It’s Heating Up! – TriCoachGeorgia

It’s been a relatively mild weather pattern for the earlier part of the year but June has seen a massive jump in humidity and heat. We are all finding our paces dropping and heart rates increasing. We try to find the cooler spots and times to train just as we are hitting the meat of our training years. Some races are still taking place but it’s definitely time to step back some pace expectations and play strategy more conservatively.

Some big races took place this weekend. First and foremost was the Ironman Coeur D’Alene which took place in record highs. Breaking Bad aka John Dunavant headed out from Augusta, Ga to Idaho in hopes of slaying the 140.6 distance. He was one of the many negatively affected by the cancellation of last year’s Ironman Lake Tahoe due to the fires and smoke nearby.

BreakingBad raised money for the Ironman Foundation Community Fund Program, benefitting non-profits in Ironman cities, as a part of Team IMF. Many don’t know that a $100 registration fee gets you on the team and a $3,000 fundraising commitment gets you to the start line. He learned a lot out there and did his team proud.

Back near the home bases of the team, as part of the Georgia Endurance Series that still has several race to go, the Go Race Productions that we sponsor put on the Hartwell sprint and olympic Triathlons concurrently. The Olympic swim takes place in Lake Hartwell. The course was 1500 meters clockwise with buoys being placed at 150-200 meter intervals. The bike course was a 40k loop on rolling hills and the 10k run was an out and back course, which is fairly flat.  The sprint course was approximately half the distances of the same courses above.

We had the following athletes racing the Olympic, Rolling Thunder aka Troy Garland, Xena aka Gina Farrell, Social D. aka Danielle Cheek, and Tax Slayer aka Seth Waltman (sprint). Joining them in her first race sporting the reaper was new team member, Virginia Brooks. In the sprint, the TriKidsGeorgia sent Jack H. and Jack S. to compete. Results were fantastic across the board with every racer on the podium. On a tough course with tougher conditions, the athletes dug deep, the TriKids showed great sportsmanship and the event drew great reviews too!

The team had great representation at the 5k for a Kidney. The 5K for a Kidney was held at Oconee Veterans Park (OVP) in Watkinsville, GA and benefited the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), which is a national 501(c) charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses. OVP is a favorite park  of many of our local Athens runners and the race is where TriKidGeorgia logo designer Caroline took Overall Female and 14th overall! Also CJ O’Mara PR’d the distance took 2nd overall and 1st in AG.

On Sunday, the team sent an athlete to the Chattanooga Waterfront Olympic Triathlon. According to the website, “this sellout intermediate distance triathlon is one of the top races in the southeast, brought to you by Chattanooga Track Club and Team Magic in the heart of downtown Chattanooga., Tn.” Athletes faced a fast, down river swim, a challenging bike course and a scenic run along the city’s TN Riverwalk. Longman aka Karl Langenbach, did smashingly. He took 8th AG and swam 9:05 MINUTES faster this year than he did last year. Also , he ran his fastest 10K since college there.

Finally, the MadHatter aka Michelle Hughes jumped in a local Colorado short course race, the TriBella Sprint and nailed a 1st in AG and 7th Overall. She continues to crush her season with Coach Kim Possible helping her PR every distance.

All told, it was another stellar week for the team that is reaping what they sow. We continue to grow, perform well, and smile more than most firms. The TriKidsGeorgia have great role models for life and we welcome our new additions to the team with open arms.


Quick and Dirty Triathlon Transition Tips – TriCoachGeorgia

Quick and Dirty Triathlon Transition Tips


Transitions are Essential Parts of Triathlons

Trust me, Coach BigBad. I have won and lost races in transition. Indeed, transitions can make or break your race relative to the competition. In this blog we give you a brief review of some tips to help you shorten them up and gain the time that may help you improve your race day performance.

No Substitute for Preparation

Everything starts the week before. Don’t neglect assessing the course if possible. This will help you know about how to dress and gear the bike on race day. Practice all fine (e.g., snapping helmet) and gross (e.g., mounting the bike) motor movements at least three times. The week before, make a check list that will help you prepare on the nights before the race. These are widely available on the interwebs so don’t slack off and come in unprepared. Regardless, here is an example.

Sample Transition and Race Day List

Swim Tri shorts, swimsuit, or tri suit 2 sets of goggles (i.e., one tinted and one normal) Bright-colored towel Wetsuit Bike Bike Helmet Cycling shoes and socks (if wearing) Sunglasses Water bottle(s) Nutrition Tool Kit: tube, CO2, levers, multi-tool Floor pump (pump up your tires before you leave home but leave the pump in your car just in case) Run Running shoes (2 pairs if you have a late start time. One to leave in transition and one to warm up in) Race belt Hat/visor Other Training device (Garmin, Timex, etc.) & heart rate strap Body Glide Sunscreen Vaseline, powder, band-aids Blunt nose scissors for sticker origami Post-race, warm change of clothes.

Day of the Race

On the morning of the race, get there in plenty of time, be mindful of how long it will take to park and set up transition. People take for granted the time spent waiting. Avoid the stress and be an early bird.

Set up transition on a small towel. Make sure you know where your spot is. Some mark their race with some bright materials like xmas tinsel and others use bright chalk on the ground. Rack bike according to your needs and position, knowing which side is necessary (depends on the race) and make sure it is in the proper gear (easy gear if there is a hill leading out of transition)

The Race is On

T1:  Make sure you know where you bike is as state above!  This will save you a lot of time and frustration.  If a wetsuit or skin suit is worn this may sound simple, but remember to TAKE it off (I’ve done the bike portion in a skin suit before, not my finest moment). Stand up while taking it off, this will save time.  Also, what you wear during the swim is what you should wear the WHOLE race (ironman excluded, if desired).  It is WAY harder to put a dry garment on a wet body than you think.

