This week, and for the beginning of second quarter, we would like to highlight one of our members Joseph “JB” Covington! Last year he completed his FIRST triathlon during Rock Hall with an Olympic distance, and already into 2018, and he has completed his second triathlon race in Smithfield, VA at the Smithfield Sprint! JB had another life milestone last year when featured on the TV show “The Voice!” with his church choir for their talents in gospel music. Even with all of life’s successes, there were also hardships. JB’s 2017 did not closeout the way he intended, and yet he still pushes through! He is such an inspiration and added value to the team! Read below on how this NY native, and Tuskegee University graduate, got into triathlons and continues his courage to keep going!
“How District Tri has impacted my life:
I have always had a zest and zeal for physical competition from football to swimming in my youth to running marathons in adulthood. A couple years ago I wanted something more challenging, something that would push me beyond the limits that marathon training had done for me. So I came up with the idea of doing triathlons. I wasn’t all to sure how to train effectively for such a sport so I did some research. After continually training I never signed up for a race. Fast forward a couple years I mentioned interest for the sport to an acquaintance and he introduced me to District Tri. Instantly I was excited to join the movement. I started going to all the workouts to just become a better athlete overall. But being a part of this team meant you had to put your money where your mouth is. When racing season opened up everyone began signing up for races. I had always talked about doing a race but never carried out the plan. Mid season when the majority of the team had completed their first race ever or first race of the season they began to call out those who had not yet accomplished the goal of completing a race. Questions began to be asked like what race do you plan on doing? When will you sign up for your first race? So i signed up officially for Rock Hall Tri Olympic distance. Trained super hard leading up to the race and conquered it! While training I noticed slight health complications but didn’t think much of them. I ended up completing the race but at the finish line a teammate noticed me bleeding from my side and I quickly attributed it to chaffing. Fast forward a few weeks found out I actually had CANCER! Everything came to a screeching holt. I ended up being hospitalized from complications. I told a few members of the team that I trusted what was going on with my health and was immediately supported. I then decided to go public with my diagnosis in order to be transparent to help others that might be dealing the same or similar situation. I then informed my entire team and from that point forward it was an overwhelming outpouring of love. This summer I had to find a way to get back to a place where my body was in shape to basic daily activities. I knew I had to have the heart of a fighter to see the progress I desired to see. By me sharing my story it gave District Tri a way to support me in ways I never knew I needed. Calls texts prayers and well wishes began to flow my way. Everyone just wanted to be a blessing in my life. Visitor after visitor teammate after teammate. The questions began to be asked to what do we have to do to get you training again? My answer was I have to get my left leg under control and back down to size. I wanted to train and workout but had a fear of being far from home by myself for medical reasons. The teams response to that was SAY NO MORE, before I could think twice Eddie brought over a bike trainer so that I could train from the comfort of my home. Now I could only do 10-15 mins initially but it was a start. I kept up with convo in our group chat with everybody talk about workouts and races. This began to ignite a fire inside of me that could not be quenched. With me being able to do more riding I started riding outside again. Then went from riding to running again. I began to share this info with the team and they encouraged me every step of the way. Eddie told me that it was in the suffering that I would grow and eventually maximize on my potential so I kept working. I decided to show a more vulnerable side of my process thru showing me at a chemo session. My point was to show that although it seems extremely bad I’m still going to find the good in all of this, smile and take it in stride. The team got me a t shirt with everyone’s signature and get well soon cards that fired my passion all the more. What many don’t realize is that had I not been exercising my recovery would have been 100x’s slower than what it has been. But what DT didn’t realize is that my passion came from them my fire came from words of encouragement, my zest zeal and drive stemmed from their competitive spirit. So I owe my healing and recovery to District Tri I am forever grateful for their love and support. For the pushing me to be the best athlete I will forever love my tribe my squad DISTRICT TRI!” – Joseph “JB” Covington
Hey everyone! Yayo here with a recap of the Quantco Sprint Triathlon! I am a first year triathlete and this was my 4th (and favorite) race of the year so far.
Packet pick up was the Friday before the race at the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) headquarters building from 7:30 am – 7:00 pm. Swim caps, bibs, tattoos and even the timing chips were included, which made for a smooth race day. There were even a few gels and granola bars to grab on the way out. It was really cool to see all of the medals and memorabilia detailing the history of MCM and talk to some of the people who worked there.
The race took place at the Officer Candidates School on the Quantico Marine Base in Quantico, VA on Saturday, August 26 and featured a sprint distance triathlon and 12 K run. It was a little chilly before the start of the race, but the water was warm enough to make it non-wetsuit legal. District Tri was DEEP with 10 athletes competing! Our pre-race warm up consisted of applying race numbers prior to the swim start (note to self: do this the night before) and dancing with the Marine Corp mascots, because you gotta loosen up.
