Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my family to yours!
I’m back with the Cyber Monday list that it growing by the minute! Many of the BF deals are still live, so be sure to look at previous post below this one. Worth noting is that Kswiss announced via their FB page that they won’t have a BOGO deal this year. Will Rapha bring back their 15% off they had 2yrs ago?
FIRSTENDURANCE: SALE EXPIRED
Great deal on Liquidshots!
ZOOT SPORTS: SALE EXPIRED
Welcome to my 4th annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday blog post. I’ve always been an alpha consumer and love trying the newest and greatest. I enjoy keeping up this annual post. Worth noting is that I don’t use any paid ads or ad sense programs. My goal is just to share the deals I uncover.
This year should be interesting, as retailers have little room for error in the fast approaching and shortened holiday shopping season. A late Thanksgiving – the unofficial kickoff for holiday sales – has lopped six days off the gift buying season. The stakes are high as the holiday season accounts for about half the profits of many retailers according to Morgan Stanley.
2013 Bike closeouts, sleek GPS watches, Powertaps, sweet kits and recovery items like compression gear and boots will be some of the hot items again this year. Stay tuned, as I should have the beginnings of a list by week end!
My blog has historically been focused on my triathlon training and racing. I love sharing my journey and hope to share my passion with informative race reports. Last year was my best training and racing year I’ve ever had. I raced in five 70.3/Half distance races including my first sub 5hr race at Vineman 70.3 that qualified me for the 70.3 World Championship in Vegas. Racing in that championship will always be one of my fondest triathlon memories. My wife and two oldest daughters joined me and we had a great weekend together. All of that momentum and passion continued into the New Year, as I was excited to improve even more. This is where my post gets more personal, as my life changed forever on Feb 3rd, 2013.
That is the day that I lost my lovely wife and mother of my three young girls suddenly and unexpectedly. As you may be able to imagine, my life was turned upside down. The couple of months after that was all a blur. I locked down and focused 100% on my three beautiful girls. From time to time, I would get in a run to clear my head. This was mainly to just get out of my house for some personal time. I did venture to a few races last year including REV3 Williamsburg Oly (2:29) and REV3 Maine Oly (2:44). That Maine race will also be a fond memory forever, as my ladies were able to finish with me!
The other race that meant a lot to me this year was my Vineman 70.3 race. I was under trained, but motivated to prove to myself that I could finish strongly. I just kept my head down and finished in 5:14 with tears flowing. Needless to say, all three of my races here in 2013 were very emotional for me. My wife Robin always loved the passion that I had for triathlon and was very supportive. My REV3 Triathlon Team was extremely supportive through my time of need, as was my PRS Fit Team.
Yesterday marked nine months since we lost her. There have been many peaks and valley’s throughout my new journey, but I can say that my girls are in a good place of hope and faith. We will never be the same, but she will always be with us and continue to send blessings on us. After focusing heavily on my ladies during this time, I’m now taking the time to start training back up and focus on racing in 2014. I need to rediscover my passion for triathlon again. In 2014 my goal will be to get back to the 70.3 championships again. To get there, I’ve signed up for St George 70.3, Honu 70.3 and Vineman 70.3. I’ve even entered the Kona lottery for the 6th time in a row, so maybe I will be able to race my first full Ironman there There will be many more peaks and valley’s in my life journey, but I’m embracing hope and faith like my lovely girls!
Thanks for taking a few minutes to read my blog – Michael
Two years ago I wrote a short post on the growing popularity of triathlon brand ambassadors (http://mhutto.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/growing-popularity-of-brand-ambassadors-in-triathlon/) It’s that time of year when teams and sponsors are starting to think about 2014. Given that, I wanted to send out a quick update on some news that came across my desk. I will continue to update and please send me others if you see any (twitter: @michaelhutto)
I think joining a team is a great way to share your passions and meet like minded people. I’m biased having been on the REV3 team for the past three years. I will be forever thankful to my teammates who supported me this year dealing with my family tragedy. Below is the start of the known teams that are open or opening soon:
It’s that time of year… Rev3 looking for the next class of Team Rev3 recruits! We love us some newbies and the app is about to go LIVE!