Make sure you put your helmet on and have it buckled before you leave transition (I also have left my helmet in may car so make sure you have this and your cycling shoes).  Either put your shoes on at your bike or have them attached to your bike and put them on after you mount.  Make sure you know where the mount line is and mount your bike only AFTER the line.  If the area is congested, move to the side or up a few feet/yards to get onto your bike.

T2:  Coming into t2, know where the dismount line is and slow down well before you reach this area.  Dismount BEFORE the line.  If you keep your shoes on your bike make sure your feet are out of them. If not, while getting into t2 be careful not to slip on your cleats as you will be in a hurry and still have momentum coming off the bike AND you will be more tired than you think you are.  Head into transition toward you rack (know where this is again)!  From here place everything in their proper spot, take helmet off and grab everything you need for the run, shoes, gels, hat, RACE BELT and have a great run!


Again, preparation and practice will make your life a lot easier on race day. Also it will help with your race time. Hope you all have a great race and we look forward to seeing you out there. #DoYourJob and #ReapWhatYouSow!

TriCoachGeorgia Announces New Team Member Option

Brand Explodes

TriCoachGeorgia as a team and as a brand has grown in leaps and bounds since their inception in 2012. The kits and other gear with it’s Reaper and logo on it are some of the easiest to spot and are visually alluring. They don’t just look good however. The team has taken the Southeast and other parts of the country by storm. It’s difficult to list all the accomplishments but there are many. Some are tangible and others like the level of camaraderie are less so but still clearly evident throughout the community online and at races.

For example, our Ironman course training camps in Augusta for the 70.3 and Ironman Chattanooga, as part of the Free Facebook Forum, are among the most well attended in the country. These are met with almost uniformly positive feedback. Registrations continue to pour in.

Proof is in Results

The website is one of the highest ranking websites in triathlon coaching and our private facebook forum is perhaps one of the most active in the country. The team has won the USA Triathlon’s NCC Challenge in Division IV, were top 10 overall, and, pound for pound, the team’s athletes logged more yards and miles per person across sports than many of the biggest clubs in the country.

On the national level, TriCoachGeorgia has had numerous world championship qualifiers at 70.3 and 140.6 distances as well as Xterra. Locally, many of their athletes are killing their local triathlon series like the Georgia Endurance Series for Go Race Productions and the Multirace Series in South Florida. Results at races reflect the team’s motto’s of #DoYourJob and #ReapWhatYouSow.

Give Back

This team of Reapers are promoting the youth and beginner participation in the sport via service to sport such as free coaching for the TriKidsGeorgia and free clinics for beginners. One example is our series of free clinics for the Tri to Beat Cancer for the Northeast Georgia Cancer Foundation. We have volunteered at many races and offered support to athletes regardless of team. We also promote healthy fueling options via free webinars such as the ones given by Coach Slayer for Generation UCan.

You can Join Them

Because of all of these accomplishments, there has been a ground swell of interest in joining the team. For those choosing not yet to utilize our coaches but want to be a part of the team, we have an affordable option. This new team membership option as opposed to the coached athlete option is being announced to meet a need in the larger community looking for a home within a bunch of other misfits that seem to fit so well together. Please have a gander and contact our head coaches, Coach Slayer and Spartacus, if you would like more information.

USA Triathlon National Challenge Competition Champions TriCoachGeorgia 01

Father’s Day 2015 – TriCoachGeorgia

After another grueling week of training and recovering from last week’s races, the Reapers of  TriKidsGeorgia  and  TriCoachGeorgia  moved on to whatever challenges faced them. All of our athletes have a lot to brag about so far. There’s never enough time to capture it all but we sure do try!

Weekdays and nights are jam packed with swim meets for the youth. These TriKidsGa also practice bike and runs three times weekly under the supervision of Coach Slayer and parent and athlete assistant coaches. They’ve not let anything stand in the way of their progress as athletes.

Gruesome aka Lisa Harrigan headed out from Oklahoma to Kansas for the Tinman Short Course triathlon at Lake Shawnee. She entered from the Beach and followed a clockwise pattern for the swim course for the 400-yard course. Then she was challenged by the rolling terrain of Southeastern Shawnee County. There were beautiful countryside views and a tailwind on her way back into transition. Finally, she ran counterclockwise around the lake on the paved running path. This was a 3.1-mile out/back. She did awesome and took home 3rd in AG!

Xena flexed her leg muscles at a local road race. She took home 1st in AG in the Miles for Meals put on by Fleet Feet Savannah. The conditions were stupid for this race, but Xena managed to overcome and do her job.

Coaches BigBad and Slayer led the first of three Tri To Beat Cancer training clinics at Sandy Creek Park. Many attended and the feedback was uniformly positive. There will be two more of these clinics before the race.

The Northeast Georgia Cancer Foundation and Tri Coach Georgia are teaming up to once again offer FREE transition clinics and open water swim practices for this popular race in Athens, Ga. Participants received good on course exposure and were well pleased with the free coaching and training plans. Optional runs and bikes were offered.  This clinic began with an informal talk, where questions and concerns were addressed. We then proceeded to practice what we’ve taught. Equipment, safety and technique were covered to help participants get comfortable with triathlon challenges. Come and join us in July and August!