After the national anthem and a quick prayer it was time to race! The half mile swim course was well marked and easy to navigate. Male and female athletes were grouped in waves by their 750 M swim time. It was a little rough swimming with some of the guys and I caught a few elbows, but I held my own and left a few of them in my wake.
The transition area was only a short distance from the swim and bike. It was well spaced out and they provided water inside. It also gave spectators a front row seat to the action and take some great photos and videos.
The scenic 20 K bike course took us all around the base. There was a race crew who went out the day before the race to make sure that any large debris was removed from the course. They even marked all the major potholes, which was a HUGE plus! The course featured a solid mix of hills, straight aways and a massive downhill where people clocked speeds over 35 mph!
The run started out going across a bridge and continued along a gravel trail through the woods. Aside from getting to the top of the bridge, there weren’t any major hills to conquer. The best part of the run for me was seeing my teammates on the other side of the trail! We all shouted and gave each other high-fives which gave me some extra motivation to keep up the pace. The turnaround for the 5K also merged with the the last leg of the 12K. It was great to see all the runners and triathletes give each other that final push through to the finish line together.
Approaching the finish line, you were surrounded by the cheers of spectators on both sides and the post race festival was in full swing. After you picked up your finisher medal, you were given a bag full of water, sports drinks, fruits and other post race snacks. Race sponsors were giving out lots of goodies (hello water bottles!), including a raffle to win an iPad mini and some free Jersey Mike’s subs. There was even some post race grill action and a free beer for the athletes (which, after the medal, is a major factor of my race selection process) Oh, and they were giving out free CASES – not boxes – of Girl Scout cookies. We all went home very happy.
Special shout out to Tazer Tay for completing his first open water swim and Marcus Fitts for placing 2nd in his age group! I also have to shout out the cheer squad for coming out early in the morning to keep everyone motivated. They always bring the best snacks, find the best spots to post up along the course and take the best race photos!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this race. It was very well organized and budget friendly. I enjoyed racing on a Saturday morning and not having to travel too far away from home. After competing on a very flat course, a very hilly course and in a super sprint, Quantico truly offers a challenge for the novice and seasoned athlete alike. The MCM staff and volunteers were located all throughout the course and were very helpful and supportive. The athletes were great (I saw someone stop to help another biker who was having some issues) and the overall energy at the race was high. This was also my first time racing with a large group of teammates! I’d highly recommend this race for the newbie looking to turn it up a notch or the veteran looking for some serious competition – or anyone looking to go FAST!
Hey what’s up! My name is Carl Alleyne and this is my first season doing triathlons. The New Jersey State Tri is my third one so I wouldn’t consider myself a beginner but I’m definitely not a seasoned tri veteran either like some of my District Tri teammates.
A District Tri teammate of mine highly suggested the New Jersey State Triathlon so I chose it among the 4 that I registered for in the beginning of the year. He dubbed it as a flat course that was very ideal for fast times. Why the heck not! When I registered, I neglected to pay attention to the “pick race packet up on race day” option. It cost $15 but would’ve saved me some gas. I camped out in Philly at a family member’s house so it would’ve been nice not to have to drive to Trenton the day before the race. I don’t think I’ll be staying at a family member’s house the day before a race again haha. Nothing bad happened but they just don’t understand that I had an endurance race the next day. They “forced” me to eat bbq food which I’m sure wasn’t optimal for a triathlon haha. Furthermore, I had to pry myself away during late night catch up talk to get some sleep.
On flip side, picking up my race day packet on Friday made Saturday race a lot more smooth. I parked my car, placed my chip around my ankle, set up my bike/bike helmet stickers and was ready to head to the transition area. As soon as you walked into the marine park, they had volunteers ready to bib # body mark you on the way to transition. Very efficient! The transition area space for each racer was pretty standard although there was over 1370 sprint racers so the transition area itself was huge!! I did notice the lower number bibs were closer to the bike out exit which was preferable for me.
Onto the race conditions…They weren’t too bad considering it was an east coast race in July. The temperature was around 90 degrees but wasn’t too humid. The water was a non-legal wetsuit temperature of 88 degrees. The designated swim warm up area gave me a feel of just how warm doing a sprint in bath tub warm water would be.
The race day vibe was pretty incredible compared to the other two triathlons I did this year. They had a jumbotron with candid video of triathletes preparing for the race. Well-positioned loud speakers kept the music blasting before and during the race. The announcer was very upbeat and funny as well. The expo sold standard tri/endurance race items but was nothing to brag about.
