2017 Race Director Symposium

USA Triathlon Race Director Symposium is the industry leading opportunity for race directors to meet and network with peers across the country, engage with the USA Triathlon staff, speak one-on-one with the risk management team from ESIX, and interact with regional, national and industry trend-setters.
The 2017 Race Director Symposium will be held Jan. 20-22 in Dallas, Texas, in collaboration with the Annual Business Conference from Triathlon Business International (TBI), the industry organization dedicated to promoting the sport and the business of triathlon. USA Triathlon and TBI will host a joint session for both events on Sunday, Jan. 22. 
Early bird registration ends Wednesday November 30th so reserve your spot NOW!
More information on the schedule, pricing and hotel reservations is available HERE

Attention USAT Florida Region Race Directors:
The Florida Region will be providing 4 x $150 travel grants to Race Directors from the Florida Region to attend the 2017 USAT Race Director Symposium. If you will like to be a recipient of this grant, these are the qualifications:

  1.  Current USAT Race Director Certified
  2. Provide travel receipt. 
  3. Attend the Regional Roundtable at the Symposium.
  4. Provide goals and objectives on how they will benefit from the Symposium. 

Please forward your information to Michelle Hill at mhill2085@cfl.rr.com

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Balancing Family and Triathlon

Work Life Balance signpost

Triathlon is a demanding sport!  As an athlete and coach, I have seen many families or relationships impacted by the amount of time (and money) that goes into training for a triathlon.     But whether that impact is negative or positive really depends on how well the athlete can balance it all.  Below are some items to consider that can help you BALANCE triathlon and family.

Communication is Key– Just like everything else, athletes and families need to communicate their needs with each other.  Families should talk about what it means to train for a triathlon.  Set GOALS together.  They should let their spouse or family know how important being a triathlete is and what type of commitment it requires.  Discuss what impact it will have on family responsibilities.   Discuss issues as they come up rather than holding it in and letting it build up to bigger problems.  If an athlete and their family keep the lines of communication open, they most likely can come up with a solution or plan to make it work.

Time Management– Athletes should make sure they plan training ahead of time and prioritize it.   PENCIL IT IN… just like you do with other aspects of your life.  Triathletes should do their best to configure the training around their family and life and not the other way around.  Fit it in where it will have the least amount of impact on the family plus able to get the job done.   For example, training first thing in the morning before their family gets up is often successful.  Athletes can get their swim, bike or run in and then be back in time for breakfast.  Plus, an athlete is more likely to get the training in if they do it early.  There are less issues with things coming up and getting in the way during the day.

Another way to save time is to find ways to train that do not include travel time.   For example, riding inside on a trainer and/or commuting to work on your bike when time is limited.   Or they can run in their neighborhood or on a treadmill at home.   And don’t forget to pencil in the time it takes to travel and get ready to train (dress, undress set up bike).  Make sure preparation time is included.

Be Prepared- A successful triathlete needs to be organized to manage their time well.   They should get their gear ready ahead of time for the next day. It will help to maintain things running smoothly and to the plan.  Pack a swim or gym bag the night before, lunches, snacks for work or school.  Set up the bike on the trainer the night before so they can jump right on first thing in the morning.  Set themselves up for SUCCESS by being prepared the night before!


Include the Family into your training plans.  Figure out ways to train while including the family.

  • If there are young kids, run with them in the stroller.  Believe me, you can get very strong running as you push a baby or young toddler.
  • Use a kid’s bike trailer to ride with them on recovery or easy days.
  • Have spouse and/or kids ride their bikes alongside of you while the athlete runs.
  • Run around the fields while the kids are at practices or bring a bike trainer to ride on side lines, foam roll or do strength work while at the fields.
  • Bike or Run with the spouse on your easy recovery days.
  • Take the kids to the pool to play and sneak in some laps.  As they get older, the triathlete will be able to do more laps themselves and eventually the child may join in and swim with them.
  • Utilize the gym nurseries while you train.  The children will enjoy playing with other kids while the athlete gets in a spin class, runs on the treadmill or does strength training…or swim.
  • Plan a weekend ride where the athlete rides and meets the family at a restaurant for breakfast after the ride, then return home with them or ride back.

