All racing events depend on volunteers and the KHMTT is no exception. We offer two volunteer shifts, each about an hour to an hour and a half. This allows racers to volunteer in one shift and race during the other. You can also volunteer and give your free race to someone else, like a friend or significant other.
We also offer paid positions and of course are grateful for volunteers who are willing to volunteer just for fun and being a part of the series.
The KHMTT still needs several volunteers to not only marshal but for other positions as well including someone who is familiar with Excel to help record finish times.
For more information go to https://khmtt.com/volunteer-request/
The KHMTT is inclusive, encouraging new racers, juniors, athletes with disabilities, and racers who now find that a ebike allows them to still ride and race.
Video of the Week:
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Stay tuned, train informed, and enjoy the endurance journey!