Later in the day, Coach BigBad hit up the Georgia State Cycling Road-Racing  Championships and nudged  himself to the overall podium! According to the their website, the GCS brings the best events in Georgia together for a year-long points competition. The events offer a varied group of races with great venues, community support, prize money and racing competition.

Alan W. of Watkinsville Jittery Joe’s also banged out another Go Ruck Challenge with one of the TriKidsGeorgia Dads, Marcus W. They were up to their usual hi-jinx there. If you haven’t seen this new form of misery, go check them out.

Enthusiasm is key for Keaton of the TriKidsGeorgia. He drove from Atlanta to compete with Hoss aka Bradley Odom in the Jacksonville, FL Sprint Triathlon Series. The swim was a 1/4 mile in the Atlantic Ocean, with the bike and out and back on the flat coastline of scenic Amelia Island. The run finished up with 3 miles out and back through the North Fletcher island community. Results were as expected, stellar with another 1st in AG for Keaton and Hoss digging deep to show #NoQuit!

In addition, our young stud Cullen and his younger counter part 13 year old Lauren Benedict went to Monroe, WA this weekend to re-qualify for his third and qualify for her first National Championship respectively. “TriMonroe is one of four venues that offers athletes between the ages of 13 and 19 the chance to race in the Elite draft-legal format and earn a spot on the starting line of the USAT Youth Elite or Junior Elite National Championships.” Both performances were pretty amazing considering all the travel it took for him to get to and from there from his adopted home at Cal-Polytechnic, where he is on their Triathlon team, and for her from the Southeast. Both qualified for nationals in their respective divisions!

Sunday started with a roster in South Florida with Coach Cube of He was leading his AG at the Multi-Race Olympic Triathlon Series until late in the run and ended up second despite a lack of quality training time as he moved homes. Still, it was a great showing and top notch performance in the sweltering heat!

Over at Callaway Tri, new coached athlete Hacksaw aka Trey Sawtelle busted loose and finally broke the 50 mins barrier after 11 years, good enough for 2nd AG and a top overall placing percentage. He was joined by Tom from #TeamHargrove, who banged out a 2nd AG, and TriKidGeorgia Mom and Daughter Lindley aka Fred who dropped 8 mins off her time. Also there was Social D aka Danielle Cheek and hubby Mad Dawg and their son Hammer aka Haden and a host of other friends of the team.

This highly successful Sprint Triathlon, now in its ninth year, featured a 1/4-mile swim around Robin Lake in four to five feet of water (or less, closer to the shore); a 9-mile bike along nine miles of gently rolling terrain and a 2-mile run along Robin Lake Circle. The easy and scenic course is popular among beginning triathletes.

Finally, the team boasted the two Horses, IronHorse aka Reuben Adams and DarkHorse aka Angela Adams on the grueling Ragnar Relay in some ridiculous terrain and muddy conditions. Their team came through for their leader Dani of Total Training Center in Athens Georgia on her 50th birthday. Both suffered and learned a lot!

As you can see, the team just keeps steamrolling through the season. Athletes of all ages are smiling and busting PR’s, qualifiers, and podiums wherever they go. We can’t wait to see how the rest of the year goes. Thanks for reading and contact us if you are one of the many who are interested in, or who have already expressed interest in, joining up. We would be glad to provide you with references from past and present athletes.

Let’s Go Camping! – TriCoachGeorgia

As #TeamTagg keeps up the fight, the youth team is heavy into swim meets and youth and age group triathlons this time of year and the adult team continues their builds for late season races. There were some big races and training days taking place across the good old USA this week!

We started off the week on a very positive note as Coach Slayer joined Ironman Maryland winner, Matt Bach, for a very well attended webinar on fueling for endurance sports presented by Generation UCan, one of our esteemed team affiliates. The webinar is located here.

Several of the TriKidsGeorgia took on Clemson Open Water race including Simon, the Slayers (Amy, Ellie, and Jake), and Allison and Ben. Results were strong, smiles were plentiful, and they all celebrated afterward!

While some of the reapers trained on the Augusta 70.3 course, TCGA/TKGA Coaches are supporting the Free Facebook Ironman Chattanooga Camp. Over 200 attended and the comments have been uniformly positive. Campers faced the heat and were able to swim, bike, and run the actual full or half course. They were very thankful to Coach BigBad and Slayer who were able to organize, sherpa, and guide along with some very other capable coaches. The social on the Riverboat Ferry was one to not forget.

Out West, temperatures were chilly and the scenery was stunning at the mid-June Yellowstone Half Marathon, which was set for its second annual running this summer just outside the entrance to Yellowstone National Park, a place filled with geysers, geothermal pools, canyons, mountains and forests spread 3,400 square miles in parts of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Rolling Thunder aka Troy Garland was back at it after the Yellowstone 5k the day before. Results were strong like usual and his pictures were beautiful.

MadHatter aka Michelle Hughes took on Ironman Boulder 70.3 this week! The one-loop swim took place in the Boulder Reservoir. The water temperature of Boulder Reservoir is generally between 65-70 degrees F in June. The one-loop, 56-mile bike course was a fast and flowing course in North Boulder and Larimer Counties. It passed through the western neighborhoods of Longmont. With 1,200 feet of gain it tested her legs on the north end of the course. Finally, the two loop run course was very fast and only had 344 feet of gain. The 13.1 Mile route ran her along the Boulder Reservoir and the feeder canal. Most of the course is on dirt roads and trails. MadHatter did super with a 4th in age group and PR’ing the distance!