The beauty of training with their children is that the spouse can have that time for their needs and not feel like all the time is being manipulating.   I use to do many of these things with my daughter when she was young and I was training for sprints and Olympic distance races.

The key is to find ways to include them in your journey or training.

Make racing a family affair–  Get the spouse and kids involved (relay, youth races).  Have the entire family race.   Youth Races and Super Sprints are popping up all over the place and are great ways to get them involved.  Do speed workouts with the kids.  Not only will they love training racing with you, the short fast training will help to make you faster as an adult.

Work out a schedule where spouses take turns   Don’t try to monopolize all the time.  Often spouses or children end up feeling neglected or must take up the slack for household responsibilities.   Set up a plan where you can workout at certain times and your spouse or partner has their chance.  Many couples with children will take turns training while the other one plays or takes care of the children.  Share family responsibilities.  Maybe one day you can’t get to something, but the next week you can.  Or if you are doing a long-distance race, plan certain months where the spouse takes up the slack, then allow them their time after the race is over.   Most importantly, make FAMILY your number 1 PRIORITY over training and racing.  Things come up!  There will always be another race or chance to train.

Prioritize-   Many relationships and families can be torn apart by especially long distance training.    Ironman racing has become a bucket list for so many.  It is cool, but be realistic. It might not be the best goal to have if you have a full-time job and a family with kids…. training long hours most likely is not the way to go.   Children grow up super-fast.  Be sure to realize the time spent training cannot be taken back.

Recently I attended the USAT Coaching Symposium in Atlanta.   It was very exciting to hear that the push from USAT is to bring back the SPRINT and SUPER SPRINT distance races as the FOCUS rather than the longer distance.   Bring back training for triathlons as a lifestyle that has BALANCE.    Training for a sprint can be time consuming, but it is much easier to BALANCE and MANAGE.

Lastly, share the joy and show appreciation when you do get to race!   Make sure the family can see how much racing brings you joy and happiness.  Nothing is worse than having them give up time with you, or taking up the slack only to have you describe the race in a negative way.  Always, always…show your appreciation for being able to race and that they supported you in the journey!  The joy from their successes and smiles while racing and training makes many of the sacrifices worth it.   Always show your gratitude and appreciation to your family for all they do to help you race!   Enjoy the journey together!


Racheal Wood is an accomplished triathlete that has dedicated a great deal of time coaching adults and youth triathletes to many podium finishes from Youth, Sprint, Olympic and Ironman races at the local, regional, national and world championship level.   She has been a USAT Certified Level II Coach since 2004, USAT Youth and Junior Certified Coach since 2011, USA Cycling Expert Level 1 Coach since 2005, RRCA and USA Track and Field, USA Masters and ASCA Swim Coach Certified.  She also has a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from Florida Atlantic University.  She is the head coach of the South Florida Lightning Youth and Junior EliteTeam.  


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USAT Florida Region Hall of Fame – Sold Out


The 2016 USA Triathlon Florida Region Hall of Fame is sold out! If you were interested in attending and didn’t register on time, we can add your name to the waiting list.  Please email Hector Torres at  htorres@cfltriclub.com .

However, we still have 5 seats open for the Coaches Symposium. If you are interested in attending, please contact Hector as well.

Thank you very much and we will see you in on December 10, 2016.


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Long Course Triathlon, Aquabike National Titles Awarded in Final Championship Races of the Season

USA Triathlon – Florida Region was honored to worked with race organizer MultiRace in producing the MiamiMan Triathlon as the National Long Course & Aquabike Championship and looks forward to continuing in 2017 as we bring back the championship event to South Florida!

** Repost from USA Triathlon **
BY ELIZABETH GRIMSLEY | NOV. 13, 2016, 5:37 P.M. (ET)

MIAMI, Fla. — Age-group athletes claimed the final national titles of 2016 on Sunday at the USA Triathlon Long Course Triathlon and Aquabike National Championships, held in conjunction with the Miami Man Triathlon.

