Sunday, December 25, 2011


As 2011 comes to a close, I want to look back, back at the good and the bad, to reflect, to learn, and to prepare for what I hope may be an even better 2012.

2011 began with an amazing day followed by a flight back to Kansas. Back in Kansas I began what would be my last months as an assistant coach at Baker University. Through the spring I focused on coaching and my faith as I was in a very volatile situation. Luckily, the distance squad I was coaching ran very well, helping lead Baker to its first men’s team conference championship in over 60 years. I then went on to watch five months of hard work pay off for Megan Rosa who ended up 9th in the nation in the marathon at nationals. All in all, it was a fantastic spring of coaching. June came, and I knew it was time to move on. Back in Colorado, I was jobless and very nervous as I wondered where I would be coaching and living in the fall.

My faith had been growing as I had finished my Men’s Fraternity Class, and I was trying to implement what I had learned into my day-to-day life. SOAPing in my Bible regularly, attending great church services at Morningstar, and spending time with strong Christian friends who helped me grow, I couldn’t have been stronger or happier. Granted, there are always setbacks; however, with support and prayer I have done very well moving forward in my life.

Summer came and went with too many workouts and not enough hours with my friends of Buena Park Circle. Being unsure of my future, applying for jobs, and training was very stressful, but Ben Martinez and the rest of the gang kept me laughing and smiling. Most afternoons were spent sunbathing on the front yard recovering from the morning workouts until everyone else was off work. Summer also brought my Golden Birthday, turning 25 on June 25th at the Golden Bee with my best friends there to share it with me. The 2011 racing season went fairly well but left me hungry for 2012. In spite of the negative aspects of 2011, the memories of this past summer are as fond a memory as any summer I have ever had. It came to a close with a fantastic job offer, allowing me to maximize my enjoyment of the entire summer before accepting a position in August.

Much of the fall was stressful, considering I had been hired at Kansas Wesleyan with just one athlete returning. Now, with transfers I have taken the team to six runners and plan to bring in another ten to fourteen next year. Building a program from scratch has its advantages but also has taken so many hours of recruiting and coaching. I have found a church, friends, and some great places to run. 2012 in Salina is already looking brighter now that I have settled in.

While home for Christmas break, I learned that the “green bridge” along highway 24 is about to be demolished. Although it is not the prettiest or most famous landmark in Colorado, it is truly memorable. Almost everyone knows the bridge if you have ever made the trip to Colorado Springs. After many years it is going to be destroyed, and a new larger bridge will be built in its place. Many locals fought to have it moved and used somewhere else but to no avail. I am truly sad to see it go. I have many memories of trekking underneath it, looking at the jail cells underneath and just enjoying the view of Pikes Peak from there. Although it will be gone, my memories remain, just like the year 2011, gone but not forgotten. In all reality, it is not the bridge or 2011 that matters; what matters are the memories and the lessons learned. What also matters is what I do in 2012. Another year has come and gone, and I have achieved my career goal. Now it’s time for new goals. Making the most of my life is very important and seeing how quickly another year has flown by, it shows clearly that time is short, and I want to make the most of it. All that I have achieved has come from hard work and not always waiting for the opportune time but putting my nose to the grindstone and following my dreams no matter how crazy they may be. 2012, here I come!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Numbers in Coaching

A coach always has numbers on his mind. I feel that these numbers are hurting the sport of running.

Stop counting miles and stop worrying about the number of workouts! It can become addicting logging miles. Many runners hit a point where they forget to listen to what their bodies are telling them and instead focus on numbers, ending up injured. Rest is the number one workout that is forgotten by coaches. They are almost always former athletes who have a competitive gene that pushes them to sometimes forget about what is best for their athletes. Therefore, I have a simple point to make that I hope a few coaches and athletes may hear. “It is impossible to improve if you aren’t on the starting line.” Injured athletes may do a great job of recording splits, but that won’t be their goal, and it shouldn’t be mine. I must push my athletes, but I will err on the side of caution, pushing quality not quantity. A healthy athlete will race, but an injured one will be taking splits.

The next number epidemic applies to qualifying standards and personal records. I, of course, love running a lifetime best, just like all runners do, but to be honest, it is taking the real excitement out of running. There are days when it’s cold, days when it’s hot, courses that are long and others short, tracks that are at higher elevation and others on the beach. Whatever happened to the joy of just racing? When we hear the theme from Chariots of Fire, we should feel compelled to run, not for a PR but for the love of running.

Coaching in the NAIA, our national rankings are based on times. I am not a fan of this when so many schools have warm beautiful weather for their whole season, and here in Kansas it’s cold and windy at nearly every meet. It’s really hard to say who is running a true 8k or in what conditions. I am a proponent of regionals being reinstated to assure that the best teams make it to nationals. When it comes to individual performances, I still want my athletes to give everything they have. If they do this, I could care less what their times or places are because their effort would reflect the attitude and character of the runner in which I want to coach. I would trade five sub25 minute 8K runners who never work hard for five who would run 2 minutes slower if they would give everything they have and believe in me and each other. I want my runners to improve, but in a way that is conducive to the love of running.

