Ironman World Championship Update

Less than 9 weeks until I line up again in the waters of Kailua Bay for the Ironman World Championship.  I thought I’d take a few minutes to  share some updates with all of you who have offered your support to me and to my fundraising efforts.  10399640_126638800520_3738_n

There has been lots of great press surrounding our campaign.  IRONMAN posted an article announcing our exciting news, and followed up with an FAQ to answer questions as they come up.

Special thanks to Julia Polloreno, Editor-in-Chief of Triathlete Magazine and a fellow Women for Tri Board of Advisors member.  If you are interested in what we have been up to so far, check out “Women For Tri:  An Update“.

On Thursday I attended the USA Triathlon Athlete of the Year and Multisport Awards Banquet in Milwaukee where I received the Spirit of Judy Flannery award from the USA Triathlon Women’s Committee.  I am so honored to have received this recognition from USAT and I had the opportunity to say a few words of thanks.  I’m not much of a public speaker, and being called up after Mark Allen’s keynote speech was quite intimidating but here’s the sentiment I shared:

Thank you, I am humbled and honored to receive this Sprit of Judy Flannery award from USA Triathlon.  Being at the top of my age group this year at 59 doesn’t really allow me to be in the same league athletically as someone like Judy was, but I am looking forward to turning 60 in January and being the baby in my new age group.  I try to embody the spirit of Judy and so many others I’ve met like her by giving my utmost to support and encourage more women to venture into the sport that we are so lucky to be part of, which is why I’m so honored to also serve on a new national initiative to bring more women to our sport, the Women for Tri board. I feel that Judy would be proud of our work!

I am exploring as many possible options for fundraising as I can manage with the time I have available.  One of the most fun events recently was staffing the run course of the Jersey Girl Triathlon with volunteers and water stops.  I co-founded this race back in 2010 with local race director, Doug Rice of Split Second Racing.  While I don’t have hands on involvement with the race any more our Club has always supported this event as one of our main focus races each year.  It was great to be out there supporting all the women on the course, and Doug and the race made a very generous donation in exchange for our time!  Thank you.

Besides training for the race I still have a huge task ahead of me — I need to raise $25,000 for our Women for Tri fundraising campaign.  To date I have just over $4,000 and promises from lots more of my friends, family and fellow athletes, but that means I still need just over $20,000 more.  Sounds like a lot, I agree!  But . . . . . as I broke it down earlier, I only need 147 more of you to support me by donating $1 per mile (more is welcome of course) for a total of $140.60 towards my 140.6 mile journey!   This endeavor is something that I am truly passionate about.  Triathlon has had such a major and positive impact on my life.  It is my mission to share this passion with as many others as I can.  These funds will allow the Women for Tri board to establish programs across the country to bring this healthy lifestyle to more women.  All funds you donate are tax deductible as donations will go through the IRONMAN Foundation, a 501©(3),  and are 100% earmarked for Women for Tri specific initiatives.

More details and a link to donate can be found on my Crowdrise page.  I know most of you have offered to donate, please do so today and help me reach that $25,000 goal!  Thanks for your support!

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USAT Sprint National Championship 2015 – A Guest Post

Following is a guest post from Gail Warshaw, a friend and long-time member of the Jersey Girls StayStrong Multisport Club.  I loved reading Gail’s Facebook post, and since she doesn’t have a blog I wanted to share and save this for her.