Robby Chalfant (Boulder, Colo.), who took the overall men’s long course triathlon title, clocked in at 4 hours, 7 minutes, 20 seconds on the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run course.

“It was my second attempt at the long course [distance],” Chalfant said. “I’m not used to flat courses. I’m used to hills and descents, so I knew I was up for a challenge. But I couldn’t ask for a better race.”

The win also qualified Chalfant for the world championships in Penticton, Canada, in 2017. The top 18 finishers in each age group (rolling down to 25th place) qualified for Team USA. Team USA is comprised of the nation’s top age-group multisport athletes who represent the U.S. at each ITU World Championships event.

Corinne Abraham of the United Kingdom was the first female to cross the finish line but is not eligible to win a national title. To be eligible, athletes must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national to receive awards and qualify for Team USA. This means Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.) added yet another national title to her résumé, finishing with a time of 4:21:36 and successfully defending her title from 2015.

In the Aquabike National Championships, Mike Shaffer (Ventura, Calif.) and Laura Matthews (Memphis, Tenn.) won overall national titles. Shaffer won his race in 2:39:53 while Matthews came across the finish line in 2:43:09.

“The bike was flat as a pancake, so it helped me out as a big guy,” Shaffer said. “I’m very happy not to have to run. USA Triathlon actually gave me comeback athlete of the year because I got hit by a car about 15 years ago, so I’m very happy. I won once before overall, but this one was a lot more competitive because of worlds coming on.”

Additionally, Sass added one last title to her 2016 campaign, winning the women’s 35-39 age group and defending her aquabike national title from last season.

USA Triathlon Long Course Triathlon National Championships
Miami, Florida
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run

Complete Results
Overall Female: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 4:21:36
Overall Male: Robby Chalfant (Boulder, Colo.), 4:07:20
F17-19: Carly Brewington (Coral Springs, Fla.), 7:55:13
M17-19: Payne Pachuda (West Chester, Pa.), 4:41:48
F20-24: Isabel Ahrendt (Wexford, Pa.), 5:07:28
M20-24: Ted Treise (River Falls, Wis.), 4:23:50
F25-29: Alice Henley (Plantation, Fla.), 4:49:24
M25-29: Ruben Chavez (Hallandale Beach, Fla.), 4:21:22
F30-34: Emmy Brown (New York, N.Y.), 4:57:40
M30-34: Robby Chalfant (Boulder, Colo.), 4:07:20
F35-39: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 4:21:36
M35-39: Nathan Rickman (Fairfax, Va.), 4:11:14
F40-44: Claudia McCoy (Trinity, Fla.), 4:50:28
M40-44: Kurt Holt (Santa Rosa, Calif.), 4:21:09
F45-49: Tanya Houghton (Weddington, N.C.), 4:52:43
M45-49: Dave Slavinski (Point Pleasant, N.J.), 4:09:30
F50-54: Cassie McWilliam (Rye, N.Y.), 4:43:20
M50-54: Dan Stephens (Boise, Idaho), 4:15:32
F55-59: Sheila Power (Madison, Wis.), 5:11:29
M55-59: Kyle Welch (Sunnyvale, Calif.), 4:23:42
F60-64: Lorrie Beck (Williamstown, N.J.), 5:16:19
M60-64: Ken Junkins (Saint Cloud, Fla.), 5:00:56
F60-64: Sandy Menely (Holmes Branch, Fla.), 6:11:51
M65-69: Mike Wien (Marietta, Ga.), 5:05:50
M70-74: John Strait (New Port Richey, Fla.), 5:21:57