As a coach, I am forced to also face another number game. That game is known as weight. Weight should not matter. I have seen and raced against all sizes. I am tired of girls and guys thinking that speed and success comes from being thinner. This is not to say that a 300 lb man will have the same success as a 160 lb man. However, if one is running my prescribed workouts and eating sensibly, there is no reason to fret if you are gaining weight. If the day ever comes that I have a runner who is losing a battle because of genetics and can’t stay at a healthy running weight (which is heavier than most think), then they will hopefully talk to me so that they can hear how important their health is and not how important their weight is. An athlete who is living on lettuce and calcium supplements will not be strong enough to survive a full career of college running. Taking these pills may hold off the early stages of osteoporosis and bone deterioration, but not for long. Also, in addition to ones bones becoming brittle and unhealthy, another worry for a coach of girl distance runners is amenorrhea. If a woman loses her menstrual cycle for too long, she faces being infertile the rest of her life. When it’s all said and done, I want my athletes to look at me with respect rather than resentment. As a male coach, I know I must be extra cautious about how I speak to my female athletes. I keep my eyes open for signs, such as cut knuckles, discolored teeth, bad breath, and irregular eating habits.

I hate the numbers games. Simply said, run hard and have fun.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Freezing 5K

Although the name of yesterday’s 5K was the Holiday Hustle, it could have been named the Freezing 5K due to the 22degree temperature. Starting in the shadows of Junction City High School, the race was full of Kansas collegiate standouts. As we took off up the longest hill of the course, I knew the majority of the top competitors were all very fit because they recently raced in the DII cross country nationals. The first mile we packed up, running with a slight head wind as we came through the mile at 5:28. After the mile, the pack quickly broke apart with a surge, and the lead group all went sub 5 for mile 2 and 3. I finished with a 15:54 and had a lot of fun even though I was in 6th place. It was exciting to know that I could go sub 16 on a hard course with hills. I will be heading back to Colorado in a few days to finally put in some great miles at higher elevation where I might also throw in some speed. I am planning on racing a 3K on January 7th at KU and will need to be able to get out a lot faster. All in all, it was a fun event, and Tim Testa did a great job running the event. Post race with his family and several of the guys I enjoyed some amazing pancakes at his parents’ house. What a great start to the Holiday Season!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas, hosted the 2011 National Coaches Convention for NAIA, NJCAA, and NCAA track and field/ cross country coaches. Flying out Sunday night to San Antonio after a great evening with friends in Baldwin was an exciting start to a great convention. For three days, I went to presentation after presentation on all forms of running. It was fun to listen to top Division 1 and professional coaches who talked about their success and gave tips on training, recruiting, and many more relevant topics. Traveling there not only was a huge learning opportunity, but also an exciting vacation, between rooming with Coach Kindler and spending my evenings hanging out with some of the best coaches in the world. The conference allowed me to learn, network, and flat out enjoy a beautiful hotel. Also, it was great to hang out at the Brooks booth and catch up with Steve DeKoker. Seeing him reminded me how amazing of a company Brooks is and how lucky I am to be a part of their team. Although my time at the convention was only three days, I really enjoyed the opportunity to voice my opinion on very important issues facing the NAIA and to relax with other coaches. Thanks to Zach, Kevin, Sean, and Maleah for many laughs.

After the Mondo Dinner and reception, Maleah dared me to race up the escalator that was coming down. After I easily made it up the first one, she decided to join me and nearly made it to the top when she lost her shoe and fell hard. This picture was taken the next morning, remembering her glorious failed attempt.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Well, I had wondered if this day was coming, and my suspicions were confirmed tonight. After only one year with Kompetitve Edge, I was dropped. For over two months I had been trying to contact them without getting any response.

This past summer I had a mediocre summer of racing and wondered if that would affect sponsorships. Luckily when I joined Kompetitive Edge they knew I was still maturing and growing into training full time for triathlons. I was assured that this was like a family who wanted to help me out and who liked who I was, as much as what I could do in a race. Unfortunately they no longer feel the same way. What is truly sad is that I did not even get a phone call or a personalized email.

So, what now? I train harder, I train longer, I train faster, and I train even smarter. This summer cannot get here fast enough. I cannot wait to let them see what they passed up. After a year living only a block from a pool and spending time training with amazing coaching and ideas from Jim Hallberg, I hope to see great results.

I know that I only live in Colorado a few months out of the year, and they must not believe they were getting enough referral business, but I was under the impression I was part of a family. If my brother moves to Ohio, I will still love him. Every company is different and everyone does what they have to do. I am sad to see them go because I thought so highly of them. I hope to find a new company that is willing to work with me, and I will do all I can for them, as I did for Kompetitve Edge. If this is how they act toward those they do not support, I am excited to find a new family. It is one thing to be rejected but to be dumped is completely different. So, to whatever company who chooses to endorse me, I promise to work hard, race hard, and do all I can to help them.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Time!!!

Thanksgiving was a much needed break from the stresses of coaching and a trip to see friends and family in Colorado was long overdue.

Welcome Home!

Limon Colorado is home to many giant stuffed bears...

