Since your resident team blaze blogger has done a terrible job of keeping you posted here lets take a second to touch on the highlights of 2013.
Team Blaze kicked off the year right with a great showing for the annual Polar bear Plunge at Sander’s Beach on New Year’s Day. Always a fun event, it was made more bearable by hot chocolate and cuddly blankets.
The first official race of the season here is generally considered to The Snake River Half Marathon. Team Blaze represented well and many PRs were set on this fast flat course.
One of our members had a significant accomplishment during this time when he completed five marathons in five days, all five were under 4 hours and he placed (including 1st!) in four out of five. Congratulations David Lund!
The Kick-off party was next and this year’s sponsors gave away swag and educated us while members new and old had a chance to mingle and for mentors and mentees to connect in person. Be sure to mark your calendars for 2014’s kick off party on March 8th at 6:00pm.
The St. Patty’s Five was significant this year for Tristin as she ran hard and qualified for Bloomsday second seed (congrats Tristin)! Lots of Team Blaze dressed in costume and enjoyed this race despite the cold drizzle that day.
In late March Ironman 70.3 Oceanside saw Ken Sidles, Courtney Haase, Donna Melville Bib, Michelle Sidles Bib, and Julie Smetana all compete in the sun.
In early April were had a contingent of Team Blaze members head down to Napa California to do the HITS half and full distance tris down there. Racing that weekend in Team Blaze/Fleet Feet kits were Julie Smetana, Jeremy Anglin, David and Nicole Lund and representatives from our Sponsor The Bike Hub: Tim Dunn and Jackie Post. Four from Spokane ended up on the Podium including a fifth overall in the full distance for David Lund.
In late April the world was shocked by the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. All of our Spokane Athletes were thankfully unharmed and our hearts and prayers went out to those who were injured and their families. Team Blaze was a big part of the Run for Boston run.
Bloomsday is always a great event and Team Blaze showed great presence both with our volunteers at the TB tent and those out on the course racing. It was fun to meet up with other Team Blazers at the start and finish and compare times and PRs and take photos.
In May a cold foggy Troika Half Iron Distance tri brought out the hardcore triathletes with weather and road conditions that made for a tricky race. Team Blaze represented well with Kelly Quinn going 5:02:26, and 2nd Female Overall. Our own Team Blaze mixed relay was second in it’s division! Victor Vizcano was 2nd Place Age Group M45-49, Michael Nation was 3rd Place Age Group M45-49, and Callie Beach was 3rd Place Age Group F45-49. Other team Blazers who competed and toughed out the brutal winds for a very respectable finish were: Phil Sandifur, Jeff Schuster, Jeff Zaleski, Dion Daugherty, and Penny Hood.
Also in May was The Onionman Tri in Walla Walla. A much warmer day was had by all and with the exception of Alex Martinek’s very disappointing flat tire after killing the swim, a pretty good day was had by all. One of the most exciting Blazers to watch that day was 13yr old Aaron Sidles who finished his first Olympic distance tri in 2:52:15 for a 2nd place age group finish. Others in that race were: Jeff Schuster 2:29:20 ,Nicole Lund 2:39:01, Brian Kingsbury 2:45:42, Troy Dixon 2:50:58, Ronald Reil 2:52:15, Layne Stoops 2:35:47, Greg Purviance 3:18:34, and with the second fastest swim of the race Alex Martinek who was still top ten in age group even with the flat.
Moses Lake Tri-Olympic distance: Alex Martinek was 3rd Place overall and 1st out of the water. Todd Chism was 7th in his age group used this race for training and competed at CDA Ironman this year. In the Sprint: Kristi Hernandez was 1st in her age group by 5 minutes and this was her 1st triathlon. Joshua Orth 4th in his age group.
Ironman Boise 70.3 had two Team Blazers (and decent weather for once). Huge congrats to Kelly Quinn who earned a spot to the 70.3 World Championships. Diane Gringrich also competed in this one.
Ironman Coeur D’Alene was held on June 23 this year and the weather was perfect. It even clouded over in the afternoon to make for a not too hot run. Thirty Three Team Blaze athletes started and thirty three finished! The Team Blaze spectator support was incredible and we were very well represented as volunteers as well. Team Blaze won the Team Competition for this hugely competitive race!
For the last couple of years a group of Team Blaze members has spontaneously decided to ride up Mount Spokane on the Fourth of July. This year’s ride was sunny and perfect. There were riders of all levels and no one had to ride alone. The view from the top was incredible and many fun photos were taken. Extreme planking anyone?
Valley Girl is the next big race of the season and we rocked it. The course and awards ceremony were a sea of pink and yellow flames. Great job ladies! You can look at results here: http://www.milliseconds.com/races/detail/139092
Hayden tri saw notable performances by Team Blaze members as well. John Kercher was 2nd place Elite male, Lora Jackson was 3rd place Elite female, Amy Lawson was 3rd in the 25-29 Age group, Ellen Schaeffer was 2nd in the 40-44 age group, Jeremy Anglin finished just off the podium in 8th in his uber competitive 35-39 age group and Christian Bewick also showed a great performance (and was the only one who filled out the form correctly to identify as being on team Blaze which makes my job so much easier).