USA Triathlon Aquabike National Championships
Miami, Florida
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike
Complete Results
Overall Female: Laura Matthews (Memphis, Tenn.), 2:43:09
Overall Male: Mike Shaffer (Ventura, Calif.), 2:39:53
F17-19: Alma Campiani (Key Biscayne, Fla.), 3:04:50
M17-19: Tommy Monahan (Louisville, Colo.), 3:11:43
F20-24: Laura Matthews (Memphis, Tenn.), 2:43:09
F25-29: Ryann Kopacka (Berkeley, Calif.), 3:04:30
M25-29: Brent Vanderzyl (Kissimmee, Fla.), 3:11:47
F30-34: Alexandra Hammouri (Greensboro, N.C.), 2:52:24
M30-34: Daniel Nolan (Upper Arlington, Ohio), 2:57:22
F35-39: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 2:45:59
M35-39: Zach Wolz (Lake Worth, Fla.), 2:57:09
F40-44: Leslie Hancock (Simi Valley, Calif.), 2:47:25
M40-44: Jake North (Austin, Texas), 2:45:46
F45-49: Julia Wreski (Fort Myers, Fla.), 2:55:48
M45-49: Brian Weissinger (Boise, Idaho), 2:44:54
F50-54: Kerry Simmons (Lake Mary, Fla.), 2:56:30
M50-54: Mike Shaffer (Ventura, Calif.), 2:39:53
F55-59: Kathy Petrillo (Jupiter, Fla.), 3:10:34
M55-59: Paul Lincoln (Weston, Fla.), 2:41:51
F60-64: Denise Everitt (Marion, N.Y.), 3:27:34
M60-64: Michael McCombs (Malborough, Mass.), 2:47:16
F65-69: Debbie White (Fort Myers, Fla.), 3:58:05
M65-69: Garry Castelli (Belleville, Ill.), 2:52:10
F70-74: Lois Leon (Miami, Fla.), 4:05:44
M70-74: Dale Vaughan (Macon, Ga.), 3:09:09
M75-79: Paul McDonald (Pleasant Hill, Calif.), 5:05:14
M80-84: Hunter Temple (Santa Fe, N.M.), 4:58:37

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USA Triathlon Competitive Rules Officials

Competitors often see the USA Triathlon officials at an event and groan, “Uh oh, all those guys want to do is catch me doing something wrong!” Not true. The goal of every USAT competitive rules official is to ensure fairness and a level playing field for all athletes. It is not writing penalties. In an effort to achieve this, each of the Florida Region officials strongly believes in education of athletes before the event starts.

Have you ever wondered what the referees are doing when they’re walking through transition? They’re checking to make sure that every bike has properly plugged handlebars, one working brake on each wheel and that an athlete’s bike is racked in the proper spot. This is the perfect time to say, “Hello,” and ask questionunknowns about the USA Triathlon Competitive Rules. So, if you have a question about the importance of bar end plugs, the draft zone or the difference between a position and a blocking penalty, the transition area is the perfect place to ask your questions. For more information on the USA Triathlon Competitive Rules and a complete explanation of each rule, go to www.usatriathlon.org/about-multisport/multisport-zone/rules-education. Ultimately it’s your responsibility to know the rules

Once the race begins, USA Triathlon officials switch from providing education to observing and documenting the behavior of athletes. You’ll see the officials at the start of the swim checking for body marking, swim caps and athletes starting in an improper wave. While riding on the back of the motorcycle, officials are enforcing the bicycle position rules including drafting, overtaken, illegal passing, position and blocking. Out on the run course, referees monitor several things including the lack of a race number, abandoned equipment and unauthorized assistance.

If a competitor is observed violating the USA Triathlon Competitive Rules at any time during the event, referees document all violations and assess the appropriate penalties. While on the course, officials give no warnings. After the race, you should check your results. If you’ve received a penalty, feel free to look for the head referee in the striped shirt and ask for an explanation. That’s part of the education process.

By the way, we’re always looking for people to become USA Triathlon competitive rules officials. If you’re interested in becoming a referee or have a question about a rule, please email Tom Reilly, the Florida Regional Officials’ Coordinator.

