1 September 11: My Superstars

by hillarybiscay

To say that my kids did me proud this past weekend is an understatement. By the way, most of my athletes are actually older than me, yet somehow I feel like they are my “kids,” in a way. I just love them and they continue to amaze me with their physical and mental strength.

I have bragged often here about my ultrarunner-turned-triathlete, Alyssa, who raced with me in Louisville. Her preparation could not have been better, and we were so excited for this opportunity to put it all together over the ironman distance, after she had a number of great shorter races leading up to it.

On race day in Louisville, Alyssa had massive swim and bike PRs and came off the bike in great position: third in her age group. However, running out of T2, she started puking her guts up and things went downhill fast. She wrote an awesome race report here, so I am not even going to attempt to tell the complete story of her experience–because you should read it.

My professional opinion is that anyone who drinks enough of the Ohio River will get sick, and given that Alyssa has tried and tested her nutrition over and over in some very long races without issue, I am betting that this water was the culprit. However, the great news is that Alyssa finished, gained lots of confidence in her swim and bike, and has another chance to put it all together at Ironman Arizona in November.

andi hoodoo

Right about the time that we were starting our race in Louisville, my incredible ultra-athlete, Andi, was crossing the finish line in Utah after 47 hours and 30 minutes of racing her bike.

andi hoodoo finish

Yes, you read that right: Andi started riding at 5AM on Friday morning and crossed the finish line of the Hoodoo500 (actually 520 miles) at 4:30AM on Sunday morning. This included a total of 30 minutes of sleeping breaks over that time. And in case you cannot tell by the time, this is no ordinary 520 miles; it’s 520 mountainous, windy miles in Utah, beginning and ending in St. George.

andi don hoodoo finish

And although I plan the training, I personally cannot even wrap my head around this feat. Andi became the second woman ever to finish the Hoodoo Voyager, which means doing this whole ride without support (there is a separate division for people who ride with support crews). So Andi had the pleasure of covering this distance while carrying a huge pack of gear and tons of food and bottles.

She may be the only ultra-cyclist who trains for these events with treadmill marathons and 10,000-yard swim workouts, in addition to countless crazy-long bike rides, but clearly it works for her! I am pretty sure that mental fortitude counts for a lot in these events…..

andi hoodoo finish 2

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