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I’ve had a day to reflect on my experience at the USAT National Sprint Championships. When I got to packet pickup Friday, I looked around at all the very fit people and wondered what I was doing here. I convinced myself that they were doing the Olympic Distance on Saturday, while I was doing the Sprint on Sunday. But I saw plenty of red wrist bands, the color for the Sprint. Antje Hennings was by my side, telling me I’d be fine. We drive the bike course – I thought Lincoln Memorial Drive was the hill – but then we drove on 794 – and the bridge seemed to just keep going up – uh oh. On Saturday, we went back to the race site because I needed to rack my bike in transition the day before the race. There were some unbelievable Tri bikes there but I found my race number spot and racked my road bike. The good news for me and my non-existent sense of direction. My spot was in the second row and there were flags around the perimeter and my bike was across from a white flag so I had my landmarks to find my stuff when I came back from the swim & bike the next day. Race morning came. Antje told me to just think about swimming with my father and cycling with the Jersey Girls. And I asked “and running with you?” She made me laugh & relax telling me for the run, I was on my own. The swim started and I jumped in with the other women for a quick warm up as we swam from the warm up area to the start – nothing warm about it – 65 degrees is colder than it sounds. The gun went off and I started swimming – under the bridge, past the row of orange buoys, around the yellow buoys, keeping more orange buoys on my right and I can see the swim finish arch. Out of the water, up the ramp, and I start the run to transition. I hear Antje call me from where she was volunteering near the swim finish. Hearing her voice means the world to me. I can do this. I find my bike, peel off my wetsuit, get on my bike stuff and I’m off. Partway up the on Lincoln Memorial, the fog rolls in and I really can’t see very well. Oh, well. Top of the hill, turn around, back down and then start up the ramp to 794. Up & up and up. Plus more fog. I know why my nieces, Nancy Komisar and Dina Komisar Schachtely looked a little startled when I described the bike course. I reached the crest and still had gears left. Hurray! Oh wait – there is a turnaround and I need to go back up again. I passed a few women from my swim wave. I wasn’t fast but I just kept pedaling and before I know it, I’m at the bike dismount. Back to transition – bike shoes off – socks & running shoes on. I start to see a few more women from my swim wave. One foot in front of the other – just keep moving. I’m just about at the finish. I can see the finisher arch I had seen at packet pickup. This time, rather than from the distance, I was going to run through it – feeling triumphant. I hear music, and realize they are playing Pharrell’s “Happy”. The understatement of the weekend. I hear Antje call me. I get my FINISHER’s medal and a cold USAT towel. I run over to Antje, shout out “I did it”! And then I burst into tears. I arrived at the race site totally inhibited by the other racers – and we were racked in age groups so all the women around me were in their 60s like me, or late 50s. What a great group athletes. Many had raced in Nationals numerous times. I was a first timer. They were excited for me when they found that out. I was excited for my transition neighbors – some of whom placed in the age group, some achieved PRs, some doubled, doing back to back triathlons, racing both the Olympic and the Sprint. I finished the race toward the bottom of the age group and frankly toward the bottom of all the finishers but faster than I had expected. I finished incredibly proud of myself and my achievement. My sister, Barbara Warshaw Komisar, got to see me finish on the live stream. Thank you Antje, for saying I should register and we would drive out to my sister’s with my bike. As always, when you aren’t doing a duathlon when I do a triathlon, you are with me from the moment I take the first stroke in the water until I take the last step across the finish line. You are my everything and my reason for being.

Congratulations, Gail!

Congratulations, Gail!

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Women for Tri Board of Advisors Update

My husband wonders why I don’t just wait to race and qualify next year like I planned.  I didn’t look for this opportunity. I’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity in connection with  IRONMAN and other races.  I’ve qualified for Kona twice.  I’ve spent countless hours encouraging and supporting women in our sport for  nothing more than the pure joy of it.  I did not seek out this opportunity. I didn’t expect it, but when it was presented to me something about it felt right. The opportunity to raise money to further the every day woman’s chance to live a happier and healthier life through triathlon?  To me that’s a win / win situation.  And all it will take is for me to train to the best of my ability, be presented with a good day on October 10, and find 177 friends to support with $1 per mile . . .  or more if you are so inclined!

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Women For Tri board members will fundraise to grow women’s participation in triathlon at the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship

After conducting national research to determine the greatest barriers to women’s participation in triathlon, members of the Women For Tri board identified a need to support female athletes at the local level and to create an interactive source of information and resources for female athletes.

Towards this goal, three volunteer board members will participate in this October’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kona in partnership with IRONMAN Foundation, with the aim of raising $75,000 to achieve these goals.

The funds raised by the Women for Tri board in 2015 will be used to:

  • Offer grants to local triatedicated to recruiting, training, and supporting emerging female triathletes,
  • Create and maintain interactive communication hubs including a website, videos, and other resources for female triathletes of all levels
  • Fund grants for college students

Meet the athletes

The board members selected to race for Women for Tri at this year’s IRONMAN World Championship include Katherine Kelly Lang, Kyrsten Sinema, and Moira Horan. Lang, an age-group triathlete from California, has competed in two IRONMAN 70.3 events. She is an original cast member of the most watched daily drama in the world, The Bold and the Beautiful and is also an Emmy® award-winning producer. In addition to being a competitive athlete and an actress/producer, Lang is also an Spokesperson and Ambassador for Breakaway from Cancer.