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“CEU in Orlando” – Coach’s Symposium

As we approach the end of 2016 and the racing season is winding down, I am sure many of you are in need of CEU’s to maintain your coaching certification or as an athlete you want to learn how to make improvements for your 2017 season.

We are offering an amazing opportunity in December to not only earn 9 CEU’s but also interact with other coaches and members from our region as well as get to hear our featured speaker, Justin Trolle.  unknown

Justin is a level 3 international elite triathlon coach and over the past 16 years he has coached International elite athletes in New Zealand as well as elite athletes in the USA including, Greg Billington, Erin Jones (Storie) and Sarah Groff.

Justin is also widely regarded as a leader in the areas of training plan design, youth and juniors, as well as video analysis and its practical application. Justin will be speaking on how to grow and market your coaching business and key ways to become the best coach to your athletes. Other topics from expert speakers include “Overload or Overtraining” and “Performance Nutrition for Endurance Sports.”


The clinic will be held on Dec 10th from 9am to 5:30pm at the Rosen Inn, 9000 International Drive, Orlando, FL in conjunction with the Hall of Fame induction dinner that will follow at 6 pm. Register now using the link below and we look forward to an exciting educational weekend! You may also contact Heather Butcher at hbtrisports@aol.com for more information.



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USAT – Florida Top Duathletes for 2015!

USA Logo

USA Triathlon – Florida Region is proud to honor the top 50 duathletes for 2015!

Top 25 men and top 25 women overall.

In recognition, a special USAT t-shirt with be shipped to the following athletes:

We ask that these athletes click on this link to complete the information and indicate  their t-shirt size: CLICK HERE

Contact Michelle Hill with any questions.

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2016 USAT Florida Region Hall of Fame Agenda


Hello Florida Region members,

Do not miss out the opportunity to celebrate the induction of the 2016 USA Triathlon Florida Region Hall of Fame inductees. The celebration is going to be held on Saturday December 1o, 2016. If you are interested in attending, please register at Register or copy paste the following link: http://www.active.com/orlando-fl/triathlon/clinics/usa-triathlon-florida-region-coaches-symposium-9-ceu-and-hall-of-fame-2016?int=

Please review the following agenda:

Hall of Fame Induction Dinner

Rosen Inn – 9000 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

Saturday, December 10, 2016



Cherie Patrick Starr


Jackie Yost


Hector Picard


Reception: 6:00 – 6:30 pm

Dinner: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Hall of Fame Ceremony: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

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USAT Florida Region Coaches Symposium (9 USAT CEU’s) and Hall of Fame Agenda


We are very excited to announce the agenda and presenters for our 2016 USA Florida Region Coaches Symposium.  You can register at the following Link or copy paste the following url:  http://www.active.com/orlando-fl/triathlon/clinics/usa-triathlon-florida-region-coaches-symposium-9-ceu-and-hall-of-fame-2016?int=

 Time Course Presenter Bio Description
9:00 am Introduction Hector Torres
9:15 am Overload or overtraining? Michael Melton, MD Dr. Michael Melton has been to several Ironman Sports Medicine conferences and is a current USA Triathlon Level 1 coach and Ironman U Coach. Overload and Overtraining? As part of your training, you should include some tools and measures to make sure that you’re on the right track. Many coaches will overload their athletes to the point of overtraining. What markers should a coach take in place? Where is the limit of overloading?
10:15 am Benefits of indoor training on the bike and the run Hector Torres Hector Torres is a USAT Elite Coach, USA Cycling Coach Lv 2, USA Swimming and USATrack and Field, MA & MS. He has experience coaching several elite athletes and paratriathletes. Maximize your time! Many multisport athletes live a life in which they are consistently multitasking. With the winter months getting closer we are bound to train indoors. Learn to maximize your training indoors and adapt to any course you want to master.
11:15 am Performance Nutrition for Endurance Sports Jennifer Hutchison RD, CSSD, CSCS, LDN

