As a former manager of NWTB, I can tell you it takes owners who invest long hours, serious strategy, leading industry knowledge, and daring risk to make a business like this stay in the black. During the best of times, all of these things are vital. During the worst of times - when your business is repeatedly vandalized and stolen from, and when you can no longer make insurance claims for fear of being dropped - it’s a very serious situation and it’s not sustainable.
Many of you likely remember multiple brick & mortar triathlon shops we had well before and even up to 2020. Now there's one. Started by Brad Williams in 2011, it was sold to Andrew Nuez and Ian Fishel before Covid and was doing great.....until Covid. Since then, sales have been challenging but not defeating. They are crafty, smart owners! The problem is the crime. They've had 5 break-ins with damage to the building and merchandise stolen, and 3 attempted break-ins with damage. The costs are in the 10's of thousands.
Making insurance claims at this point (and for the last few incidents) means they risk losing their insurance overall so they've been covering damages out of pocket - and not very deep pockets these days.
This is a tenuous time for NWTB and for all of us who are part of the PNW Multisport and Cycling communities. Those teams that enjoy NWTB as a sponsor receive discounts year round and special offerings. NWTB sponsors our season kickoff every year. They sponsor local events by providing prizes and technical support. They are knowledgeable - with many years of experience in the endurance industry including Mountain Biking, Gravel riding, Cycling, and of course, triathlon.
There is a GoFundMe happening now to help Ian and Andrew get over the financial hurdle in front of them. Please consider a donation so we keep them with us. 100% of the donations (minus admin fees to GoFundMe will go directly to them.)
Just as important, please continue to make any purchases you can at NWTB. If you stop by to chat, do it with a credit card in your hand and purchase something!! Let's keep these guys around for a long time.
Raise the Bar will donate 20% of all new memberships, returning memberships, and renewals to NWTB now through 9/30. If you've been considering one of those options, now is the time!
Patty Swedberg & Brad Williams
Raise the Bar
Race Recap My First Ironman at Coeur d’Alene
Morning wakeup 4:45am, I had ½ cup of oatmeal with peanut butter and honey. I started drinking 24oz of water with a package of LMNT. Note, a sweat test at NWTB through Precision Fuel and Hydration this year showed I am a very salty sweater at 1750mg/L, and I sweat 0.8 to 1.4L per hour. I arrived at transition at 5:30am which I figured would be enough time considering my run bag and bike bags were setup and I just needed to deliver my bike special needs, pump my tires, and mount my water bottles and bike computer. Setup always takes longer than I expect, but I was able to take care of business and meet up with my family around 6:10am. I had a cliff bar while finishing my salty water drink.
I placed myself at the end of the under 60-minute group as I was aiming between 60-65 minutes. I took a Maurten gel about 15 minutes prior to the start. I was not nervous about the swim, but more about the length of the day. I find the swim start inspiring as this is the last time that all the athletes will be grouped up. The canon went off and waves of 3 started charging into the water. Before I knew it, I was awaiting the beeper to trigger my race start. On go, I charged in and started out fast. The first 500 was on 7 minutes so I knew I needed to slow down and conserve energy. To finish out the first lap, I found swimmers to draft on. This can be tricky because it feels so easy it is hard to determine how fast I am going. I have alerts on every 500 so some sets were above and some were below my goal pace. At half way, I was near enough to target and began the second lap. Lap 2 was a bit slower as I caught the swimmers who started later. It was difficult to find someone to draft off as everyone around my pace had dispersed to swim around others. I was kicked in the ribs and elbowed in the face by breast strokers, but eventually found my rhythm and was relieved when making the turn to swim back to shore. I exited the water feeling great at 1:05:20 – right on plan. Running out of the water I tried to spot my family, but I was unable to as tend to be a bit disoriented.
This was my first transition grabbing a bag, but I treated it the same minus being able to sit in a chair. I was planning to put on blister tape for the run, but my feet were too wet so I figured I would wait until T2. My bike was further into transition so it was a long run to bike mount.