“Over the last six months, we’ve heard from thousands of women around the country, and their message to us is clear: triathlon helps women live healthy, strong, and confident lives.”

Moira Horan has competed in countless triathlons since 1993, including qualifying for and competing in Kona. She is a certified USA Triathlon coach in New Jersey, founder of the Jersey Girls StayStrong Multisport Club, and co-founder of the Jersey Girls Triathlon. She also raced for FDNY-related charities at all her previous IRONMAN events.
“As a triathlon coach, I’ve watched women transform their lives. I’m excited to build this transformation across the country.”

Kyrsten Sinema, age-grouper from Arizona, is the first sitting member of Congress to complete an IRONMAN competition—and possibly the first athlete to be knocked off a bike by a tumbleweed. Sinema races regularly for charity, including the Martin Richard Foundation and OneFund Boston (the Boston Marathon charity).

“Heart disease remains the number one killer of women in the U.S. Triathlon gives us another tool to help women combat and beat this disease.”

Women for Tri, an initiative launched by IRONMAN and Life Time in 2015, works to increase female participation at all levels of triathlon. The project seeks to identify and diminish primary barriers to entry and mobilize triathlon advocates to encourage and engage female athletes across all distances and representing all athletic abilities. Learn more at

Originally from:

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Frequently asked questions about Women For Tri’s fundraising efforts.

  • The Women For Tri board is fundraising through The IRONMAN Foundation’s Fundraising platform—hosted by Crowdrise and Network for Good (two third party fundraising platform providers).
  • Crowdrise charges a 3 percent fee which the IRONMAN Foundation will cover so that 100 percent of every dollar raised will go back to the Women For Tri grant funds.
  • The IRONMAN Foundation Inc., is a Florida not for profit corporation that is exempt from taxation under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation has a federal tax identification number of 65-112979
  • All donations are 100 percent tax deductible
  • All donors, at the time of donation, will receive an email confirmation of their donation and tax deductible receipt
  • All donated funds will be used to create grant programs to support the growth of women in triathlon and leading healthy and active lifestyles
  • These grant programs include: individual athlete grants, tri club grants and educational and development tools

Women For Tri’s mission: To identify and diminish primary barriers to entry and mobilize triathlon advocates to encourage and engage female athletes across all distances and representing all athletic abilities.

The IRONMAN Foundation’s mission: To leave IRONMAN’s legacy through philanthropy, volunteerism, and grant making, by supporting various athletic, community, education, health, human services and public benefit organizations around the world.

Originally from:

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And now for me to include my fundraising link

And to the entire team:

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Why I Tri, Part 1

Spent the weekend in Cape May at a fabulous Delmo Sports event weekend, Escape the Cape.  Usually I just come down and volunteer at the tri on Sunday but this year Steve added a paddle event so I strapped my 14 foot Rhizotomy board on the roof of my car and headed down the Parkway early on Saturday morning.  I don’t usually drive very far with this board and I quickly discovered that it wasn’t really secure on the roof.  Two stops on the Garden State Parkway to adjust the board and I eventually made it to Cape May about a half hour later than expected but still plenty of time to get registered for the paddle event.  There was a 10 plus mph wind out of the north and a very strong chop that we paddled into for the f0r 1-½ miles.  A woman who was spectating from the beach actually said “at one point you guys looked like you were standing still”.  Somehow that made me feel better for the effort that I had made.  One day I hope to have time to actually train to paddle, in the meanwhile I’ll just enjoy getting out there.

Small number of entries in this first-year event, but I met some great paddlers and left with my first ever “first female” finish.  Thanks to Stephen DelMonte for a fabulous event and to Kaenon sunglasses and At the Beach headbands for the great race schwag!


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A Few Of My (LEAST) Favorite Things

A guest post from my friend and fellow Jersey Girls StayStrong Multisport Club member and a physical therapist, Laura Fucci.

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The Jersey Girls Facebook page is often studded with posts regarding injury issues and discussions.   The year since I joined you impressive, inspiring women I haves culled a few of the most frequently debated topics.  I have been a PT for 23 years, specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine  as well as a full body certified Master Active Release Technique practitioner.   I worked the Lake Placid Ironman the last 4 years where I treated countless Iron folk and met many of you Jersey Girls!  A mediocre runner and triathlete since 2003, I also competed in regional and national level powerlifting back in the 80s and 90s.