USAT Elite Level 3 Coach / USA Cycling Level 2 Coach

Registered Dietitian / Sport Dietitian

Jennifer will offers clear answers to the most fundamental questions in endurance sports nutrition—what should I eat, how much, and when—based on the latest research and experience from her 20-year career advising elite and age-group athletes and pro sports teams. She offers fine-tuning strategies for training and racing, optimal recovery, weight loss, and boosting strength-to-weight ratio. Citing rigorous and reputable studies, Jennifer busts myths about ergogenic aids and supplements and offers a dose of reality to practices like fat loading and glycogen-depleted workouts.
12:15 pm Lunch  On your own
1:15 pm How to successfully market and build your coaching business Justin Trolle USAT Level 3 Coach Over the past 16 years Justin has coached International elite athletes in New Zealand as well as elite athletes in the USA including, Greg Billington, Erin Jones and Sarah Groff. Justin graduated from University of Otago in NZ with degrees in both Exercise Sports Science as well as Marketing. In addition to his wide Triathlon knowledge, Justin is also widely regarded as a leader in the areas of training plan design, youth and juniors, as well as video analysis and its practical application.
3:15 PM Developing High School Program / Youth Coaching Deb Peters USAT Level 1 Coach, Youth and Junior Coach Integrate youth and high school triathletes in the development of the triathlon sport. Engage with youth and coaches…. strategize the growth of the sport through the high school program
4:15 PM Key ways to become the best coach to your athletes Justin Trolle USAT Level 3 Coach Over the past 16 years Justin has coached International elite athletes in New Zealand as well as elite athletes in the USA including, Greg Billington, Erin Jones and Sarah Groff. Justin graduated from University of Otago in NZ with degrees in both Exercise Sports Science as well as Marketing. In addition to his wide Triathlon knowledge, Justin is also widely regarded as a leader in the areas of training plan design, youth and juniors, as well as video analysis and its practical application.
6:00 PM Closing Remarks Hector Torres Hector Torres is a USAT Elite Coach, USA Cycling Coach Lv 2, USA Swimming and USATrack and Field, MA & MS. He has experience coaching several elite athletes and paratriathletes.
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Unauthorized Assistance – What Is It?


Exactly what constitutes unauthorized assistance under USA Triathlon competitive rules? Under rule 3.4d Unauthorized Assistance, this means that, “No participant shall accept from any person (other than a race official) physical assistance in any form, including food, drink, equipment, support, pacing, a replacement bicycle or bicycle parts…

Let’s break this down two ways. Triathlon is a single-person sport and a test of your individual training and preparation. As such, receiving anything from an outsider is against the rules. Bottom line, don’t accept anything from anyone that is not part of race management or from an official aid station. That means no food or drink of any kind, or anything else for that matter. “My wife just handed me a bottle of water during the run,” doesn’t cut it.

If while you’re out on the bike course and you get a flat, your chain falls off or you experience some other mechanical problem, it’s up to you, the athlete, to take care of the problem. “But my friend just helped me change the tire.” It doesn’t matter—if someone other than a mechanic in a SAG wagon offers to help you and you accept their help, that’s support and you’re violating rule 3.4d. The penalty for taking something or receiving assistance from a stranger, friend or family member is a time penalty.


Pacing is the act of someone not entered in the race either running along with you or riding a bicycle along with you while you run. While out on the bicycle course, this would be someone riding along with you on a bicycle or a vehicle. If either of these situations lasts longer than 15 seconds, you’ve broken the rule and will receive a time penalty. If someone wants to run along with you, wave them off. The same is true on the bicycle—wave them off. While the idea of finishing the race with someone running along with you might sound like fun, it will earn you a penalty.

Don’t take anything from anyone not in an official capacity and don’t allow anyone not entered in the event to run, walk or accompany you on the run. If a fellow competitor has crossed the finish line, their race is over, so they shouldn’t be running along with you. And don’t allow anyone to ride along with you either. Remember, triathlon is a test of your training and preparation.

For additional information on this rule or any other USAT competitive rule or to become a USAT official, email Tom Reilly, Regional Officials Coordinator, at FloridaROC@MSN.com.

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