For the actual race, the crowd and announcer got even more excitable than pre-race. As each race wave was called to the lake, volunteers blew out that Miami Hurricane football pre-game smoke to usher you into the water. Pretty cool! The course was very well marked with orange floats every 30 meters to pave the way. My wave had 60 racers in it so I already knew to get to the side as I’m not the fastest swimmer but also not the slowest. It didn’t actually matter because as soon as the horn blew for us to begin we all clumped up together. It was definitely my toughest open water swim. No exaggeration, I either hit someone or someone hit me every two strokes. There were few times that I remember being able to get into a smooth swimming groove. I had to catch myself and pause about 3 times. Not because I got tired but because my stroke was thrown off that much from physical contact with the other swimmers. It made for a difficult swim but I had still had fun. After the 500 meter swim, you exited onto a man-made sand strip leading to the transition area. That was great because that’s better than running barefoot on wet grass in my opinion. The swim-in transition distance wasn’t far at all. However, the transition area-to-bike out distance was pretty lengthy. I guessed the race organizers sacrificed the short swim-to-transition distance for the transition-to-bike mount distance. The bike course was short (11.5 miles) and relatively flat (it contained some false flats but nothing that I would remotely even call a hill even for a beginner biker). It was mostly flat which did make for several lengths of getting into good unabated sprints. Being my third triathlon and the fact I’ve been putting in some significant “saddle” time, I could see a false flat coming up and adjust my gears accordingly. Unlike other rides I’ve been on. Unfortunately, I underestimated how much the water temp and the 90 degree heat had on water loss and didn’t drink nearly as much as I should’ve during the bike portion. All in all, I felt good with a half mile to go on the bike and thought I could pull a good run time. The bike-to-transition distance was again, quite lengthy but not overwhelming. The only non-positive thing I noticed during the whole course was the amount of turns one had to make in order to get out of the transition area and onto the actual main running course. One of the volunteers even got turned around and directed me the wrong way which I wasn’t too happy about. However, they and my cheering teammate quickly got me on the right track. The running trail went through the park and also contained a couple false flats. Being the newbie I am, I went out a little too hard on the first mile and that made even the slightest rise in elevation very noticeable. I’d say about 60-70% of the sprint run course was shaded. Awesome because I didn’t feel like I was going to overheat. The enthusiastic water station volunteers were set up all along the course. They even had a sprinkler set up half way through which was optional to run through. The finish was great as it was very well attended by volunteers and spectators cheering on everybody. The loud speaker music and confetti from the volunteers gave me that extra push to finish hard the last .35 miles. In fact, I ran at such a fast pace during that last segment, it made me wonder if I wasn’t running as hard as I could’ve been during the rest of the course. I’ll chalk it up to the race finish adrenaline haha.
As soon as you finish, they have volunteers ready to take racing chip themselves, hand you your hard earned medal and direct you to the shower/sprinkler tent. Man, the sprinkler shower was God sent!! Best part of the race hahaha. Certainly, a much need cool down and got me in a relaxed state. Everyone was very friendly as several racers I “met” along the course spoke to me afterward. The food was pretty standard, except that caramel cookie. Delicious!! Although I didn’t hit my goals, I improved in terms of time/pace on each portion. I know that was, in part, due to the great race course set up. All in all, The New Jersey State Tri was a great race experience and I would definitely recommend it as a future team race.
Triathlons are no longer thought of as a crazy sport for super fit people racing Ironman distances. It is now known that there are many options for the everyday person to get involved in the sport if they desire. I began doing triathlons in August 2014. Like many others, I didn’t think of triathlons as something that was possible for me to do. Yes, I did local races, but I never thought I was fit enough to do a triathlon. Aside from that, I didn’t own a bike and I barely knew how to swim. I was comfortable with the water and could go in the deep end, but growing up in Philly, swimming laps just wasn’t something people in my neighborhood did. When running, I felt bored with no real goal to reach. Plus, I wanted to give my body some kind of rest but wanted to continue with my cardio… And that’s how triathlons were made for me. I quickly fell in love with the sport, the people, and everything that came along with being a triathlete. From that point on, triathlon wasn’t just something I did to pass time, it became a part of my life.
Luckily I had a few others that were just as curious about the sport as I was so we were able to learn together, but I still wish I knew a few things before jumping in head first. With that in mind, here are five things you should know before you tri:
- There are different distances to choose from.
