Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014 Preview Part 2: "Sponsors"

I've been lucky to have great support throughout my age group and professional racing career.  Family and friends make up the backbone of this support, and I couldn't have gotten to where I am without them.  That's the reason I made "real life" the first post for my season preview.  For part 2, I'm looking at my sponsors as they are also an integral part of my continued success and improvement.  I've been lucky to become associated with a group of great companies over the years and for 2014, my support team looks pretty similar to 2013.

When looking at sponsors, my philosophy is to find great products and companies that I believe in and stick with them as long as they'll have me.  Too many athletes just chase the best deal or hottest trend and look foolish in the process.  I am always on the lookout for potential partners, but I never rush into a sponsorship that I don't believe in.  I also work hard to make sure it's a mutually beneficial relationship.  Simple.

I have a whole page dedicated to my sponsors and have links to their sites on the left of this page, so I won't spend a bunch of time describing the companies.  What I will do is tell you why I'm happy to represent them!  First up, I'll cover the #1 consideration for most triathletes... Coffee.

Utopian Coffee has been an absolute life saver for me because of my snobbish taste in good quality coffee.  I have spent way too much money on my coffee habit in the past and having good quality coffee at home saves money in the long run.  I've got a great subscription set up so I have a new, fresh pound of coffee at my door within a few days of running low.  I now can barely order coffee when going out to breakfast because I've become spoiled with the taste of Utopian Espresso blend.  I encourage you to get spoiled too!  My good friend Brendon will take care of you, just tell him I sent you.
MMM.... Every Morning
Next up, First Endurance Nutrition.  The only thing that is as regular as my coffee usage is my First Endurance Multi-V in the morning.  Throughout the day, I generally use 2-3 other products during training.  I eat relatively 'low carb', so I may get close to 100% of my carbohydrate intake from First Endurance products every once in a while!  A hard workout with out Ultragen simply doesn't happen.   I've come to rely on this company because of their high quality products, but also because of the high quality people behind the scenes.  I've consulted them on race planning and career development in addition to nutrition and have yet to be led astray.  They are constantly developing and refining their product line and I'm happy to have them in my corner!
Sexy... kinda
I've ridden ISM saddles ever since they were a small niche company out of Tampa Bay Recreation.  I met them at St. Anthony's Triathlon where they encouraged me to try out their saddle after I complained that mine was no good.  I switched right before the race and haven't looked back.  Now they are the top saddle company out there and I'm working on becoming one of the top cyclists in the sport.  If you visit their headquarters, you may still see my picture on their front door!

BlueSeventy is the last of my returning sponsors and the first company that gave me a shot.  Back when I was swimming sub 16 min miles, I was looking for someone to believe in my triathlon abilities.  Luckily, I was picked up by the best!  I can honestly say that the Helix wetsuit makes swimming more enjoyable and I almost don't mind when races have wetsuit legal swims.  Like ISM and First Endurance, they are always looking to improve their product and I am happy to benefit from their pursuit of excellence.  Thank you for the years of support.

At the end of last year, I made the move to Carytown Bicycles as my primary local bike shop.  I switched shops because I enjoy the people at the shop and the atmosphere they create.  Having a knowledgable mechanic is priceless and Jessie has never steered me wrong.  Having that comfort going into a race is immensely important.  Add in Tim's constant reminders that "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" and I've got a perfect situation.  If you're in Richmond, be sure to swing by and say hello!
Yes, our philosophies fit pretty well!

New for this year, I'll be working with NormaTec Recovery for the extra benefit from hard workouts. I've done a lot of research and coaching over the years and I know that my training is only as good as my recovery.  I'm just getting started with this company, but knowing that there is a Pitt grad helping steer the ship, I'm very happy to follow along.  I'll be sure to update how I like their boots as I get into the meat of the season.

Along with my primary sponsors, I'm lucky to work with Matt at The Sport Factory and Jay at Peluso Open Water for my coaching and training needs.  Both coaching companies are first class and I'm happy to consult and be consulted by them. If you're looking to improve your racing, you can't go wrong.  Links to their websites are provided under the Coaching Tab above.

That's it for part 2 of the season preview.  Next week, I'll lay out my race schedule and talk about my season planning.  Until then, I'm busy preparing for the season the best way I know how.  Train safe and stay warm.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, I’m Judy! I have a question and would love to speak with you more. Please email me when you get a chance, thank you!