Decorating the Christmas Tree at Benjamins house! Good Times

Bailey Family Christmas Card Picture

Bri, Ben, ME, Houli, Elizabeth at the Broadmoor Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration

Broadmoor Hotel

Jelly Fish Christmas Tree

ME, Benjamin, Hooli, Jaron

Me, Bri, Hooli, Elizabeth, Jaron

Thank you to everyone who helped make a fantastic Thanksgiving Break, I cant wait to be back for Christmas. Not pictured but great times (Adam, Andrew, Victoria, Kodi, Whitney)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving with Courage

This city, Colorado Springs, is my city! It is great to be back! Coming home is always an amazing feeling, and with each mile closer, the mountains grow larger. A sense of comfort comes over me, a sense of strength, as Pikes Peak is my Ebenezer. I have seen many friends, done so much, and ran many miles already this week, and it is only Thanksgiving! With this special day, I think of some of the people who have helped form me into the man I am today. Philippians 1:3 says, “I thank my God every time I remember you.” It has been such a long road to get to where I am now. So much hard work, so many dreams, and none of it would be possible without my faith that is reaffirmed by my amazing friends and family.

Last Saturday I won the Frosty 5K in Salina, so I decided to sit out the Briargate Turkey Trot today and just supported friends. Watching the race with Jenny Simpson I really enjoyed seeing Adam Rich, Kevin Morgan, Gerald Romero, and Shannon Payne all run well. Now, as a coach I am constantly watching races and not racing in them. Looking from the outside is so much different. The fans who have never run do not understand the courage necessary to push when everything in your body says to slow down. Giving all you have is not easy, and there is always self doubt. Anyone can stand on the side and cheer, but it takes true courage to race. Running has always been a metaphor for me and my life. As I watched the race go by today, I was having fun, but it is not the same as racing. With life, it is easy to sit on the side, cheer on others as they do what we may think is hard, or even impossible, but what is true is those who race are those who are not scared. Races and life rarely go how we plan, and fate rarely calls on us at a time of our choosing, but it is our courage to act, to live, and to conquer that makes us truly alive.

So, for those of you who are looking for motivation, or that perfect moment, STOP! It most likely already passed. Wake up and do something before you are so far behind that all you can do is look back and wonder. Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua1:9 That moment you are waiting for is NOW! Step out of your comfort zone, and live your life with courage because the Lord is with you Wherever you go. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Missing Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the NAIA cross country National Championship. I have raced it, coached it, and lived it. As the night grows short and morning approaches, I can’t help but think of the race and of the runners who I coached that will be there without me. I want to call each one of them up and tell them how much I miss them and how well I know they will do, but they are no longer my team. I am at Kansas Wesleyan, calling my future runners, letting them know that I know the way to Nationals, and that I plan to be there next year. I know my runners here gave everything they had this season, and I am very proud to be their coach while also being ready for the future. So, good luck to Justin Hill, Chris Scheideman, Cory Clark, Aaron Caldwell, Taylor Nall, Eric Larson, Vince Tadokoro, Ashley McBride, and Lauren Jaqua! Run smart, run fast, and trust your training. Also best of luck to Lauren Jimison. After watching her win in Indiana last May, I know she will win tomorrow and do so in a way that would glorify God. Good night and Good Luck! I will be praying for all of you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Throughout my college career, I was known as a "kicker." At regular season meets, I would pull my weight, but when a championship was on the line I would do what it took to win or qualify. Post college I have raced in many road races and triathlons, and several times I have worked with other athletes fighting the wind. However, today my "kick" was not enough to win after experiencing something I had thankfully never experienced before and hope to never again.
This morning I raced a half marathon on the hilly windy course at Shawnee Mission Park. From the start, a young man went immediately to my hip pocket, letting me fight the wind. After a few miles, I began asking him to help out as the head wind was beginning to burdon me. When he refused, I threw in a few accelerations to break him, but with no avail. At mile six, I said forget this and jogged a 6:42 mile. He still refused to pass. I asked him if money was on the line, but I already knew the answer was, "No." During miles 7-10, I ran four straight miles at 5:38 with him still behind me. Besides drafting, he was repeatedly stepping on my heels. At mile 10.5, I slowed in frustration, and he flew by with the tail wind. In anger I yelled the nickname Pre would have used from Without Limits for someone who would not run courageously.
At the finish he ended up beating me by nearly a minute as he jumped around like a super bowl champion. With the encouragement of a great friend Justin Hill, I had battled back and still ran 1:17.22. However, at the line I nearly lost it as he tried to congratulate me. There were unpleasantries exchanged, but having Justin there kept me from losing it. I refuse to acknowledge a victory that is not earned.
I am excited with how I did in the wind and hills in spite of getting stepped on. I was also very happy to see Kari Wagoner finish her first half marathon on a stress fracture. Seeing someone race a half on a stress fracture shows true courage and exemplifies what fun half marathons should be about as you push your own limits. The race director Ben Holmes put on a great race that was well organized and marked, on an absolutely beautiful course. He even apologized to me for the experience that I had with the other runner throughout the race.
So, to all my fellow runners out there, never sacrifice ethics to win. Give everything you have while having fun and stay off your competitors heels. While Pre has a name for runners like I faced today, I simply would advise you to "Race with class."