- As previously mentioned, triathlons are not just the full Ironman distance, which consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. The most common distance options you’ll have to choose from are Sprint, Olympic/International and Half Ironman.
- The Sprint distance can vary from race to race, but your typical distance will be a 750 meter swim, 12 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run. This option is great for athletes that are new to the sport and want to test their limits. You’ll also find a lot of faster athletes in this distance as folks try to exert all of their energy in such a short distance.
- The Olympic distance is usually 1500 meter swim, 25 mile bike and a 6.2 mile run. This option is best for the athlete that is familiar with the sport and would like to do a bit more than the Sprint distance. The Olympic distance is also referred to as the International distance as it’s the most common option, regardless of country. This is also the distance that is performed by the athletes during the Olympic Games.
- The Half Ironman, or 70.3, distance does not change, unlike the Sprint and Olympic options. No matter the race, this distance will be a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run. This is when folks begin to take things a bit more serious because at this distance, you’re not trying to figure out if you like the sport or not. More than likely you’ve done a few races before getting to a 70.3, spent some money on things that’ll make you a bit faster, and the sport has somewhat taken over your life!
- And lastly, the most commonly known triathlon event, the Ironman, consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. At this point you’re actually crazy. When you get to thinking of doing a 140.6 (Full Ironman) you should make an appointment with a therapist because there may be something wrong with you! If you need a recommendation just let me know, my therapist and I have discussed this more than enough times!
- As previously mentioned, triathlons are not just the full Ironman distance, which consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. The most common distance options you’ll have to choose from are Sprint, Olympic/International and Half Ironman.
- Triathlons are expensive!
- If you’ve been participating in swimming, biking OR running events then you’re already familiar with how expensive that can be. That’s only one sport! You’ll be swimming, biking AND running at these events, so the registration prices will reflect that. With that in mind, make sure you create a race budget. Once you figure that out, multiply the amount times two. Between the races, travel, race nutrition and gear, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to have a successful race season. You don’t want to get to mid-season and realize you’ve spent all of the money you’ve set aside for races. Plus, if you don’t spend it all you can apply it to next year’s season because I’m sure you’ll be racing a bit more! If nothing else, you’ll just have the extra money and who doesn’t like having extra money?!
- You don’t NEED all of the cool gadgets to race!
- Folks get caught up in thinking they need everything that everyone else has that’s doing this sport. You don’t! Don’t go out and spend a ton of money on a bike! Use the bike that you already have, or find yourself an inexpensive bike that you can use until you find out if you actually like the sport. Having a tri-suit is great, but you don’t NEED one to race. Get a swimsuit to swim in, throw a pair of cheap bike shorts on for the ride, then slip those off (keeping on the swim suit) and put on some shorts to run in. Or just ride and run in the same shorts. It may not be the most comfortable thing but you’ll be able to get the race done without spending $100 for a tri-suit. Long story short, keep it as minimal as possible until you know for sure that you want to keep racing.
- Depending on where you live, triathlons race during a 4-5 month period but is a 12 month sport.
- The thing I love most about being a triathlete is that I can train all year. I don’t need to train as much during the offseason, but 12 months a year my training is geared around my season. Being up north, we have a period between June and September where we can race comfortably. That doesn’t mean that I don’t train any other month, but those are the months where my training is focused around racing. During the other months I am able to focus more on technique, or strength training, or anything else to keep my endurance up prior to “pre-season”, which for me typically starts in April at the latest. As a reference, here are some free training plans you can use if you’re looking to participate in a Sprint, Olympic, Half or Full Ironman triathlon:
- Your friendships and relationships WILL change!
- This is one that often gets overlooked, but is indeed the most important one of them all. As you get into triathlons you’ll quickly learn how much things change. Your body changes, your diet changes, your schedule changes and your relationships change. This is extremely difficult for most triathletes, because it’s easy to fall in love with the sport. That’s great, but there are only 24 hours in a day. As you become more involved in the sport you’ll quickly learn that most of those 24 hours are spent training or recovering. This is how you develop deeper relationships with the folks that you train with. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a team to be a part of like District Triathlon where you all may go for a swim, bike and/or run together then grab a bite to eat or have a drink. While this is all well and good, what does it mean for the friends that you have that aren’t into the sport of triathlon? That’s an individual question for every athlete and there’s no one answer.
Now take it a step further and think of this in terms of a marriage. It’s a very difficult thing! A great read on this topic is “Triathlete Love: You Tri, Your Spouse Doesn’t” by Susan Lacke. I can write a full post about that, but long story short, know and do what works best for you and the relationships that you care most about.
