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Ironman Austria Race Report — Sustainable Athlete: Jen Mahoney

Sustainable Athlete, Jen Mahoney, has had an absolute stellar 2017 season.  A race report of Ironman Austria is as follows, just one of the highlights and fruit of the work she has put forth.  Jen embodies our passion for multi sport and is truly incredible in all she balances to race at such a high level.  *(Note:  Jen recently won her AG at Ironman Maine 70.3, 8th female overall!). Enjoy her race report and some insight for anyone considering this venue!

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My sister (Sarah Russell) and I decided to race Ironman Austria, after each having done an ironman, we thought it would be fun to do one together- Ha! Interesting idea of fun.  It was beyond fun. We traveled to Klagenfurt this July and had an amazing day. The venue was everything that we had heard and read about-  the lake was an almost mint green color and so, so clean, mountains surrounded us and so did delicious food.  We stayed right near the transition area at the Seepark Hotel which was a great spot. Our hotel room looked right out where you exited the water from the swim.  We spent the two days before the race adjusting to the time zone, eating a lot of food, chatting with some really friendly people, missing every important pre-race meeting and getting all of our stuff ready.  My family arrived the night before the race, which was awesome to see them before heading to bed.

Up at 4:30 on race morning- Sarah refused to get up earlier. I did not sleep so well, but at least I know that now, it just is what it is. I can never sleep before a race. (though having Sarah snoring peacefully beside me did not help the stress level…) There were lots of athletes at breakfast, we did not have a perfect pre-race meal, but good enough. We had picked up some apple sauce, but we could only find it in baby food, and we definitely got a few good looks and comments about that! We went to check on our bikes, ready our bags and then walked about 20 minutes to the swim start.  It is always a surreal time, the sea of people moving to the start.  A few more sips of water, wetsuit on, gu ingested we lined up. It was supposed to be a rolling start but the barriers all broke down and it became a chaotic mass movement to the gate. Sarah and I hugged and I followed her into the water, saw her for several strokes and then put my head down and swam.

It was a great swim, so beautiful and a great temperature.  My whole attitude about the swim is to just swim steady, avoid being swum over and try and draft if I can. The swim goes out into the lake, with two left turns, the sighting is hard because of the sun, but it’s totally manageable. The swim ends in a canal, which everyone is funnelled into- slightly terrifying and it was like being shot out of a cannon because of the draft. That part was great, the confined space was not. It was lined with people and I avoided most collisions. It was hard to pass and worse to be passed but I survived!  As I excited the swim, I saw my whole family which so fun!

The weather was perfect for the bike- good temperature, and no wind!! The course is truly stunning. It winds along the lake for about 10 miles and then you have several big climbs but the down hills are long and gradual so you really get some speed without having to get out of your aero bars. There were a couple of tight turns but they were well marked.  The first loop flew by with lots of spectators yelling “up, up, up” or “super! “ It was awesome to have a lot of cheering. The last 10k back into Klagenfurt are down and the second time around that is the best feeling. the scenery is spectacular, and I actually did have moments of appreciating it as I rode. I felt good the whole bike, I ate my gu’s, drank a ton and had no stomach issues. I did almost veer into the crowd at one point when I was waving to my family, but that was the only dicey moment.  I looked at my watch after the first loop and I was on pace for a @ 5:30- it is a fast course!!

I racked my bike, ran through transition and then the race really began.  I felt fantastic heading out, said hello to my kids and Sean, went right by my hotel room (that would get harder every time) and started on the 26.2 suffer fest.  The run is completely flat and two loops.(except for the ups and downs for the overpasses, which felt like very serious inclines the second loop.) It takes you around the lake and then back though town. You run through the park which is slightly twisty but it is packed with people and paths are narrow so at times hard to navigate around other runners. The first 13-15miles were ok, I tried to keep a steady pace, saw Sarah which was great, though its hard to be too chatty.  My quads started to pound by mile 18, sort of like a sledgehammer slamming into them every step. My mind at this point was even having a hard time figuring out the kilometers, I just wanted to be done.