Monday, October 17, 2011


Today was a typical Monday. I was getting a lot accomplished when I decided to check out what was new on the usatriathlon web page. I was surprised to see myself pictured with the lead pack at mile 2 of the USA Duathlon National Championships last Spring in Tucson AZ. I am still far from famous but its a great way to start the week for me. Hope all is well and to race again soon. Here is the link to the page and picture.
Pictured in my sweet TYR Kit and Pink Oakleys provided by Kompetitive Edge and the T6 racers by Brooks. Thanks

Monday, October 10, 2011

Prairie Fire Half Marathon

I love to write about great days, fun times, and of course winning. However, today was one of those days that I pursued my passion and love of running without getting anything in return, except the satisfaction of running.

A week ago I wrote about how I was considering one of two half marathons or possibly both. Little did I know that less than two days later I would come down with a miserable cold. With a runny nose, sinus headaches, and aching from Tuesday through Friday, I had considered not running. Saturday I was feeling better, still with a runny nose but I could handle it. I decided I had nothing to lose, so I drove down to Wichita on Saturday evening and raced Sunday morning.

Starting my warm up, I ran into Kimberly, a friend from college who is very into training and personal fitness. We warmed up together and had a lot of fun catching up. When the gun went off, I found myself feeling relaxed and enjoying the cold temperatures in the rain. This lasted for 5 miles at sub 5:30 pace. Unfortunately, a little past the 5 mile mark, I began having hard times breathing. Severe congestion in my throat was causing me to gag, and I quickly received a side stitch. Right then, I knew I was in trouble. I tried to fight the pain but was quickly caught and lost my lead of the race. I managed a couple more miles before the stitch got bad enough I felt like walking, and a port-a-potty was looking really good. I ended up stopping twice to use the bathroom. Finally at mile 10 I knew any chances of winning or placing in the top 3 were out the window, so I began to just cruise for fun. Cold, wet, and running may sound miserable to most, but I found it to be okay. Feeling pain somehow is very relaxing to me. It is a reassurance that I am alive, that I am pushing my limits. Sometimes it’s not how fast we run, but what we get out of it. My final time was 1:20.55, ten minutes off of a personal best, but I survived and got in a good long run. Catching up with friends, eating at Buffalo Wild Wings with Kimberly after the race and having a few laughs is exactly what I needed to forget the race and make sure I remember what is important. I love to run, I love to run for Christ, and I love to be with friends.

Great job today Tim Testa in the 5K, and to Kimberly, Rob, and Dawn in the ½ marathon, and way to go Ashley in the Marathon! Also, I want to say thanks to my amazing parents and brother who always do such a great job of supporting me in my insanity.

Post race with Kimmie.. Ill open my eyes next time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

One or Both

With two very big half marathons approaching, I am debating which one to race. While they both offer prize money, they also both have pros and cons. The Prairie Fire Half is a relatively fast course but is the day after traveling to Hays to coach, and my legs will not be as rested as I would like. The Kansas City Half would allow for rested legs, but unfortunately falls on a hilly course. To help me decide, I hopped in an 8K in Baldwin City last week the day after running 13 miles and felt relatively strong. I finished the hilly course in 27:04 but paid for the 5-flat first mile in mile 5. Last week's 8K also gave me a second race without swimming or cycling first which I hope will remind my legs of what it's like to race without the other two disciplines. I hope to decide by Tuesday! Both races have offered me free entry fees, so there is a chance I might just run them both and see what happens. Either way I am racing to glorify God while having some fun. Training is going well for my 2012 triathlon season. I am spending plenty of time at the pool and fighting to still put in the miles on the bike. Thanks for the support and kind words. The good luck texts and congratulatory emails really help me push through workouts while training by myself.

On a side note, I am very excited to receive my Pure Project Cadence before their official release on Saturday. The Brooks representative will be at Salina Running Company for their release Saturday afternoon; so, I hope to see a big turn out!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Settling into Salina

Just short of 1 month in Salina, and I am feeling at home. For those of you who don’t know, I inherited a program with very few runners, and by very few I mean 3. Those three runners, I had to negotiate and recruit in the first few days of being hired just to come run for me. The previous coach knew he was leaving and did not recruit. He also told his runners he was leaving back in May while not telling the university till July. The few returners decided to transfer or give up running. While the 3 that I have are fantastic kids, I am working very hard on the recruiting trail, hitting up meets and spending 10-14 hour days in the office. This is a challenge that most would not enjoy, but I am looking forward to building a program with my principles and goals at the core. I have now found some great friends here in town to hang out with, and after a few tries I have found a church that feels like home. At Kansas Wesleyan I feel that I have found a school that supports me. The head soccer coach has even agreed to work with me by giving me his top runners to make sure I have a full team at conference. This may seem like no big deal, but these are 8 starters who are willing to run for me while still doing soccer. I must say I am excited and ecstatic for next year when I can bring in my own recruits.
Today marked the start of my fall road racing season. I had first heard about this race a little over a week ago at my first trip to First Covenant Church, then after working a few days this week at Salina Running Company, I decided it would be a good workout and test.
While warming up, I noticed Daniel, a fellow runner, who had beaten me in Wichita two years ago. With him there, I knew the pace would be honest and with a very hilly course around Indian Rock, I also knew that it was a race that I had to go out under control while staying close to Daniel. He and I ran side by side for just short of 3 miles. Luckily when we cleared the last hill, I could see the finish and was able to shift gears and put a small gap between us. Two of my athletes got up early to come cheer me on, so as I finished I couldn’t help but think of what I say to them and focused on good form finishing the 5K in 16:19 winning by 2 seconds. While 16:19 is far from an impressive time, I am very pleased. Training long slow runs, long slow bike rides, and easy form drills in the pool, I am far from being my quickest. However, with more runners on a flat course I am easily under 15:30 shape which is exciting for me. Another month of training throwing in a few quicker workouts, and I should be ready to run 2 or 3 quick half marathons this fall.
A great city, fun friends, an environment for success, and my training is going great. I truly am blessed to have such supportive friends and family and a God who has not given up on me and is doing great things in my life!
Best of luck to all of you this fall!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kansas Wesleyan University

Brent Bailey has been named the Cross Country and Track coach at Kansas Wesleyan University. He has led the Coyote programs since August 2011.

