One of the nation’s oldest and longest-running triathlon events, Hagg Lake, enters its 33rd year and continues to draw upwards of 600+ athletes. This year one of those athletes will be a celebrity and role model for women. Ovarian Cancer Survivor Jenn Sommermann is coming to Hagg Lake and Oregon for her 46th Triathlon in a quest to do 50 triathlons in all 50 states to raise money for cancer awareness. It’s a remarkable challenge few could accomplish, and she is on the threshold of completing her campaign.
AA Sports is excited to welcome Ms. Sommermann to the Hagg Lake Tri/Du July 6th.
Jenn Sommermann’s personal crusade is to compete in 50 triathlons in all 50 states by the time she is 50 years old, raising $100,000 for ovarian cancer research and educating women across the country about the disease. Now 49 years old, she has already competed in 44 states raising awareness and $90,000 to fight ovarian cancer on behalf of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) and Oregon will be #46. OCRF sponsors research aimed at finding a method of early detection and a cure for the disease dubbed the “silent killer” of women.
Six years ago, Sommermann herself was diagnosed with a stage-three ovarian tumor that presented only the slightest symptoms, but which had already spread. “When I noticed a mysterious weight gain and my clothes fitting tighter at my waist within a matter of a few weeks, I knew something wasn’t right. I wasted no time in consulting my physician, received the diagnosis and immediately scheduled surgery.” After undergoing surgery and chemotherapy in early 2007, Sommermann was back to work and competing in triathlons eight weeks later with a new-found purpose; she would compete in events across the U.S. to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and the crucial need for a means of early detection.
“Two weeks ago a woman called me and told me she heard my talk about ovarian cancer, felt she had the symptoms, went to her doctor, was tested, and was diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer, she has a 94% chance of survival because she went to the doctor early. That’s what this is all about… this is why I’m running 50 triathlons, travelling to 50 states… early detection,”noted Sommermann.
This campaign is unique as it is fully self-funded. Sommermann pays her own travel expenses, entry fees and all costs associated with her events. In addition, in-kind donations (including competition entries and hotel stays) are turned into cash donations by Jenn in the name of the contributor.
“No donation is too small,” stressed Sommermann. “Lots of people don’t bother to make a contribution because they’re feeling the pinch of the economic downturn. My hope is that those considering making a donation aren’t dissuaded because they can’t afford a $25.00 or $50.00 contribution. I just love seeing those $5 and $10 donations coming in.”
“This is one of the reasons I started producing triathlons 30 years ago,” said Carol Atherton of AA Sports, “the amazing spirit, strength of the men and women who compete in this sport. Jenn is a true athlete, role model, and ray of light in the fight against cancer, I applaud her.”
To Learn more about the Hagg Lake Tri/Du please visit www.AASportsLTD.com/hagglake
The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is the largest private funding agency supporting ovarian cancer research. Since 1998, OCRF has awarded over $51 million in grants for the purpose of finding a method of early detection and ultimately a cure for ovarian cancer. OCRF helps patients and their loved ones understand the disease and its treatment and provides outreach to raise public awareness. For more information, visit www.ocrf.org
Mike Nicholas overcame heroin addiction
and found the love of running his life saver
Portland, OR – Few people break the bonds of addiction, especially around meth and heroin, but one young man has not only found the path of sobriety, but a path that includes running, swimming and biking – all in the form of triathlon. Mike Nicholas has broken free of addiction, and he is training hard, and is ready to compete in his first ever triathlon coming up on June 8th during the My First Tri – competition. For more information on My First Tri – visit AASportsltd.com
Nicholas is excited and willing to share his heartbreaking story. He hopes it resonates with others like himself, those who found the bottom of life, riddled with despair, hope all but gone, and maybe near the end, as he was just over a year ago. Mike Nicholas was truly at the end, addicted to meth and heroin, dealing, arrested, facing a potential jail term and something had to give. He got himself into recovery. Luckily another love in his life came to his rescue – running.
Once in recovery, running was the perfect antidote to detox, and the more he ran, the better he felt.