Coming into the chute is really one of the best feelings I have ever had, it is such a huge feeling of accomplishment crossing that line. Sarah came across and we cried, of course,  I think more out of total relief than anything else. We both had an amazing day- perfect conditions and a fabulous course. We ended up 1st and 4th in our age groups. I would almost say I would do it again :).


2017 Scottish Highland Retreat


2017 Classes Getting Underway…

2017 Strength and Core mid-day class

**The winter session of Strength for Endurance Athletes will pick up again in mid-January. The class offers a fast-paced and strength-specific routine that focuses on core, stability and single-leg movement. Short bouts of plyos and cardio will complement the functional strength work, and no two days are ever the same. Come prepared for an excellent workout while prepping your body for an injury-free season!

The class is led by Sustainable Athlete Coach Sarah Russell who recently returned from 2 years in Spain where she trained all levels of runners and triathletes. Sarah is a world-class competitive triathlete who tries her best to convince people that strength work is a critical component to an endurance athlete’s training and success! In class she will meet you at your level of comfort and adapt all exercises to one’s ability.

When: Mondays and Wednesdays, 12-1pm
Dates: Starting January 18th, ending March 29th
Cost: first class free then $175
Visit Instagram: to learn more of Sarah’s classes and routines @sustainable.athlete.endurance
Text: for questions or to register, 207-749-3489


2016 Friday Night Fights Stage Race – General Classification

The following is a quick recap of the 2016 Friday Night Fights Stage Race held Jan. 28, 29, and 30th. Eliot Pitney and Carrie McCusker continued to dominate the pointy end of the peloton with 2016 Heavyweight Belt Titles. Zev Myerowitz and Mike Stivaletti rounded out the men’s podium with Stephanie Makouly and Heather Gillespie respective 2nd and 3rd for the women. This year introduced a fun team component in which the 3rd and final stage generated one time for the team members to share. The top women’s team was Blazing Saddles consisting of Heidi Watson, Christina Cracolici, Renee Towne and Darci Holland. The top two co-ed teams were the scrambled Tall Sock Racing Teams followed closely by the TBD Turbos.

Complete Stage and General Classification Results can be viewed here:

2016 Friday Night Fights Stage Race – Stage 3 Results

The third and final stage of the 2016 Friday Night Fights Stage Race took place on Saturday morning, a short few hours of sleep after the PM Friday session:-) Stage 3 was a draft legal, 10 mile course with the 3rd rider in each team of 4 stopping the clock. The teamwork was impressive across the board with many teams staging a comeback mid-race as they further figured out the technique and feel of the computrainer draft function. The time and experience in the paceline was apparent as the Downeast Racing squad set the best time of the day in 24:17.7. Team runner-up, and top Coed Team, was Tall Sock Racing 2 with a very well orchestrated attack on the 10 mile course in 27:23.9.

Complete Team and Individual Times for the 10 Mile Course as follows:

2016 Friday Night Fights Stage Race – Stage 2 Results

Maine cyclists sure know how to have a good time! Teams returned for Stage 2 of the 2016 Friday Night Fights, a torturous 5.1 mile uphill climb. We had a new winner on the men’s side with some incredibly tight racing across the spectrum. Congrats to Zev Myerowitz on staying on the front end of the Downeast Racing Freight Train and to Carrie McCusker being the high scorer on the Team “TBD Turbos”.

The Team standings have remained close and much weight will being placed on tomorrow’s, third and final stage — The 10 Mile Team Time Trial! Congrats to Blazing Saddles for continuing to lead the all women’s team division and to Tall Sock Racing 1 for moving into the lead of the Coed division.

Individual Results for Stage 2 can be viewed here:

2016 Friday Night Fights Stage Race – Stage 1 Results

Congrats to all 9 teams taking to the new Stage Race/ Team format of Friday Night Fights! Two participants familiar with the HWT Belt and Titles from year’s past moved to the front of the GC; Eliot Pitney and Carrie McCusker both had great efforts. After a full night of racing the team standings are quite close with a competitive Co-Ed Division and many teams separated by one point.