Bailey comes to Kansas Wesleyan after spending two years as graduate assistant coach at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan. Bailey’s emphasis at Baker was coaching the distance program, coaching 73 All-Heart of America Conference selections in track and nine All-Heart of America Conference selections in cross country. He also coached a ninth place finisher in the women’s marathon and the NAIA National Championships while coaching at Baker and helped the Wildcat women qualify for the NAIA Cross Country National Championships for the first time in several seasons after winning the Heart of America Championship for the first time since 2002.

A native of Limon, Colo., Bailey attended McPherson College in McPherson, Kan., where he earned dual degrees in Physical Education and Business Administration with minors in Accounting and Finance. While at McPherson, Bailey was elected student body president. On the course and on the track for the Bulldogs, Bailey was a four-time All-KCAC performer in cross country and qualified for the NAIA National Championships, and was a KCAC Champion in the 1500m and earned All-KCAC honors ten times.

He then continued onto earn his Master of Liberal Arts degree from Baker University.

During his prep career at Limon High School, Bailey was a state champion and helped his team to back-to-back Colorado State team titles. He also ran club track with the Colorado Springs Striders, where he competed at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics in the 4x800m relay and the 2000m steeplechase.

Bailey is a USATF Level 1 certified coach and continues to train and compete on an elite level, twice qualifying for the USA Duathlon National Championships and the USA Triathlon National Championships.

“I am truly excited to have the opportunity to return to the KCAC as a coach,” Bailey said of his hiring at Kansas Wesleyan. “Coaching is in my blood and is truly my passion. I look forward to the challenge of building this program to be the top program in the conference.”

Sunday, July 24, 2011


With nothing to lose, Kompetitive Edge was able to pull some strings to get me into the Denver Triathlon on short notice. I was praying for some redemption from my past few races. This summer I had one solid race and two subpar races. This was not making sense to me as my training had been going fantastic. After a terrible race in Boulder, I headed to Longmont for some time with my coach Jim Hallberg. He told me that I was capable of racing a lot faster than my races had shown, that I just needed to hammer the swim and the bike as hard as possible, and then just see what would happen. Today, I started with a very simple strategy. Simply swim, bike, and run faster than I ever had before. This may seem as an unrealistic expectation, but knowing what I had done to train, I knew it was not.
The race kicked off in Sloan’s Lake, a very dirty and terrible tasting lake. Due to the warm temperature, wet suits were not allowed. Luckily, I was equipped with the TYR Torque speed suit. Knowing that I wouldn’t have a wet suit for buoyancy I figured I would be very lucky to be anywhere near my PR in the swim. I took out in a crowded wave and hammered it just as I was told. As I exited the water, I knew I had just swum a great split, 27:12, nearly a two minute PR. Off on the bike I was cruising, finding my way into the biggest gear, and pushing it. This strategy was working well but not without some help from the Big Guy upstairs. With my two favorite Bible verses written on my aerobars and a certain tune stuck in my head, I knew I had God with me. In case you are wondering what the song was, it was the Arky Arky Song from church camp. With His help, I had just biked 63:10, averaging right under 24 mph. Now that my arms were tired and my legs trashed, it was time to run. The out and back course was not a flat fast course as I had hoped, but a rolling one that pushed me to my limits in the heat. I knew that if I could hang in there I could break 2:10. My run split was a 37:46 that put me at 2:09.50, leaving 10 seconds to spare!

All in all, I am ecstatic! I had needed a sub 2:15 race time to assure me a spot in the elite category in several races, and today took care of that. At this time I am unsure if I will be racing any more triathlons this year, as the summer comes to a close. I want to say thank you to the Olson family for allowing me to stay in their very nice town home on the 20th floor! It was great to have such a nice place located close to the race to relax and sleep. Also, thank you so much to Byron Thomas who is a gifted massage therapist. He took great care of me before and after the race, putting some life back into my legs. Finally, a thank you goes to my family, friends, and sponsors who have been there with me on good races and bad. May the Glory go to God now and forever!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Today was the 4th time I have raced Boulder Peak,that is if you can call what I did "racing" today. The summer started off with a terrible race in Kansas, but I followed it up with a fantastic race at the Loveland Lake 2Lake. Riding high and with training well ahead of last year, I felt today would have been a day for a great race. However, a great race was not in the cards today. Throughout the swim I felt very relaxed and comfortable but unable to shift into a faster stroke. I actually swam nearly 30 seconds faster than last year, but I did not do justice to my swim training. As I headed away from the Boulder Reservoir and up to Old Stage Road, I felt very tight and stagnant, just as in the swim. I managed to throw up a fair amount of water as I approached the summit of Old Stage, disappointed that I had climbed a little over 1300 ft to the top with a belly full of lake water it would appear. Over the summit and feeling a lot better, I started to roll. I was able to fight back and was only 20seconds slower than my bike split of last year. The run was finally here, and I couldn’t have been happier. It only took me half a mile to realize this out and back course was going to be more like a fartlek workout than a race. I started in the second to last wave, over an hour and 1200 athletes behind starters. Running well through the first couple miles, I began to run into strong traffic, bumping shoulder after shoulder, weaving my way in and out, trying to find a rhythm. I was stagnant once again and beginning to become frustrated. I ended up running a 37:59 for the 10K and felt disgusted to see such a horrific time. All in all, I finished :67 seconds behind where I was last year and not happy at all.