So while there are plenty more things that you will learn about the sport of triathlon, I hope that these few things help you as you begin your journey of becoming a triathlete!
Getting and staying in shape is hard work, but nobody said it has to be lonely. In fact, experts agree that working out with a group not only holds you accountable, but it breaks up the monotony that often leads to boredom when working out alone. Enter District Tri. Last October I met up with a friend who I had not regularly seen since we trained together for a Tough Mudder a few years ago. I told him that I’d had some false starts getting back on the fitness horse but that I intended to get back in gear. He told me to be on the lookout for an invitation to a chat group for a crew of folks he’d begun swimming with. The group, I later learned, was a recently formed triathlon club comprised mostly of high energy Tri newbies dedicated to supporting members of all skill levels while breaking down the barriers that traditionally keep people of color to less than 1% of the multisport community. After one swim, I was hooked.
Since my first swim, I have logged more miles in the pool this winter than the prior three seasons combined. As an unintended benefit, I have learned from others and have had the opportunity to share some of the things I have picked up along the way. Weekly swims are filled with spirited competition and genuine support. Swimmers of all skill levels are welcomed and the team’s captain, Marcus, does a great job of mixing up workouts to get the most out of the team.
Out of the pool activities include runs, bikes, boot camps, bonding activities, community service, and yes, triathlons. I’m all in this year and have committed to compete in 5 triathlons this summer (Rock Hall, Escape Philly, NYC, Nations, and Quantico). With the 2017 tri season set to kick off I find myself looking forward to dropping pounds, logging gains, laughing and making friends along the way.
By Dedan Bruner: https://inmediasres2.wordpress.com
It’s that time of year again! District Triathlon is kicking off its first full year this month. So much has happened in a short period of time. We’ve grown the team from 2 members to 76 members in a couple months, acquired multiple partners & sponsors, trained, competed, won USA TRIATHLON club grant and had a dope ass time while doing it.
Triathlon is an exciting sport but it can be gear heavy and expensive. Not only are athletes asked to master 3 athletic disciplines but make sure the gear necessary with each is up to par good quality and dependable. I’ve only been in the sport for 2.5 years and coaching for even less. I’ve learned alot and still learning cool tips and tricks to make for faster transitions and being better prepared for competition and race season. Below are gear I currently plan on using through out the season (not all necessarily at the same time). I try to keep my gear as simple as possible. I’ve broken it down into 3 categories:
Swimsuit: TYR Viper Jammer Suit: This is my daily go to suit. Not too expensive and wont break the bank. USA Triathlon members get a decent discount at TYR.
Goggles: Speedo Vanquisher: I’ve been using these googles since high school. Get them and you wont be disappointed.
Swim Cap: Random Race Caps
Pool Swim Watch: Garmin Forerunner 920XT– It does everything I want from a GPS watch. Not the prettiest of the bunch. The Garmin Fenix 3 would be my ultimate choice… but the way my bank account is setup….
Drills – Swimmer Snorkel: FINIS Swimmer’s Snorkel – This is useful for balance drills primarily, allowing me to focus on position (looking at hands, etc…) without having to come up for air
Openwater – Wetsuit: Orca Open Water – I don’t have alot of experience with wetsuits and typically compete in water too warm for wetsuit legal events.
Swim bag: Aeropek Dry Bag.
Triathlon Bike: Cannondale Carbon Slice 3 w/shimano 105 components. I’m looking to upgrade soon or atleast upgrade my components to dura ace.
Roadbike: Currently nothing. Looking for a good road bike.
Power Meter: Cycle Ops Power Tap G3 & Joule 2.0 powermeter.
Bike Shoes: Planet X 365X Pro Carbon Vernice Road Shoe : These beauties are amazing! Light comfortable, easy to get on and off and didn’t come with a huge price tag.
Race belt: FuelBelt GelReady Race Belt – For races, to put your number on for the bike and run. It also holds gels, though, not as well as I’d like. Better just as a race belt for the number than a storage platform.
Running Shoes: Adidas Alphabounce: I’m crazy surprised at how these have treated me over the 6 months I have used them.
Running T-Shirt: Whatever technical t-shirt I grab out of the massive drawer of dozens of them. If you don’t have any running t-shirts, you’re not doing enough races. 😉
Running Shorts: Adidas supernova running shorts.. These things are solid. I usually stick to tights even in the summer but will grab these or nike dri-fit shorts. Cant go wrong with either.
Running Socks: 2xu compression socks. Never had a blister or painfully sore feet with these.
Running Watch: Garmin Forerunning 920XT: I’m pretty happy with the tracks/accuracy I get. When indoors I hook it up to the HR monitor.