Wildflower: Not Only for “Athletes”

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Besides dance until 9th grade, I did zero sports growing up.

I stumbled upon triathlon in 2009 after my friend and co-worker Kelly and I decided that we should build up our beanpole arms, and swimming seemed like the logical answer. Since we knew how to ride a bike, had run a few miles and were soon to be expert swimmers, we registered for the Wildflower Olympic Course.

January 2010, we enrolled in a swimming 101 class at the Campbell community pool and joined their Waves Triathlon Team. I distinctly remember folks in too much Lycra talking about their “watts”, “cadence” and “threshold” and having zero context for the conversations.

After eighty early morning workouts, it was race day! I was so nervous, I slept in my triathlon suit—one less thing to do in the morning (a tradition I’ve kept :).


The Real Story of the Energized Bunny

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Energized Bunny

I was born different. My parents, Flopsy and Mopsy, noticed right away. I was born PINK while my brothers and sisters were either white, brown or black. I also discovered at a very early age that my eyes were very light sensitive. As a result, I have always had to wear “shades” both day and night. That’s okay, as I adjust very easily. From very early on, I have had an inordinate amount of energy. As a result, I have always been known as the Energizer bunny. My good friends call me “E Bunny” instead. At birth, the doctor tried to remove the growth that attached itself to my back. At first they thought it was a log, but as I grew older, it was discovered to be a battery of all things! They decided that it would be too life-threatening to remove it, and it has been there ever since. It actually comes in handy when I’m on the dance floor, as I seem to have energy to burn, and all of the lady bunnies seem to like it.

My parents at first didn’t know what to name me, and before I was born had created a long list of possible names: Peter (aka “Pete” Cottontail,) Bugs, Thumper, Roger, Velveteen, Bionic Bunny, Br’er, Bunnicula, Camillo the Hare, Rabbit, Uncle Wiggly, Runny Babbit, White Rabbit, Chocolate, Harvey, Easter, and Benny Bunny were just a few. But as I mentioned above, I have been named “Energizer”, and that name has stuck ever since. It hasn’t been determined if I am truly a “bunny” or a “rabbit”, so I answer to both. Contrary to popular belief, carrots are not my favorite food. Actually, Oreo Double Stuffs are…. but I have to pretty much stay away from them as they make me fat.


Six Ways to enjoy Wildflower as an Age Grouper

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Energized Bunny

Wildflower is an Iconic triathlon event in triathlon that is on many triathletes short list of ‘to do” races. Diamondback Bicycles / Wattie Ink athlete Dusty Nabor offers some advice to ensure you’re getting the most out of your own personal Wildflower experience:

1. Savor the Venue.
Wildflower is held at the beautiful Lake San Antonio Resort and Marina in San Luis Obispo County just outside of Paso Robles, Ca. The venue is basically tailor made for a triathlon. The campground is HUGE and has everything you need for overnight lodging. The expo area offers unique ways to engage with the product suppliers who create the fantastic triathlon equipment we all rely on. The Wattie Ink Team will be kicking it at the Diamondback Expo playing with our new Serios bikes, getting them dialed. The lake itself is stunning, and even with last year’s low water levels it provided one of the best swim venues in all of triathlon. The bike leg of the Long Course race is a single loop permanently marked for the event with the most gorgeous scenery imaginable. The run course winds its way throughout the campgrounds insuring there’s never a moment alone. Simply put, the venue is so good; you almost never realize how challenging the terrain really is….almost.


The Perfect Triathlete

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The Perfect Triathlete

Our sport is one that attracts driven, tough, goal setting individuals from all walks of life. We see moms that want to be healthier for themselves and their families, we see corporate executives looking for the next big challenge and we see groups of friends that rally around an event as a way to get together each year. We are blessed with a great variety of individuals that compete for their own personal reasons.

What creates the perfect triathlete is not what we see on the outside as much as what is on the inside, a hunger and passion to be the best one can be and to test their mental and physical boundaries. While certain body types are more easily predisposed to handling a triathlon with greater efficiency on muscles and joints there is no certainty that being small and slender will get you to the podium. Look around and you will find athletes with a few extra pounds, those that are far taller than everyone else and even some that struggle with one particular portion of the race. The stars of any given race are seldom those that ran the fastest, had the best bike time or even swam the course the with greatest of ease.

The perfect triathlete I contend is not the one that is genetically blessed enough to have the largest set of lungs or the strongest legs but the one that is able to pull themselves up each morning and make that day of training count regardless of how they feel, what stresses their day holds or how windy and cold it is outside. It’s a habit of self discipline and courage.


As a Challenged Athlete, why Wildflower? 

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As soon as my race season ended last year with another, but most memorable, IRONMAN Arizona finish, I thought to myself, what's next? It's always - rest, recover and then TRAIN FOR WILDFLOWER! It's one of those races you can't just show up to "have fun" or have a "catered training day." Are those types of races out there? Sure, but Wildflower isn't that race and that’s what makes it perfect for people like us, triathletes. It's the bucket list race of all bucket list races. It's one of those you have to start frantically training for WAY too soon in the season because you don't want to suffer. Suffer you will, but the race, the race experience, the venue and the people will make it all worthwhile.