Now what? Back to the drawing board! I am hoping Kompetitive Edge can find a way to take care of me by getting me into the Denver Triathlon in two weeks. With another race, I hope to redeem myself and better use this gift of being a triathlete that God has given me to better glorify him. After the race I was able to talk with my coach Jim Halberg and teammate Brandon Jessop which helped to calm me down and get my mind right to race again. I am so blessed to have a great coach and to be part of the Kompetitive Edge family. Hangingout with Jared, Ryan, and Brandon was truly the highlight of my weekend.

Special thanks to Jim Halberg for putting me up and to my parents for coming to watch and cheer me on.

Written in Pike's Perk with great friends, Adam, Lars and Andrew!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Loveland Lake 2 Lake

June 25th was not only my birthday but also the Loveland Lake 2 Lake Triathlon. This year marks my 4th year in a row of doing triathlons, and the Loveland Lake 2 Lake was the first triathlon I ever did. I have been able to drop my time each year and had my highest placing finish this weekend. With this 2nd place finish I was able to qualify for USA Triathlon Nationals. There were 30 men in the 25-29 age group, and I pulled off a 2nd place finish. Since I turned 25 today, I was the youngest guy in my age division, so the future looks promising. My final time was 2:29.04 which was over four minutes faster than last year’s time and a new personal record for me on this course. Although my swim, bike, and run were all faster than last year, the biggest improvements came in the bike and the run. As the race went on I was able to continue pushing myself because I have grown stronger in the swim and bike. This keeps me more relaxed and able to put down a good run time. Going into the race today I was a little nervous after such a terrible race in Kansas, but I knew the training was there. I focused on the belief in my training and in the Lord. One of the Bible verses that is written on my aero bars is Isaiah 40:31: "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Those words were in my head throughout the race and will continue to be so in future races.

Having the best wetsuit from TYR, a bike that works great thanks to Ryan Stedeford and Kompetitive Edge, with some great shoes from Brooks, I was set. With the best parents and fellow Kompetitive Edge supporters there to cheer me on, it was a fantastic day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kansas Half Ironman

Goodbye, so long, and farewell Kansas Half Ironman. In three years, my best race there was when I was at the worst level of fitness of my triathlon career. Between the wind, the hills, and the heat of Kansas, I must not be suited to race a competitive triathlon in this state. This tells me that I was not meant to race here; so, I do not plan to return.

As for today’s race, as you may already know, it did not go according to plan. The water was beautiful and calm at 6:30 a.m. for the pro start; however, at 7:15 a.m., it was very rough with winds and boat traffic making the calm lake have nice big waves that managed to rip the straps of my goggles off my head. Luckily, they are the TYR Nest Pro’s, so they stuck to my eyes while I readjusted. After checking my watch, I was very disappointed with my swim and took to the very windy bike course. Weighing 160 lbs and riding with a disc rear wheel, I had the pleasure of being whipped all over the roads. My favorite quote from the bike today was from two men, “What direction is the wind actually coming from?” “All of them!”

When I finally got to the run I was excited to be able to focus on my strength and make up some time. I ran a smart race as I slowly picked up the pace and picked off competitors. My feet didn’t start rubbing and bleeding until mile 9. By the time I finished, I was cramping so bad that I collapsed across the finish line where Chrissie Wellington saw me, and the medics carried me to the medical tent. While they stuck me with 2 IV’s (one in each arm), Chrissie checked on me and was kind enough to sign both of my shoes as she reminded me how amazing Brooks shoes really are. So, how do I feel about the race? Yeah, I am bummed to not have done better, but I did the best I could under the circumstances and am looking forward to Olympic Distance races in Colorado!

Thanks to Megan Rosa who I coached at Baker for coming out and working the race while cheering me on!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Never Quit

In Psalms, I recently stumbled onto a different translation of a verse that hit home in a new way. I had always heard in Psalms 136 that “His love endures forever.” However, in another translation it states that “His love never quits.” I sat there thinking about what I had just read. As a runner, I have had countless people tell me to not quit, to fight, to refuse to give in. While coaching, I gave the speech many times about never quitting and fighting for every second until you cross that line. I picture myself coming down the homestretch, gritting my teeth, fighting, and not quitting. Reading this translation of a Bible verse made me think about God and how he isn’t going to quit on me. Knowing His love endures forever makes me feel secure. Hearing that his love never quits makes me feel strong.