“After about 30 days into my recovery from addiction I began running again to help me deal with the post acute withdrawal. For me, running is my meditation time. It’s a release for my stress and anxiety, I can be alone with myself, the focus on the rhythm of my breathing and my feet calm me down. I feel grounded,” said Nicholas.
Running led him to enter a race – The AA Sports Heart Breaker Half-Marathon, not only did he finish; he ran the fastest of his life. “My goal time was 2 hours, and I would have been really happy to have finished in 1:50:00. When I found out my actual time I was completely floored, I almost passed out and I was in complete shock. I had run 1:38:12 with an average mile time of 7:29! I actually got 3rd in my division!”
Next he had a big idea, a bold idea…to try a Triathlon.
Mike Nicholas reached out into the Triathlon community and was able to get the equipment, support, and help he needed. He got a bike and wet suit, each donated toward his amazing cause. He has been training hard, working hard and in a few weeks, another major dream will come true – to compete in his first Triathlon.
“Marathons and triathlons have been pipe dreams and are now becoming reality for me. There are so many doors that have opened up for me; I hope to maintain a healthy
life balance, recovery life, work life, running life. I’ll put one foot in front of the other and I’ll do my best to do the right thing and work towards my future,” said Nicholas.
About the Race: My First Tri is designed as a typical “Sprint Distance” race but with a shorter swim since this particular leg (of a triathlon) can often be the most challenging for first timers. For this event, nearly everyone will be of the same swimming ability, thus alleviating stress for participants and truly making this favorable to first-time triathletes.
For more information about My First Tri, visit: http://aasportsltd.com/events/race/my-first-tri-portland/
Special thanks to Athletes Lounge, ProMotion Wetsuits, and Tri Pacific Coaching for their support!
Recognized by NW triathletes as the “must do” event to open the triathlon season, the 32nd Annual Blue Lake Tri/Du will again be split into a two-day event (Sprint event on Saturday & Olympic event on Sunday). This two-day fun filled weekend will include the Sports & Fitness Expo, music with Hit Machine, great food, Deschutes Brewery beer and plenty of fun. All in addition to some of the best competitive racing you’ll find in the country.
The Olympic distance event serves as the Tri NorthWest Club/Team Championship. Triathlon Clubs from across the NW will converge on Blue Lake Park to compete for the boasting rights as the top club in the region.
Registration for the Blue Lake Tri/Du events is available through secure online registration, or you may download a printable entry form at the AASportsLTD.com web site. Deadline for online registration is two days prior to the packet pickup. Mail-in per-registrations must be postmarked ten (10) days prior to race-day.
All interested participants will want to register early because the Blue Lake Triathlon is expected to fill to its limit of 800 participants each day.
To Register online: https://www.signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/89503
The Second Annual My First Tri is being held in conjunction with the 32nd Annual Blue Lake Tri/Du, which is known by NW Triathletes as the Tri season opener. Blue Lake Park is a perfect location for the novice/beginner triathlete. The bike course is a flat, semi closed, out-and-back on Marine Drive. Finisher Medals will be awarded to all finishing participants.
The event is designed as a typical “Sprint Distance” race but with a shorter swim since this particular leg (of a triathlon) can often be the most challenging for first timers. For this event, nearly everyone will be of the same swimming ability, thus alleviating stress for participants and truly making this conducive to first-time triathletes. The overall goal of the event is focused more on completing the race rather than a top 10 finish. The friendly and encouraging atmosphere will surely help you in attaining your goal – completing My First Tri – and to be able to proudly call yourself a “triathlete”!
Race fee includes Commemorative Tech Shirt, My First Tri Finisher Medal, Championship Timing, awards and prizes, finish line food, live music, and to top it off lots of fun. High school students or participants 18 years & younger may deduct $10 from the entry fee.
To Register online: https://www.signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/89502
Submitted by Craig Dean -
The 2013 HOTV sprint triathlon was held five weeks earlier than in previous years, but maintained its excellent reputation as a well-organized, competitive event for a wide array of athletes. The Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis, OR once again hosted the multiple-wave pool swim where participants were treated to extra wide lanes in the 50-meter indoor pool. Local Northwest multi-sport legend Kirk Rose greeted the participants on the pool deck and bellowed instructions for everyone to hear. He worked with the official race director in explaining to competitors the 10-second send offs, passing etiquette and the route to the transition area. Kirk’s energy was contagious to many of those around him and especially to those who know his history in racing and overcoming personal health issues over the years.
