The Vo2Multisport Road to Kona

Ironman World Championships, Kona

Vo2Multisport are honored to have helped eight athletes qualify for the Ironman World Championships this year.  Here is a brief bio and progress report on who is headed to the big dance and their journies to get there:

Joe Silvernale   Joe has been racing Ironman’s since 2003 and has always had the goal of qualifying for Kona. He joined Vo2Multisport in November 2009 in the hope that the coaching and guidance could help him realize his dream of qualifying for and racing the Ironman World Championships.  He made quick progress and focused hard an addressing his bike limiter and turning it into a strength.  Joe realized his dream this year at Ironman Coeur d’Alene racing to a PR for the distance and 6th place in the 45-49 AG.

Lilia Paradis   Elite Team member Lilia has been racing since 2006 with some success.  In her first Ironman in 2009 Lilia was fortunate enough to qualify for Hawaii at Coeur d’Alene with an 11:09:35 performance.  She went to Kona to enjoy the experience in the hopes of one day returning to the Island to ‘race’ it.  After a year (2010) spent focusing on 70.3′s Lilia had the itch to race Ironman again and signed up for Coeur d’Alene this year.  Knowing how competitive her division has become she enlisted the my help to get her back to the Big Island.  Lilia raced to a huge Ironman PR of 10:30:19 and ran down her competition to finish 2nd in the 25-29 AG.  In the process she finished as 3rd overall AG’er and 8th Overall female including Professionals.

Gerry Marvin   Elite Team member Gerry has been working with me since October 2008.  During that time he has transformed as an athlete and is evidence that consistent, intelligent training and hard work gets results.  In his first Ironman (Canada 2008) Gerry finished in 13:30.  He made rapid progress racing to a 10:46 finish at Coeur d’Alene the following year.  Most people would be happy with that progress but botyh Gerry and I knew we were only touching the surface of his potential.  In 2010 Gerry had a breakthrough performance at Ironman Canada finishing in 9:40:12 taking 2nd in the 25-29 AG and earning his first trip to Kona.  Gerry’s continued hard work and consistent training saw even more progress through the Winter and Spring leading towards Ironman Coeur d’Alene where he had another great performance even though it was not without its challenges.  Leading the AG race overall until mile 16 of the run Gerry faded a little but still managed to  finish in a new PR of 9:32:20 good enough for 3rd in the very competitive 25-29AG and securing his second World Championship slot.

Whitney Engle   Whitney did a rare thing, qualifed for Kona in her very first Ironman, not only that it was only her second ever triathlon!  At Ironman Coeur d’Alene Whitney went in with the goal of finishing healthy and happy.  Well she accomplished that and more!  2nd in the 18-24 AG the winner decided to pass on the chance to go to Hawaii and Whitney excitedly accepted the opportunity to race on the Big Island.  Whitney has been swimming at Samena with my swim4tri group all year and receiving help and guidance with her triathlon training.  No one can deny the huge talent she has displayed getting to Kona in her first attempt at the distance!

Mike Pritchard   Local triathlon legend ;), Mike finally punched his ticket to Kona at Ironman Canada by finishing 6th in the large and extremely competitive 45-49 AG.  Mike finished in a PR of 10:17:03 (the winner went 10:11:16) on what can’t be argued was a HOT and challenging day in Penticon where many fell by the wayside and survival not PR’s was most peoples goal.  Mike has been working with me since 2008 and during that time has made made significant progress across all distances and in all disciplines.  Many of us could learn from the adage Mike puts into practice – ‘train to train’, ‘race to race’.  Mike’s hard work, modesty and dedication inspires many of his fellow team mates and to see it rewarded with a Kona spot is simply awesome!

Ryan Dolan   An awesome athlete and lover of the sport Ryan heads up TYR’s interest in Triathlon and is single handedly responsible for the companies renewed focus and large market share in what is a very competitive industry.  I have coached Ryan for several years now and during that time the realisation that (with his workload and commitments) successfully training for one let alone two Ironman’s in a season would be almost impossible so he took advantage of an opportunity that presented itself to race on the Big Island through an industry spot.  Making Ryan even more determined to ‘earn’ his place on the start line in October he has been working hard with extreme focus and dedication to his training despite a hectic travel schedule.  He recently went 4:37:10 at 70.3 Vineman qualifying for the 70.3 World Championships an event which will serve as a perfect tune up race before his debut Ironman in Kona.

Kara Nielsen   Kara has been tearing up the local triathlon scene for several years now and has some very notable results in her palmares including overall AG titles at Wildflower Long Course and Lake Stevens 70.3.  This year she added to her resume with a 4th place finish in her division (30-34) at Ironman Coeur d’Alene securing her first opportunity to race on the Big Island.

*Robert (Dale) McClure   Deserving of an honorable mention Dale qualifed for Hawaii at 70.3 Hawaii this year however after accepting the slot realised several days later that the race coincided with important familiy commitments preventing him from traveling to and racing on the Big Island.  Dale races in the 65-69 AG and I consider it an honor to be his coach.  His healthy outlook and longevity in the sport are truly inspiring and should serve as motivation to all of us out there who think (numeric) age is a limiter!  Dale will make qualification for Kona a focus in 2012 and I am excited to help him achieve his goal.

I would like to wholeheartedly thank all of our wonderful friends, team mates, sponsors and support network as without you all this would be nowhere near as much fun.  Anyone heading out to cheer do let me know as there will be many race week events to look forward to in the Hawaiian sun :).

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