Happy New Year!! Welcome to the first blog post of Bicycle World Austin's Racing Team. We are kicking off an exciting year of training and racing in Austin, and we are excited to have you join us on this great adventure.
So, what in the world, you ask, is the Bicycle World Racing Team?
Great question. We're a crew of dedicated triathletes striving to be better at the sport we love and to inspire others in this amazing Austin triathlon community to achieve their goals, too.
There are 15 of us, including our Team Manager and Professional Triathlete Natasha Van Der Merwe, and Professional Triathlete, and multiple 70.3 winner "Barney" Paul Matthews, who had the second-fastest Ironman debut in history with an 8:05 at Ironman Melbourne.
I'll introduce you to each of the athletes over the course of the next month or so. For now, though, here's a little tidbit about the rest of the team:
- Quincy Arey - A dental hygienist who trains for tris because it makes her happy. Her favorite post-race food splurge is ice cream, but you can check out many of her super-healthy daily eats if you follow her on Instagram, @qdbla.
- Kate Braybrook - An Aussie who's been athlete all her life. Kate believes in splurging every now and again with wine and chocolate. Her tri-training mantra is “My body is capable of doing whatever I tell it to do - just gotta believe in myself.”
- Carly Conrad - She trains for gains...self improvement, speed, a healthy high and a competitive edge. Carly did her first tri at age 10. The pompoms on her handle bars were totally aero.
- Haley Koop - A former carnivore and softball player, outside of her training,Haley works with adults with special needs. The half-Ironman is her favorite race distance.
- Melissa Miller - She’s a speech therapist and mom who has been an athlete all her life. Triathlon gives her self-confidence and helps her show her daughter that anything is possible.
- Padre Mora - An El Paso native who did his first tri at age 47, Padre’s training motto is “carpe viam,” which means seize the way. “Whether running or riding enjoy the trip,” he says.
- Doreen Redenius - As coach and personal trainer, Doreen loves triathlon because it’s another way to share her passion for sport with others. She finished her first Ironman with her dad, and that’s still her favorite race.
- Chris Reynolds - When he’s not swimming, biking or running, you’ll often find Chris behind a camera or a sound board or a stove. He’s a photographer, sound engineer and chef, who found triathlon and a great community of friends within it two years ago.
- CP Ross - A trauma and intensive care nurse who has a need for speed, and post-race pizza. CP’s training mantra is “success is a decision.”
- Todd Sapio - He’s a father of two, musician and design director. Todd trains to find his limitations and then push them a little farther each day.
- Aaron Shapley - A former collegiate swimmer, Aaron is always searching for new ways to improve himself. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face,” are the words he lives by. “The mental skill set you develop through consistent training allows you to adapt on the fly. Those skills are essential for a successful race, training session, and life,” he says.
- Alan Smith - He’s a computer engineer whose favorite triathlon is the one he did last year with his wife. Yoda’s his training inspiration: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
- Brandi Swicegood (that's me) - I spent nearly 20 years as a journalist, and now I’m a full-time mom and athlete. I started training for tris a decade ago, and I keep doing it because I hope to set an example for my daughter to pursue her passions in life with strength, resilience and persistence.
We're all planning our 2018 triathlon season, so we're really looking forward to the Bicycle World season-planning workshop on Wednesday. We’d also really love to meet you. So come out and hear some of the best coaches in Austin share wisdom about how to create a successful triathlon season for yourself and make some new friends while you’re at it.
I talked to Coach Steve Blackmon to get a little sneak preview of the conversation, and it's going to be phenomenal. He's going to talk about not only the importance of getting in the hours in the pool, on the bike and on your feet, but also how critical it is to find balance with your work, family and other important aspects of your life.
"There's no one approach that fits all," he told me.
He'll also talk about the fourth discipline of triathlon, nutrition and hydration, and how you can nail that to really push your season to the next level.
And equally important, he'll cover the mental game, which, let's face it, is everything when it comes to both training and racing your best.
I can't wait to hear and learn from Steve and the other experts at Bicycle World on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Come join us! Meet the new team and get a load of knowledge dropped on you!