I started the bike feeling confident from my last longer training ride. I was using Infinit Nutrition (338 calories, 1289mg sodium) with 1 hour in my head unit, and 2 servings in a concentrated bottle on my rear cage. I was aiming to hold between 170 and 210 watts. The first out and back to Higgins Point felt good and my speed targets were holding up as expected. I fumbled a caffeine gel grab at the first aid station, but I was not planning on using it until later in the race. Before I knew it, I was climbing the long 400+ vertical foot hill. Having done IM70.3 CDA in 2019, I knew it was going to hurt. I started getting passed which was mentally challenging, but I stuck to my power targets. I passed back most of those who got me on the hill and started ticking away the miles. My thought process was similar to the following: 25 miles, that is ¼ to 100 which is pretty much ¼ there… 28 miles, I am a quarter of the way there.. Turnaround, back to CDA I go, 56 miles, wow I would be done with the bike if this was a 70.3...
I refined my use of aid stations as I went along, but grabbed a bottle of water every other aid station to mix with my concentrated Infinit blend. I got good at some point where I could grab a bottle, squirt it in the head unit, let go, grab a gel or two, finish filling the head unit, chug and spray the rest over me to cool down, then toss away in the trash zone. This was my first time with bike special needs. I packed an insulated grocery bag with 1 concentrated bottle of strawberry lemonade Infinit nutrition, 1 dry bag of chocolate Infinit as a spare, and a small bag of chocolate covered espresso beans as a pick me up. I froze zip lock bags filled with water to keep the
bottle cold. I quickly squirted half the bottle in the head unit, and mixed with a bottle of water.Despite everything to come, I do enjoy this course layout as you get to ride through town 4 times to see spectators and my support crew. Photo proof below showing I was enjoying myself!
The second big climb was quite challenging and seemed to take forever. I had a noticeable drop in power for the next 20 miles. At around mile 100, it started to rain/hail which allowed me to cool down and finish the ride off strong with an average power of 180. It felt great to see my family at the bike dismount! My goal time was between 5 to 5:15, but I came in at 5:31:36 due to that dip in power. I blame the hills as I was able to average 20mph easily on a previous training ride doing 2 loops around the 70.3 Maple Valley course and was expecting the aero helmet/less water bottle weight benefits to give me more speed.
My socks were wet from the rain so I planned to change to my spare pair of socks. However, the frozen water zip lock bag leaked and completely soaked one sock. I swapped one out, dried my feet and attempted to put on KT blister tape on my arches as I was nervous about the run in the Alphaflys. I noticed right away it was not sticking, but there was not much I could do. I put on my running pack with two 12oz soft flasks filled with pink lemonade Infinit each with 1 hour of nutrition (60g carbs, 1289g sodium).I sprayed on sunscreen as it was getting hot, stopped by the bathroom, and exited transition.
My nutrition plan was to drink ¼ of an Infinit bottle every 15 minutes with 3-6oz of water at aid stations. After 2 hours, I would switch to on course nutrition. My planned pace of 7 to 7:30 per mile would place
this at every other aid station. However, in practice, it was hot and I ended up drinking water every aid station, but sticking to the 15-minute nutrition intervals.
The first 8 miles were slightly off pace, but my heart rate was still in low zone 2. I expected cardiac drift, but I hoped that I could increase pace as I went along. At the first run loop, I saw my family, stopped for a motivational kiss from my wife, and kept going. My legs started to get quite fatigued so I began walking the aid stations around mile 9. At the half marathon banner, my run fell completely apart, and I had to walk even more. The temperatures were in the low 80s, but I kept cool by pouring ice in the front/back of my race suit and in my hat. There were pockets of clouds and the community spraying water with hoses/sprinklers so it did not feel excessively hot.
At mile 16, there was the sign for loops 2,3 right, finish to the left (see the excited look on my face in the photo). My family was waiting there and my body really wanted to call it quits. Mental toughness kicked in and a bunch of motivational quotes along with the thoughts of everyone tracking me on the app so I began power walking into a jog. At some point Diane Haensel caught up with me and motivated me to run with her. We walked the aid stations, but she got me moving again each time. I was extremely grateful for the boost that having a fellow club member gave. After a few miles, I let her press forward as I needed some more walking. I kept repeating one foot in front of the other in my head. I used the strategy of jogging behind people passing to get to the final turnaround.