Each day I spend in Colorado I feel a little bit stronger,stronger from great workouts, stronger because I am with my friends, and even stronger because each morning I wake up and run. I have ran in many states but there is a feeling as I finish a run and look up at Pikes Peak, my Ebenezer. A reminder of all that he has done for me. As I jog down the hill just to sprint right back up I look at Pikes Peak and I am reminded that He never quits, His love endures forever, and whatever happens in Kansas I am ok with because I am not going to quit. Doing the best I can using the gifts God has given me is all I can do. So when you are in your next workout, race,or flat rotten day, remember this; “His love never quits”!

The view from the Incline on Pikes Peak

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blessed With Support

My move back to Colorado is right around the corner. As always, my arrival there marks the true start of my triathlon season. Although this move may be the most difficult one I have ever done without having a definite plan for the fall, I feel I have all the support in the world. My family has done all they can to come watch me race and support me in spite of how far away I have been. The team I have been coaching is excited for my future and sad that I will not be their coach next fall, instead of being mad that I am leaving. They threw me a fantastic going away party with all the parents and runners coming together and even writing me individual cards with their favorite memories. In addition to all of that, I have a friend named Miranda who has been there for me as I stressed about this move and my future. She has reminded me to go to God with my worries and has also helped me put things into perspective. Finally, even with all the support in the world, I have Brooks and Kompetitive Edge looking out for me. Thank you guys for all the gear and making racing possible.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Step of Faith

Once again, I reach a crossroads in my life. I have an opportunity to stay on as an assistant coach at Baker University but with low pay and no chance of real advancement. Two years ago I thought I would be ready to leave this place and start as a head coach; I never imagined it would be so hard to leave. The bond between a coach and an athlete is in my opinion the leading factor for success in running. If a runner trusts their coach, they are willing to give all they have and truly buy into what the coach is telling them to do. Only giving half of yourself to training is like giving half of yourself to God. That makes you lukewarm, and while you may think you are winning or doing well, you are not reaching your potential. As God would say, you are lukewarm. In Revelations 3:16, being lukewarm means God wants to spit you out because you are disgusting, and an athlete that does not commit to my training ideas is also lukewarm and wasting both of our times. However, I am blessed to have such an amazing group of athletes who are not just lukewarm, but instead are burning with desire to train and to praise the Lord. We have a team prayer that one of my athletes put together that the entire distance team does before a meet. This is the reason it is so hard to take this next step. To leave this group of young individuals is like leaving a piece of my family. I will miss them, but after much prayer I know it is best for me and what God is calling me to do. While I have been driving athletes to church, praying with athletes, and truly caring about them, I want to build an entire team under this philosophy, not just the distance program. This is not to say that I have not grown close to many of the sprinters, jumpers, or throwers because I have. They all know they can trust me, and they do come to me quite often about real life problems not just coaching advice.
With this new step, I am uncertain and yet still a believer. I do not know where I will be coaching next year, but I do know that I trust God to lead me, and while the first step is always one in the dark, I am not scared. A song lyric that really drove this home while I was deliberating over my decision was this “And there are places I’ve wished I could be, Battles I’ve wanted to win, Dreams that have slipped through my hands, I may never be back again, But I’m still a dreamer, A believer, Oh, I lost my faith in so many things, But I still believe in You, Cuz You can make anything new.” So many things are not how I planned them, but that is alright with me because I am a believer and God is leading me. So here I go, into the unknown, a career in coaching. I pray God will lead me through this time, I am truly submitting and giving my future to God. Nothing in life is worth having unless it is given from God, so sacrifices must be made and I am making them.
I will miss each and every one of my runners, my beaufitul route up Signal Oak that I love to run, Chipotle on Mass St., grilling with Sara, and the good old Baldwin City water tower. Less then a month now but I am excited for the impact I can have with my own program, and how many young souls I can try to being to the Lord.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tucson Arizona Race Day

2011 is underway! Just finished my first race of the season with a time of 1:37:04, placing 11th in my age group and 31st overall. The run course was an out and back one direction and then another out and back the opposite way. I ended up leading the run for the first 2 ½ miles. No one wanted to push the run, and now that the national championship has two 5K’s instead of a 5K and a 10K, it definitely favors the cyclists. I had no intention of letting the pace stay slow and ended up running 5:08, 5:10 for the first two miles to keep it honest. In the last mile we climbed a serious hill, and I eased off letting some others push the pace up the hill hoping to rest a bit before starting the bike. The bike course was hilly with several hair pin turns. I have yet to see my splits or average mph but know my second loop was faster than my first. It seemed as though I could have continued at what I was riding, but everyone else I was racing were flying. An analogy would be for the cycling I had been training for a 5K and we raced an 800m. When I finished up the bike with no wrecks or flat tires, I was extremely excited. I took off running, but the legs felt pretty heavy after trying to keep up with the sprinters on the bike. All in all, I felt it was a good race and start to the season, but as a competitor I am definitely hungry for another race and know where I need to put in some time before the KS Half Ironman. It feels good to be done; I am so blessed to have two amazing parents who drove me down here to compete, awesome sponsors who had me as the only one in the TYR Carbon kit and looking sharp along with the pink Oakleys and Brooks rocking the T6 racers, keeping me as one of the top runners. Finally, I must close with a shout out to my Savior; each race ran for him is a success and a blessing. I will continue to think of myself as the donkey on which Jesus rode, for at times it may seem as though I am in first, but truly it is Jesus who is using me as an instrument to grow his kingdom. Thanks to everyone.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tucson Arizona Day 2