Moira asked if I would address some common injuries and hopefully dispel some misconceptions.

Let’s start with my least favorite thing: ITB Syndrome


The Iliotibial Band is a tough fibrous piece of connective tissue. It originates along the iliathc crest (the boney lip of the side of your hip)  It splits into a superficial and deep layer. The ITB encloses the Tensor fascia Latae and connects with tendons of the the gluteus maximus.

It then inserts laterally on the knee on the femoral epicondyle and crossing the knee joint onto the tibia.


Supplies lateral stability to the knee.


The ITB gets the blame for causing pain in runners and cyclists as well as other athletes. The ITB is wrongfully accused.  It merely does the bidding of the muscles with which it attaches. Dysfunction in your gluteus, TFL hip flexors or even your foot can cause the ITB to be pulled such that it compresses on the richly innervated  and vascularized fat underneath the strands anchoring it to the end of the femur.  There is even debate in the research community that no “bursitis” exists in ITB syndrome as evidence shows lack of bursa in cadavers studys

This leads us to my LEAST FAVORITE THING about ITB Syndrome.

I have patients and athletes who are forever rolling ,grinding and in general punishing their ITB.  The ITB is not composed of contractile tissue, therefore IT CANNOT BE STRETCHED. Stop rolling your ITBs.  It wont help.  If you happen to get your TFL, gluteues maximus and vastus lateralis/ITB junction in there -then you’re achieving a stretch which trickles down to some relief.


In PT we have a saying about the cause of pain: “It is where it ain’t”.  A good evaluation will uncover where the muscle dysfunction might be.  PTs and Chiros can go on for hours discussing  all the possible causes of ITB syndrome.  In the interest of time and space here are just a few:

Lateral muscle tightness of the TFL, gluteus medius or even the quadratus lumborum (along your side attaching to the top of the hip) can cause a pulling on the ITB which in turns pulls lower down the chain to the insertion on the knee. Think of a rope caught in between a tug of war. The losing side here is at the knee.

Hip lateral rotator weakness:   Gluteus Maximus as well as some shorter hip rotators.  PTs are big on getting patients to activate and strengthen their glutes to normalize functional movement and decrease pain.

Hip flexor tightness: In particular is a muscle called the rectus femoris that crosses the hip and inserts on the knee and can contribute to a painful dysfunction

Pes planus or flat foot: Be careful here as not to mistake a stable flat foot with one that really pronates.  This over pronation and pull the tibia into internal rotation and cause pressure on the lateral knee. A good assessment can judge if there is a need for a new running shoes or orthotic


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Putting Myself Out There

I’ve decided to run the New Jersey Marathon this coming Sunday.  I realized a few weeks ago while I was on a training run in Florida that I would be qualifying for Boston 2016 this spring as a 60 year old, which has a time of 4:25.  Given the popularity of Boston, I know I need at least a sub 4:20 and really a sub 4:15 would be most comfortable.  So, I’m going for it.  Finish time at my last half marathon back in January was 1:57, and just run as a training run.  Of course putting my goal out there means that I run the risk of looking like a failure if I don’t reach my goal.   That’s always a bit scary but I’m not one to take the easy way out.

Today’s run was great — hopefully I’ll feel the way I did today on Sunday.

Let’s just hope it’s not as windy and cold as today, but if it is windy I’ll hope for a west wind.

I loved my winter in Florida, I really wish it was warmer here but what a beautiful place I have to run!

I never get tired of the beauty of the ocean.

I never get tired of the beauty of the ocean.

Soft surface, the sounds of the ocean.

Soft surface, the sounds of the ocean.

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Getting Those Bad Runs Out of the Way

Hoping that my past streak will hold up.  Today’s run sucked!  I wanted to enjoy one more beach run before leaving Marco Island, and thought I had about 1-½ hours till high tide.  Well, storms offshore meant that there was no good surface to run on.  I decided to just enjoy the sights and sounds, not worry about the pace and just run.  Proved to be tough, and hot, and really hard.  Check out my garmin file from today’s run if you want to see just how much it sucked!

However, the sights and sounds will stay with me for a while.  There is nothing like the sound of the water hitting the shore and washing over the shells.  Just beautiful!


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