Unable to eat much, I was not sure what my body needed so I attempted mix some LMNT in one of my soft flasks. However, after trying cola this agitated my stomach and I threw up around mile 22. Ironically, this made me feel better though I was concerned about dehydration so I made sure to keep drinking water. My jogs started to turn into runs, but walking breaks occurred at the same intervals.
At mile 26, I was so glad to finally turn left toward the finish instead of more loops. I was skeptical that the finish line would be in 0.2 miles, but I was able to force my legs to keep running. Finally, I rounded the turn onto Sherman Avenue and saw the red carpet. There was one racer in front of me so I slowed down to ring the first timer bell. I began high fiving the crowd. My mind was drained as I don’t even remember seeing my family even though video evidence shows I gave my dad a high five. As I approached, I heard “Michael Newbry, you are an IRONMAN”. I am not going to lie; I was a bit teary eyed as I was ecstatic to be done and proud of my ability to persevere when things were not going as planned. Run finish 4:15:03 with final time of 11:06:54, 15 th AG, 80 th by gender, and 118 th Overall. I have some unfinished business with Ironman as my goal is to qualify for Kona so I will return in a 2023/2024 race in the future. Perhaps something less hilly to play towards my strengths.
by Holly Pennington, PT/DPT Outpatient Physical Therapy
"When you do the work, it works.”
This is a phrase often seen and heard around our physical therapy clinics. Simple and true, it motivates and resonates. For triathletes, this is more of a way of life than a motivational quote. From one workout to the next, you live out “doing the work” daily. Your faith in challenging workouts paying off later helps you get up and go for a swim in the wee hours of the morning, say yes to new training plans and sign up for the next 70.3. You are all in with working hard. But what happens when your body suddenly can’t do what you planned to do? The nagging pain in your ankle turns to sharp pain spread throughout your lower leg, and the ride you planned is no longer possible. A long run that felt good at the time causes a painful limp the next day. Or you stub your toe while working in your backyard and end up in the ER with a fracture in your foot.
When you can’t do the work, it doesn’t work!
But you can lean on us! At Outpatient Physical Therapy/PNW Sports Institute, we understand athletes. Our Board-Certified Sports Physical Therapists will work with you to determine what you can do to keep training while you are injured. We will get to the root of “nagging pains,” so they do not progress into problems that keep you from your training plan. We will not tell you to “take a month off” or suggest that racing is “too hard on your body.” We are here to find ways for you to do the work, even when your body is not feeling 100%.
If you are an RTB member, you have special benefits with us. Click Here to read about those benefits including free injury screens, priority scheduling, and discounted massages. You can also learn about the specific sports-specialized therapists waiting to see you.
At Outpatient PT/PNW Sports Institute, we are happy and honored to be here for you during this racing season and beyond. We are here to help you make your hard work work, no matter what!
Find an OPT clinic near you Here.
Be sure to check out OPT's Pacific Northwest Sports Institute
Meet Jeremy Potter
Husband/Dog dad, 33 y/o born and raised in Tacoma, WA. Lifelong athlete and competitor in a variety of sports including basketball, football, volleyball, hurling, mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, etc. Casual runner excited to start my multi sport journey. Began running in local races approx. 2021 having now completed distances of 5K, 10K, 12K, 13.1mi, and 26.2mi.
What got me into the sport was basically looking for that next achievement after having completed a marathon. Bucket list goal would be to one day complete a full ironman. Upcoming events for me in 2023 include a St. Patrick’s day half marathon in Tacoma, also hoping to break the seal on my first tri with the Lake Wilderness Triathlon, and finally the Washington 70.3 in September!
Meet Bryon Wilkins
I started tris in 2019 as a way to stay fit and explore sports other than swimming, I fell in love after the first one. I moved to the PNW, from Boston, in August this year to start a job working as a Software Engineer at Wizards of the coast. Outside of triathlon, I enjoy playing video games and watching movies.
Bryon has jumped into the RTB morning swims and is planning on the IM 70.3 Oregon and the Pacific Crest Endurance festival.
Meet Dara Jolly
Dara did the STP this year and has always wanted to do an Iron Man event. She is excited to compete and complete the IM Oregon. Dara works as an OB Gym at Valley Medical and has a special needs son, who is "The light of her life".
Raise the Bar
Race reports, upcoming events, news, and more, from RTB.