After an average night of sleep at best, I managed to wake up to a very windy and hot day. I pray that tomorrow is the opposite. I took the bike out for a quick ride to make sure everything was clicking and ready to ride. Today was an exciting day of gifts, starting with the goody bag with some decent gear, then followed by receiving my new race uniform courtesy of Kompetitive Edge. I can’t wait to race in the state of the art TYR Carbon uniform. Had several friends ask where I would be eating before such an important race. With the help of my dad, I settled on Black Angus, and it was delicious. The final question I was asked today was; am I ready to race? I never know a good answer for this; I am not nervous as I know that the preparation is there. I simply pray to glorify God and let his will be done. Last year I felt ready to rock and had 2 flat tires. So to answer the question I would say that I am well trained, well rested, and strong in my faith. With that, I plan to have fun and race to the best of my ability. I’M PSYCHED!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tucson Arizona Day 1

After a very long drive, I made it into Tucson. It has been almost 23 years since I last set foot in Tucson; my parents love to remind me of what happened last time I was here. At nearly 2 years old I managed to fall onto a cactus and while my parents cleaned all the stickers off of me they did not realize that I had a lot more under my shirt. This time I hope to have better luck. Once I arrived I was so ready to get out of the car, lace up the shoes and take in the city, the weather, and the fresh air. Despite a little car sickness in Starkville, CO, I had a relatively laid back trip of resting and catching up with my parents. We took a short break on the way down at the Hard Rock Hotel in Albuquerque. Tomorrow is bike check in and I plan to check out the course while spending some time resting in the hotel. The weather right now is very warm, but luckily it appears I will be racing Saturday morning in high 60’s and low 70’s. Time to rest.

Friday, April 15, 2011


USA Duathlon Nationals (5K Run, 35K Bike, 5K Run)
Tucson Arizona, April 30th 2011

Kansas Half Ironman (1.2 Mile Swim, 56 Mile Bike, 13.1 Mile Run)
Lawrence Kansas, June 12th 2011

Loveland Lake to Lake Triathlon (1500m Swim, 48K Bike, 10K Run)
Loveland Colorado, June 25th 2011 (My Birthday!)

Boulder Peak Triathlon (1500m Swim, 42K Bike, 10K Run)
Boulder Colorado, July 10th 2011

With the 2011 season about to start Kompetitive Edge is helping me to stand out. It appears there may be some PINK flying down the road this summer!

Monday, March 7, 2011


Rolling my ankle today had an impact that I was not expecting. I have talked a lot about working hard, having a good attitude, and never giving up. However, what happens when everything you have planned falls apart? I had a great run planned this morning, but at the end of it, I was happy to just make it home.

Later in the day I noticed one of my athletes who seemed really down due to his injury. He looked sick because he felt that he had no control over his situation and wanted to be training so badly. Not five minutes later, a young lady came up to me with pain where her stress fracture had been. I could see the pain in both of their eyes. I gave the usual “Keep your head up, and take it one day at a time” speech.

I was asked by the young man if I ever get down? This really made me think about the face that I put on at work and with the majority of my friends. A quote I try to live by is “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” I do think it is important as a coach and as a leader that I hide some of the pain I do go through, but I also think some people need to see that I too am human.

I currently have my ankle in a bucket of ice, I am searching for where I may be coaching next year, and I have been having a difficult time as I have lost several of my friends who I once thought were my best friends. I am averaging no more than an hour of sleep at a time right now. If I have ever been down and out, this is the time. I have had two great friends working overtime recently who are trying to support me, and I am hiding my pain fairly well.

So, how do I get through the pain? What do I do when I am injured? Similar to a theme I hope you have been picking up on is that I go to God. Going back to the quote above, it is so important to ask God for his help. He is my strength, and although you may not like what you hear, it may take true courage to act upon it. I asked the young man today if he felt a door had been slammed in his face. He answered, “Yes”. I then asked him, "Have you looked for that open window?" I, too, have doors slammed in my face. I feel as though I am standing in a dorm hallway with about 20 doors all being slammed shut, but with God's help, I am looking for that open window.

So, if you are in pain, go to God. If you are injured, go to God. The answer may not come quickly, and the healing may not either, but keep going to God, and he will deliver you to your destiny.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Perfect Run

I started off with the intent to run an easy 7 mile run today. After starting my watch I would not check it again until I arrived back at my apartment. My 7 mile route took me to the lake north or Baldwin on really muddy roads. As the miles flew by I realized I was smiling. 28degrees, no wind, and mud, I couldn't ask for a more perfect run. When the run was over I glanced down at my watch and did some math to see I had averaged 6:12 per mile for 7 miles and wasn't tired, just dirty.

Training is going GREAT! I got in right at 20 hours of training this week. Just two weeks ago I easily won a 5k in trainers, running 16:08. The best news is that Kompetitive Edge is finishing up the logistics of my contract and will be mailing it out soon so I can officially get my sponsors taken care of for 2011!