Nice Article in the Chronicle by Sean Forbes! Congratulations to the Entire Team!
Reprinted Below, With Permission of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle!
Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!
2009 TRITON NORDIC SKIING PROGRAM @ HOMESTAKE LODGE
Initial December 1st Deadline Approaching Fast!
The first Deadline is December 1st! Bunks in the new lodge are limited, and are being offered on a first come, first serve basis to Triton Camp participants for Saturday night, January 17th. Homestake Lodge has blocked the bunks for Triton members until December 1st. Thereafter, the bunks will be made available to the public, over this MLK holiday weekend. Book your Triton Group Package now! Contact Chris or Mandy today at 406-585-8052 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make and pay for your reservation. Please see blog post of 11/7 for all of the details.
*** Minde & Summer are offering a Post-Turkey, Pre-Ham Boot Camp from 12/1 to 12/19. Call Minde @ 570-3628 or Summer @ 600-5213 for more information.
*** The American Miracle with Team USA Captain Jason Lezak is coming to Bozeman! January 31st. Details and tickets available soon!
*** The Club is close to solving the training location for our new CompuTrainer! Stay tuned.
*** Triton Coach Matthew Parks and his company, Moving Forward, is offering all Tritons 25% off massage therapy services. Contact Matthew at email@example.com or 580-7987. Thanks Matthew!
BOZEMAN DAILY CHRONICLE
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Art Thompson works out on the campus of Montana State University, Wednesday night. Thompson is a member of the newly created Tritons Triathlon Club.
Bozeman triathlon club wins championship to complete successful first season!
By SEAN FORBES
Chronicle Sports Writer
The Fates must have been smiling as they spun the thread that would become the Tritons Triathlon Club.
The Tritons are Bozeman’s newly-created club dedicated to helping local athletes train for the endurance sport of triathlon racing. The Tritons are also the newly crowned Pacific Northwest regional champions.
The championship is an accomplishment in and of itself, but was made more special as it was the club’s first official season as a USA Triathlon (USAT) member club.
Like Triton of ancient Greek mythology, the Tritons club was born from the rulers of the sea – well, the rulers of the pool anyway, if the Bozeman Masters swim club can be described as Poseidon.
“I thought it (the mythological connection) was highly analogous to how we started the club,” said Art Thompson, one of the lead organizers who brought the club to life.
Bozeman Masters Swim Club
The Bozeman Masters Swim Club will be hosting a half- hour NIKE swim event Nov. 23. The event is open to anyone of any ability in the community and will be held at the Bozeman Swim Center at 9 a.m. Relay teams are also welcome.
Participants will swim for one half-hour, with finishing position determined by distance completed.
To sign up, visit active.com or bozemanmasters.com.
Also, though a date has not yet been set, the Bozeman Masters are planning an “American Miracle” event, with Beijing 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Jason Lezak.
Lezak anchored the 4×100 freestyle relay team that set a new world record while winning a gold medal and helping Michael Phelps to his record-setting eight gold medals.
For more information on the Bozeman Masters and its events as well as the Bozeman Tritons, visit bozemanmasters.com (Swim club Web site has a link to the Tritons Web site).
Thompson met Tritons coach Laurie Thatcher through the swim club, as well as many other athletes who found the Bozeman Masters a good way to train for the swimming section of a triathlon. Even though triathlon competition is a largely individual effort, this concentration of interested, motivated people only needed a spark or a way to bring together the resources of the community to help focus the energy of the growing sport.
Thompson, though he would not voluntarily take the credit, is generally described as the instigator, being responsible for pulling together the various members of the “volunteer network” that is the Tritons.
“I had been involved with the masters program for awhile,” Thatcher said, “I had always wanted to have some kind of role in it, but nothing ever panned out.”
That is until Thompson began to organize the Tritons.
After reading about Thatcher’s competition in Ironman’s signature event in Kona, Hawaii, Thompson approached her about sharing her experiences with the club and its “informal” 20 members.
With Thatcher onboard and Chris Axelson, owner and operator of Homestake Lodge near Butte, who wanted to coach running, the Tritons came to life.
