There’s no doubt that when you start your own business, you have to make sacrifices. We knew that when we started Coeur because we had seen it with others in the industry. Many a bike shop owner got into the business because they loved cycling. Then they found that the time they used to spend riding was now spent organizing inventory, stocking shelves or cleaning up the spill on aisle three.
So, it’s probably no surprise that we have to admit that when we see our sponsored athletes and friends racing, there can be an ever so slight pang of longing. Wouldn’t it be nice to be out swimming, biking, or running rather than filling orders? Sure it would, but we knew what we were getting into and fortunately, the pros outweigh the cons. Especially on weekends like the one that just passed.
Every weekend during race season is special, but there was something extraordinarily positive about the past couple of days. Thanks to the amazing women who wear Coeur, we were treated to displays of athleticism, friendship and comradery that were so special that it is truly hard to express our pride and gratitude.
The weekend started in Hawaii, where we had several friends racing the Honu 70.3. As expected, the conditions were hot and humid but that didn’t stop Michelle Simmons from grabbing a podium spot.
Michelle putting in the work
And receiving the rewards.
Also, several of the ladies on the team got to meet in person for the first time. We can’t tell you how much we love that. Triathlon, like so many of the sports in the endurance arena, is a solo venture. That’s why we love the idea of bringing some type of team element into play.
Melissa and Jeana showed lots of Heart (on and off the course)
We may have mentioned this in the past, but our dream is to create an environment where everyone wearing Coeur feels like they are on the same team. In our little (perhaps fantasy) world, people would feel some type of expectation that if they wear Coeur, that they should exhibit good sportsmanship, that they should race hard, that they should encourage others even when it isn’t their own best day on the course, and that they should have some degree of gratitude for being able to swim, bike, and run for fun.
Ahh…but we digress. Back to the weekend. In addition to the great racing in Hawaii, we got to tune in to Triathlonlive.tv to watch the coverage of the Olympic format triathlon race put on by the International Triathlon Union or “ITU” in London. If you haven’t watched an ITU race, we’d certainly encourage you to give it a try. The coverage on Triathlon Live is very solid and the racing is fantastically exciting.
Our own Katie Zaferes was back in action and she had good company. As with almost all the highest level ITU races, the absolute best in the world were on the line including fellow Americans Gwen Jorgensen and Sarah True. We knew Katie was in good form, but the ITU style of racing is terribly unforgiving of mistakes or bad luck. If you miss the lead pack or have a flat (or “puncture” as our friends across the pond call them), your chances of a podium are almost zero.
Fortunately, the American contingent, removed some of the stress by coming out of the water together and forming a lead pack on the bike. They maintained a 30 second gap over the chasers and hit the run as a group. Eventually, the three American women took charge and ran together for much of the third leg.
The newest American Dream Team
Then, as expected, Gwen took off on her own. Katie and Sarah ran shoulder to shoulder until the end when Katie put in a surge to grab second. The day was full of amazing results. Gwen won her 10th race in a row, Katie continued her streak of being on the podium in every race this year, and (most importantly), The Americans swept the podium for the second time this year!
Finally, we have to give one more big shout out. You see, Katie wasn’t our only athlete racing in London. Mary Kate Callahan was also over there for the ITU Paratriathlon Event. She put on an incredible performance in London and took first place in her division.
Mary Kate in London
For those of you who don’t know Mary Kate, she is incredibly inspiring, and relentlessly positive. When she was just a few months old, a virus entered her spinal cord and the result was a condition called transverse myelitis that left her in a wheel chair. As she grew up, it became clear that Mary Kate was an incredibly driven individual. In high school, she began advocating for the rights of disabled athletes in Illinois and she even led the effort to force the Illinois High School Association to create opportunities for disabled swimmers to compete at the highest levels.
After High School, she went on to Arizona State University where she continues to motivate and encourage others while also racing in the PT1 category. Her motto is “Never, Never, Never Give Up” and she is the absolute embodiment of motto of Heart and Courage. If you get a chance, follow her on twitter. Her handle is @MKCallahan13 and we promise you that you’ll be inspired.
Congratulations Mary Kate and everyone in the Coeur Family. We thoroughly enjoyed cheering for you all this weekend and can’t wait to do it again!
Happy Training and Racing Everyone.
Your Friends at Coeur