Monthly Archives: October 2014

Ironman Champion Greg Taylor Inspires at First Annual SDTA Banquet

trophy picCommunity. It’s what the SD triathlon landscape has lacked for some time. Saturday afternoon, the SDTA solidified their role a little more in helping to connect triathletes, create a community, and grow the sport even more.

The first annual SDTA Banquet went off without a hitch on Saturday, October 25. In addition to handing out wads of cash to season age-group winners and overall winners Matt Decker and Brigitte Setness, SDTA also unveiled several new initiatives for the 2015 season, including:

  • Moving from a for-profit to a non-profit status.
  • A kids tri series for kids ages 9-11 and 12-14.
  • Tiered support packages that will allow benefits and other perks to supporters who would like more than just the basics from the triathlon series.
  • The desire to move west: SDTA is working towards adding at least one race in the series west of the river.
  • Discounts up to 60% off XTerra Wetsuits thanks to a sponsorship opportunity for 2015.
  • Try a Tri program: a program that will allow anyone who has never done a triathlon the opportunity to do one for free.

SDTA President Marc Satter also announced South Dakota’s Premiere Triathlon as voted on by participants in the SDTA race series. The Outland Challenge received the honor this year due to their safe course and plentiful, well-trained volunteers. “I don’t think I saw a car even once on the bike,” stated SDTA President Marc Satter.

The highlight of the afternoon without a doubt came from the last part of the event when Ironman Champ Greg Taylor took the podium. His enthusiasm filled the room with his exuberant spirit and inspirational advice. Taylor shared his experiences from his 24 times he’s raced in Kona at the Ironman World Championships. He shared from the wealth of his time in triathlon with a sense of humility, encouraging attendees to consider a simple formula for their own success in triathlon. Motivation, according to Taylor, equals Belief times Reward. A person’s motivation to a big goal depends directly on two things: the reward a person receives, and an individual’s understanding of what he needs to do to achieve that reward–his belief.

We’re confident everyone went away encouraged and enlightened from this year’s inaugural event. In short, SDTA accomplished one major objective for the year by bringing triathletes together and celebrating those who work so hard in our sport.

Who knows what else the future will bring for triathlon in South Dakota?

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SD Triathlon Legend to Speak at SDTA Banquet

taylorSouth Dakota resident and triathlon legend Greg Taylor will be speaking at the first annual SDTA Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 25 at 4pm at the Scheels Banquet Room in Sioux Falls.

Taylor has a long list of accomplishments not just from the 2014 race season but from his career in triathlon overall.  In 2014 alone, Taylor managed to rack up a sizable number of wins including:

  • Ironman Boulder age group champion
  • Ironman 70.3 World Championship age group champion
  • Ironman World Championship age group champion
  • USAT age group national age group champion

Additionally, Taylor won his hometown tri, beating out all the youngsters at Yankton’s best tri in September. Because of his excellent performance in Minnesota, Minnesota Tri News also nominated Taylor as Grand Master of the Year for the Minnesota Multi-Sports Awards.

Taylor has come off a busy and successful season, and we anticipate he’ll have some inspiring words to share about the sport we all love. Those who have not yet purchased tickets can still do so through the SDTA website. Tickets will also be available at the door on Saturday.

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SDTA to Hold First Annual Awards Banquet



It’s one of the things that the South Dakota tri scene has lacked for a while and something the South Dakota Triathlon Association sought to provide in its first year of existence.

With that same goal in mind, the SDTA will hold their first annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 25 at 4:00 at the Scheels Banquet Room in Scheels.

SDTA recognizes the need for some kind of finality to the season other than just one last race. “One of the most rewarding things from this whole experience last year is the great people we’ve met,” states SDTA President Marc Satter. “The awards banquet gives us chance to socialize with everyone in a setting that isn’t right before or after a triathlon.”

The banquet will recognize the overall winners, age-group winners, and newcomer of the year. Additionally, SDTA will announce the which event has won the South Dakota Premier Triathlon award, something all participants had the opportunity to vote on with each event this past summer.

SDTA also plans on making important announcements about changes and additions for the upcoming season.

Anyone can come to the event, member or not. Tickets can be purchased through the SDTA website for $10 or at the door for $15. Refreshments and snacks will be served as well. As with anything involving triathletes, this event sounds like a pretty laid back event. Athletes can leave their spandex at home in favor of their favorite pair of comfy jeans and shirt.

And of course, we’ll be there to snap some photos. So we hope to see you all at Scheels on Saturday and check out exactly what SDTA has cooking for 2015 while rubbing shoulders with some of our favorite people in South Dakota.

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Ride Clean. Ride Fast: Bike Maintenance 101

i-heart-bikeThe bike portion makes up the biggest leg of any average triathlon. So naturally, triathletes spend the majority of their time training on their steeds. But those who sit on the saddle and spin at high cadences for hours at a time may be missing an important element in the equation for success on a bike.

According to  Sioux Falls’ Spoke-n-Sport owner, operator, and bike guru Chad Pickard, taking care of basic bike maintenance has the potential to save a triathlete not only time in a race but also emotional and physical angst.

