Were you one of those kids that got sent to camp? Mom and Dad wanted to make sure you had some new experiences so they helped you pack up the required items from the camp list and off you went. After a long drive that helped you leave your normal routine behind you found yourself in a new place with a bunch of other campers - some of whom you'd never seen in your life. You became fast friends out of close proximity and shared experience and, as promised in the camp brochure, you left camp a little wiser, stronger, and with some new tools in your toolbelt you could take with you into the future.
The Coeur d'Alene Training Camp in 2005 was the first big undertaking for Raise the Bar. Back then I was the only owner and I was full of really great ideas. Ideas come to me like fruit flies to sweet, delicious red wine - sometimes with a similar doomed ending and especially in the early years of RTB before Brad the Business Guru got in my head. In the 10 years since this first camp, I've learned to think through things a bit before I dive in - but dive into this camp I did with ideas way bigger than my unwritten budget.
I hired Mike Pigg - one of the original great triathletes who was recently retired from the sport - to be our camp expert. Mike was known as the hardest working triathlete in the pro ranks and had triathlete star power - we learned a ton about race execution from him. He helped us work out our race strategies and nutrition plans and offered great advice - some of which we even listened to. "Only Fig Newtons on the bike course? You might want to rethink that, buddy". He told us a story about how he survived a long bike ride and his own poor nutrition plan when a mom in a minivan pulled over where he was laying on the side of the road and gave him a jolly rancher and half a can of Tab. It got him home. Mike had a lot of stories and we were completely inspired by him. He put new tools in our toolbelts.
I rented the Roosevelt Inn for the entire Memorial Day Weekend. Because of COURSE we'd be able to fill it with eager Ironman hopefuls who wanted to go to a training camp. Well...we didn't exactly fill it to overflowing- or even close to capacity - but it did end up containing some of my best friends in the sport and outside of it. George & Patti Anderson, Phil Spencer, Cheryl Iseberg, Paul Grove...
We all left camp wiser, stronger, and came back to Coeur d'Alene the next month better athletes on race day. Mission accomplished!
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