A Wanna-Be Hill Slayer

Hills.  I have a love-hate relationship with hills.

Hills are pretty to look at.  They are fun to hike on.  I enjoy riding my bike down them.  I do have, on the other hand, issues with riding my bike up them.

See, I live in a part of our country that is essentially as flat as your bathtub.  The only hills in Northeast Florida are the man-made varieties that traverse interstate highways, rivers and such.  To be painfully obvious, the only hills that I see with any amount of regularity are bridges.

Throughout the tenure of my hobby in triathlon, hills have been a constant thorn in my side.  I’ve had some of my worst race performances on hilly tracts.  I’ve suffered the most on hilly courses.  The really sad reality?  The races that I call hilly don’t even register a blip on the register of hilly courses like Rev3’s Quassy.

Well, I’ve saddled up to take on a hilly race again.  And frankly, I’m SUPER excited about it!

My “A-race” for the year is the Half Rev at Rev3 South Carolina, which will be held on October 12th in beautiful Anderson, SC.

Anderson sits in what South Carolinians call the “Upstate” – a portion of the state that is probably technically considered the Piedmont – or maybe the fringe of the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  From my flat-landed perspective, however, I’d call Anderson the edge of the Himalayas.  The terrain is rolling, the landscape is beautiful, and in October, the temperatures will be divine.

I’m tremendously excited about returning to Anderson this year.  This race venue is where in 2012 I earned my personal best finish in a 70.3 distance event, and I’m eager to go out and improve upon that time.  I love the idea of pushing myself to my limit and beyond both training for and then racing upon the hills.  I’m super excited to visit an area of the country that I love.

>Rev3 Knoxville Race Report

Me recovering after climbing a hill on the Rev3 Knoxville course in 2012

But first, I must prepare.  I’ll ride countless numbers of bridge repeats this summer to try to approximate what it will be like to climb.  I’ll push harder gears on flats than I might otherwise so I can get a sense of the lingering burn I know I’ll encounter.  I’ll do the almost unthinkable and put my bike on a trainer and jack my front wheel up on a bunch of books some this summer so that I can feel what it’s like to have gravity pull on my backside some.

I will be ready for the hills.  I’ll turn my love-hate relationship into a love-love relationship this summer.  I vow to enjoy climbing as much as I enjoy descending.  The Half Rev at Rev3 South Carolina is calling me.  The hills are whispering my name, urging me to come and ride.

I’ll be there.  Will you?  Come join me and let’s go slay some hills.

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For the Love of Hills

Hills.  I have a love-hate relationship with hills.

Hills are pretty to look at.  They are fun to hike on.  I enjoy riding my bike down them.  I do have, on the other hand, issues with riding my bike up them.

See, I live in a part of our country that is essentially as flat as your bathtub.  The only hills in Northeast Florida are the man-made varieties that traverse interstate highways, rivers and such.  To be painfully obvious, the only hills that I see with any amount of regularity are bridges.

Throughout the tenure of my hobby in triathlon, hills have been a constant thorn in my side.  I’ve had some of my worst race performances on hilly tracts.  I’ve suffered the most on hilly courses.  The sad reality?  The races that I call hilly don’t even register a blip on the register of hilly courses like Rev3’s Quassy.

I’ve saddled up to take on a hilly race again.  And frankly, I’m SUPER excited about it!

My “A-race” for the year is the Half Rev at Rev3 South Carolina, which will be held on October 12th in beautiful Anderson, SC.

Anderson sits in what South Carolinians call the “Upstate” – a portion of the state that is probably technically considered the Piedmont – or may the fringe of the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  From my flat-landed perspective, however, I’d call Anderson the edge of the Himalayas.  The terrain is rolling, the landscape is beautiful, and in October, the temperatures will be divine.

I’m tremendously excited about returning to Anderson this year.  This race venue is where in 2011 I earned my personal best finish in a 70.3 distance event, and I’m eager to go out and improve upon that time.  I love the idea of pushing myself to my limit and beyond both training for and then racing upon the hills.  I’m super excited to visit an area of the country that I love.

But first, I must prepare.  I’ll ride countless numbers of bridge repeats this summer to try to approximate what it will be like to climb.  I’ll push harder gears on flats than I might otherwise so I can get a sense of the lingering burn I know I’ll encounter.  I’ll do the almost unthinkable and put my bike on a trainer and jack my front wheel up on a bunch of books some this summer so that I can feel what it’s like to have gravity pull on my backside some.

I will be ready for the hills.  I’ll turn my love-hate relationship into a love-love relationship this summer.  I vow to enjoy climbing as much as I enjoy descending.  The Half Rev at Rev3 South Carolina is calling me.  The hills are whispering my name, urging me to come and ride.

I’ll be there.  Will you?  Come join me and let’s go slay some hills.

Volunteering Can Earn Your Group Money!

We all know that races in general, and triathlons specifically, live and die on the backs of volunteers.  You need volunteers to hand out race packets, man the aid stations, direct traffic, hand out bottles and bananas, deliver race medals, and so much more.  Quite frankly, were it not for the multitude of volunteers at any race event we do, those events would likely not exist!

Perhaps you have volunteered at races previously.  If you have, you know it’s a really cool and rewarding experience.  One time, I volunteered at the bike check-in for Rev3’s race in Knoxville.  What made this even more fun for me is that I wore a bunch of Florida Gators gear and gave anyone who was wearing University of Tennessee clothes all sorts of needling (in case you didn’t know, Florida and Tennessee are fairly big rivals).  I had such a fun and amazing time…and all I was doing was telling people where to rack their bikes!  It’s not like I was handing out gels to folks who were on the edge of bonking or anything!

Volunteerism is a great way for you to meet tons of athletes, give back to our sport, earn hours required for high school graduation, work off that community service requirement for your misdemeanor trespassing charge, whatever.  Typically, though, when you volunteer you just give of yourself.  Your time.  Your talent.  Your effort.

Now there’s a chance for Rev3 to give back to you (or more specifically to your group).  Rev3 has a really cool thing called the Local Charity Donation Program.  They will donate $15 PER VOLUNTEER to a group that brings 15 or more volunteers to work at one of their races.  Talk about a really easy way to make some money for your Scout troop, Abuse Center, or Pet Adoption agency!  If you happen to volunteer at either the Williamsburg event (June 22-23) or The Dells event (August 10-11) and bring a group of 15 or more, Rev3 will pay $20 PER VOLUNTEER!

What else do you get for your time?  Well, in addition to the eternal thanks of other athletes, a lot of “Thanks for volunteering!” comments, and a good sunburntan, you get a handy-dandy Rev3 Volunteer t-shirt!  What a bargain!

Interested?  Check out Rev3’s website and pick the particular race that you’re interested in volunteering for.  Each race has a “Volunteer” tab that details out each open spot and how many folks are needed.  It’s really as simple as 1-2-3!  If you’d like to bring your Youth Group, Knitting Outreach Club, or other organization and take advantage of the Local Charity Donation Program that Rev3 offers, reach out to Tracy Bryant, Rev3’s Volunteer Director.  You can reach her via email at tracy@rev3tri.com.  You could also send a tweet to @REV3TRI or leave a comment on their facebook page.

Go volunteer at a Rev3 race.  You’ll be glad you did (and so will countless other athletes)!