USAT – Florida Top Duathletes for 2015!

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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:

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:

 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

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USAT – Florida’s Top 2015 Age-groupers!

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USA Triathlon – Florida Region is proud to honor the top Age-Group triathletes for 2015!

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.

Posted in Latest News

Be Prepared because “Anything is Possible”

Like other Floridians, over the last few days I was glued to the Weather Channel watching the various forecasts and the shifts in the “cone of uncertainty”. Would Hurricane Matthew come towards South Florida? Would it make a jog to the east and avoid us? How much rain would we get? What about the strength of the winds? Most importantly, do I put my hurricane shutters up? I need to protect my home & family
but is the time & effort warranted or should we just “hunker down” and ride it out?


As I sit stir-crazy all day inside my fortress of 80 steel shutters over 22 windows, I can’t help but draw analogies as a triathlete to preparing for what’s uncontrollable in a race. In many recent long distance events, weather has played a factor in the outcome of the race. Sure, we all prepare to swim, to bike, to run and even transition between the three. We even prepare our hydration and nutrition so we can maintain a strong body and mind. But are we prepared to adapt?

Back in 2014, after a long journey to toe the start line, I took on Ironman Florida. Florida is flat and fast. As a Floridian, it would be a perfect first. Well that day, it was not! The swim was cancelled due to undertow because safety personnel felt it would be too difficult to perform rescues in the ocean. The bike was in 25-30 mile per hour “tropical storm like” cross winds. And the run was a blistering sub-40 degrees Fahrenheit. Clearly not ideal for what would be a long 138.2 miles to this rookie!


Recently, Ironman Chattanooga and IM 70.3 Augusta were hotter than Hades. It rained so much leading up to and during “Hurricane” Ironman Maryland 2016 that participants, who also experienced a cancelled swim, got to endure a swim portion during both their bike and run with puddles mid-calf deep!

Weather plays a factor and we must be prepared. I have learned to always pack appropriate clothes for both really hot and really cold extremes. Have extra hydration “just in case”. And prepare myself, not only physically, but mentally for what Mother Nature and the Triathlon gods dish out that day!

So, as Hurricane Matthew makes a shift to the north of South Florida, I take pride in the fact that I was prepared, kept my family safe and lived to “race another day” in paradise.


Oh, and if Jim Catore ever takes over for Mike Reilly, I am retiring from triathlon!!

Matthew Hert is an age group triathlete with over a dozen years in the sport. He has participated in every distance from sprint to Ironman. He sits on the USAT – Florida Regional Council and is the social media coordinator. – Twitter: @ironmatthert – Instagram: Ironmatthert

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3 Multisport Athletes Enter USA Triathlon – Florida Region Hall of Fame

By USA Triathlon Florida Region / September 27, 2016, 1:30 PM (ET)

Induction ceremony set for December 10 in Orlando, FL.


Orlando, FL – Three accomplished individuals – All American Athlete Jackie Yost, Race Director Cherie Starr, and Paratriathlete Hector Picard – will join the USA Triathlon Florida Region Hall of Fame as the second class in a ceremony presented on December 10 at the Rosen Inn Hotel in Orlando, FL

We are pleased to announce the Class of 2016 for induction into the USA Triathlon Florida Region Hall of Fame,” said Hector Torres, chair of the USA Triathlon Florida Region Hall of Fame Committee. “If one were to review the goals and objectives of the Hall of Fame, these three would meet every criterion. Based on their athletic abilities and positive influences within the sport of triathlon, three more worthy people could not have been chosen. We look forward to the celebration of their induction in Orlando, Florida on December 10.

Founded in 2015, the USA Triathlon Florida Region Hall of Fame has since recognized the best performances and contributions of USAT members in the Florida Region. This year’s class brings the total number of inductees to seven.

The three inductees will be celebrated at an induction banquet on Saturday, December 10 at 6 p.m. at the Rosen Inn Hotel in Orlando, FL  as part of the USA Triathlon Florida Region Coaches Symposium weekend. Individual tickets to the Hall of Fame dinner are available now at for $35 and include the reception, dinner and inductee presentation. Parties interested in purchasing a table may contact Michelle Hill at

About the USA Triathlon Florida Region Hall of Fame Class of 2016 inductees:

Jackie Yost – Female Age Group Athlete (Treasure Island, FL)

At almost ninety years of age, Jackie Yost of Treasure Island, Florida, is still an active multi-sport athlete. She has always been involved in sports in some way, be it coaching, teachinscreen-shot-2016-09-27-at-3-12-25-pmg or participating. Her first experience in the world of triathlon was at St. Anthony’s Meek & Mighty in St. Petersburg in 1993. She earned first place in her age group. Since that first triathlon, she has competed in well over a hundred events. In 2003, at the USA Triathlon Age Group Triathlon National Championships in Shreveport, Louisiana, she won her age group. Three years later, at the age of 78, she competed in the 70.3 Ironman in Clearwater. Jackie has been a USA Triathlon All American more than ten times and has earned an honorable mention on numerous other occasions.