HFT took on the Not Father’s Day informal Half Ironman. This was described as a FREE self-supported 70.3 mile “race”. It was perfect for trying out all or any part of the 70.3 distance in a fun non-stressful environment! Results showed everyone suffered, showed grit and determination, and had a great time in Pensacola Beach, Florida.

On Sunday, the TriKidsGeorgia took on Peachkids Alpharetta. Keaton, Jack S and Luke, Harry, Addie, Isaac, Jack H., and Callie Rose rocked it out with astounding results in the heat. Most PR’d and/or were on the podium! You’d think that the race was enough for them but that was not the case at all. The TriKids practiced later in the stifling heat showing they are even more smoking than Mother Nature.

We now move to finish the month of June strong. Next up is Tinman Triathlon in Kansas and a birthday ultra for HFT in the Florida Panhandle, as well as The Lake Hartwell Olympic and Sprint triathlons (co-occurring) in the Go Race Endurance Series that we sponsor. No doubt the team will shine some more!


Pulling together to fulfill a child with special needs’ wish – TriCoachGeorgia

TriCoachGeorgia (TCGa) & Community pulls together for Tagg

On June 2, Amy Burton Peavy Smith aka Ironmouse posted an update on Facebook about her son and his condition. Her and Steve Smith aka Viper’s son, Taggert, had just undergone another surgery to help him breathe. He has had nearly 50 surgeries in his five or six years alive. Amy posted that, before Tagg went back for his surgical procedure, he had asked if they could go to Disney World when he was released from the hospital. Amy posted on Facebook that with all of the expenses and her need to purchase a new car that a trip this year would not be possible.

Lester Benitez aka Speedy Gonzalez, one of her teammates, saw the post and contacted other TCGa teammates. Toni Corley, the better half to Paul Corley aka IronClyde, created a Go Fund Me account with the goal of raising $2000 for the family. The group discussed a secret Facebook page to use as a place for people to go to donate money. Toni set up the Send Tagg to Disney page and added the Go Fund Me Account. The group started adding friends and family of the Smith’s.

Donations started rolling in. After about 3 hours, the fund had close to $2000. The group decided to raise the goal to $5000. The $5000 number was surpassed on June 3. The group decided that they had to tell the Smith family about the fund. As the fund got larger, the secret was going to get harder to keep.

Harvey Gayer aka Coach Slayer and Seth Waltman aka TaxSlayer went over to the family’s house at 5:30pm. Amy and Tagg had only been home for about an hour when they arrived. Seth had decided to create a letter from Mickey Mouse telling Tagg that he and his family were coming to Disney World. Tagg opened the gifts, but did not really understand what was happening. He was tired and on medications to help his breathing.

Seth showed Amy and Steve what had been done for the family. As Seth scrolled through the Facebook page, Amy and Steve started to understand what had been done for their family. On the final page that Seth showed them, Amy and Steve saw the amount of money that had been raised. At the time of this writing, the fund has over $7000 in it.

The family is going on an all-expense paid trip to Disney and there is a lot left over to pay for medical expenses associated with Tagg’s ongoing care. A hashtag #TeamTagg has been launched. The Smiths were overwhelmed with the generosity of everyone. All who contributed felt very good in the end. It was a true community effort. The team was very thankful as well. More importantly, Tagg gets his wish come true to hold him through more dark times that are coming medically.


Coast to Coast! – TriCoachGeorgia

We are having an amazing year in 2015. There is no better way to put it. We have three worlds qualifiers, one in the Xterra Worlds in Maui and two for 70.3 Worlds in Austria, already and many USAT Age Group national championship qualifiers amongst are many other achievements! One can just imagine the team video in December and how difficult it will be for Viper, aka Steve Smith, to stuff it all in!

When we aren’t on the podiums, we are securing personal records (PR’s). When we aren’t securing PR’s we are fighting the elements and showing astounding grit. We are pursuing our dreams and realizing them. In the mean time we are laughing and smiling and doing good deeds for the community.

Perhaps most importantly, the TriKidsGeorgia feed off the athletes of TriCoachGeorgia and vice versa. The synergy between the two is clearly evident. Also, we are proud to be a vital part of TeamTagg that is pulling for Tagg Smith, son of IronMouse, aka Amy Peavy-Smith and Viper,  to overcome some congenital medical issues and many surgeries. A lot of money (over $6660 as of this writing) for a trip to Disney World for the family and medical expenses was raised in a heroic social media effort led by Speedy Gonzalez aka Lester Benitez, TaxSlayer (winner of this week’s Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week, and IronClyde and his better half aka Paul and Toni Corley.

After a brilliant month of May, which saw astounding results in various races across the country, the team moved on to June, which, after an All-Comers track meet in Athens, Georgia, brought them to both coasts. According to Assistant Coach/Team Mom Fran, this was a new PR for Jack in the mile at the all-comers track meet tonight (5:54) and Luke had a great time running some sprint distances.

A few of our youth athletes raced the local Athens Tri the Y which is a nice introduction to the sport. Harry, Jack and Luke, Caroline and David Andrew, Lindley, Molly, Ethan, Nico, Hammer, and brothers Jack and Freeman showed good sportsmanship, solid effort, and strong results! Many other former teammates and friends were there too! Also, Coach BigBadWolfe, Half Caff, DarkHorse, Social D.,and MadDawg among others were on course to help along with our team affiliates from Athens, Georgia Cycle Sport Concepts and Athens FleetFeet.

