Heather shares some special MRG announcements in this short and sweet episode—the final show of 2018.
* Special events where you can catch MRG (hint: the team will be traveling to a number of places across the state!)
* The upcoming MRG Winter Weekend Getaway, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, taking place Feb. 8-10, 2019.
* Race and training plans for 2019, including tackling IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City on Aug. 25.
Thanks for listening in 2018—we can't wait to see you in 2019! Lots of great guests to come!
Ann Arbor triathlete Nikki Derrick wore race bib #1184 at this fall's Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii—the same number worn by her close friend Karen Perzyk in the 2016 event.
Nikki, 47, requested this number as a way to honor Karen, a beloved friend and fellow Michigan triathlete, who died in January after a brief battle with stage IV esophageal cancer.
Karen's death at age 49 was a devastating loss for Nikki, and for many others in their close-knit group of endurance athlete friends. It was Karen who inspired Nikki to return to competing in triathlons again after several years away from the sport. Karen was the kind of person whose enthusiasm for life and love of movement were infectious, Nikki says. She loved watching her friends succeed and was their biggest cheerleader.
Nikki shares how she decided to turn her race in Hawaii into a tribute to Karen, a way to honor the friend who meant so much to her and to so many others.
Nikki gives a detailed account of the World Championship in Kona and what it felt like to be there without her friend ... and what it felt like to push through the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride, and a tough, hot 26.2 to reach the finish line.
Heather and Nikki also talk about her love of mountain biking (she finished strong at this November's Iceman Cometh Challenge in Traverse City) and what's next for her in the coming year (a marathon out west, in wine country, among other adventures). They also talk about where Nikki finds her motivation, and how she carves out time for staying active while also being committed to her job as a physician assistant at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.
It’s about that time … time to get serious about starting training for Ironman 70.3 Traverse City, a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run triathlon set for Aug. 25, 2019. Yes, this race is 8 months away. There is plenty of time ahead to get ready for this inaugural race. And yet, if you’re like Heather and this distance and event is going to be a first for you, you just might be thinking of getting things rolling in the coming weeks, as winter gets underway. For Heather, the swim portion is definitely a key component of earlier-than-later training. As she shares during this episode, getting into the pool this month, at least a couple of times, is part of the plan.
Heather talks with guests Rebecca and Tony Venticinque, both of whom are accomplished triathletes and seasoned coaches. Heather will be working with Tony and Rebecca, who operate Tri Again Fitness in Traverse City, as she trains for Ironman 70.3 Traverse City. Rebecca also shares her most recent full Ironman experience, a Nov. 4 race that almost didn’t happen in Florida because of Hurricane Michael. It was moved from Panama City Beach to Haines City, Fla. “After the hurricane hit … it was all up in the air even three weeks before the race,” she said. Tony was there as well, this time a volunteer and not competing as he has in two other full Ironman events. Rebecca talks about what it was like to complete this race in pretty warm conditions and, later in the race, a downpour.
Rebecca and Tony provide a preview of what’s to come in Heather’s training throughout winter and spring and during the summer (open water swimming!) as race day gets closer. Tony and Rebecca’s coaching business also includes a team of athletes, many of whom are signed on for Ironman 70.3 Traverse City. They’re also hosting a 70.3 triathlon training camp, May 10-12, 2019, that is open to anyone interested in preparing for the Traverse City event – or other triathlons.
Lodging, meals, group training, and plenty of optional topics will be discussed throughout the weekend. Full course previews of the Traverse City event also will be part of the weekend.
With over 45 years of combined coaching experience, Tri Again Fitness has helped coach individuals to national recognition, club national team wins, multiple World Team qualifications at all triathlon distances, all-American honors, Boston Marathon qualifiers and helped countless athletes achieve personal bests and lifelong milestones.
Tony has been coaching in one respect or another since 1991, and professionally coaching triathlon since 2006. Professional accomplishments at the USAT Club Nationals include winning the Division V in 2009 and securing runner-up at the Division IV in 2010. He’s also coached 21 age group athletes to 33 world team qualifications at the sprint, olympic, 70.3 and 140.6 distances over the past five years. Tony is a USA Triathlon Certified Level 2 Coach and USA Cycling Certified Level 2 coach.
Rebecca is an athlete turned coach. She has coached since 1993 in various sports. She has a Bachelors of Science in Management of Health Services, Group Exercise certification from ASFA Personal Training Certification from ISSA. USAT (Triathlon) certification and USATF (Track and Field) certification.