Start thinking about your goals for 2014 – whether it’s to finish your first triathlon or WIN the Rev3 Age Group Series Championship race– but most of all:
Stay tuned for the official app on the Rev3 site, or rumor has it that some of the Team has apps on hand if you want to reach out directly! To learn more about the team and what we do, check out some of the blogs on our Team page, our Twitter list or just reach out directly!!
The application is now live through November 1st, 2013 at http://rev3tri.com/news/team-rev3-2014-application-form/
Come JOIN THE REVOLUTION!!
- Powerbar Team Elite: 2014-15 Application- The 2014-15 application will launch on or around Monday 9/30
- Timex Team (@TeamTimex) tweeted at 9:28 AM on Wed, Sep 25, 2013:
Time to apply! Follow this link below to access the 2014 Timex Multisport Team application. More info within the… http://t.co/QxA72Mw9aK
- John Cobb & crew (@CobbCycling) tweeted at 1:41 PM on Tue, Sep 24, 2013:
Cobb Cycling is please to announce our plans for a Nationwide Triathlon team for the 2014 season! It will be a… http://t.co/rbIxKOFLPm
- BMC Ambassador Program
- First Endurance
- Every Man Jack Triathlon Team
- Powertap & Cyclops 2014 Team: Do you have what it takes to join the PowerTap/CycleOps Grassroots Team? We’ve had a tremendous group of athletes as part of our 2013 Team and are excited to welcome new members for the 2014 season. Application for 2014 PowerTap/CycleOps sponsorship opens on Wednesday, November 6th. If you’re interested in sponsorship and are looking to partner with PowerTap and CycleOps, we’d love to hear from you!
- Zoot Team: Zoot is currently accepting applications from US based amateur triathletes for the new 2014 TEAM ZOOT. Launched in 2006, the original Zoot Ultra Team was comprised of 35 elite amateur and professional athletes primarily focusing on 70.3 and IRONMAN racing. The new TEAM ZOOT will be approximately 10-15 athletes by region, totaling 150-200 across America. ZOOT, Team Sports, and our other partner brands look forward to supporting the team as they accomplish their goals and compete in the sport they love
As many people know, my race season has been turned upside down by a tragedy in my family. I’ve been solely focused on my three young daughters and making sure they “survive and thrive”. My training has not been consistent through the past few months, but it’s getting there as I find some more normalcy and balance in my life. Given all that, I was excited to travel to this inaugural REV3 race and be with my supportive Team REV3 teammates! There was no taper here and no expectations besides try to rekindle my tri passion and finish. Coming off a family vacation in Tahoe where I pr’d a hard windy 72mi ride around Lake Tahoe, I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel. I need to give huge props to NormaTec here, as my boots were a huge help in recovering from that effort!
It was great seeing so many friendly faces at the expo on Friday and Saturday. After getting fitted on my QR rental by Alex and the REV3 crew and dropping it off at T1, I went back to hotel to relax. The fit was a snap, as I just brought my Retul numbers! My brother in law Steve drove down from Potomac to see me race. We grabbed an early dinner on Saturday before crashing early for the early morning wake up call.
Swim Leg(0.90mi): 30:49, exited 12th in Age Group and 85th overall out of approx 500
The swim took place on the James river near the historic Jamestown Island. After taking the bus from T2 to T1 earlier and setting up in the rain, it was nice to have the skies open up for us before the swim start. I was able to mingle with a few fellow Team REV3 peeps as we waited to start. There was a slight delay in the overall start due to some parking issues resulting in the switching the entrance/exit of T1. When they were ready, the Pro’s sprinted into the water. I was glad to have the pros and other waves go off before me, as they quickly discovered that you could run/walk to the first buoy about 100yds out. In watching those earlier waves, it also became evident that there was a strong current pulling the athletes to the left. That was a helpful piece of info as well. Once my Oly wave was off, I quickly found my groove aiming for that first turn buoy. I was able to sight well to that turn and then headed directly into the current for the long straightaway before the turn buoy to the finish. I felt ok in the water and just kept fighting the current. Unfortunately swimming is were I’ve lacked the most consistent training the past few months and I definitely felt it. Regardless, I was happy to finish in just over 30min and then I sprinted the .25mi run up to T1.