In middle Georgia, the Rocket aka Chan Carter took the overall win in the inaugural WalkGA 5K & 1Mile Fun Run & Mutt Strut which took place in front of the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Sandersville, Ga. There were two hills and lots of curves as the course went through the various side streets and past beautiful homes.

Racing in the iconic Escape from Alcatraz was Coach Spartacus aka Brian Patterson, Todd H., Sparkles aka Candace Zipf, Godfather aka Chad Kimbrell. Godfather rode his motorcycle cross country and, in doing so, raised funds for charity. The team performed mightily as they did in fact escape from Alcatraz. However, the whole weekend, as fun as it was, was marred by an incident where we reached notoriety for the wrong reasons. Sparkles and Godfather’s bikes were stolen from the hotel prompting this news report.

On the other coast, many of our athletes raced the Trybee Sprint Triathlon in Tybee Island. This is one of the Go Race Productions’ Georgia Endurance Series and perhaps the crown jewel of such. There is still time to get your 4 races in and compete for the series awards!

TriKidsGeorgia athletes racing Trybee Sunday included Jack and Harry who just raced in Athens. Also the relay Reapers including Jake, Simon and Simon’s Dad, Jim, made another appearance. They are well known in this series for strong relay races. The young Slayers, Amy and Ellie, did their usual work, and Allison relayed it with her Dad, TaxSlayer aka Seth Waltman. Finally, Ben from Athens and Keaton from Atlanta raced hard as well!

On the adult side, we had Xena, aka Gina Farrell, DocSlay, aka Julie Gayer, and Tax Dr., aka Becky Waltman, in a dog fight in their age group. Other racers included podium winners FC aka CJ O’Mara (next year’s team entry for USAT Most Inspirational Comeback of the Year Award)  and EMANBOOM aka Estevan Price in his team debut, and many friends of the team from, SwimBikeRunBoro and TriAugusta. Results were phenomenal and everyone came away with a smile except for a really tough swim!

The TriKidsGeorgia swim meets are in full swing now and they are practicing three times per week at no charge. These kids can’t be stopped in the water. The youth triathlon team, parents, and coaches are very welcoming and practices are free unless there is a special charge as for a special guest instructor. Contact Coach Slayer at [email protected] for more information.

The youth team is heavy into swim meets this time of year and the adult team continues their builds for late season races. Coaches are supporting the Free Facebook Ironman Chattanooga Camp. And there are more big races to come in June including the MadHatter aka Michelle Hughes taking on Ironman Boulder 70.3 next week! Look forward to seeing potentially another worlds qualifying level performance from her.

My First Half Ironman Experience - TriCoachGeorgia

My First Half Ironman Experience – a detailed race report by RollingThunder – TriCoachGeorgia

We chose to share this race report by RollingThunder aka Troy Garland because we believe that it illustrates the many variables that go into the lead up to and actual race of a first time half ironman.

This race was Ironman Chattanooga 70.3. The river swim lacked the current of the full Ironman there last Autumn. The bike had some slight challenges added and is described as rolling. A power meter was very helpful here. A challenging run course with some steep climbs amongst some flat stretches met the triathletes.

RT has been a model of consistency in training and he comes to us without prior coaching. He had done a few short course triathlons but wanted TriCoachGeorgia and Coach Slayer to take him to the next level.

In joining the team and taking on coaching, RT has lost significant weight, logged a ton of yards and miles, even coming in the top 50 overall in the USAT NCC Challenge. He has dropped his times at 5k through Marathon, as well as a PR in just about every triathlon he has attempted since starting coaching.

Please read this race report and let us know if you have any questions about the training required, the fueling or weight loss techniques we employed, or race strategy we employed. We hope it is informative:

My First Half Ironman Experience - TriCoachGeorgia

Chattanooga, TN
Ironman 70.3

Total Time = 5:50:50 
Overall Rank =
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 145/285

Pre Race

I arrived in Chattanooga on Friday, May 15 @ 6:30PM. Atlanta traffic prevented
the early packet pickup that I had planned. Checked into Choo Choo, and rode
down to Ironman Village to get a feel for the layout and parking situation. Silver
Diner (Choo Choo restaurant) pizza was for dinner then early to bed.

I ate a lite breakfast on Saturday morning at the hotel before heading to Ironman
Village. Arrived at packet pickup @ 9:15AM for a smooth check-in, chip
verification, and Tri Club check-in. Terminator (Dick) was exiting the village when
I arrived. We spoke briefly before I entered packet pickup. The transition area
was still being setup, so I examined the swim exit, bike exit, and run exit.

10:45AM practice swim in the river with wet suit. Water felt cool, perfect for a
wet suit swim. Swam upstream from swim exit to first bridge and back. Water
current was barely noticeable until swimming through the bridge opening. The
swim was about 15 minutes for @ 825 yds. Felt more confident about the swim
after the practice session. I headed back to the truck to put up the wet suit and
get on my bike. For lunch I grabbed a quick wrap sandwich and PowerAde Zero.

12:00PM started bike practice ride. Legs felt great and the bike was functioning
perfectly. Tried to follow the run course, but ended up getting frustrated with the
traffic and my lack of direction trying to follow the course. Never was able to get
into a steady training pace for any stretch. I punctured my rear tire on the wood
bridge returning to the Ironman Village area. No issues changing the tube or
airing the tire with CO2 cartridge, just considered it good practice that I hoped not
to need on race day. My 30 minute ride turned into an hour plus outing. Returned
back to truck to lock bike and change into running shoes.