Jackie has been a member of the St. Petersburg Mad Dog Triathlon club for decades and has been a member of USA Triathlon for almost twenty-five years. She still hosts an early morning swim group Friday mornings at the home she shares with her husband Larry, also an avid competitor.

In December 14, 2014, Jackie was honored by USAT’s Florida Region as the Woman of the Month.

According to Jackie, her mantra is, “Show, go, finish.” Her life/sport philosophy is, “To be the best, never give up, continue to be active and set an example. Act like a role model, because to someone you are.” That’s great advice for everyone in the multi-sport community, from newbies to seasoned elite athletes.


Cherie Starr – Contributor (Lake Placid, FL)
Cherie is a very influential race director in the state of Florida. Year after year she directs a very successful race. She goes above and beyond to reach out to people all around the state to get them involved with the event. She has hosted the Florida Region Youth Championships for many years and there is always a great turno10712414_10152371648986787_6169286099914390034_out. Cherie is an active USAT member and continues to be involved and volunteer with other triathlons all around the state. She is unable to race currently, because she is battling with lupus.  Yet, despite
her battle with lupus, she does not let it stop her. She continues to reach out to others, volunteer and be involved with the sport. She is a bright shining star and puts on an amazing event every year. Cherie works tirelessly and positively to recruit all around her to believe in the sport. Cherie Starr has earned the recognition of inclusion in the Florida Region Hall of Fame for her tireless efforts as a race director and very active member of USA Triathlon.


Hector Picard – Male Age Group Athlete (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Hector Picard inspires everyone, not just multi-sport athletes, with what he has accomplished. In 1992, he suffered a life-altering accident when he was electrocuted not once, but twice, by more than 13,000 volts of electricity in a workplace accideihpefazcnt. Much of his body was covered in burns and both of his arms were amputated; he lost all of his right arm and half of his left arm. While his life had been changed forever, it certainly wasn’t over.

Encouraged by friends, he competed in his first triathlon on July 4, 2009, in Coconut Creek, Florida. As they say, the rest is history. Since then, as a bi-lateral amputee, he has taken part in long-distance open-water swims and several cross-country bicycle rides. His ride from Miami to Spokane, Washington, helped to raise money for a baby in need of prosthetics. Still an active competitor, Hector has competed in more than one hundred and thirty triathlons including several iron-distance events.

Recipient of many accolades, in 2010, Hector Picard was honored with the Paul Mitchell Spirit Award, USA Triathlon’s Jeff Jewell Spirit Award in 2012 and the HITS Paratriathlete of the Year Award in 2013. Other accomplishments include Novation Settlement Solutions Spokesperson, LuLuLemon Ambassador, producer of the YouTube video, “Changing a Bicycle Flat Tire Without Hands,” featured on the hit show, “The Walking Dead,” and is the first double arm amputee four time Ironman.

However, his life is so much more than multisport. He is a husband, father of four, grandfather, coach, and role model. He is a motivational speaker and founder of an organization, DontStopLiving, to help others overcome adversity.

Hector Picard believes that, “Obstacles are meant to be overcome.” As he tells people, “I want everyone to know that no adversity is too great. When you embrace life through hard work and positive thinking, you will overcome anything.” That certainly embodies the multisport philosophy.


USA Triathlon Florida Region Hall of Fame Inductees by Class


Thomas Reilly (Contributor)

Virginia Poyner (Age Group Athlete)

Fred Sommer (Contributor)

Joe Bonness (Age Group Athlete)


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Making Triathlon Fun for Youth

Let’s face it, as parents and coaches, it is our responsibility to make exercise and activity fun for kids. When we were young, we were active out of boredom mostly, what else was there to do? We rode our bikes everywhere, we ran around the neighborhood or the park, and we swam in someone’s pool, the lake or the beach. We made up games like flashlight tag for another reason to run around. We were in essence triathletes, we just never knew it. The challenge today is breaking kids away from the television, the computer games, the tablet, the phone and keeping them active. As a youth triathlon coach, my focus at practice is on teaching the kids the sport, in a safe and fun manner. They have no idea how hard they are training, because the practices are fun, and we rarely hear complaining.   Here are a few examples of what I mean.