Race the River is another fun local triathlon that had Team Blaze flames everywhere. We had several members doing their first ever tri at this one (great job Tim Dickerson!). We also had lots of Team Blaze representation on the podium here as well including Alex Martinek, Lora Jackson, and Nicole Lund who were in the top 5 elites. This race had too many to list but results can be found here: http://atltiming.com/results/2013/race-the-river.html.
Lake Stevens Ironman 70.3 had a strong Team Blaze contingent as well. Nice job to our half Ironman Competitors, if someone has a race list and or Team Blaze race report please link me up and I will add it in here.
The Couer D’Alene Triathlon saw John Martinek on the age group podium! Nice job John! Other team Blazers who did great here include: Jeffery Zaleski, Tristin Roy-Munsen, Anne Irmir, and others. Again if any Team Blaze Members have a report and results for this one I’d love to add it in. General results can be found here: http://atltiming.com/results/2013/cda-triathlon.html
Wunderwoman: This is a favorite race for newbies and seasoned triathletes alike. Many women new to triathlon were very inspired by our Team Blaze presence and decided to join us based on this race. There are many inspiring stories associated with this race including Julie Pannell who did her first open water triathlon ever and her first triathlon after suffering a heart attack while training for the race that would have been her first open water tri. Kristi Hernandez did her first Olympic Distance tri ever. Jan Branvold did her first sprint at the age of …well I’m not telling you that, but she’s a grandma several times over and joined Team Blaze in the course of training for this race. Well done Team blaze women!
Priest Lake Triathlon has both an Olympic Road triathlon and A Sprint Mountain Bike Triathlon race. Many racers competed here including Scott Numata, Jennifer McPherson, Tara Tinner, Kelly Harju, Phil Sandifer, Jeffery Zaleski, Callie Beach, Stacie Klopfenstein, Micheal Nation (1st AG), Christian Bewick, Marilee Walker, John Kercher (3rd OA), Lora Jackson (2nd OA), Gretchan Rose-Wolf. In the Sprint were Tobin Smail, Bill Mizell (1st AG), Scott McCabe, Colleen Cicarelli, Mason MCCuddin, Jenel Emahiser (1st AG) and others…tell your story in the comments, we’d love to hear it.
Grand Columbian in September was as challenging as ever, made even more so by a mismanaged run course. In the Olympic Distance Nicole Lund 3rd OA, Jeff Schuster 2nd AG, Kevin Stevens: 1st AG. For the Half Iron Distance: David Lund 2nd AG, Scott Proctor 1st AG.
Long time Team Blaze member Gretchan Rose Wolf surprised some of us by competing in what was arguably the hardest Ironman of this year. She had major surgery just a few months before and had not had the training time one would usually need for this feat. You can read all about her experience with the altitude, snow, and frozen conditions here https://www.facebook.com/#!/gretchenerose . Over 1000 people DNFed that race so a huge congrats to Gretchan for finishing!
Our Team Blaze wrap up party was a great way to socialize and get to know the newer members. A huge thanks to Kim Dotson for the wonderful slide show and the party overall.
At the Ironman 70.3 World Championship Our own Kelly Quinn placed 14th in her age division and 563rd overall. She swam the 1.2 mile swim in 39:44, biked the brutal 56 mile bike course in 2:37:37 and ran the 13.1 run in 1:38:53 for an overall time of 5:01:45.
Le Grizz 50 miler is not a triathlon but we are super proud of Todd La Valley, Deborah French, and Kim Dotson who completed this ultra marathon and actually saw a grizzly bear while out on the course. A shout out to Becky Holley who trained for the race but was forced by injury to bow out of running it. Great job guys!
Lora Jackson placed 3rd in her AG at Ironman Az 2012 and earned a slot for Ironman World Championship Kona. Huge congratulations for her strong performance in the Superbowl of triathlon.
Kimberly and Daniel Zweisler ran the New York Marathon in honor of Scott Roy. Read Kimberliy’s race report here https://www.facebook.com/#!/teamblaze.spokane .
Hits Lake Havasu is a smaller, newer tri series but we had five team members travel down to it so it bears mentioning. Nicole Lund (3rd AG half Iron Distance), David Lund (1st in AG full Iron Distance-3rd full distance of the year for him), Jeff Schuster (half iron Distance), Don Aslinger (Half Distance) and Cheryl Berquist (sprint distance-less than a year after kicking breast cancer’s a$$). The race was well put on and The race directors would like to offer a 50% off discount to any Team Blaze members who would like to do a HITS race. We’ll post the details on the forum.
Ironman AZ is usually the last triathlon of the year for us team blazers and while we did not have a huge contingent this year congrats to those who did it and we are excited for Deborah French and Kim Zarko Heinrich were able sign up for 2014 and we wish them well in their Ironman journey.
I obviously missed several races and racers in this recap and I would love to remedy that so post in the comments things that you feel were relevant to the 2013 season and I will add it in. We had a great year and are looking forward to a wonderful 2014! To continue the fun through the winter be sure to join us at one of the Team Blaze swims at our new swim partner Oz Fitness.