1:15PM started the run by heading back toward the finish line before turning right
up the hill onto the run course. Legs felt really good, so I was constantly slowing
to keep my pace in check. The two mile run went by quickly and helped restore
the positive energy about the upcoming race. I checked my bike into transition
before heading back to Choo Choo to cleanup.

5:00PM Taco Mac for dinner with the Tri Coach Georgia crew. Love the TCGA
family for the support, advice, and helping relieve some of the pre-race nerves. I
had a grilled chicken and avocado sandwich with sweet potato fries plus chocolate
cake (thanks Slayer) to top off the fuel reserves before heading back to the hotel.
I packed tri bag and double checked gear, nutrition, and supplies before mixing
UCAN, water, and PowerAde Zero for bike and transition. In bed @ 11:00PM, but
did not sleep much.

Race day and I am up at 3:45AM to eat and triple check everything. Water, peanut
butter, crackers, UCAN bar are for breakfast. I eat as much as I can, but I am not
hungry as race day excitement and nerves build. I grab a bottle of water, load my
gear, check off everything on the list for the finial time, and leave for Chattanooga
70.3. Parking was quick, but the few dollars paid on Saturday had turned into $15
for event day parking.

5:00AM setup transition area, load hydration bottles, and check tire pressure on
bike before proceeding to the bus for swim start. Quick bathroom stop before
getting on the bus. Rode with Nasser on the bus across the river. It was good to
have someone familiar to talk with while waiting for go time. I ended up
somewhere in the middle of the swim start line. I should have taken shoes and
extra fluids to sip on while waiting on line. My race finally got underway @ 52
minutes after the pros started.


00:38:02 | 2112 yards | 1:58 / M
Age Group: 211/285
Performance: Good, about what I expected
Suit: Xterra Vector Pro Blaze
Course: 200 yd up stream, right turn to middle of river, left turn to exit at
Ross’s Landing Start type:
Water temp: 72

The water was cool when I jumped feet first into the river. It felt good
with a wet suit. The toes on my left foot cramped a little as I hit the
water, but worked out quickly as the swim started. I got into a good
steady pace as I followed buoys upstream to the first turn. The course
was crowded until we started on the downstream section of the course.
Continued to use the buoys to sight as I turned downstream to make my
way to the swim exit. The bridges were good reference points for
sighting, but still did not swim as straight as I needed. Left calf cramped
mildly about twenty minutes into the swim, but loosened-up after about a
minute of flexing my ankle. Things began to get tight again as I
approached the steps to exit the water. It was great to hear from the Tri
Coach Georgia crew as I exited the water and moved to transition. The wet
suit peelers were able to snatch my suit off with on quick pull as I had
managed to get it off my shoulders and arms. I felt god about the swim as
I made my way to transition. I did what I expected to do for the first leg.
I entered transition feeling good, warmed up, and ready for the bike.


Time: 05:47
Performance: OK, slower than I wanted

The transition area was fairly congested as I made my way to the bike. I sat by
my bike, dried my feet, and put on socks and bike shoes. The race belt with bib
number, helmet, and sun glasses went on next as I got a shot of PowerAde. As I
grabbed my bike and started toward transition exit there was a traffic jam of
athletes trying to get on the course. Everyone ended up having to walk most of
the way to the mount line due to the congestion. As I exited transition I
immediately moved to the far right to an open area for a clean mount.


02:58:52 | 56 miles | 18.78 mile/hr
Split 25.9: 01:26:17 | 25.9 miles | 18.01 mile/hr
Split 56.0: 01:32:35 | 30.1 miles | 19.51 mile/hr
Age Group: 145/285
Overall: 1233/2214
Performance: Good, a little better than expected
Course: Rolling hills
Road: Mostly good asphalt roads with several very rough spot and
railroad crossings
Cadence: 80 avg / 104 max

I made it to the far right of the course to mount after crossing the line. The bike
was set in the proper gear to head out onto the bike course. The bike did not feel
right as I got started, so I stopped to check tires. It was just paranoia from the
flat tire I had the day before the race, since both tires were good to go. As I
started the climb up the first hill away from transition I realized that my Garmin
and power meter were not synced. It took me a couple of minutes to get my
watch squared away. A short distance into the ride the first of several bumpy
areas was traversed. I lost my gels, CO2 cartridges, and adapter when I hit the
bump too fast. The area looked like a used bike swap meet with all of the bottles
and other bike parts scattered on the pavement. I felt very good on the bike after
somewhat of a rough start. I worked to manage my power output on the hills. I
got passed a lot on the uphill and passed more on the downhill side. After
worrying about the “hilly” course leading up to the race, I thought the course was
fun and fast. The rain caused me to hold back on the faster downhill sections and
sharper curves. Car traffic caused slowdowns on several parts of the ride. I drank
water and UCAN (3 scoops), water, PowerAde zero mix during the ride. At the 2nd
aid station I got a few hits off of a bottle of orange Gatorade. The entire ride went
better than I expected. I managed to stay tucked in aero position the vast
majority or the ride, and my legs felt good. Looking back I feel that I could have
gone harder on the bike, but I was trying to play it smart in order to have a good
run. The ride into transition and dismount were uneventful. My plan to take a gel
at the end of the ride did not happen since I lost both gels early in the ride.


Time: 04:07
Overall: OK, could have been a little quicker

Dismounted at the line and trotted with the bike into the transition area. The row
my bike rack was on was congested with several other bikes and athletes, so I
took a longer route around to get racked. The helmet and sunglasses were shed
as soon as my Shiv was secure. I sat down to remove my bike shoes, dry my feet
(wet from rain), put on dry socks, and put on my Hokas. I took another shot of
PowerAde before moving to the run start.