Basic bike maintenance, according to the League of American Bicyclists, is as easy as ABC.

  • A: Air. Cyclists can find the recommended air pressure on the side walls of their tires, and they should inflate the tire to its appropriate pressure before every ride. They should also check their tires before every ride for damage to minimalize the chances of a blow out. No one wants that on a 30+mph downhill.
  • B: Brakes. Cyclists should check their brake pads for wear, replacing them if there is less than ¼” of pad left. They should also check the pad adjustment to make sure they do not rub the tire. Finally, a cyclist should be able to fit his thumb between the brake level handlebar when squeezing the brakes all the way.
  • C: Cranks and Chains. Cyclists should pull their cranks away from their bikes. If those cranks are loose, they need only to tighten the bolt. Also, a bike should have a chain free of rust and gunk. If it’s not, replace it or clean it up. Gunky chains mean more effort for the same output. Busted chains because of rust mean a completely compromised ride.

Because triathletes crank out so many miles on their steeds, Pickard also recommends an annual overhaul for the multi-sport athlete who puts 3,000 miles or more under his tires. An overhaul basically means the bike mechanics take your ride apart. Completely. They strip your baby of its parts, use an ultrasonic cleaner to coerce the residue from nutrition (and other questionable sources) out of the crevices, replace the cables and housing, and pull out the bearings, replacing them when needed.

While an overhaul sounds like a drastic measure, the results are worth the effort and money. We triathletes hop on our bikes regularly and just think that we’re fatigued or falling out of shape when we aren’t seeing the same output numbers that we’ve seen in the past. The problem may not be the engine but rather the machine.

“You don’t notice it slowly deteriorating,” states Pickard.

In short, an overhaul and regular maintenance will make you faster. It will mitigate the negative emotions that come with a frustrating bike ride and has the potential to improve the physical aspect of the ride overall.

Basically, your bike will ride better.

The overhaul is the big to-do for the year, but a cyclist can tweak his bike in little ways as well to make it faster and more efficient. Chains should be lubed before every ride. Those who brave the cold may want to consider a lube designed for winter weather (think more oil, less wax). Chains should also be checked regularly for wear and tear and replaced at least every 3,000 miles, sooner for those of us who like to grind away at less than 70rpms. The neurotic, type-A triathlete will most likely have a journal where he writes down every workout and every bit of nutrition surrounding that workout. This may be a great place to also log bike miles and keep track of a maintenance schedule.

Triathletes in particular as cyclists can help themselves out in one more way according to Pickard: “Keep your nutrition off your chain.” Keeping a clean chain helps keep the bike itself running more efficiently. And while some of us want to make fun of the triathlete who treats his ride like a sports card, wiping a bike down after every ride DOES make for a faster and cleaner bike. And who doesn’t like a shiny bike.

So, as we all consider the move from the increasingly chilly outdoors to the toasty indoor trainer, we need to remember that the power meter numbers may not be a direct result of our own input.

Clean up your ride. Get an overhaul. Show her some love. And in short, the numbers will more aptly reflect the effort.

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SDTA’s Newcomer of the Year: Justin Schweitzer

Schweitzer picCross training and community.

It’s why many an endurance athlete falls into and then sticks with triathlon.

SDTA’s Newcomer of the Year Justin Schweitzer is no different.

Schweitzer ran distance in both high school in Jamestown, North Dakota and in college. He continued to toe the line in road races, even qualifying for and then racing the Boston Marathon in 2013. Then, after a good friend with the same background started racing triathlons in Minnesota, Schweitzer decided to give multi-sport challenges a try.

The landscape of South Dakota triathlon may never look the same.

Schweitzer raced his first sprint in Brookings at the Get Ready for Summer Mini Triathlon in May. He took fourth behind some experienced athletes. Then he braved the cold of northern South Dakota and brought home a win at the Wolves Triathlon a week later. A few weeks after that he took second to perennial powerhouse Justin Manning at the Madman Mini Tri in Madison.

In fact, had Schweitzer not suffered from (and obviously survived) a life-threatening bilateral embolism, the result of complications from a fall off his bike and May-Thurner syndrome, we suspect he would have swept the SDTA field for the rest of the season. He’s that good.

Schweitzer started training last winter, procuring swim instruction from Sanford Wellness Center triathlon coach Kathy Grady and then building bike fitness on his indoor trainer for the long winter months.

For now, Schweitzer is enjoying his good health and moving back into race shape. As far as next year goes, we expect to see Schweitzer a lot more. “I’m all in next year. I fell in love with it,” he states. Schweitzer, much like any runner-turned-triathlete, found the cross training easier on his body, with less pounding on the joints compared to six-days-a-week runs that road racing requires.

Furthermore, he discovered something that we’ve known for quite a while. The South Dakota triathlon community is pretty awesome. “I only did three races, and it was easy to get along and talk. Everyone is so welcoming in the sport. The people have been a blast,” he states.

We suspect Schweitzer will continue to make a positive impact on the triathlon landscape in the state, making him more than worthy of the Newcomer of the Year Award. We certainly look forward to seeing him race again.

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