The race had a clean start and a bit of shuffling in the lanes before each swimmer found their tempo. Daniel Hough started 10-seconds behind Ray Fiori, but managed to skip past him in the opening 100 meters allowing Fiori to embark on his pre-race strategy of clinging to Hough’s slipstream and enjoying the speed and comfort of the draft. Ray commented after the race that he had to press into anaerobic levels to catch Hough’s feet after each turn, but the benefits of the draft made the effort worth the while. The fastest swimmers made waves in lanes 9 and 10 with Karl Britsch leading Marco Ramirez and Brian Villarete out to transition. The transition area was clogged early with the top eight swimmers separated by 1:34. One of the pre-race favorites and defending TRI NW Sprint Champion, Nate Youngs, had the misfortune of swimming an extra lap, setting him behind his actual efforts.
The women’s race was tight as well. Mixed in with the male lane assignments, Robin Clevenger and Angie Smith exited the waters just seconds apart and quick on the heels of the leaders in the men’s field. Angie, currently training for Nationals in Milwaukee, WI this June and flying the banner for the state of Oregon at the event, has become a staple competitor for the overall win at most Northwest races she enters. Chasing the leaders into transition by 30 seconds was Kelsey Longrie and 10 seconds later, Kambria Schumacher. Schumacher was looking to make her mark on the hilly ride.
The bike course at HOTV may be a mile shorter than the typical sprint races, but it makes up for the distance with an aggressive elevation profile. After exiting transition and crossing a controlled intersection, the road pointed skyward in a quadricep burning incline that is just long enough to coax respect from the most accomplished cyclists. Ray, an experienced mountain bike rider and self-confessed specialist at the cycling leg of triathlons, took advantage of his slim frame to leap up the ascent while gobbling up the leading swimmers. Ray’s burning desire to establish the overall lead while on the bike was accomplished when he overtook Hough amongst the slopes at the midpoint of the ride. He ultimately grabbed the top bike split of the day with a 24.46mph average speed. I picked my way through the field while chasing relay rider Grant Eldridge. We eventually joined Hough who was riding in 2nd position overall for a spirited conclusion of the bike race. We were tightly trailed by a young upstart in the sport of triathlon, Marco Ramirez. Due to his start differential, Marco finished the ride in 3rd position overall and in contention for the podium.
The women transitioned well out of the pool and created separation early on the ride. Smith churned ahead of Clevenger and into the overall lead on the early slopes of the course. Her 21.31mph average speed was good enough to hold the overall lead into transition, but her gap on Schumacher became dangerously thin. Schumacher set the top women’s split with a 21.51mph average and whittled Smith’s lead down to 22 seconds heading into the run. Clevenger nailed down an impressive ride to hold onto 3rd position while Erica McKenzie made the biggest jump from deep in the field following the swim to 4th position after the ride.
In stark contrast to the undulating terrain of the bike course, the run was a pancake flat, two-loop course that offers a peaceful neighborhood setting with a few tight corners. It was difficult to site anybody except those in immediate proximity. The only evidence of Fiori’s solid lead on the pack of chasers came from a few of the more experienced spectators that clocked and communicated split times. To those hoping to catch Ray, the split information was not supportive. In Ray’s own words, “I made it hurt”. Fiori cruised to victory by nearly a full minute and a total time of 1:01:01. I finished 56 seconds behind the winner and Hough another 47 seconds behind me.
On the women’s side, Schumacher bolted out of transition and quickly established her tempo around the track which led out into the neighborhoods. In a slight alteration to the course from season’s past, the run segment started with a loop around the track rather than finishing on the rubberized surface. Schumacher continued her quick cadence and leapt into the lead to never look back. Her women’s best run split of 19:13 capped a winning day with an overall time of 1:07:19. Angie Smith laid down a solid run of her own to finish 30 seconds back of the lead and well clear of her nearest pursuer. McKenzie continued with her momentum off of the bike and transitioned in a flash before setting her targets on 3rd place. Her 20:05 run split matched that of Smith and catapulted her into a 3rd place overall finish.
