2016 is here! I am so excited to begin a new year, to continue fiercely pursuing my passion for sport, to encourage more women and young girls to get out there and realize their own potential, and to keep working tirelessly toward achieving bigger goals than ever before.
I’m looking for a lot of progress this new season and am so eager to challenge myself and chase down my dreams with everything I’ve got. And in that effort, I am incredibly grateful and humbled to have an amazing team of partners lined up to support me this year.
As I touched on in my previous post, I made some big changes for 2016, and put a tremendous amount of thought and heart into determining my partnerships for this year. While triathlon is technically an individual sport, it absolutely takes a team to get any one person to the finish line, and I firmly believe that having great partners is essential to attaining personal success.
For me there are a lot of factors in defining a “great” partner. Yes, of course I was looking to partner with a team and with brands that can help provide the financial and equipment/product support I need to accomplish my goals, and whose products I believe in. But for me that’s just a part of the equation, and there’s so much more that goes into making a person, team, or company really stand out. I wanted to work with brands that have great people behind them, a mission I can feel passionate about, and values that are in line with my own. I was looking for partners who could provide the best possible platform to help me reach out to others in sport, and who share my vision to do so. I wanted partners who are making a difference in some way through what they do each day and the resources they provide. And I wanted partners who would support me on multiple levels (not just financially). I wanted to work with people who made me feel valued, and who felt like I could truly enhance their team and strengthen their brand.
Considering all of these factors, I’m very excited to have signed on with the Sierra Endurance Sports team for 2016. Sierra Endurance Sports is a regional team based out of Reno, Nev., made up of 12 athletes competing in a variety of endurance sports, including road triathlon and Xterra, mountain biking, open water swimming, mountain and trail running, cyclocross, and more. The team is spearheaded by Matt and Aimee Balzer of Reno Running Company, who are awesome!
Sierra Endurance Sports provides everything I was looking for in a team. To start, it is simply a great group of people. The atmosphere among the team is positive, supportive and enthusiastic. I’m a big believer in the notion of surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, and that is definitely accomplished with this group. I also love that the team is local, so I can interact with my teammates regularly and actually have people to train with and help push and encourage me, which has been rare for me the past several years. I think this will be hugely beneficial, both physically and mentally! Being a member of this team makes me part of a network of people who share my deep love for sport, and also for the Sierras and the many incredible outdoor opportunities we have here. Together, we are on a mission to take full advantage of those opportunities in every way possible, and to share our passion for sport with others in our community and beyond. Together we will work to become better, faster, stronger versions of ourselves, to reach new heights and to have fun along the way. This is truly a community-centric team, and I am absolutely fired up to be a part of it!
As a team, we have some seriously awesome sponsors, including: Reno Running Company, Nature’s Bakery, Altra Running, and Reno Cycling & Fitness. Each of these companies is deeply rooted in passion, community focused, committed to getting more people out the door and helping to improve their experience, and provides products/services that I know will enhance my training and racing tremendously and help me become a better athlete. I am incredibly excited to be working with these partners under the Sierra Endurance Sports umbrella!
In addition to these team sponsors, I’ll be working with a few other fantastic companies in 2016 to help accommodate all my athletic needs. Coeur Sports will provide my triathlon/swim/bike/run apparel, in addition to a serious dose of inspiration from fellow female athletes, a constant reminder to race with “Heart and Courage,” and a phenomenal sense of community among their amazing team of women. Helmets and bike shoes will be provided by Catlike, a Spanish company whose extensive research and development process and innovative technologies and designs have led to what I believe to be the most superior products on the market — and as evidenced by the incredible range of elite athletes from across the world also using their products, many others do too! For personal care, I’ll be working with Zealios Skin Care, a fantastic group of peeps who have created an amazing line of performance-based personal care products specifically formulated to meet the unique demands of endurance athletes. Because when you spend as much time as I do out in the sun, and getting sweaty, muddy and chlorine-soaked, quality personal care is essential, and basic products just don’t cut it!
Last but certainly not least, I will continue working with August and Unleashed Coaching in 2016 to accommodate all of my coaching needs, including comprehensive customized training plans (and consistent review and adjustments as needed), performance analysis, technique and fitness assessments, and most importantly a constant support system and source of encouragement. I could not be more thankful for the guidance August has provided me throughout my entire triathlon career so far and the progress he has helped me to make along the way, and can’t wait to see what more we can accomplish together in this coming season!
I am beyond excited to start this next chapter and begin working toward a 2016 race season that I hope and believe will be my most successful one yet, and I am so grateful to be doing so with this incredible team of supporters behind me. I truly could not be more proud of these partners. I feel so fortunate that they chose to believe in me and invest in my journey as an athlete, and I look forward to representing them as best as I possibly can this year!
As far as my 2016 racing plans, I don’t quite have my schedule finalized yet, but it should be done very soon, so stay tuned for more details…Thanks for reading, and here’s to a happy, healthy 2016 of big ambitions, tackling challenges head-on, overcoming the obstacles, making progress and embracing the journey, and keeping it FUN! See you out there!