We all understand that to be a better swimmer we need to get some yardage in, but I don’t know too many kids who just love to grind out laps. But break them up into groups and turn their laps into a relay race and they will swim all afternoon. Have them all start at the same spot and instruct them to take 10 strokes and see who gets the furthest, will get them to focus on a more powerful pull. Grab a few tennis balls and have them race to grab them and swim back to the start, and you will see some explosive power for sure. Buddy swims: pair up a faster and a slower swimmer and tell them they have to stay together. This shows the faster swimmer how to slow down their pace, and makes the slower swimmer work harder to keep up, both are learning a different, but valuable skill, while swimming side by side.

There are so many ways to incorporate fun into the bike portion of training.   Ride the line, work on keeping the bike straight by riding a paint line, either that you make, or in an empty parking lot. Riding one handed helps to develop core stabilization which helps when reaching for your water bottle during a longer ride. Follow the leader, divide the group into small packs and put a different kid in the lead for each lap, then have the athlete in the back practice passing.   The kids love this one.


Making running fun is pretty easy to do, there are so many games to play that include running. Relays, similar to the swim drills are great; one of our favorites is the 40 yard dash. Have the kids all run individually, then have them find a buddy that has a similar time and race them against each other, it’s amazing how much faster they both go.

Triathlons are pretty structured, and require proper training to keep everyone safe. Turning training into a game helps to keep it fun while teaching the kids a lifelong sport.

See you at the races!!

For more information on USAT Youth programs in the Florida Region – Click Here


Coach Deb Peters, USA Triathlon Florida Region Youth Coordinator, USAT Level 1 & Youth/Junior Coach

Email :

Phone: 813-731-8767

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USAT Rules: What is Drafting?


Ask triathletes about drafting and they’ll say it’s bad. And of course they’ll all tell you that they definitely know what drafting is. Many will say that it’s “sucking someone’s wheel” or following too closely to another cyclist or getting within one foot of the cyclist in front of you. Well, there’s a lot more to drafting than that!

Since approximately half of the penalties that USA Triathlon officials write are for drafting, it’s obvious that officials take it quite seriously. So, what exactly does it mean to draft? And what is a draft zone?

Each cyclist on the course has his own draft zone and as long as the cyclist is riding to the right, he has the right of way. But again, what’s a draft zone? The draft zone is the rectangular area that is seven meters long and two meters wide that surrounds each bicycle.

According to the USA Triathlon Competitive Rules, “While on the cycling course, no participant shall permit his drafting zone to intersect with or remain intersected with the drafting zone of a leading cyclist or that of a motor vehicle.” You’re thinking if that were strictly followed, no cyclist would ever be able to pass another, right?


Not true. If you decide that you want to pass a cyclist that is riding to the right, you may enter that person’s zone to make your pass. You can’t hang there forever though. Once you enter that zone from the rear, you must complete your pass within fifteen seconds. You can’t sit in the zone of another cyclist for more than fifteen seconds or you’ve drafted. You can’t enter another’s draft zone and then decide you cannot make the pass and drop out to the rear or to the side. If you do that, you’ve drafted. If you enter someone’s draft zone and the other cyclist decides to stand up on the pedals and leave you in the dust and you don’t make your pass within fifteen seconds, you’ve drafted. It’s a bicycle race…no one has to let you pass him or her!

Thomas Reilly
Regional Official’s Coordinator 
USA Triathlon – Florida Region

Vice Chair – Florida Region
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Registration for USA Triathlon – Florida Region Coaches Symposium ( 9 CEU )

usat_sanctioned_event_logo-300x300photo of symposium

A not to be missed event!

Register Here:

USA Triathlon Florida Region  Coaches Symposium is the industry leading opportunity for coaches to meet and network with peers across the region, engage with the USA Triathlon regional and national staff, speak one-on-one with the risk management team, and interact with regional trendsetters.

Become current on a host of issues and trends facing the multi-sport industry. Key topics include marketing, risk management, youth event execution and profitability challenges, Paratriathlon inclusion, safety and liability case studies that drive event management decision-making and our keynote speaker Hector Picard and guest coach Justin Trolle.

9 CEU’s will be accredited towards coaches.

Save the date: December 10, 2016

Location: Rosen Inn 9000 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

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