The TCSD Cares training program was designed to take advantage of the recurring club workouts, and also donated time and resources from club sponsors and coaches. Not surprisingly, once the word got out about the program, club volunteers and sponsors stepped up to donate their time, resources and expertise. We started with a couple of orientation sessions featuring a Tri 101 class to get everyone on the same page. From there the adventure began. What started as a room full of strangers quickly coalesced into a team. By the third week the team was fully supporting each other, and even arranging extra training together beyond the training schedule!
The program was designed to knock down the typical beginner first-tri fears one by one, and as race day approached the increased confidence in the Team members was inspiring to see. The day before race day saw some large waves at the Fletcher Cove race site, which produced some correspondingly large eyes on some of the Team Solana members. They had been through numerous salt water and beach entry practices, but none with waves this large. We were confident that the Team had what it took to handle these conditions, but thankfully, on race day the waves had died down to more normal conditions generating a collective sigh of relief.
On race morning Team Solana met for some last minute team encouragement and a ‘before’ Team picture. Then it was off to the start line. After all the preparation the race was almost anti-climatic as all 16 Team Solana members successfully completed the event, and did so with gusto! We ended the day at a Team party hosted by one of the members where we toasted success. You all know how much fun it is to see the look on a first-timer’s face and hear the race stories after their first triathlon? Well that afternoon, the other coaches and I were privileged to experience that 16 times over. It was one of the best triathlon experiences I have ever had. Team Solana continues to train together, and many of the Team will be competing in the Surftown and Mission Bay triathlons (and some both). Incredible as it may seem, more than one member of our Team had signed up for their first 70.3 BEFORE completing their first triathlon at Solana Beach.
On a final note I would like to personally say that I could not have envisioned how rewarding (and fun!) running this program would be. I have always enjoyed introducing beginners to triathlon, but this Team became a family, and a success, in every way. I would like to thank fellow TCSD Cares Coaches and Volunteers Farah Hedwig, Steve and Bryan Koci, Dean Rosenberg, Julie Harrer, Anna Weltman, and Shelby Madden. There is NO WAY it could have happened without their support, expertise and dedication.
There is not space here to adequately thank all the sponsors and individuals who contributed time and resources, but thank you to all! Special thanks to all the TCSD members who stepped up to help prepare Team Solana and make them comfortable. Finally thanks to Team Solana itself who made all this happen in such spectacular fashion.
TCSD Cares Team Solana would like to thank:
• Brian Long for help and advice, and for coming up with all of this.
• KOZ Enterprises for accomodating the Team in every way
• B&L Bikes for hosting multiple seminars
• Hi Tech Bikes for hosting multiple seminars
• Lesley Paterson for writing up custom training plans (while in the UK competing in a Pro event no less) and for hosting a special Braveheart Brick
• Dr. John Martinez and all Coastal Sports and Wellness for hosting an incredible injury prevention seminar
• The gang at Moment Cycle Sport for hosting a bike maintenance and shifting clinic
• Jim Vance for special track workouts
• Nikee and Chad and all at the JCC swims for special time with the group
• Jonathon Jefferson for special attention at his open water swimming group
• Kim Mueller for a fantastic nutrition seminar
• Andy Concors for a great bike handling clinic
• John Hill for website expertise
• Osamu at OPIX
• Bryan Koci for photo documenting the Team
• Brian Wrona and the TCSD race directors for a great beginner race
• Xterra wetsuits for providing wetsuit help and special discounts
... and also, special thanks to Pulse Endurance and Rehab United for offering to host events; sorry the schedule did not permit any more!
• Any to anyone I forgot, my apologies, but thank you just the same! (email me so I can list you!)
Looking forward to doing it all again next year!
Steve Tally and the TCSD Cares Team