Congratulations to everyone involved with the promotion, organization and execution of the event including both the AA Sports event staff and the folks at the Osborn Aquatic Center. The Heart of the Valley Triathlon provides a perfect opportunity for those looking for their first triathlon and a favorite for those looking to get an early season race under their belts. If you haven’t already, spread the word about the sport. It’s a lifestyle more than an event. It’s a community to be proud of and one that can be shared with many more.
For complete event results CLICK HERE.
The tragedy in Boston is so deeply shocking and senseless; this feels like our family has been hurt, and our hearts go out the victims and their families in Boston - along with all others who are affected by this tragedy. Today we wear race shirts to keep those in Boston in our hearts and minds, and to join with others across the country honoring the strength and indomitable spirit of those in the running and endurance sport communities.
As race organizers, we routinely work with local police, hire our own security, and we have worked diligently over the years to make our events safe in Oregon and throughout the Northwest. Safety and preparedness will remain our focus, and we will continue to partner closely with the emergency agencies and law enforcement officials for all our events.
Portland Triathlon Club will be hosting a Boston Remembrance and Solidarity run Wednesday evening, and it is open to everyone. Please join in for the run if you are able to participate. You can find out more details via Portland Triathlon Club’s Facebook page, simply click on the link below.
AA Sports is pleased to announce that the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training (TNT) program is the premier charity partner of the 2013 Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival. TNT athletes have raised over $1 million for the LLS through their participation in the annual Pacific Crest event over the years.
To learn more about how you can participate with TNT, visit TNT.
To learn more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, visit LLS.
Whidbey Island Marathon noted as one of “The Coolest Marathons You’ve Never Heard Of” in www.men’sfitness.comApril 9, 2013
Have YOU heard of The Whidbey Island Marathon? At AA Sports we know all about it, as the provider of the timing for the event. It’s also part of the AA Sports Baker’s Dozen Half-Marathon Series . But, if you haven’t heard about this “one of the coolest marathons” event, check out the article in www.mensfitness.com. See you there this weekend?
From Press Release -
The 29th Annual Spring Classic Duathlon is the official kickoff to the AA Sports Multi-Sport Summer Series, and is one of the largest duathlons in the United States. Spring Classic attracts top talent from across the Northwest for an early season test of fitness. The flat and fast 5K run, 15mi bike, 5k run course takes place on Marine Drive and is closed to all but local traffic on race day, and is ideal for both novice and seasoned athletes.
For those participants with their sights set on June’s Blue Lake Triathlon, this event is definitely one you don’t want to miss. The Spring Classic Duathlon will encompass a portion of the Blue Lake Triathlon bike course, making it the perfect tune-up for one of the region’s largest triathlons.
Entry is open to both solo and team/relay competition. Current entry fees are $65 for solo participants and $35 for relay members (per person) through Thursday, March 28th, and will increase by $5 for Friday Packet Pickup at Athletes Lounge, and day-of-race registration at the race site.
Packet Pickup is being held on Friday, March 29th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at Athletes Lounge, 2671 NW Vaughn Street, Portland, OR 97210 (click here for map) Phone: 503-477-5906. Race Day Packet Pickup and Registration will also take place at the race site from 8:00 am until 9:30 am.
For more information, or to register for this Northwest classic race, visit:aasportsltd.com/springclassic.
TRIATHLON: MORE FOR LESS, by Scott Lommers
DESTINATION: LAKE CHELAN, WA, by Shannah Werner
ENDURANCE SPORTS MEDIA GROUP SPRING SHOE GUIDE, by Ruggero Loda
PLUS – DEPARTMENTS & COLUMNS IN EVERY ISSUE
FROM THE EDITOR
NUTRITION, by Adnan Kadir
NUTRITION, by Matt Hart
NOTES FROM USATF OREGON, by Jonathan Marcus
TRAINING, by Max King
PRO’S CORNER, by Chris Bagg
THE DIRT, by Jeff Browning