Tomorrow evening will be a night for the hill climbers with an uphill stage and finally, Saturday morning will showcase teamwork on a 10 mile, draft legal, Team Time Trial. Rest and recover well!

Stage 1 Individual and Team Results can be viewed here:

Friday Night Fights Stage Race – 2016

Friday Night Fights is back for winter 2016! Once again, the format will provide a fun and competitive atmosphere for every participant; set your own baseline and set the tone for your 2016 season.

New for this year… A stage race format on consecutive evenings and a 4-person, team component.

Dates and proposed Stages are as follows:

Thursday, January 28th — 6.2 Mile Prologue (*will replicate course from former years for past participants to gauge current fitness)
Friday, January 29th — Uphill Time Trial
Saturday, January 30th — Team Time Trial (teams of 4 will compete with the drafting function “on”, 3rd rider on the team across the line stops the clock — Team Riders will receive the same finish time towards the overall standings).

Thursday and Friday will have starting waves at 4 PM, 4:45 PM, 5:30 PM, and ~6:15 PM. Saturday will kick off at 7:00 AM (7:45, 8:30, 9:15…) Team Captains may be designated to sign up a team (of 4 participants) and select a preferred starting time. Friday Night Fights will be scored similar to past years as individual stages and as a general classification/ overall. Team scoring will be determined by the top 3 riders per stage (one co-ed, on mixed teams) and individuals will share their team, overall time, from the Saturday drafting event. We will do our best to adjust wave start assignments based on personal schedule, but largely assigned on a “first sign-up” basis. This initial FNF Stage Race will be capped at 8 Teams and pricing is $175 per team of 4.

Tentative Scheduling for start waves as follows:
(Thurs/ Friday PM)
4:45 – Tall Socks Racing
5:30 – Dames and DBags and Blazing Saddles
6:15 – The Furles and Beauty and the Beasts
7:00 – Downeast Racing and 2 Dudes, 2 Brunettes, One Win

(Saturday AM)
0700 – Tall Socks
0745 – D & D’s, Blazing Saddles
0830 – The Furles, Beauty and the Beasts
0915 – Downeast Racing, 2 Dudes, 2 Brunettes, One Win

Upcoming Group Training

Check out some of the upcoming group training opportunities with The Sustainable Athlete and Fleet Feet Maine Running!

Fleet Feet Maine Running’s “Double The Fun” – No Boundaries 5km

Where: Fleet Feet Maine Running, Portland
When: Program meets Tuesdays, starting September 1 at 5:30 PM
Who: Anyone who wants to complete a 5K and/or those that desire to improve upon past performance.
How Much: $150 for NoBo 1 (first-timers), $125 for NoBo 2 (5km graduates), $100 for WalkFit (Walk Interest Only)
Goal Race: Are you ready for double the fun? This 12-week fall session will prep you for not one, but two 5k’s! We will target both the Fit at 5k (complimentary entry with registration) and the Turkey Trot 5k (entry not included with registration).
Coaches: Denise Goode and Roger Morse


Sustainable Circuit Training w/ Coach Monica

A new semester of Circuit Training for Runners starts with Coach Monica Swan, August 11th. This class will meet bi-weekly, Tuesday and Friday middays at 12:15 – 1:00 PM. This class targets activation of running specific muscle groups and functional strength to keep the body running strong. In addition to classic body-weight circuit training, participants will utilize the TRX suspension training system to further address strength, power and mobility. The fall semester runs from August 11th – October 6th. **No class on August 21st.

Where: Fleet Feet Maine Running on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 6 AM
Who: Anyone looking to improve core strength, reduce risk of injury, and improve sport specific strength
How Much: $120
Coach: Monica Swan


Computrainer – March Extension

It is always our hope and early winter visualization that our tires will be hitting the pavement in March… this, however, is not looking viable. We are extending the Saturday Endurance Cycling on the Computrainer. Class will meet from 7:30 AM – ~9:00 AM on Saturdays, will include 4 sessions, but *will not meet on Sat. March 21st.