The club’s initial goal was training for the Treasure State Triathlon held in Bozeman at the East Gallatin Recreation Area last August.
Thatcher led members through a 20-week program designed for athletes to peak with the Treasure State event.
Group workouts were held twice a week – a bike ride and a run – though the program had daily regimens for members to follow. Additionally, the club hosted clinics on specific topics related to competition such as nutrition and transitions.
“They are high intensity workouts because those are always, I know for me personally, the hardest – to make yourself hurt just by yourself,” Thatcher said, “and so having the club, the group there, someone telling you what to do and that energy, I think is really beneficial.”
The opportunities offered by the Tritons benefit novice athletes as much as the experienced.
“I thought I’d do an Ironman,” one of the sport’s longest races (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run), Lawrence Sampson said, describing his introduction to the sport.
Sampson has been competing in triathlons for a couple of years and training alone prior to joining the Tritons. He described benefiting most from the information offered by the club’s activities, especially learning more about structuring his training program.
Even though Sampson was on a different workout schedule from the club, since he wanted to compete in events other than the Treasure State Triathlon, having the support of the group helped keep him motivated.
Triton head coach Laurie Thatcher trains Wednesday night.
“A lot of us are new to the sport,” Thompson said, “there’s a lot of people interested in the sport. The sport is growing.”
Organizers, coaches and members emphasized that the club was a collection of people brought together by a common interest, rather than skill level.
“We want to be open and available to all levels and all abilities,” Thatcher described, and continued with the club’s goal of wanting “to be able to help people, to help them get over some of their fears.”
And the club seems to have succeeded.
“It was really easy to think I could do well,” recalls Lander Purvis, whose first Olympic distance triathlon (1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10K run) was the Treasure State tri. After having trained with the club for the summer Purvis said, “the club helped me actually set a goal, not to just finish, but to do it in a certain time.”
After competing in the Treasure State, the Tritons were able to look back on a season in which they kept things simple; focusing on doing a few things well, before stretching themselves too thin. And it worked.
“I think the highlight was having people show up, helping them learn and develop their skill, and being able to continue my love of triathlons although I’m not competing anymore,” Thatcher said, “it’s been fun.”
Then the regional club championships rolled around.
The 2008 competition was not going to be a race as might be expected. Instead, clubs were to compete by seeing who could add the most new members.
“It was exactly aligned with where we are,” Thompson said, “trying to get new members.”
Through word-of-mouth and with the aid of the club’s Web site, Tritons spread the news that they were looking for members.
Near the end of September, USAT’s Pacific Northwest president Mike McCormick notified the Tritons that the club had added the most new members (31), bringing the total membership to 44. Thompson remembers being surprised by the news since the competition included such metropolitan areas as Seattle and Portland, cities with much larger populations and pools of potential new members.
Championship honors came with a $750 prize.
Perhaps it was the fingers of the Fates once again, but this prize was the perfect compliment to the grant the club had received earlier in the season for a Compu-Trainer, an indoor virtual reality training machine. The championship prize will help the club purchase the extra equipment necessary to set up the trainer.
Montana’s outdoor training season is “unique” according to Sampson – it starts later and ends earlier than many other locations around the nation. This would be considered by many to be a disadvantage. For the Tritons, at least this season, it was an advantage.
Thompson described a training ride the group took in April.
“I’m at Sypes Canyon. It’s starting to rain, then it’s lightning, then it’s hail, then it’s freezing. It was a great story, but we did it.”
So “we talked about it, and, well, we’ve got a great story here,” Thompson said, “we live in the Northern Rockies, we can’t start training as early for triathlons as everybody else.”
As the Tritons approach their second season, it seems like the pieces will continue to fall in place.
The club has connected with 2000 USA Olympic triathlon head coach Michelle Blessing and arranged a Nordic skiing cross-training clinic for the club in the spring of 2009.
For now though, Thompson and the other volunteer members of the organization are focusing on continuing to do the simple things well to ensure the club has a solid foundation for future success.
“Personally what I’d like to see,” Thatcher said, “is continued growth.”
Sean Forbes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org