Entries Tagged as 'Wildflower'

Never too late for Wildflower!

Professional Triathlete's , Wildflower No Comments »

It's Never too Late for Wildflower

It’s never too late to sign up for the One and Only!

I remember all too well the first time I signed up for Wildflower. I was living in Spokane, WA at the time, finishing up college and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. Wanting to pursue triathlon more seriously, I heard about a race in southern California that gave a lot of people their “start,” so to speak. Criteria for earning your pro card back then were somewhat convoluted: finish top-3 amateur at certain races, or within a certain percentage of the winning pro’s time, stuff like that. I can’t recall exactly, but Wildflower was a “special pro qualification event,” so I decided to make the long road trip. I rolled into the campground sometime Saturday – wholly unprepared for all that is Wildflower – and got ready for the Olympic-distance race the following morning. Which among many things meant trying to shave my legs for the first time out of a pan of water (not recommended).

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Wildflower is Family

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Wildflower is FamilyIn 2010 I asked my mom to come watch me race Boise 70.3. It was the second half-Ironman I’d ever done and I’d had big, starry-eyed goals for the race. Being the supportive, doting mother that she is she obliged and spent the day following me around Idaho’s capital city. Once I saw her at the finish, she was abuzz with energy and wanted to tell me all about her day! “This is like a family!” she said. I couldn’t stop smiling as she recounted all of the people she’d met, stories she’d heard, and athletes she’d cheered on. “Now she gets it,” I remember thinking.

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For the Love of Dirt: Why I Race Wildflower Triathlon

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For the love of dirtBefore completing my first Ironman in 2009 I had completed six 50 mile trail races, one 100 mile race, and a handful of other 50ks: Ultrarunning was my passion. In college trail running found me and was my world for the last 2 years of school. After graduation, it stayed with me as I transitioned into the “real” world. Trails provided me exercise, laughter, fun, friends, tears, and quite literally, all the ups and downs I ever needed as a twenty-something. I loved being outside, on dirt, with nothing to do but run. Eventually though, social inclinations took over and I transitioned to the more sociable sport of triathlon. Triathlon allowed me to train easier with groups. It found me training partners my age (most of my trail running friends were decades older!). And, it helped me find speed – something I hadn’t yet found while running endless miles through the woods.

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General Tips for Wildflower Triathlons Weekend

Professional Triathlete's , Training Tips , Wildflower 1 Comment »

General Tips for Wildflower WeekendLake San Antonio is out in the middle of nowhere. Major stores are going to be a 60+ minute drive. Be prepared and bring extras of key supplies. My car is always packed with “just in case” items, particularly for my bike! Sports Basement does have a tent down at the expo with supplies but you are not guaranteed they will have EXACTLY what you need. So, if you are picky, your bike is complicated or you just want to save yourself a potential freak out---throw it in the car!

There are quite a few food vendors at the race expo. However, make sure you bring the staples you like to eat before a race. I cook my pre-race dinner at home and bring it in a cooler so all I have to do is heat it up.

Bring warm clothes, the mornings and evenings can be chilly when the sun is not up. A hat, gloves and warm socks are good to sleep in so you stay toasty and do not waste energy shivering.

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Family, Friends and Memories

Athlete Stories , Wildflower 1 Comment »

Dean Harper

Wildflower will forever be my favorite race. Thirty three years ago was my first. I am hoping my last won’t be for another twenty or more years from now. I have ridden up Nasty Grade a dozen times or so, each time seemingly harder than the last. The Olympic course is mile for mile the toughest Olympic course around. There are no flats on the Olympic course, except in the swim. Memories of the race results fade over time. However, the weekend memories endure. They will last a lifetime.

I have competed at Wildflower with my daughter Shelley, and with my son Greg several times. Shelley was the 2nd collegiate woman three years ago and Greg was the 2nd collegiate male last year. Both wanted to snatch an overall victory for their Dad. I was incredibly proud of both and would have been whether they finished 1st or 151st. I am very thankful they have chosen a lifestyle that includes aerobic fitness and multi-sport. I am delighted to share the Wildflower tradition with my family.

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