For triathletes September means the end of the racing season.  Kids are going back to school, the leaves and weather begin to change.  The increasingly shorter days, make training for the athlete with a full-time job, a game of “chasing daylight”. For the runners the fall means more road races, and training in  cooler temperatures, optimal conditions.  For the triathlete in New England, not so much. The long rides become a test of time management, the open water swims are a psychological game as the air in the early morning struggles to get to 55 degrees, you tell yourself over and over again, “the water will be warm”, and running with a headlamp is the new normal.  Some throw in the towel for the year and set their sights on next season, others continue, they embrace the seasonal change and continue driving forward.   The last two weekends have been such the case for some of my athletes.  On September 24th. Steven Allard ventured to his hometown of New Hampshire to race in the Lakes Region Triathlon Festival.  New to the sport this would be his second sprint triathlon.  Race morning air 45 degrees.  Steven had a great day placing third in the age group of 25-29 with a time of 1:32:04.  Steven has one race left for this season, and then will be training hard this winter for his first half Ironman.  On the running side Leslie Battle traveled to the  Westport Half Marathon, and placed 5th in the 40-49 age group in a time of 1:49:37.

The team of Bernier and Bernier continued their Ironman march this past Sunday at Ironman Maryland.  It should be noted that these two seem attract all the extreme weather mother nature has to offer.  In the three years I have coached them there has not been a race where the temperatures did not exceed 95 degrees or the rain did not fall from the sky.  Needless to say these two always have a great outlook, and just say “bring it on”.  So it was fitting for their second Ironman of season, the swim would be cancelled due to unsafe conditions, the bike would be flooded and shortened by 12 miles, and to top it off, the marathon would be a run-slog-run-slog, as the course would flood to 18 inches of water having to be run through 8 times.  So to the starting line they went!  Dan finished in 10:01:25 and Donna 10:06:58 placing 15th in her age group. They crossed the finish line hand in hand,  deemed by me; “THE IRON COUPLE”.  Side note: as Dan heads gleefully to the woods to mountain bike, Donna will race a Marathon at the end of the month!  I just love these guys!

In Rhode Island the runners enjoyed the beauty of Ocean Rd. in Narragansett, racing in the Ocean’s 10K.  Leslie Battle and Lisa Garzilli, training partners on the track all summer, both had great races.  Leslie won the 45-49 age group in a time of 49:49 and Lisa was right behind her with a time of 50:32.

To train these amazing athletes is such an honor for me.  Each day I thankful that they allow me to join them on their journey.   The season marches on to the end of the month, with one more triathlon, and many fall Rhode Races.