02:04:03 | 13.1 miles | 9:28 min/mile
Split 2.7: 23:13 | 2.7 miles | 8:32 min/mile
Split 6.8: 35:20 | 4.1 miles | 8:43 min/mile
Split 8.9: 18:54 | 2.2 miles | 8:45 min/mile
Split 13.1: 46:36 | 4.2 miles | 11:10 min/mile
Age Group: 145/285
Overall: 903/2214
Performance: Good until cramping @ mile 10
Course: Rolling hills

The run started really good right out of transition. I got my run legs
under me quickly. The hill up from the river went smooth. It was great
seeing the Tri Coach Georgia tent and hearing all of the cheering as I
climbed the hill leaving the river. My pace over the first two miles was
much faster than I had planned, but my legs felt really good. Around mile
two I took a Gu gel with water and concentrated on getting my pace under
control. The first lap went according to plan with good pacing and a few
sips of water or Gatorade at each aid station. Hit another Gu at mile 7 aid
station. The sun came out from behind the clouds and the temperature
was starting to rise as I got into the second lap of the run course. Around
mile 8 my left hamstring started to tighten. I tried the cola at the mile 8
and mile 10 aid stations. The cola caused me to burp each time after
ingesting, and I could not tell that I received any benefit from drinking it.
Then both quads began to tighten-up around mile 9. Just past the mile 10
marker my left calf cramped. I walked / ran the last 3 miles of the race. I
caught up with Paul Corley around mile 11.5. He gave me some salt, but it
was way too late for this to help my cramping. I struggled
walking/jogging to the finish. Coach Slayer was waiting under the bridge
yelling as I headed down the hill to the finish line. I was extremely happy
to finish, but disappointed with the run. Should have had a sub 2 hour


Overall: I had a good race until cramps got me at the end of the run. I went into
the Chattanooga Half Ironman hoping to come in under 6 hours. I was shooting
for a sub 45 minute swim, a 3+ hour bike, and 2 hour run. Overall I
accomplished the main goal of finishing my first 70.3. I was mentally and
physically prepared for the challenge of the half distance. I think with a few
tweaks to my nutrition plan I can have an even better race at Augusta in the fall.

I stayed in Chattanooga Sunday night after the race. Ate dinner at Blue Plate
with some of the Tri Augusta members. Felt good the morning after other than
sore quads and extremely sore calf. Slept in and had a late breakfast buffet at
the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. At 11:15AM I took in the Chattanooga
Lookouts minor league baseball game before driving home. Quads and calf were
much sorer on Tuesday two days after the race. By Saturday morning all of the
soreness had been worked out of my legs.

Mental exertion [1-5] 3 (Most of the mental exertion came from the unknowns
before the race)
Physical exertion [1-5] 4 (Hills and rising temperature on the run were the
biggest obstacles)


Course challenge: Moderate
Organized: Very well organized
Events on-time: Everything started as scheduled
Lots of volunteers: Plenty of volunteers all over the course
Plenty of drinks: Aid stations were well stocked
Post-race activities: Food spread was disappointing after the race
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

TriCoachGeorgia Seth Waltman Athlete of the Week

TriCoachGeorgia Team Member Named Oconee County Athlete of the Week

The coaching staff of TriCoachGeorgia is very proud of TaxSlayer, aka Seth Waltman, as he was named the Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week.  He is a great athlete and a huge part of the team. His training has been impeccable as evidenced by his top 10 overall result in the USAT’s NCC Challenge and Seth has made dramatic improvements in his racing since joining TCGa.

Prior to joining the team in late 2012, Seth had never been on a podium in any race and now he is a regular on the podium. Seth continues to set personal records in almost all of his races.  He finished 20th out of 402 in the swim portion at Ironman Chattanooga.  He has taken over 12 minutes off his best half marathon since he joined the TCGa. He battled through some terrible vomiting in Raleigh to finish strong. Seth’s continued success as an athlete will show as he competes in Ironman Louisville in October.



Seth is not only a great athlete.  He is willing to help his teammates out when they need him.  He has been a Sherpa or helper for our team on numerous occasions.  Also, he played a pivotal part as the team rallied around the son of other team members in a fundraiser that will send the family to Disney World.

In the Autumn of 2014, Seth helped to bring the youth team under the auspices of TCGa and helps with issues outside of coaching the kids.  He has organized team travel, planned numerous events and helped with team purchases. He sponsors the team as well. The TriKidsGeorgia team is lucky to have a dedicated parent, like Seth, help with the team.  All told, there are not a lot of teams that have a guy like TaxSlayer and we consider him a huge part of our core. Read more about him in the Oconee Enterprise article below:

TriCoachGeorgia Seth Waltman Athlete of the Week






Athlete of the Week: Waltman excels in national triathlon

[Full Article & text taken courtesy of The Oconee Enterprise Newspaper. Written by Benjamin Wolk]

To get into triathlons, all Seth Waltman had to do was make his wife a little mad.

In May of 2009, Waltman bought a bike. At the time, he wasn’t very active, so his wife questioned his motive for buying it. She made it quite clear that he “better use that bike.”

Waltman knew he’d left himself no choice, so he signed up to race in the inaugural Tri-2-Beat Cancer Triathlon held at Sandy Creek Park in Athens.

“I’ll do that because she was really angry,” Waltman said. “So I did it that year — slow, but I got through it. I did it the next year, then I didn’t really do it again.”