Bike Leg(24mi): 1:07.15 (21.41 mph avg), maintained 12th in Age group and improved overall to 68th
Strava link: http://app.strava.com/activities/62335590
Last year I rented a nice QR from REV3 at Maine and loved the experience. I’m hesitant to bring my Kestrel on connecting flights, especially when not traveling to an “A” race. If you ever have these concerns, look into the REV3 QR Rental program. You don’t have to go with the high end Di2, but I did to further play with this new toy. I’m now sold on Di2 and I hope pricing continues to come down so I can rewire my bike for 2014!
I love this bike course and was in aero the whole time! Only once did I even need to drop down into my small ring. Having just hammered around Lake Tahoe on Wednesday, this was the perfect course for me! I successfully dropped from 85th out of the swim to 68th out there on the bike, so I was doing something right. I did have my Team REV3 and last years Vegas champs buddy, Maggie fly by me like I was standing still though. I tried to no avail at first to hang on for dear life behind her (not drafting of course) and then just struggled to just keep her in view!
What was interesting for me on this bike was my lack of data. I had forgotten my Garmin aero bar connector and had to ride blind with my garmin in my pocket. Overall I was very pleased with my fastest bike split ever, but know looking at hr data after that I had more to give
Run (6.2mi): 45:48 (7:32/mi avg pace), Finished 12th in age group and picked up ten more spots to finish 57th overall!
Strava link: http://app.strava.com/activities/62757142/overview
The run course is mainly on the college of William and Mary and is definitely a challenging leg. The first two miles were fairly easy as I settled into a nice pace. Mile two started with a nasty little climb on the outskirts of the College. The great news was the turn around was at the top and then you could recover on the downhill. The next few miles were fairly easy and I started to ratchet up my pace to help my avg pace. The finish line route was a bit disheartening though, as you passed the finish shoot to then go out another .40mi downhill before the final turn around. Over those last few miles I was working out times in my head and knew if I help sun 7:40′s that I would break 2:30 for a new PR. That drive helped me finish strong uphill for the PR! I was ecstatic that I PR’d my first race back and felt great doing so!
Overall: 2:29:13 for 12th in age group and 57th overall out of approx 500!
Overall I’m excited to have participated in the inaugural race with a new Olympic distance PR by almost 2 minutes. It was a great way to ease back into racing and also to see many of my Team REV3/Powerbar Team Elite peeps. Next up for me is my favorite race in Vineman 70.3 on July 14th. This was a great confidence building and I hope to keep up my training consistency up to then. After that is Maine REV3 and I’m up in the air on if I race the oly or the half.
I was excited to add a new race for me last year in REV3 Knoxville Half. It was a bit of a trek from San Francisco to get there, but it was a cool college town and a fun venue. It was also good to meet up with many of my team REV3 teammates and be able to race in our brand new kits!
Swimming in the river under the bridges was very cool. It reminded me of the Vineman half course, although luckily this water was much deeper.
As you can see below, my avg pace on bike was pretty good even with the rolling hills. I should have brought along my compact crank though, so definitely consider that if you race there. It was humid out there, but that didn’t really come into play on the bike. It is a beautiful bike course through the countryside that should be on everyone’s race list. In 2014 this race will be the REV3 Age Group Championship, which will be a fun and challenging day for sure!
I felt great those first four miles even with the climbs, as we ran along the river. That hill somewhere on mile 5 crushed my spirit a bit and I needed to pull back my pace to survive At mile 11 I was able to start my charge thanks to a double caffeine Powerbar gel. I passed over 30 people those last three miles even finishing that last mile with an 8:20. It was definitely a challenging early season race that was a blast to race in!