But Waltman’s world of competitive racing had only just begun.

In the fall of 2012, he started seeing some of his friends posting to Facebook about a variety of different races. Then he saw a post for an Ironman in Augusta. Waltman figured if they could do it, so could he, though he knew he’d have to train.

At the time, Waltman’s son competed for a youth triathlon team coached by Harvey Gayer. Waltman approached Gayer to see if he could train him to get ready for the Ironman.

Gayer was happy to help.

“The rest is history,” Waltman said. “I’ve done two more half Irons. I did a full Ironman and numerous sprints. The list goes on.”

As Waltman lost some weight, his times got faster. He built a bunch of friendships, Gayer included, that helped motivate his progress. Because of his improvements, Waltman joined TriCoachGeorgia, a local triathlon team headed by Gayer.

From December to February, the team competed in a USA Triathlon national competition called the National Challenge Competition that helps encourage triathlon training during the winter months.

Each team tracked individual mileage over that time, which translated to a points system. Swimming a mile earned 10 points. Running a mile was worth three. A mile on the bike was good enough for one point.

As the competition developed, Waltman — at the end of each month — found himself in the top 10 nationally among 4350 athletes. In the middle of February, still in the top 10, Waltman finally decided that he wanted to prove to himself and others that he could finish in the top 10.

After running 767 miles, swimming 53 miles and biking 2621 miles, Waltman placed 7th out of all competitors. As a result, he’s been named this edition’s Ellis Pain Center/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week.

“Not everybody knows, but in the triathlon community, it’s a pretty cool thing,” Waltman said.

But Waltman wasn’t alone in his successful endeavor.

As a team, TriCoachGeorgia — a team made up of Waltman, Gayer and numerous others, including member of the club’s youth team TriKidsGeorgia — took the first-place crown over a team from Atlanta. They did so just barely, however, winning by about 200 points, which isn’t much when dealing with 70-person teams.

“We beat the team from Atlanta on the last day,” Waltman said. “Over three months, we’re talking about a pretty small margin it was close.”


Call Me May Be - TriCoachGeorgia

Call Me May Be – TriCoachGeorgia

This exciting week in TriCoachGeorgia and TriKidsGeorgia history started off early on Memorial Day on Monday. While many were recovering in some form or fashion, others fought it out on race courses throughout the world!

Rolling Thunder celebrated in his typical fashion running 8k 5k 4k 3k and 2k at the Cordele Kiwanis Memoral Day Running Celebration. He came first in AG and was fifth age graded OA and 9th OA for the 8k (38:15)! The man can’t be stopped.

In Athens, Ga, TriKids Caroline and D.A. ran the Running with the Dawgs 5k. TriKids Dad David ran a 19:53 and won male masters. Caroline had a good race, and was only about 10 secs off a PR and was 2nd AG. D.A. at still 8 years old was 3rd AG behind two 10-yr olds.

On Saturday, Taylor Lewis aka HFT headed out for a little appetizer along with Tom Hargrove, father of Team Hargrove. They raced the Publix Grandman Triathlon which began with a 1/3 mile swim straight out into picturesque Mobile Bay and back beside the Fairhope Municipal Pier. After the swim came a 18 mile bike ride through the charming city of Fairhope. The ride began with one steep hill and five miles of rolling countryside. The race to the finish line began with a 3.1 mile run through the streets of Fairhope and along the Bay. Results were strong for our two participants who smiled wide before and after the race.

Saturday morning brought out #TeamHargrove to the Lacing up for Lupus 5k where Coach KimPossible aka Kim Hargrove and Bear knocked it out, while Dad, Taz aka Wes Hargrove, won the walk with a blistering 16 min 5k time. He took no prisoners during this time trial!

New team member, Virginia B., had a rousing entry to her team membership. She crushed the Xterra Deep South 15k trail run and took masters.

On Saturday evening, we had several TriKidsGeorgia and a couple of older reapers including Tyler Chambers aka LoneRanger and RollingThunder race the Warrior Romp XC at North Oconee High School trail. Addie, Caroline, Jack H, David Jr., Nicolas and Simon represented the youth squad admirably and ran their own races without pacing. We value independent mentally and physically strong kids. AG winners took home huge trophies (see below)!

We had several friends of the team and athletes race Ironman Raleigh 70.3 including Judith Garrard aka Judas Priest (who won her age group and qualified for her 5th 70.3 world championship), Seth Waltman aka TaxSlayer, Chris Keysor aka Gator, and Karl Langenbach aka Longman. Also Pounder McGritty was out there with the Greenville, SC crew knocking down his first half-ironman and Frank H. joined us for some laughs too. Coach Slayer was on the run course with McGritty and her Greenville crew cheering our reapers and friends on! Results were pretty astounding on what was a tough swim and brutally hot and unshaded run course.

Special shout outs to Gator and Longman for top percentage finishes and TaxSlayer for finishing off his race under 6 hours after a tough bout of vomiting early on would’ve had most DNF.

All told, this was another great weekend for the Reapers of TriCoachGeorgia and friends of the team far and wide. We continue to have fun, smile, and prove doubters wrong on the way to PR’s, new distance races, and in who can have the most laughs while kicking ass in triathlons and single sport races across the world!

See you next weekend with races on both coasts including Coach Spartacus, Sparkles, and Godfather at Escape from Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay and many youth and adults at our favorite local race of the year, Trybee Sprint via our affiliate Go Race Productions in the Georgia Endurance Series, in Tybee Island, Ga. Bring on June!

Call Me May Be - TriCoachGeorgia